We jump straight back into the action with no time for breath with Volume 2 of Torchwood: Aliens Among Us, Big Finish’s continuation of the Doctor Who spin-off.
Much like the life of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) himself, this new series of audio adventures, branded as its fifth official series of the television show, never stops to look around. It’s fast paced, frantic, dangerous, action packed, and incredibly fun. The four episodes held within this new box set are a delicious treat for all that like a bit of Cardiff, a bit of aliens, and a bit of sci-fi.
There’s plenty to enjoy in the four separate episodes, Love Rat by Christopher Cooper, A Kill to a View by Mac Rogers, Zero Hour by Janine H Jones, and The Empty Hand by Tim Foley: an aggressive STD attack for Jack and Gwen (Eve Myles), the long awaited return of the scheming Billis Manger (Murray Melvin), Tyler Steele (Jonny Green) investigates a crush he has who works for a secretive delivery company, and the lovable Sergeant Andy Davidson (Tom Price) kills a man in cold blood. This isn’t your grandmother’s Torchwood anymore.
Is there an episode herein more enjoyable than the rest? Well, to tell you the truth, all are enjoyable on their own merit and will keep you entertained fully for a solid four hours. If this reviewer were forced by editors to choose, then it may be episodes two and three that are the stand out. A Kill to a View allows us to hear the villainous Manger at work again, a sorely missed character in the Torchwood Universe since 2006. There’s no context as to what he’s been doing all these years or where he’s been hiding but his latest plan seems to be going somewhere. There’s tough times ahead for Jack and Torchwood where Manger is concerned…
Zero Hour also sees a swipe taken at large scale delivery companies and their treatment of employees. Several big corporation names spring to mind when listening to rogue journalist, Tyler Steele trying to get to the bottom of the suspicious company his latest flavour-of-the-month is working for. It’s difficult to believe that writer, Janine H Jones has not either had first hand experience with this kind of company in real life or has at least had close contact with someone who has.
There’s also the other pesky problems that the Torchwood team are facing in this series as a whole. The pesky Mayor of Cardiff (Ro-Jedda, an alien with a ulterior motive and a taste for flesh) has Steele working for her and semi-spying on Torchwood whilst also causing a lot of problems for Jack’s team. Cardiff is still in a state of civil unrest which doesn’t seem to be calming down but escalating into further hostilities. The team receive a surprise visitor and the end of episode four and – boy, oh boy – is there trouble around the corner.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s the problem with Gwen. She’s not quite herself. In fact, she’s possessed by another being. The listener is privy to some of her inner dialogue, proving that someone else is in Miss Cooper’s driving seat but it’s wonderfully vague as to who or what is pulling the strings.
The continuing adventures of the new Torchwood team are more examples of brilliance from Big Finish and all those involved. This is gritty urban drama at its very best and something that all Doctor Who and Torchwood fans should sink their teeth into. You’ll certainly get a taste for it.
Torchwood: Aliens Among Us – Volume 2 is out now exclusively from Big Finish; it goes on general sale (with a price increase) on 1st January 2018.