Synopsis: An experimental radio mast has been set up on a remote island. It has been picking up signals – a voice that claims it knows the future.
Five people have come to the island to hear the voice. A scientist, a soldier, a medium, an alienist and the most powerful woman in the world. The voice has something to say to all of them. It starts by saying who will be the first to die.
Review: From the first strains of Blair Mowat’s Victorian arrangement of the main theme, I know I’m in for a special listening experience. Torchwood: Save Our Souls by Scott Handcock is an ingenious riff on Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None.
I can’t discuss the specifics of the mystery, because it’s a mystery. That said, Torchwood has never been an alternate history narrative, so I don’t think it’s a spoiler to reveal that Queen Victoria survives. The delight of the story lies in how Handcock authentically and completely milks the Christie tropes for all they’re worth while also preserving Victoria’s life.
The joy also lies in how Handcock uses the actual history of Marconi’s experiments on Fkat Holm Island as the impetus of the mayhem. It’s worth listening to the Extra Interviews, as Handcock details his trip to Flat Holm as research and how direct experience of the place helped him shape the story.
Another treat in the Extra Interviews is a segment with sound designer Steve Foxon. He goes on at wonderfully geeky length about tweaking The Voice that sets the other characters in motion. He also describes the unexpected trials and tribulations of working with seagull recordings.
The entire cast is perfection. They all play the heightened reality of an Agatha Christie as Science Fiction variation with enough emotional realism to keep the already high concept drama from floating up into the exosphere.
I would like to extend a special welcome to Kingsley Amadi. He’s not only making his Big Finish debut with this production, but he’s also acting in audio for the first time altogether.
Of course, Rowena Cooper continues to be so good in the role of Her Majesty that I’m truly running out of adjectives to describe her performance. Long may she reign!
Thank you, again, Big Finish. Keep the stories coming.
You can purchase Torchwood: Save Our Souls here.
- Audio Production10