Promising to take Jago and Litefoot from the wild environs of Venus to a decent pub, the Doctor brings the TARDIS in for a landing… near Roanoke, Virgina in 1590, a missing British colony in the Americas, and decidedly bereft of pubs… or, for that matter, people. The expedition sent to check up on Roanoke has found nothing except for three suspiciously out-of-place Englishmen and a group of Native Americans believed to have massacred the missing colonists. Jago falls ill and begins to fade away – quite literally, gradually turning transparent. It’s a fate that he shares with many others, both British and Native American alike, as a mysterious translucent being and a swarm of spectral children routinely appear to claim new victims. None of this is in the history books, because something has caused a major diversion in history… namely, the arrival of the TARDIS. The Doctor must set history right with little more than the power of persuasion on his side.
Cast: Colin Baker (The Doctor), Christopher Benjamin (Henry Gordon Jago), Trevor Baxter (Professor George Litefoot), Philip Pope (John White), Ramon Tikaram (Wanchese), Mark Lockyer (Sir Walter Raleigh), Emerald O’Hanrahan (Eleanor Dare)
Notes: Litefoot’s exclamation that Jago vanished “like breath on a mirror!” precedes the eleventh Doctor’s use of the same phrase just prior to regenerating in The Time Of The Doctor by two years. The Doctor eventually deposits Jago and Litefoot at the right pub, but in the wrong era, dropping them off in 1968, setting the quintessential Victorian paranormal investigators up for the adventures in their fifth box set “season” of audio tales.
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green
Review: A mind-bending paradox built around a very real historical mystery, Voyage To The New World is a dark counterpart to Voyage To Venus, abandoning the earlier story’s more fantastical tone for something fatalistic. Jago’s disappearance adds to the story’s doomed feeling, and all involved set the typical Jago & Litefoot bluster aside for some weightier drama (and quite effectively, too). It’s gripping (and occasionally a little murky and confusing) stuff.
The final scene sees the sixth Doctor delivering a benediction of sorts upon the stars of what has turned out to be one of Big Finish’s most surprising spinoff successes. Sadly, Jago & Litefoot’s adventures without the Doctor must wait for a future volume to chronicle their adventures, but if Voyage To Venus and Voyage To The New World offer little more than a taster of the widely varied situations in which the two intrepid adventurers find themselves, that’s a perfectly good thing – theirs is a spinoff well worth checking out (particularly if you also enjoy the equally Victorian exploits of a certain Silurian, her wife, and a dim-witted Sontaran – actually, putting Jago & Litefoot together with those characters would be positively inspired, if only Big Finish’s license could be reworked to encompass elements of the new series).