Doctor Who review: The Paternoster Gang: Family Matters reveals Jenny’s past

Jenny Flint is reunited with her family in the first episode of Doctor Who spin-off box set The Paternoster Gang: Heritage 3.

Family Matters kicks off the third volume of The Paternoster Gang: Heritage to a fantastic start. Volumes one and two of the Doctor Who audio spin-off were equally strong, giving us six very different stories that helped to establish the series. But the episode Family Matters by Lisa McMullin gives us something far more personal for the gang, resulting in an extremely exciting story.

On television and on audio, we’ve learned very little about Jenny Flint, who’s not only the human member of the trio but is also Madame Vastra’s wife. We know that she’s a more than capable fighter and she shares a very loving relationship with Vastra. But that’s all.

So to have an episode where the audience finally gets to find out more about her past is extremely exciting. More than that: we get to meet her family, too. Of course, when we meet her mother and father, it becomes extremely clear very quickly exactly why she has kept so quiet about her family for so long…

Shaken trust

While Jenny herself is a woman with extremely strong morals, it’s clear that her mother and father are absolutely awful people. Mere minutes after saying hello, Jenny very quickly works out that her Ma has stolen something. And the awfulness of both parents becomes even more obvious as the story unfolds.

Even worse is what Madame Vastra makes of her in-laws. When she meets them, it’s in the worst possible way. Vastra sees the worst of humanity in this story, and her faith in the human race is shaken. More than that: her trust in Jenny is shaken, too.

Lisa McMullin has written a fantastic story with Family Matters. We’ve had stories that have explored different members of the gang before, but this is the first one that feels deeply personal to one of them. It answers many questions about Jenny and her past, and gives us plenty of great character development. On top of that, it also features plenty of commentary on how awful particular groups can be treated, and it even features some strong hints of where the arc is heading for this series. Overall, Family Matters is an extremely exciting episode that takes things up a gear for the Paternoster Gang in a big way.

Next: Review: Jago & Litefoot: Series 1 is a strong start

Do you think the history of the Paternoster Gang should have been explored more on television? Did you ever wonder about the origins of Jenny Flint? Let us know in the comments below.