In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Dead Man’s Switch

A devious antiques dealer, a property developer and a heartbroken hairdresser. Three strangers sit on a train that’s going nowhere.

Synopsis: A devious antique dealer, a property developer and a heartbroken hairdresser. Three strangers sit on a train that’s going nowhere.

They are joined by a mysterious figure.

Bilis Manger wants to tell them how they died.

This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.

Review: Sometime after the events of Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape, listeners find Bilis Manger on a train in an absolutely wonderful homage to portmanteau horror films. The three tales in  Torchwood: Dead Man’s Switch combine perfectly into one framed narrative. Writer David Llewellyn’s love for this type of storytelling comes through with every word.

In the first tale, Maxine Evans stars as a woman grappling with an apparently cursed mirror. The tropes are as old as the hills and all the more marvelous for that. 

In the second tale, Timothy Blore stars as a man coping badly with some very righteously motivated Hitchcock inspired bats. The moral is a timely one, and I would encourage Big Finish listeners who haven’t already done so to become involved in bat conservation.

In the final tale, Mali Ann Rhys stars as a grieving mother confronting poverty and apparent squatters. She finds a helping hand where she least suspects it.

The three guest actors are perfectly cast, acting as foils throughout for the inexorable Bilis Manger. Murray Melvin is obviously continuing to have the time of his life in the role. His joyously creepy urbanity is exactly what this old-school soundscape requires.

I also appreciate how Torchwood: Dead Man’s Switch ties into ongoing Big Finish Torchwood continuity. I now have answers to questions I raised after Bilis’ previous adventure. *Ian, Please insert link to previous review here.

You can purchase Torchwood: Dead Man’s Switch here.


Murray Melvin (Bilis Manger), Timothy Blore (Piers), Maxine Evans (Rowena), 

Mali Ann Rhys (Zoe)

Production Credits

Cover Artist Lee Binding

Director Scott Handcock

Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs

Music Blair Mowat

Producer James Goss

Script Editor Scott Handcock

Sound Design Lee Adams

Written by David Llewellyn

Theme Music by Murray Gold

Big Finish: Torchwood: Dead Man's Switch
  • Story
  • Performances
  • Audio Production

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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