In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Dinner and a Show

The doors are bolted, there’s no way out, and this could be the final curtain...

Synopsis: It’s February 14th and Owen is a no-show for Toshiko’s not-Valentine’s-Valentine’s Night at the opera.

Worse, when Ianto turns up he has bad news for Toshiko, for Cardiff and for fans of classical music – the opera is full of aliens. The doors are bolted, there’s no way out, and this could be the final curtain…

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

Review: Written by Gareth David-Lloyd, Torchwood: Dinner and a Show is a dark comedy. It pairs Into and Tosh, who didn’t get sufficient screen time together during the show’s original run.

 

Story

The story is set during Jack’s hiatus from Torchwood while clinging to the Tardis’ exterior inside the vortex. It’s functionally a two-hander with a supporting cast there to drive the plot along when necessary.

Ianto and Tosh have always been the quiet ones who keep their heads down and get on with the work. David-Lloyd constructs a funny, poignant portrait of love, friendship, music, cheap booze, and alien uppers. All the while, the quiet ones have their say and get on with the work.

I really appreciate how Ianto and Tosh confront hard truths without wallowing in those hard truths. I also really liked how David-Lloyd foreshows their ultimate fates without destroying all hope.

Putting the character realization aside, the two alien species in the story allow David-Lloyd to do some thought-provoking world-building of the sort that the original show’s writers didn’t always achieve. Best of all, though, Ianto and Tosh come full circle, reconnecting with an important Torchwood landmark.

 

Acting

John Rutledge and Rhys ap William put in excellent performances as the singers Ianto and Tosh encounter as the evening progresses. That said, the hour belongs to Gareth David-Lloyd and Naoko Mori. They played their characters as if Ianto and Tosh always had meaningful interactions, and their marvelous rapport carries through to the Extra Interviews. 

 

Overall

Thanks to Big Finish and the show’s original cast, Torchwood is now fully realized. I’m looking forward to more adventures in the years to come.

You can purchase Torchwood: Dinner and a Show here.

9.5
Big Finish: Torchwood: Dinner and a Show
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

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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