Captain Jack Harkness is back! This time though, he’s without the Doctor and without Torchwood. Captain Jack does have a life y’know? In this new box set, The Lives of Captain Jack, we’re going to hear what our favourite Time Agent gets up to when we’re not normally there. Today, I’ll be reviewing the final story in the set, Month 25.
He’s the young star of the Time Agency, and his whole life is about to fall apart. But that’s not going to stop him winning.
Every legend has to start somewhere right? What was George like before he’d slain the dragon? What was the Doctor like as a child? What was Jack like whilst in the Time Agency? Today, we’ll get the answer to one of those three questions; but I’m not going to tell you which. I mean, it’s pretty obvious which it’s going to be.
Is it any surprise that Jack is a bit of a rebel, a maverick and a rule breaker? Absolutely not. Is it great that we get to hear just how reckless he was? Absolutely.
Of course, all is not as it seems at the Time Agency, and it appears that only Jack is the only one who can see the truth. The most interesting thing in the opening half of this release isn’t how Jack acts, but it’s how the other Time Agents do. If I’m being honest, this story is making me yearn for a Time Agency series, which could have all kind of hijinks (and hopefully bring back Captain John, amirite?) and humour.
Saying that, hearing John Barrowman play essentially a younger version of a younger version of his character is really interesting; and he pitches his voice just right to give the illusion that this is a very young Jack Harkness. Even though that’s not his real name, and we do learn his real name in this story. I’m not telling you what it is though, where would be the fun in that? I have to admit though, that his name reminded me of a meat ceiling.
At the exact halfway mark of Month 25, we get a lot more timey-wimey; and whilst the premise of a certain conversation may have been hard to follow on audio, Guy Adams came up with a great way to make it easier to follow; and it also gives us a nice little reference to a small yet fun aspect from the Tenth Doctor’s era too.
The remainder of the second half seems to be Jack on the run from the Time Agency; he’s learned the truth and they can’t have him alive with what he knows. It’s a great game of cat and mouse; especially with the mouse being so inexperienced.
I think that the best way to describe Month 25 is a mix of Waterloo Road, Fifty Shades of Grey, Mission: Impossible, Doctor Who, Hustle, and with a smattering of The Demon Headmaster. If you’re not into English TV, then I apologise, but trust me, it’s a great and eclectic mix.
Overall, Month 25 is a rip-roaring adventure with a very young and naive Captain Jack; this is arguably Jack at his most Jack-like, before he met the Doctor, before he was banished from the Time Agency and before he had so many morals. If you want a slightly unhinged version of our favourite Time Agent, then this story may just well be the story for you.
Should you want to purchase The Lives of Captain Jack, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £25 on CD and £20 for a digital download for a limited time.