Synopsis: The Yalnix Empire is a fragile alliance of a dozen systems, under constant attack from their ancient enemy, the Vad. With the Empress unable to trust any of her court she gives the job of growing the next Ruler of the Yalnix to an old friend – Captain Jack Harkness.
With hunters on the loose and a battlefleet in orbit, Cardiff’s suddenly became a dangerous place for a man to be pregnant.
This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Review: With Torchwood: Expectant, writer Xanna Eve Chown fulfills a promise, finally giving fans a story of a pregnant Captain Jack Harkness. In the process, listeners also finally get closure concerning two Torchwood characters.
John Barrowman and Aaron Anthony are a lovely double act throughout the story. Barrowman cycles through the pregnancy tropes with panto level gusto, while Anthony plays the straight man alien midwife with wonderfully exasperated tenderness. The lengths Jack and Jonty are driven to are both absurd and apt, as Jack can only be Jack as his pregnancy progresses. Jack’s interactions with the weevils are a highlight. I was also tickled by the UNIT cameo, giving listeners a somewhat unusual context for a jurisdictional spat.
Underlying it all, however, is Jack’s profound grief over the losses of Owen and Tosh. The pregnancy forces him to face not only what their absence means in particular but also what immortality means in general. It’s nothing new thematically, but listeners so rarely get to hear Jack vent over what truly matters. There comes a point when glib won’t cut it anymore, and Barrowman plays that realization perfectly.
As an unexpected treat, listeners who keep going to the very end of the audio will get a meta surprise. Several members of the cast act out a snippet from a soap Jack and Jonty watch in the story. It’s awesome!
- You can purchase Torchwood: Expectant here.
John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Aaron Anthony (Jonty), Catherine Ayers (Paula), Meryn Davis (Resident), Jessica Hayles (Brigadier), Emily John (Resident)
Cover Artist Lee Binding
Director Scott Handcock
Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs
Music Blair Mowat
Producer James Goss
Script Editor David Llewellyn
Sound Design Richard Fox @ FoxYason Studios
Written by Xanna Eve Chown
Theme Music by Murray Gold
- Audio Production10