Theatrical Fellow: 'Her Majesty? Corks!' As much as I enjoyed their perambulations in other times and places, there is something very satisfying about having Jago & Litefoot back on their home territory and off to solve a supernatural mystery. They are the heart and soul of this range and the period it is set in and whilst it is fun to shake the formula up from time to time it is always a relief to see them back at work in their natural setting. Jago is thrilled at the thought of being able to spend some time in the illustrious company of the Queen and given his service to her domain over the past five seasons I would say that an audience is the very least she could provide him with. He thinks that some official recognition for their services is long overdue. His recent experiences on Venus, the New Frontier of America and the 1960s are still playing on his mind and haunting him in his dreams. He has not been blessed with an athletic physique and yet he seems to keep getting dragged into escapades that requires one. He's not a strong simmer either. Camilla is declared a woman after his own heart when she offers Jago a warm place to rest and a brandy to lift his spirits. Whilst rolling a body off a cliff, Jago does the victim the honour of saying a few words for him.
Standout Performance: Francesca Hunt made a memorable appearance in the eighth Doctor adventure Other Lives, a performance I can still remember almost a decade after its release. She's just as strong in The Skeleton Quay playing a part that isn't a million miles away from her previous appearance and she is just as natural behind the microphone as ever. Her character isn't all she appears to be and she makes the transition from innocent victim to protector of a family secret with effortless aplomb.
Sparkling Dialogue: 'There is something about the sea that makes ones feel so small, so insignificant' - precisely the reason I love living on the coast.
'I've heard of ghost ships but not ghost pubs!' 'I wonder if they serve spirits?'
'Haunted by spectral skeletons and nearly taken at the flood!'
'In my experiences the more people you kill, the easier it is!'
Great Ideas: How the writers of this range continually strike upon such gorgeous ideas for adventures never ceases to amaze me. If you had told me that a Jago & Litefoot series had legs after their appearance in The Talons of Weng-Chiang I probably would have believed you. If you had told me that it would stretch to ten series and beyond, constantly bring out the best of any writer who contributes to the series and would be able to consistently allow its central characters to play comedy and drama without them ever getting boring...well I might have suggested that was suggesting credulity somewhat. But it is the truth and this season looks like it is going to be hung on an idea as intriguing as that of series five (which took the Victorian duo forwards in time to the 1960s), that of Jago and Litefoot serving as ghost hunters for Queen Victoria. That's a notion so deliriously tempting it surprises me it has taken six years to bring it to fruition. They are being sent to investigate some mysterious sightings that have occurred on the Suffolk coast, a part of the country that has been overcome with expectedly dense sea fog. The fog comes in without warning, an icy chill filling the air and if the wind is the right direction you can hear the screams of the people who have died here. The truth behind the ghostly apparitions becomes unnervingly clear when we realise that the inn slipped into the sea when the cliff edge gave way to subsidence taking all those inside with it. A grisly fate. Shingle Cove fails to live up to its name, the shingle having been removed at an earlier date. Camilla's father had all the shingle transported to help build the dockyard that brought them their fortune. It left the sea wall dangerously exposed and resulting in the destruction of the village and death of all the inhabitants. He knew that it would cause a disaster and yet went ahead with it anyway, the blood of all of those innocents most definitely on his hands. Camilla has been trying to kill them ever since they arrived, something that is only apparent when it is pointed out! Her fate at the hands of the dead of those her father killed is beautifully apt. What on Earth is going on with Jago & Litefoot's memories? The reason that Her Majesty wanted the Suffolk coast mystery investigated was because they are testing a new experimental warship along that part of the coast...I can't help but feel that every story this season is going to run along similar lines with Jago & Litefoot performing duties that culminate in some dastardly scheme being cooked up the Crown. But what...?
Isn't it Odd: I don't think we needed the additional twist about Issac being the fog...I rather like the idea of this being a revenge story with supernatural leanings. The dead returning to right a wrong.
Standout Scene: A ghostly inn appearing out of the fog filled with bar staff and customers that are all skeletons. I was wondering how Morris was going to justify his smirksome pun of a title and this was a very exciting way to do it. I would love to see this sort of supernatural madness filmed.