Fortitude is a remarkable example of small-scale storytelling. Despite its limited cast and singular setting, writer James Goss has crafted an engrossing and atmospheric tale that blends character-driven drama with suspenseful action. From the moment Queen Victoria and Maharaja Duleep Singh find themselves stranded on a storm-battered fort, the audience is drawn into a world where sinister forces are at work. As the tension mounts and the characters encounter ghosts and a menacing alien force, the stakes are raised to a fever pitch.
The strength of Fortitude lies in its characterisations. Paul Bazely’s portrayal of Duleep Singh is particularly noteworthy, capturing the intense emotions of a man who has lost everything. Rowena Cooper’s performance as Queen Victoria is equally impressive, portraying a monarch who is both cunning and ruthless. Even the supporting character of Colonel Crackenthorpe, played by Mark Elstob, is given significant depth and nuance. As the story unfolds, the audience learns more about his motivations and past, adding to the complexity of the overall narrative.
Like many Torchwood stories, Fortitude explores dark themes and contains mature content. However, unlike some of the more gratuitous entries in the series, the adult material in Fortitude serves a purpose, highlighting the complex relationships and moral dilemmas at play.
Overall, Fortitude is a triumph of storytelling, with an excellent script, first-rate performances, and haunting sound design. It is one of the best Torchwood audios to date, offering an adventure that will appeal to fans of historical fiction, science fiction, and captivating storytelling.
Torchwood: Fortitude is available to buy directly from Big Finish.