Doctor WhoMusic/Audio

Torchwood – Aliens Among Us: part 2 by Christopher Cooper, Mac Rogers, Janine H Jones and Tim Foley (CD story review)

Who doesn’t love a serial? The essence of this new ‘Torchwood’ is to provide us with a regular dose of adventures with underlying continuing themes and a sufficient quantity of cliff-hanging moments.

There are four one hour episodes in this series with the promise of the final four shortly. These are standalone episodes but follow what’s left of the team in a new Cardiff. There have been quite a few changes to the Welsh capital and the new mayor is an alien. No, she’s not English but a real alien and she’s climbed over a lot of bodies to get to this powerful position because who wouldn’t want to be mayor of Cardiff? Someone has to organise the recycling.

5.5 Love Rat by Christopher Cooper

Jack’s dead again but, as usual, not for long. Funny though, he doesn’t remember how he died this time. There’s a pretty vicious killer on the loose and surprisingly it’s probably Jack’s fault. The team are back but something’s not right. Expect the unexpected although this is Torchwood, in Cardiff, anything could happen.

All the regulars return with John Barrowman as the mainly, irrepressible Jack, Eve Miles as Gwen with Mr. Colchester, the boss, he thinks, brought to life by Paul Clayton. Even Rhys (Kai Owen) pops up, still not noticing the trouble with Gwen. The hapless Tyler Steele (Jonny Green) continues to peer into Torchwood through the lens of Gwen. He’s trying to stay alive as being PA to Ro Jedda (Rachel Atkins) can be tricky around snack time.

5.6 A Kill To A View by Mac Rogers

Accommodation is crucial and the Ritz Towers apartments in Cardiff are to die for. It’s hard to get in there but Mr. Colchester has managed to secure one for him and his husband, Colin (Ramon Tikeram) The people are really welcoming, desperate to entertain with constant invites to dinner parties. The caretaker is really helpful and it’s an alien free zone. With Torchwood treading a fine line with Mrs. Mayor, Mr. Colchester is hoping Colin will be safe. The fool.

5.7 Zero Hour by Janine H. Jones

Tyler is really interested in a courier he spots in the coffee shop. Hasan (Sacha Dhawan) works really hard for a company called Deliverables. Tyler has noticed something very peculiar about his crush and shares his thoughts with Gwen. Despite not being a member of Torchwood, Tyler can’t help getting himself in trouble. Up to his pretty neck. Everything is connected and connectable and it’s up to Torchwood to pull the plug and save the city, again.

5.8 The Empty Hand by Tim Foley

Sergeant Andy Davidson (Tom Price) is in real trouble. It seems he’s killed a man and everything in Cardiff is kicking off. Shooting a refugee without a reason or warning means Andy sets off a series of events, although it seems like the pot was already boiling. He can’t remember doing it or even why and he really needs Torchwood’s help. It’s just that Torchwood has a few other issues to cope with.

Nobody is sure where Jack is and indeed what on earth he is thinking and doing. It’s all setting up nicely for a surprise ending and a frustrating wait for the next instalment. This one night in Cardiff could be the end of Torchwood.

Four episodes, four stories combined with a satisfying underlying story arc that offers lots to listen to and enjoy again. This feels like back-to-basics Torchwood. We’ve got gritty night streets of Cardiff, an alien threat which may or may not be the main event and more that I can’t talk about here. People might be listening.

The team is interesting again with the only two originals, Gwen and her scary hidden depths and the roguish, lovable Jack with his relaxed attitude to relationships which seem to cause many of the problems in Cardiff joined by new boss Mr. Colchester and the mysterious, undefined alien Orr (Sam Beart). There’s enough variety and interplay between the characters to keep us intrigued and sticking to Cardiff grounds it in a realistic tension-ridden setting.

Each of the stories addresses a different issue and provides a satisfactory resolution so all credit to the writers. With producer Scott Handcock pulling it together there is superb sound design and music to add the depth to the production. So good I’ve listened to it more than once. Looking forward to the next instalment. Will there be answers? Torchwood slips on its balaclava and drives off into the night in its own smart car, so maybe, maybe not.

Sue Davies

February 2018

(pub: Big Finish. 4 CDs 260 minute story. Price: CD: £35.00 (UK), Download: £30.00 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78703-379-5)

cast: John Barrowman, Alexandria Riley, Paul Clayton, Sam Béart, Jonny Green, Kai Owen, Tom Price, Eve Myles, Murray Melvin, Rachel Atkins, Ramon Tikaram, Ewan Bailey, Kerry Joy Stewart, Diveen Henry, Ellie Heydon, Marilyn Le Conte, Luke Rhodri, Charlotte O’Leary, Sacha Dhawan, Sarah Annis, Rick Yale, Laura Dalgleish, Kristy Philipps, Aly Cruickshank, Richard Elfyn and Sanee Raval.

check out website: www.bigfinish.com

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