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They keep killing Jo,
This review is from: The Many Deaths of Jo Grant (Doctor Who: The Companion Chronicles) (Audio CD)
Following some initial disappointment that this CD does not feature the return of the Master (it looks a bit like him in online thumbnails of the cover, but once you see the illustration full size you see that in fact it shows supporting artist Nicholas Asbury), I quickly found myself getting into this audio book.
Writers Cavan Scott and Mark Wright introduce some fascinating aliens, diminutive creatures who occupy specially cultivated host bodies, which they use as fighting vehicles. These creatures arrive on Earth in pursuit of the Doctor, causing trouble for UNIT.
Before the first episode is out, though, the scene has switched to an alien world. It shifts again during Part Two to a spaceship. Thus Scott and Wright's plot taps into the three main story types of Jo Grant's time with the Third Doctor: invasion of Earth, alien planet, and space opera. In each of these scenarios, in an unfortunate coincidence of ideas between Big Finish and recent television episodes, Jo (Katy Manning) encounters an impossible astronaut.
We all know that Jo can't really die during these "Companion Chronicles", let alone die many times, so the nature of these various locations will quickly become apparent to anyone with a smattering of sci-fi knowledge. However, the narrative is structured in such a way that the listener does not feel totally cheated. The writers explore Jo's propensity for self-sacrifice, which saved the Doctor's life in "The Time Monster" and proved so confusing to Azal in "The Dæmons".
The real appeal of this story is the relationship between the Doctor and Jo, which Manning's performance brings vividly to life. It's also a joy - as ever - to hear the actress's more eccentric voices during nearly eight minutes of interviews at the end of the disc. There is also poignancy, as Jo realises that before long the Time Lord will leave the Earth for good, and as we realise that this is the first Big Finish audio adventure to feature the Brigadier since the passing of actor Nicholas Courtney (to whom this CD is dedicated).
As Shakespeare wrote, "Cowards die many times before their deaths"... but, as this adventure proves, so can the valiant.