Yes, the official series 5 – and with RTD on board as well! This time round he is in a more advisory role behind the scenes, adding to the wealth of Big Finish talent proven in the past couple of years.
Cardiff is not so much invaded as occupied – these aliens look human enough to avoid mass panic, and have built enough financial and political clout to make them a formidable foe for anyone who should want to shift them. But these newcomers may not be all that’s alien in Cardiff, and things are never straighforward where the freshly-rebuilding Torchwood are involved…
In style, Aliens Among Us sits between Series 2 and those following – there are strong themes that develop through so Part 2 very much requires its predecessor to make sense, but episodes also have their own distinct stories within them. If you only have time for a single tale, A Kill To A View is probably the most standalone, and also makes a great teaser with its single return for a classic Torchwood character.
Torchwood in all its forms has always benefitted from strong characterisation despite its habit of then trimming down the numbers, and Aliens Among Us bolsters the lineup with some excellent new characters. Tyler Steele and Mr Colchester are well-rounded additions to the regulars, with Orr adding angles of possibility that are new even for Torchwood! The existing cast are generally well-served too, with Andy and Rhys making a great team when together. Some of the elements involving Gwen invoke aspects of her character I was personally not keen on in the earlier televised series, but there is a feeling of more to come in the final part of the series so it could play out differently!
Of the callbacks to earlier series, one that is likely to be more controversial is the portrayal of sex within particularly the first story of Part 2 – Torchwood has always been a more grown up series but it veers back into the over-explicit which ends up appearing less mature than in later series and can end up taking the listener out of the story where different focus and dialogue could have been more effective. It’s probably still not as disturbing as the (probably produce-based) method of production of the sound effects involved, mind, as the production values are every bit as polished as can be expected from a Big Finish production. Niggles aside, the scripting is excellent with a great mix of writers and skillful weaving of ongoing themes assisted by Scott Handcock handling both directing and script editing. And yep, it can still bring some stonking cliffhangers!
Over the eight episodes so far, Aliens Among Us has proved a worthy fifth series of Torchwood and a strong addition to the Torch-verse (yep, still using that) as a whole. Part 3 has a lot to live up to, and a lot to resolve as it concludes the story – but fortunately there’s not long to wait!
Torchwood: Aliens Among Us Part 1 and Part 2 are available now from BigFinish.com, along with other Torchwood special releases. Part 3 can be preordered here.