After the TV-series feel and length of Aliens Among Us, the bumper special of Believe and foray into Yvonne Hartman’s Torchwood One with Machines, the most recent set of monthly releases may have been overlooked. So as the summer comes to an end, why not catch up with some of the recent Torchwood releases?
There’s a whole bunch to choose from, and with the school holidays finishing plenty of opportunity for playlists for when the younger listeners aren’t around…
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…
As the finale to Aliens Among Us approaches, it seems a good time to have a look back at some of the recent entries in Big Finish’s monthly range of Torchwood that has helped pave the way in popularity and quality. They all feature members of the team who would be unlikely to appear in that “fifth season” – though stranger things have certainly happened in the series! – and tell very different tales in different ways. But how do they fare as entries to the Torchwood canon?
Once a year, Torchwood Cardiff does a different kind of public service – it helps the local police with long-idle cold cases.
Naturally, PC Andy jumps for this opportunity to follow in Gwen’s footsteps, though she isn’t to be his liaison – for what better member of Torchwood for Corpse Day than the currently-rather-dead Owen?
Together, Andy and Owen investigate a trend of missing girls, and soon end up far deeper than they expected. It’s not just The Rift that spirits people away, and sometimes humans can be more vicious and disturbing than anything beyond this planet…
Once upon a time – a time of big hair, big attitudes and even bigger stereotypes – there was a corner of an exceedingly American part of the United States that was forever British. And it wasn’t just the provenance that made it a very important corner, but that it was the last line of defence for the West Coast against the alien threat… this was Torchwood, LA style!
Hollywood beckons, but wannabe actresses are disappearing – not into obscurity but actually missing. Can Torchwood’s heavenly heroines uncover and challenge the true nature of the threat, and at what cost?
“Previously on Torchwood…”
The last time we encountered Gwen and Rhys in BF’s ongoing Torchwood series, it was on the belting cliffhanger to Made You Look. So it was with a little trepidation that I saw Big Finish’s third season was opening with a Rhys story that had no credit for Eve Myles – could the worst really have happened?
Well, you may have guessed by the way the series varies its time of settings, but Visiting Hours is set before that story so entirely avoids the question – a certain Sherlock showrunner would be proud 😉
We pick up during the time in between Children of Earth and Miracle Day, and Rhys on a particularly sensitive mission – visiting his mum in hospital as she recuperates from a hip operation. But things aren’t normal in this hospital, and patients are disappearing… Can Rhys find the threat and save his mum? And more importantly, can he keep his language clean while doing it?
Between planet-hopping, facing threats both alien and domestic and flirting with everything else, you have to wonder where Captain Jack found time to do the personnel paperwork for Torchwood Cardiff – and given the rate of staff turnover there must have been quite a considerable amount!
In an appropriate echo of Everything Changes, Before The Fall follows a new person joining the team – Rachel Allen may be a far cry from Gwen’s confident police woman of action, but that doesn’t mean the biggest challenges will be whether to sink a colleague’s stapler in jelly or steal it, even if it is a red Swingline…
Just when you thought you were spoiled with the two-hour Torchwood Archive, here comes a bursting three hours of Cardiff goodness!
As the title and nicely-done disc art hints, Torchwood: Outbreak sees Cardiff at risk from a medical threat. But this is much more than an epidemic of sniffles – first they know you, then you love, then you kill…
With no vaccine or protection against the mysterious infection, the Torchwood team have to keep themselves safe as well as find the true nature and intent of the disease. Is this from nature, or could alien factors be at work? Or could there be a deeper conspiracy at play?
It’s hard to believe that it’s already 10 years since Torchwood first hit TV, perhaps due in no small part to John Barrowman’s lack of aging. Like its parent show, it has worked in several guises across different media in that time, most recently having two six-episode seasons on Big Finish. And therein lies the challenge of celebrating it – with such a diversity of format (and not a particularly high character survival rate!) how do you reflect it all?
Cue Big Finish stepping forward, of course, and the bumper 2-hour The Torchwood Archive… but is this an archive worth digging in to?
Series 2 of Big Finish Torchwood has been back and forth as far as the turn of the twentieth century, but it’s somehow fitting that for the finale it’s back to the, er, present (ish?) with post-Miracle Day Gwen.
And a trip to the seaside too, following a claim that “Talmouth is dying” – suffice to say this won’t be anything like the lovely day the day she went to Bangor…
Something is in the newly-empty town, something that knows where you are and is right at the edge of your vision. But be careful – see it three times and you die, it says. Gwen don’t look, don’t you stare, is it hiding under there?