Professor Bernice Summerfield and the Relics of Jegg-Sau

Starring: Lisa Bowerman
Big Finish Productions
RRP 9.99
ISBN 1 84435 074 6
Available 14 December 2004

Jegg-Sau is a failed colony world. Rumour has it that when the colonists abandoned it, they left behind a stock of valuable relics and treasures stolen from Earth. When she lands on Jegg-Sau, Bernice discovers that the world is not quite deserted, however. She finds a man, his rather repressed daughter - and a rather large robot...

And so the Professor Bernice Summerfield "monster" season continues, with Benny (Lisa Bowerman) encountering a quite unlikely old foe from the worlds of Doctor Who: the K1 robot from Tom Baker's debut serial, Robot. In fact, writer Stephen Cole was partially inspired to pen this adventure by an infamous piece of Who merchandise, a jigsaw (Jegg-Sau, geddit?) depicting an entire army of giant robots striding across some swampland.

Cole makes good use of the K1 robot, crafting a believable reason for the machine's presence on an alien planet centuries after its prototype's creation. Its presence, together with that of a rather eccentric scientist (Paul Shelley) and his daughter (Katherine Holme), is deliberately reminiscent of the classic sci-fi movie, Forbidden Planet. Michael Kilgarriff reprises his role as the robot, while sound designer/musician David Darlington succeeds in evoking the sound effects and musical themes of the original 1974 serial.

An interesting bit of Who trivia (maybe) is that this story features guest performers from the debut stories of not one but two television Doctors. In addition to Kilgarriff's former role in Robot, Paul Shelley played Persuasion in Four to Doomsday, the first full serial that Peter Davison recorded as the Fifth Doctor.

The synopsis on the back of the case (and on Big Finish's website) spoils this agreeable story a little, using a plural that ought really to have been avoided. So ignore that synopsis, read my synopsis instead, and then buy and enjoy this CD!

Richard McGinlay

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