The pandemic may have halted plans for the official seventh series of Torchwood, but producers James Goss and Scott Handcock have been anything but idle. In the past 12 months, they have delivered Torchwood tales ranging from mould to coffee shops, featuring the return of Yvonne Hartman, Zachary Cross, Billis Manger, and Adam Smith. While most of us have struggled to take out the trash, these two have continued to give us the best version of Torchwood on any medium.
Their latest release features Mr Colchester teaming up with a modern-day version of Ace, aka Dorothy McShane, for an adventure set in South America. Both are there to investigate a revolution but are stuck in a hotel under quarantine.
The story begins with a brilliant monologue from Paul Clayton, who plays Mr Colchester, conveying information to the audience without feeling forced or unrealistic. Clayton clearly enjoys reprising his role as the fan-favourite Colchester, and Sophie Aldred’s portrayal of an older Ace is great to hear, demonstrating the amount of effort she puts into her performance as a younger version of the character on the main range.
The chemistry between the two leads is great, and their portrayal of the mundanity that comes with lockdown is relatable. They are supported by Manuel Pacific, who plays Xavier, a hotel technician, and does a tremendous job despite having a small role.
Scott Handcock’s direction is fantastic, eliciting genuine and believable performances from the cast members. The sound design by Steve Foxon perfectly captures the Latin ambience and complements Blair Mowat’s music incredibly well.
While it is difficult to provide a complete review without spoilers, the audio is a lot of fun and features the best-written characters from both Torchwood and Doctor Who. The cliffhanger ending leaves listeners wanting more, and I hope this isn’t the last we hear from Colchester and Ace.
Torchwood: The Red List is available to purchase from the Big Finish site and goes on general release on the 31st January 2022.