Romana is dismayed when, in the course of the TARDIS’ supposedly randomly-selected travels intended to throw the Black Guardian off the Doctor’s tracks, the timeship once again lands in London. But this era is one the Doctor has visited in the past, and he even has friends there, namely forensic pathologist Professor Litefoot and theater impresario Henry Gordon Jago. They regale the Doctor with tales of a mysterious vigilante wandering the streets of London, intriguing the Time Lord enough that he decides to help them investiage. When the Pugilist finally shows his face, dispensing with a felonious cabbie who tries to rob Jago and Romana, it’s quickly apparent that this would-be Victorian superhero is using technology that shouldn’t exist on Earth in this time period. When the Doctor tries to intervene, the Pugilist and his companion, a robot that scans the minds of suspects and determines their guilt or innocence, decide that the scope of the Doctor’s past actions demand that justice must be done.
Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Mary Tamm (Romana), John Leeson (K-9), Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot), Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Mark Goldthorp (Bobby Stamford), Rosanna Miles (Mary Brown), Ben Bishop (Stone), Adrian Lukis (Harvey Marsh)
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: A fun reunion with the memorable guest stars of The Talons Of Weng-Chiang, The Justice Of Jalxar is almost surplus to requirements: after all, Jago & Litefoot had been starring in their own audio series for a few years at the time of this story’s release, and they had proven quite adept at handling the unexplained and unnatural on their own. If nothing else, it’s a very effective bit of marketing to clue people in to how much fun the two are in their spinoff series without the Doctor. The banter between Christopher Benjamin, Trevor Baxter and Tom Baker is a delight, though for once Romana’s a bit of a buzzkill, her more “refined” behavior shutting down some of the fun. (Savage or not, Leela simply couldn’t have cared less about being “ladylike”, so she was down for whatever came her way in Weng-Chiang.)
Aside from being a much-anticipated reunion, Justice Of Jalxar also has a cracking good science fiction story on its side, and there’s a somewhat disturbing scene in which the blood on the Doctor’s hands – even at this relatively early stage in his life – is counted drop by drop to measure the degree to which he will be punished. It’s probably best that it wasn’t the ninth Doctor, or a later model, who ran into this judicial robot…