Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Torchwood: Aliens Among Us: Part 1 by James Goss, Juno Dawson and AK Benedict (CD review).

Welcome back to Torchwood. This new four-part drama is set post US ‘Miracle Day’ TV series. It’s all changed. Torchwood Cardiff is in chaos. The team are sadly depleted but on the plus side Jack and Gwen are back! New team member Mr. Colchester adds an intriguing dynamic and then there is Tyler Steel, a potential recruit.

  1. Changes Everything by James Goss

Journalist Tyler Steele is investigating the ‘red doors’ policy where contractors have painted the doors of refugee houses and inadvertently revealed their homes. This has kicked off some hate crimes in Cardiff. Following intervention by Gwen Tyler, Tyler escapes from the bomb that takes out a refugee centre where he was hoping to meet a source of information about the hate crimes. He’s drawn to the idea of working with the Torchwood team so, when they reject him, he keeps digging and in his spare time, dating which also leads to encounters of the very Harkness kind. Note: The smart car is the new Range Rover.

  1. Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy by James Goss

Tyler has a new job but is desperate to keep his connection to Torchwood. He gives them a heads-up regarding an event so Gwen and Mr. Colchester find themselves at a hen night to end all. It seems Cardiff has a new elite and the top totties celebrating the eve of the wedding seem very hungry. It’s definite a night to remember, a long dark night in a Volvo with some aliens who can drink neat vodka and are ravenous. Getting the bride to the wedding of the year takes all the ability of Gwen and Mr. Colchester. Note: Volvo is the new Range Rover

  1. Orr by Juno Dawson

After the shocking final scene in episode 2, we start to stitch together the alien presence and what’s really happening in the Bay. When property developer Vince Parry realises his agreement with alien royalty, the Lady Ro-Jedda, is in jeopardy he calls in the Mayor. Taylor as the super-new employee of the Mayor gets to take Torchwood on a home visit. It doesn’t end well. There is a whole new world happening and nobody likes it. Note: no cars were hurt in this episode.

  1. Superiority Complex by A.K. Benedict

The final episode in the four-parter leaves us with more questions than answers. For which you and I will have to wait.

A series of murders at a top-ranked hotel for aliens only proves the hotel is not living up to its 7-star status. The dispossessed of Cardiff are revolting and Torchwood are trying to keep the peace. Their newest recruit finds that they have the best attributes to get to the heart of the matter. Cars-who needs cars?

This is very much back to the Cardiff-based stories. ‘Aliens Among Us’ is written by James Goss (who also script edits) with his team of Juno Dawson and AK Benedict and directed by Scott Handcock, with finely tuned attention to detail. and the continuing characters of Gwen and Jack are brought back with a few twisty bits. Mr. Colchester, as played by Paul Clayton, is a great touch. He has a wonderfully smooth voice that really works with the script. Casting has always been a strong point in Big Finish. The new boss has hidden depths and access to his partner’s Volvo. He is a great addition to admittedly sparse cast.

Tyler Steele, as played by Jonny Green, is refusing to address his past or present and falls headlong into trouble. He’s not a brave boy neither and frankly the air turns yellow around him. He is a great contrast with the middle-aged, middle-class Mr. Colchester and there are some fine moments of interaction between them. There is also a cheeky line of comedy with Captain Jack. I bet he relished that. Gwen’s life is complicated enough without the added, well you can find that out for yourself.

A good reintroduction of the Torchwood team with some intriguing leads at the end to make you want to get the next instalment. There are four distinct stories and an overall arc that is intriguing enough to keep us hooked. There are a couple of car chases and a lot of suspenseful ‘oh heck’ moments. As I said there is also a lightening with some cheeky comedy moments

It is good to welcome Torchwood full-cast dramas back and returning to its original focus of the rift in Cardiff. I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long for the next one.

Sue Davies

September 2017

(pub: Big Finish. 4 CDs 260 minute story. Price: CD: £28.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78703-010-7. Download: £25.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78703-011-4)

cast: John Barrowman, Kai Owen, Tom Price, Paul Clayton Alexandria Riley, Jonny Green and Eve Myles with Stephen Critchlow, Rachel Atkins, Ruth Lloyd, Sophie Colquhoun, Rhian Marston-Jones, Lu Corfield, Rhys Whomsley, Sharon Morgan, David Sibley, Sam Béart, Anthony Boyle, Sam Jones and Wilf Scolding

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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