In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: The Vigil

Sebastian Vaughan is dead. Toshiko Sato’s been given permission to bring his body home to give him the send-off he deserves. How will Torchwood cope without him?

Synopsis: Sebastian Vaughan is the brightest, newest recruit to Torchwood. He’s come from a very good family, an excellent school, and with a degree from the finest College. He’s the kind of person bred for Torchwood.

Sebastian Vaughan is exactly the person Torchwood needs. He’s charming, he’s smart, and he’s good in a fight. He’s taken Torchwood’s other new recruit under his wing. With his help, Toshiko Sato will make something of herself and fit in at Torchwood.

Sebastian Vaughan is dead. Toshiko Sato’s been given permission to bring his body home to give him the send-off he deserves. How will Torchwood cope without him?

Review: According to the Extra Interviews, writer Lou Morgan crafted Torchwood: The Vigil as a story about the triumph of competence over privilege. It was that, but the tale was also a brilliant riff on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

Morgan started with the obvious by naming two of her characters Madeline and Roderick, but those names were the least important aspects of her storytelling. Morgan understood what Poe did — foreshadowing and suspense were everything. She masked the importance of the foreshadowing and suspense — let it catch the audience unaware — by layering the wonderfully old school social commentary on top.

Then, Morgan let the actors do their jobs. Naoko Mori was excellent as ever, playing Tosh in the early stages of her Torchwood career. However, the hour belonged to Hugh Skinner, who ate the soundscape with plain table and sea salt.

As an added bonus, the folks at Big Finish created a pitch-perfect twitter account for Skinner’s Sebastian (@SebTorchwood). It’s still active as I type this. There’s even a great deconstructionist tweet about how on the nose Jack thinks Sebastian’s twitter handle is. Also, they included a tweet about Sebastian’s dog Blücher — his human credential. 

Yet again, listeners got top quality Torchwood. Big Finish continues to be the best platform for the franchise.


Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Alex Lowe (Roderick), Lucy Robinson (Madeline Vaughan), Hugh Skinner (Sebastian Vaughan)


Production Credits

Cover Artist Lee Binding

Director Lisa Bowerman

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 Lou Morgan

Theme Music by Murray Gold

Additional themes by Ben Foster

Big Finish: Torchwood: The Vigil
  • 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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