“The Many Deaths of Jo Grant” is a Doctor Who audio drama from Big Finish Productions and is an episode of the range known as The Companion Chronicles. Cavan Scott and Mark Wright co-wrote the script which stars Katy Manning returning as Jo Grant. Nicholas Asbury provides the back-up performance as Rowe. Rowe is a strangely versatile character since Jo is living through several predicaments that apparently result in her demise, often sacrificing herself for the Doctor. In all of these occurrences, Rowe is there in various guises so it’s easy to figure out he’s up to something.
This episode really showcases Manning’s skill at voice work and narration. It is impossible for Manning to sound exactly like the late Jon Pertwee, or rather the Third Doctor, however she delivers his dialogue in a manner that easily brings him to the mind of the listener. Her performance when speaking for the Doctor really reflects the affection she had expressed over the years for Pertwee. Manning is getting up there in age, however her vocal skills have yet to show any diminishing, at least in this particular release. This one did come out in 2011, but I still enjoying her even in the newer releases.
This episode really highlights how much Jo Grant was willing to sacrifice for the Doctor’s life and cause. It also managed to convey how much the Doctor cared for her as well. The chemistry and affection was very evident during this era of the television series in the 1970’s, and it seems it was effectively recreated even without the presence of Jon Pertwee.
I found this one to be rather more enjoyable than I expected. It did seem to capture the spirit of the Third Doctor’s era while effectively showing the relationship and loyalty between the Time Lord and Jo Grant in a manner that feels somehow fresher. The resolution of the story also ends up being a bit of a surprise as well.
I would recommend this particular release to not be overlooked.