Director: Barnaby Edwards
Featuring: Georgia Tennant
Big Finish Release (United Kingdom):
Released: June 2018
Running Time: 5 hours
Georgia Tennant only guest starred on one episode of the show, but her character left an imprint on the series. The ending of that episode left fans wondering if she would ever return. Particularly as rumor had it that Steven Moffat had made the suggestion to Russell T Davies to have Jenny live...people long assumed that meant he had plans to have her return. But, alas, she never did under his tenure. So Jenny was seemingly a character that was teased to make a return, but probably never would as creative teams move on. But isn't that exactly the reason we have Big Finish? Particularly as having the show back on TV makes Big Finish the perfect place to explore the more obscure cracks of the Doctor who universe.
So Georgia Tennant (who as many fans know is the daughter of Fifth Doctor Peter Davison, and current wife of Tenth Doctor David Tennant) gets her chance to revive the character, in her very own Big Finish boxset. The results are entertaining, as Georgia Tennant proves a charming and likable lead.
The opening story Stolen Goods sets the tone, with Jenny getting into an accident with an alien that looks like a frog in a suit (sorry, salamander), and while the amphibian alien tries to con Jenny out of a bunch of money, she is also being pursued by some kind of cyborg that wants to capture a Time Lord. She also meets a frozen man who is even more new to the universe than she is. It's a fun opening, particularly Stuart Milligan as Garundel, who sounds like he is doing a bit of a Paul Lynde impression.
Prisoner of the Ood, involves the Ood on Earth, trapping and turning people in the village into Ood.The reasoning behind that strange plan slowly reveals itself as the episode goes on. As the mystery is one of the few things this episode has going for it, I won't get too deep into details on it. I wasn't as engaged with this second story as I had been with the first. I am a fan of the Ood and I think Jenny is a decent Doctor stand-in, but it lacked the energy and fun that was so present in the opener...and ended up feeling like a standard Doctor Who story, though with an inexperienced adventurer in the lead. In the end, the episode feels more like an excuse to use the Ood, and not anything that seems worth it to have them.
Things bounce back for the third entry, Neon Reign, which is creative and fun, even if the message is too on the nose. Jenny and Noah end up on a planet being ruled over by a sexist dragon which forces woman to serve men who stay at home and do drugs all day. The female empowerment message lacks any real subtlety, which is a shame, but at least the story features a dragon and some crazy high concept stuff, which makes up for it. At the very least the supporting characters in this one were more interesting than the Ood story, and it was well paced with interesting story bits.
The set concludes with Zero Space, which finds Jenny and Noah lost in an area of space with nothing in it. Well nothing except a big research space station being run by 200 clones of the same two people. And their ability to clone so perfectly is a decidedly dangerous place to be when you are as rare as Jenny and Noah and being pursued by a crazy cyborg bounty hunter that wants to sell you to the highest bidder. Being able to have spares to sell would come in handy! The finale to the set is pretty good, though there was definitely a moment or two where it was clear they wanted a certain plot device to remain a twist or have a big reveal...and that lead to me actually yelling "get on with it!" when I had figured out where it was probably heading and they kept teasing out the information. The concepts were all interesting on their own, they didn't need a big twist to keep it entertaining, and holding back and having characters constantly hold back from saying what they mean just frustrated me a bit. Which is a shame, because beyond that it is a great climax to the box.
Jenny: The Doctor's Daughter, is an enjoyable new set from Big Finish. It isn't their most exciting new range, but it has a lovable lead and has potential to become something quite entertaining. It just isn't all there yet. One of the nice things for Big Finish going into this set, the character of Jenny was such a blank slate that they really could have gone anywhere with her. There wasn't that much to her in the original episode. Here she is a fun character to ride along with, even if the stories within a bit uneven, at least you can count on the lead performance...and is there anything more Doctor Who than uneven storytelling with a consistent lead? Fans of the Tenth Doctor or the new series will probably find something to like in here, it may not be perfectly executed, but it is still pretty fun.