‘Torchwood One: Before The Fall’ reviewed

❉ Tracy-Ann Oberman and Gareth David-Lloyd return for more thrills, chills and alien kills!

“Tracy-Ann Oberman is one of Britain’s most capable character actresses and is totally deserving to star in her own Big Finish series… With ‘Torchwood One’, Big Finish have something special indeed on their hands.”

Tracy-Ann Oberman and Gareth David-Lloyd return in this three-part story for more thrills, chills and alien kills. Oh, Happy Day! So, let’s get cracking!

‘New Girl’ by Joseph Lidster

I’m always glad to see Lidster’s name on a ‘Torchwood’ release, especially since he’s (so far) the only writer from the show proper to write for it in audio form. Suffice to say, he nails the feel for ‘Torchwood’ effortlessly.

The story itself is told from the POV of the new ‘Torchwood’ employee Rachel Allen (well played by Sophie Winkleman) who’s just damn excited to be there. Sweet girl, really. Until things go wrong and she ends up a bit over her head.

We get to meet Ianto Jones and Yvonne Hartman through her eyes (or ears) for the first time again and it’s rather interesting for both characters considering we know the fates of both of them.

For most of its running time, it’s plays like a mystery. One that keeps you on your toes right up to the end. And boy isn’t that a beauty of an ending?!

‘Through the Ruins’ by Jenny T. Colgan

Yvonne Hartman’s on her own. But how did she get there and who exactly are her friends and enemies?

Over at Torchwood One, they’re having an Away Day. Which is like a company picnic, but instead of packing the relish and mustard for the hot dogs, it’s perhaps best to bring your favourite Uzi.

This story really tries to dig deep into what makes Yvonne tick. It’s fascinating to see such a cool, collected character be put off her balance and see how she reacts. It also contains perhaps some of my favourite lines of dialogue in the set, too:

“You always meet your enemies head on. When you’re not stabbing them in the back, of course.”

Another great speech given here is by a former employee to Yvonne that sums up her life, but also serves as an chillingly accurate portrayal of someone’s thought processes whilst grieving.

Lots of lovely character work.

‘Uprising’ by Matt Fitton

It’s best not to go into this one knowing much, outside there are some alien battles and a few reveals that will require removal men to get your jaw off the carpeting.

I will say that is serves as a fitting cap to this trio of stories and rather underscores the shades of grey, Torchwood, as an organisation, operates in.

‘Torchwood One: Before the Fall’ is, so far, the best Big Finish release of 2017. Tracy-Ann Oberman is one of Britain’s most capable character actresses and is totally deserving to star in her own BF series. Gareth David-Lloyd slips back under Ianto’s skin and gives a very nuanced performance especially considering that this is pre-‘Cyberwoman’/Jack Ianto. Sophie Winkleman is also a terrific guest star in the box star and she really gets to show her dramatic chops here.

New Girl is however the standout part of the story for several reasons that will become obvious upon listening.

This boxset absolutely nails the feeling of the old show. Sexually fluid, gritty but with an edge of camp. However, most of all… just fun. Mighty fine directing by Barnaby Edwards too, if I may, so and I love Blair Mowat’s new version of the theme.

One can only hope Big Finish has plans to carry on with these ‘Torchwood One’ sets as this is pure quality and it couldn’t hurt to have another series with a female lead. With this prequel series they have something special indeed on their hands. Highly recommended!


P.S. Torchwood really doesn’t have sexual harassment policies, do they?

❉ ‘Torchwood One: Before The Fall’ was released on 19 January 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until March 31st 2017, and on general sale after this date.

❉ Catch up with our Cult Q & A interviews with some of the talents behind ‘Before The Fall’: Yvonne Hartman herself, Tracy-Ann Oberman, ‘Before The Fall’ guest star Simon Hickson, and ‘Torchwood’ writer Joe Lidster.

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