Posted in Audio by - February 26, 2023

Released February 2023


Following Katy Manning’s appearance as Jo Jones on The Sarah Jane Adventures in 2010, it seemed as though the saga of one of the most beloved companions of the classic era had been given an emotional and conclusive coda when Jo finally reunited with the Doctor, albeit the Doctor in his eleventh incarnation. However, when a friend calls her to the Isle of Wight following a series of horrific bird attacks, she suddenly finds herself in the presence of her own Doctor once more after so long apart in Matt Fitton’s ‘Supernature.’

Appropriately, the plot itself is one that fits in perfectly with the conventions of the Third Doctor era and that also brings in Jo’s incredible strength of character and resolve regarding her continuing fight for the environment and the planet as a whole, a group claiming to be part of the Ministry of Defence looking to exploit and weaponize the more primitive and aggressive tendencies in wildlife that a crashed spaceship and hive mind have awakened. This ultimately doesn’t pose too much of a problem for the Doctor who with an open mind is able to communicate with the entity that the humans are trying to control, but the immense visuals of unexpectedly violent turns from the local animals- domesticated or not- as the scientists try to stretch the ferocious outbursts into any and all non-primate species helps to create a continuing sense of momentum and tension as no place proves completely safe from potential danger. The intimations that this group may in fact be part of The Forge that the Doctor will come to cross paths with again in Big Finish continuity on many occasions is a subtle but welcome inclusion that does add an extra element of depth to the story if true, but the majority of this story plays out exactly as an adventure featuring the Third Doctor and Jo would be expected to as they easily pick up together as if no time has passed at all, something wholly expected given the immense chemistry that Tim Treloar and Katy Manning have developed over their years together doing The Third Doctor Adventures.

However, while the Doctor admits that he is lonely and traveling alone since parting ways with Jo in Llanfairfach and that he feels guilty that he was not present for the most important moments in Jo’s life though he is pleased that he will remain somewhat enigmatic in future forms, ‘Supernature’ truly shines when Jo drops her own defences and tells of everything that has occurred to her during her life. It would have been easy writing for Jo to simply express remorse about a life she may have missed out on by leaving the Doctor’s side, but Manning gives a truly tremendous and resonant performance that highlights Jo’s pride in the purpose, accomplishments, and ultimate fulfillment her chosen path has given her as well as the legacy she has left in her wake. This becomes all the more profound, however, when she touchingly talks about Cliff who, reflecting the unfortunate passing of Stewart Bevin in 2022, has likewise passed. It’s impossible not to get caught up in the genuine emotions of Manning as she discusses Cliff’s own character and his final moments, and it’s moments like these that highlight not only the power of Manning as an actress and of Jo as a person but also the incredible wealth of potential that companions’ stories still hold after departing the TARDIS that can elevate narratives beyond anything that can simply be called fan service. While it’s a shame that more of the script cannot be devoted to these types of conversations since they far outshine an altogether traditional primary plot, the moments that are offered are more than worth the wait and again spectacularly highlight just how much these two characters care for each other as they embark once more on adventures into the unknown.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.