One of the most intriguing characters from Torchwood on TV was Bilis Manger, the creepy time traveller portrayed by Murray Melvin. While his potential was never fully realised on the show, Big Finish has once again demonstrated their talent for taking supporting characters and making them shine in this latest production. In Dead Man’s Switch, Bilis is at his best and most sinister.
The story begins with three strangers – an antique dealer, a property developer, and a heartbroken hairdresser – sitting on a train going nowhere. They are soon joined by the enigmatic Bilis, who has a chilling message for them: he wants to tell them how they died.
As with many Big Finish audios, Dead Man’s Switch is a departure from the usual Torchwood fare.
The three guest actors are perfectly cast, but it is Murray Melvin who truly steals the show with his masterful portrayal of Bilis Manger. His gravitas and otherworldly aura are palpable, making his return in future productions eagerly anticipated.
One of the standout features of Dead Man’s Switch is David Llewellyn’s exceptional script. His talent for crafting multi-layered characters and intricate plots is on full display in this production, and he takes full advantage of the audio medium to create a palpable sense of dread and tension throughout.
The dialogue is sharp and evocative, capturing the distinct voices and personalities of each character. The pacing is masterful, with the story slowly building towards its gruesome conclusion. Llewellyn’s attention to detail and willingness to take risks make Dead Man’s Switch one of the most memorable Torchwood audios to date.
Overall, Dead Man’s Switch is a testament to the power of great writing in audio drama. It showcases the incredible potential of the medium to tell gripping stories and immerse listeners in terrifying new worlds.