Big Finish Review-Torchwood: Launch Date

Launch Date, the conclusion of the Torchwood “romance trilogy,” brings Aaron Lamont’s deft writing to the forefront, with Ianto Jones, played by Gareth David-Lloyd, taking a back seat to the budding relationship between Geraint and Chrissie, played by Jonathan Hawkins and Gemma Knight Jones.

Lamont’s script is filled with witty dialogue that sets the pace for the story, with Hawkins delivering an effortless performance as the unconfident Geraint. While his Welsh accent occasionally falters, it doesn’t detract much from the overall performance.

Knight-Jones shines as the headstrong and opinionated Chrissie, delivering a performance that evokes a sense of frustration with the world. Lamont’s well-crafted story allows the listener to witness a different side of Ianto, as he plays a peripheral but pivotal role in bringing Geraint and Chrissie closer together. The duologues between the two, as well as the vignettes of their personal lives, are skillfully interspersed, with Callum Lloyd’s annoying but endearing portrayal of Joe adding a delightful touch of humour to the mix.

While the story has some light and funny moments, the climax is slightly underwhelming, as it’s evident from the beginning that Ianto is playing matchmaker. Nonetheless, the character interactions are written and played in a thoughtful and nuanced manner, with David-Lloyd’s performance being consistently on top form.

Overall, Launch Date is a solid story, with Lamont’s writing and the cast’s performances making it a fitting conclusion to the Torchwood “romance trilogy.”


Torchwood: Launch Date is now available to own as a collector’s edition CD + download for £10.99 or as a digital download for £8.99, exclusively from Big Finish.

Big Finish Review-Torchwood: Thirst Trap

In the heart of Cardiff, a new dating app has taken the city by storm, offering users the chance to find their perfect match in just 20 minutes. But there’s a twist – once the time is up, they may never see their date again.

As more and more people try out the app, something strange begins to happen. Everyone seems to be going on the same dates, with the same activities, conversation topics, and even jokes. It’s almost as if the app is controlling their every move. Normally, Sgt. Andy Davidson would be the first to investigate, but he’s busy with his own date.

Torchwood has often been praised for its dark and gritty tone, exploring themes of loss, trauma, and alien invasion. However, this particular episode takes a different approach. It’s a lighthearted romp through the world of dating apps and the strange things that can happen when people put their trust in technology.

Despite the departure from the show’s usual tone, the actors still deliver standout performances. Tom Price and Kai Owen, who play Sgt. Andy Davidson and Rhys Williams respectively, are particularly impressive in their portrayal of two men caught up in a whirlwind of romantic comedy hijinks. Their chemistry is palpable, and their lightning-fast shifts from serious to lovesick are both hilarious and heartwarming.

The supporting cast also shines, with Natalia Hinds, Sunjay Midda, and Rebecca Trehearn each bringing their unique flair to their roles. Whether they’re playing matchmakers, hard-working council workers, or hapless police officers, they all add to the story’s infectious energy and sense of fun.

Tom Price, who also stars in the adventure, shows his versatility as a writer with a fluid and brilliant script that perfectly complements his acting skills. The writing captures the humorous and whimsical aspects of the story, while also exploring deeper themes of human connection and the perils of relying too heavily on technology.

David O’Mahony’s direction keeps the story moving at a brisk pace, while Blair Mowat’s music and Shane O’Byrne’s sound design help to create an engaging atmosphere.

Overall, this is a well-crafted and enjoyable story. A must-listen for any Torchwood fan looking for a fun 45-minute adventure.

Torchwood contains material, that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

Torchwood: Thirst Trap is available for purchase from Big Finish.


Big Finish review-Torchwood: The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello

The Torchwood range from Big Finish is a triumphant return to the beloved sci-fi franchise.

Led by the talented Indira Varma in the role of Suzie Costello, “The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello” is a slow-burning romance that gradually builds to a satisfying conclusion.

Rafaella Marcus’s writing is sharp and insightful, bringing out a softer side of Suzie that we haven’t seen before. Director Steven Kavuma’s deliberate pacing allows the characters to breathe and shine, while the sound design by Shane O’Byrne and score by Blair Mowat add depth and dimension to the story.

Indira Varma’s performance as Suzie Costello in “The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello” is a true highlight of this Torchwood trilogy. Varma effortlessly captures the character’s complexities and nuances, delivering a layered and compelling portrayal that is a joy to listen to.

On audio, Varma’s voice carries a weight and richness that adds a new dimension to her character. She expertly navigates the emotional highs and lows of the story, conveying a sense of vulnerability and strength that makes Suzie all the more relatable and sympathetic. Varma’s chemistry with James Backway, who plays the captain of the crashed spaceship, is palpable. Their exchanges are charged with a simmering tension that makes their burgeoning romance all the more engaging and believable.

This is a must-listen for Torchwood fans, and a testament to the enduring appeal of the franchise.

The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello is available on CD or as a download from Big Finish.


Big Finish Review-Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape

On a stormy and ominous evening, Hywel Roberts unwittingly steps into a world of terror and danger at a peculiar hotel, where a familiar foe of Torchwood lurks in wait. As the curtains close on the latest series of Torchwood audios, we are left with a collection of exceptional tales that have kept us on the edge of our seats.

In this monthly range, Big Finish has taken a bold step by focusing on a series antagonist, Bilis Manger, and allowing the character to take centre stage without the interference of the Torchwood team. It’s a testament to the confidence that Big Finish has in the Torchwood range and the writers’ ability to create gripping stories.

