Click here to return to the main site.

Audio Book Review


Doctor Who
The Companion Chronicles
The Mahogany Murderers


Author: Andy Lane
Read by: Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter

Big Finish Productions
RRP: £8.99 (CD), £7.99 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 84435 380 4
Available 30 May 2009

Professor George Litefoot: the eminent pathologist who advises the police in some of its grisliest cases. Henry Gordon Jago: the master of ceremonies at the Alhambra Theatre. Two very different men from contrasting strata in society, who have became firm friends and defeated dangerous denizens of the daemonic darkness together. They have stood side by side against threats to the British Empire. But when a body is found on the banks of the Thames and Litefoot’s post mortem reveals that it is actually a highly detailed wooden mannequin, their most dangerous adventure begins. Dr Tulp has masterminded a deadly scheme, Jack Yeovil and his murderous gang plan to live forever, and only Jago and Litefoot can stop them...

This isn’t really a Companion Chronicle, or at least it’s a very unusual one. It doesn’t feature the Doctor or any of his companions, but rather turns the spotlight upon Henry Gordon Jago (Christopher Benjamin) and Professor Litefoot (Trevor Baxter), who battled alongside the Fourth Doctor and Leela against Magnus Greel in the classic Tom Baker story The Talons of Weng-Chiang. Litefoot subsequently met the Doctor again, this time in his eighth incarnation, in the novel The Bodysnatchers, so I suppose that at least he counts as a recurring character. However, don’t mistake my hair-splitting for a lack of enthusiasm about the return of these characters, because I’m very pleased indeed to hear from them again.

Christopher Benjamin (as Jago) and Trevor Baxter (as Litefoot) step back into their roles as though they’d never been away. This is despite the passage of more than three decades and the fact that the pair have not worked together or even met during the interim. The latter fact is revealed in the interview at the end of the CD, in which the performers instantly resume their jocular comradeship.

Andy Lane’s witty script and the actors performing it toy mischievously with the fourth wall. The characters take it in turns to describe their own recent investigations to each other, each one interrupting the other at dramatic or inopportune moments. Jago, ever the showman, adopts a range of voices to portray the various characters he meets, but he discourages Litefoot from doing the same, in view of the professor’s lack of acting experience.

It’s unfortunate that, having encountered the Peking Homunculus Mr Sin in The Talons of Weng-Chiang, Jago and Litefoot should again come face to face with a sinister walking mannequin (this time full size), but that’s because this story started out as an idea for the aborted third series of Reeves and Mortimer’s Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), as Lane reveals in his sleeve note. In other respects, this is a tremendously enjoyable yarn.

Back in the 1970s, a Jago and Litefoot spin-off series was considered by the BBC. Now at last they have their spin-off, even though it isn’t actually a series. However, the conclusion of the tale hints at further adventures, so who knows...?


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£7.19 (
£6.99 (
£7.19 (
£7.19 (
£7.19 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.