Â Out of all the words most commonly used in reviews and opinion on any form of entertainment, “clichÃ©” is the most horrid and foul of all the words.
“ClichÃ©” means that something has failed in the end product that makes it’s concept seem petty rather then larger then life, that something was broken and never fixed and as such the media did not draw the consumer out into it’s world far enough for them to believe in what they created.
But there are also times when the word “clichÃ©” can be used like a badge of honor.
Jago & Lightfoot: The Bellova Devil is one such example of getting it right, it blends elements that in other less well written scripts would have seemed overused and stale, such as a detective story set in Victorian London or the dead rising from out the grave in the middle of the night and makes them work for the story itself. Instead of trying to stay away from the beaten path it walks above it and even dig or a hole or two in it when it can, as Alan Barnes produces a plot that really has twists and turns in it worthy of any high quality murder-mystery tale.
The script is not the only aspect of this audio worthy of praise, as both the voice acting and the score provide a good sense of the mood and setting while Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago) and Trevor Baxter (Professor Litefoot) do another remarkable job here, being both entertaining and capturing the essence of the characters they played so well in Doctor Who almost thirty three years ago. The rest of the cast is pretty good as well, so you are really able to lose yourself for a bit in the world of this Victorian odd couple.
Running throughout the story is a sense of both practical detective work and the strangeness of the world beyond Human understanding, one that makes some of the reveals at the end all the more shocking, as you are led to believe the antagonist could be either from our world or a world beyond and they keep you guessing as to which one it truly is.
Overall series plot points are kept to a minimum in the play, meaning you can pick up this play without ever having listened to the first story, The Bloodless Soldier, but also means that if you did happen to enjoy the last installment, the mystery deepened a bit as well, keeping you waiting for the next installment of the series.
The quality so far for a series based on a spinoff of some of the supporting roles in a three decade old science fiction serial is amazing if all is told, it makes you wish that they had of gone forward with this way back then for television, but thanks to these audios it is one missed opportunity that gets a bit of redemption.