In “Deadbeat Escape,” we are treated to a spine-chilling tale that could easily fit into a ghostly anthology or Hammer horror film. It’s a departure from the usual Torchwood fare, as we are transported to a more traditional spooky story that doesn’t rely on jokes or pop culture references.

The story is told from the perspective of Hywel Roberts, a relatable and charming new character who unwittingly checks into the eerie hotel. We know from the start that his fate is sealed, which adds to the tension and elevates the stakes of the story.

Murray Melvin as Bilis Manger is as mysterious, charming, and menacing as ever, and Gareth Pierce delivers a standout performance as Hywel Roberts. Despite the absence of the regular Torchwood team, “Deadbeat Escape” still manages to embody the emotive and eerie narrative that we have come to associate with the series.

Deadbeat Escape is a perfect ending to the latest series of Torchwood audios. The exceptional writing and performances leave a lasting impression and cement the series’ place as a master of horror storytelling.


Big Finish review-Torchwood One Rule

Prior to the fateful Battle of Canary Wharf, the indomitable Yvonne Hartman embarked on a captivating escapade in Cardiff, as depicted in Big Finish’s audio spin-off series. As an avid follower of the Whoniverse, I was eagerly anticipating this prequel to both Torchwood and the Doctor Who Series 2 finale ‘Army of Ghosts’/’Doomsday,’ particularly as it delves deeper into the character of Yvonne Hartman, portrayed with gusto by Tracy-Ann Oberman.

While Hartman was a formidable force in her limited appearances, it was refreshing to witness her ideologies explored further in this tale, which sees her venture out of her comfort zone and navigate the quirks and challenges of Cardiff. One particularly irksome obstacle in her path is the boorish and bigoted mayoral candidate, Barry Jackson, whose interactions with Hartman make for entertaining listening.

The narrative is further enriched by its setting on the same day as the broadcast of ‘Rose,’ thereby evoking a wave of nostalgia and poignancy as it references the aftermath of the Auton invasion in the series opener. However, what truly elevates the episode is the exceptional writing of Joseph Lidster, who not only brings a wealth of experience from his contributions to the TV series, but also imbues Yvonne with a multifaceted personality that is both compelling and unnerving.

This feat would not have been accomplished without the impeccable performance of Tracy-Ann Oberman, whose interpretation of Yvonne is so convincing that it feels as though no time has passed since her last appearance in Series 2. With such a commanding portrayal, one cannot help but yearn for a spin-off series that solely focuses on Yvonne’s tenure at Torchwood 1.

Additionally, I must laud Joe Lidster’s superb script, which not only delivers a captivating plot but also delves deep into the psyche of Yvonne Hartman. Lidster’s writing showcases Yvonne’s unwavering commitment to her job, her sharp wit, and her intelligence, while also highlighting the darker aspects of her character that make her a force to be reckoned with. The character development that Lidster brings to the table is truly exceptional, and it is a testament to his skill as a writer. Overall, ‘One Rule’ is a triumph of storytelling that demonstrates the talent of both Lidster and the Torchwood team at Big Finish. This is marvellous addition, that proves Torchwood is one of Big Finish’s most exemplary ranges.

Big Finish review-Torchwood: Fall to Earth

The first episode of Big Finish’s new Torchwood series, ‘The Conspiracy,’ got off to a really great start. It was a nice mix of drama and narration, and set the scene up for Torchwood’s latest arc really nicely.

‘Fall to Earth’ is a very different type of story. While it only has two cast members for the whole episode – namely Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones, and Lisa Zahra as Zeynep – there’s no narration for this one. In fact, the entire story is focused on one telephone conversation, and it’s both the most random and most mundane of telephone conversations, at that: a cold caller trying to sell Ianto some insurance.

What makes this cold call interesting to listen to, however, is that Ianto’s been called while he’s on a crashing spaceship and there’s no one else who can help him…

Despite being a two-hander and, even on audio, mostly taking place in one setting, this is a very fast-paced episode. It unfolds over real time as Ianto does his best to convince this insurance seller to help him, even if he has to actually buy insurance to do it.

Along the way, we gradually learn more about both Zeynep, the person whom Ianto is talking to the entire time, and how and why Ianto ended up on the spaceship in the first place.

There’s heaps of drama in the story, as Ianto and Zeynep get to know each other better and form a really close bond over the course of the episode. It’s actually the kind of story you’d expect from Torchwood – something that’s a lot more focused on the ordinary humans than on spaceships, aliens, and conspiracies. Those things are just the catalyst that allow the emotional drama to happen, and we get a lot of it with this story.

Towards the end, it gives its listeners a massive gut-punch, and the fact that it’s delivered so well after only an hour of build-up is a testament to the writing of James Goss.

Gareth David-Lloyd carries the weight of this story entirely on his shoulders, and he does so with remarkable skill and emotional range. His portrayal of Ianto’s desperation, fear, and eventual resignation is truly captivating and serves to draw the listener in even further.

Gareth’s performance is the standout aspect of the episode, and it’s clear that he has a deep understanding of the character he’s been playing for over a decade.

I struggle with audio dramas, my mind drifts a lot. However ‘Fall to Earth’ grabbed my attention from start to finish. It’s a beautiful two-hander and shows exactly what Big Finish and Torchwood can really do at their best. With a few more releases like this, Torchwood on Big Finish may become the definitive version.