In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Outbreak

I adored that Jack and Norton were playing a long Grand Master level game of chess in two time zones.

Synopsis: “First they know you, then you love, then you kill…”

Incubation – Prodromal – Invasion

A medical trial’s gone terribly wrong, and one of the test subjects is loose on the streets of Cardiff. Within hours a virus is raging out of control and the bodies start piling up.

The Government scrambles to control the outbreak, but isn’t too keen on anyone finding out the dark history of the virus. Captain Jack Harkness has encountered the infection before and knows that something alien is hiding inside it.

With the city sealed off and murderous mobs rampaging through the streets, Torchwood has to save something even more important than the human race.

Review: Torchwood: Outbreak may have been structured in three acts around the stages of infection, but the crux of the story was the second act. The second act was essentially a three-hander with John Barrowman, Gareth David-Lloyd, and Samuel Barnett.

I loved that listeners got follow up on Norton Folgate from “Ghost Mission.” He was one of the best new characters to be introduced during the Big Finish era. I adored that Jack and Norton were playing a long Grand Master level game of chess in two time zones. I also relished that their chess game put Jack and Ianto in stark relief with exquisitely old-school foreshadowing and pathos.

However, the story of Jack, Ianto, and Norton was a double-edged sword. It rendered the other characters and subplots into window dressing. Granted, they were wonderfully acted window dressing, but they were window dressing nonetheless.

As an added bonus, the box set included a marvelous tenth anniversary behind-the-scenes retrospective featuring Barrowman, David-Lloyd, Eve Myles, and Russell T. Davies. One of the many highlights is Barrowman and David-Lloyd reading a scene from Torchwood: Outbreak as each other’s characters.

  • You can purchase Torchwood: Outbreak here.

Written By: Guy Adams, Emma Reeves & AK Benedict

Directed By: Scott Handcock


John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Tom Price (PC Andy Davidson), Marilyn Le Conte (Frances Godalming), Simon Ludders (Luke Palmer), Samuel Barnett (Norton Folgate), Melanie Stevens (Dr. Larsen), Sara Lloyd (Emilia Martin), Steffan Rhodri (Minister), Ruth Lloyd (Paramedic), Matthew Gravelle (Doctor), Rhys Ap Trefor (Road Block Captain), Keiron Self (Bernie), Samuel Harris (Young Man)

Produced by James Goss

Script edited by Scott Handcock

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

Big Finish: Torchwood: Outbreak
  • The Good: Story, Performances
  • The Bad: Everyone was window dressing around, Jack, Ianto, and Norton
  • 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.
    2 Comments on this post.
  • isara
    18 November 2016 at 6:34 pm -

    Wonderful review!

  • isara
    18 November 2016 at 6:35 pm -

    Wonderful review! I´d love to see Jack & Ianto in this story, not only hearing them.

  • Subscribe to Blog via Email

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 28 other subscribers