Strax is taking temporary leave from his Paternoster Gang Vastra and Jenny for an audio spin-off from Big Finish Productions.
The Sontaran butler will team up with Doctor Who characters Jago and Litefoot for the special after suffering a “disorientating attack” that leads him to mistake the two Victorian investigators for his friends. Together they find themselves on the trail of a creature that is stealing brains, which may or may not be linked to a haunted house in London.
Played by Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter, Jago and Litefoot were created by scriptwriter Robert Holmes and made their first Doctor Who appearance opposite Fourth Doctor Tom Baker in 1977 story The Talons of Weng-Chiang. They were reunited by Big Finish over 30 years later, going on to collaborate on a string of dramas with a tenth series due for release this October.
“It’s a testament to the great Robert Holmes and these two wonderful actors that Jago and Litefoot remain so eternally popular,” said Big Finish producer David Richardson, “and it’s such a joy to have them set foot in the world of current TV Doctor Who as they join forces with Strax for a special investigation.
“Justin Richards’ script is superb, packed with excitement and wit, and it’s so fun to see the mismatched duo of Jago and Litefoot become a mis-matched trio!”
Dan Starkey, who first played Strax on TV opposite Matt Smith in 2011, added: “The Talons of Weng-Chiang was one of my favourite Doctor Who stories growing up, first in its form as a Target novelisation and then in the prized VHS I got for Christmas 1988. Spool forward nearly 30 years, and I’ve been lucky enough to encounter Jago and Litefoot in their audio incarnation already, with my turn as Mr. Tibbs in series nine.
“Now it’s a joy to bring Strax face-to-face with the characters who in many ways defined how Doctor Who ‘does’ Victorian London. I hope the sonic thaumaturgy of those clever coves at Big Finish will excite the ears and invigorate the imagination, as Henry Gordon Jago might have put it!”
A Paternoster spin-off is something Whovians have long been clamouring for but, speaking earlier this year, showrunner Steven Moffat told Doctor Who Magazine he wasn’t convinced it was a good idea.
“I’m always slightly worried that you can’t keep repeating the joke,” he explained. “And there’s always talk of the spin-off, and the Beeb would do it in a heartbeat… but… I dunno. The moment you start relying on something, you should probably throw it away.”
So, it looks like a Strax spin-off will have to satisfy for the time being. Jago & Litefoot & Strax will be released as a two-disc special in November 2015.