Synopsis: Enter the world of 1950s Torchwood!
Gangsters are vanishing from the streets of Soho, there’s a deadly Nazi secret on the loose, and something’s moving in the smog. Norton Folgate should be sorting this out, but the Torchwood agent is in disgrace. Who’s going to save London this time?
Review: Big Finish proves how responsive they are to fans, yet again. With Torchwood Soho – Parasite, writer James Goss gives listeners an entire box set centered on Norton Folgate and Andy Davidson. In addition, those of us who love historical stories get marvelous post-war era world-building.
Before I get to the story itself, I should write about the episode structure. Goss experiments with six twenty to thirty-minute episodes. This format is a keeper. The shortened length keeps the story moving and prevents it from being bogged down with too much filler.
Goss also moves non-linearly through the timeline, which allows him to devote a couple of the episodes to deep-dive character explorations. These benefit Gideon Lyme and Lizbeth Hayhoe — the latest additions to the Torchwood universe.
The story itself is a wonderful nod to the 1950’s era pulp science fiction. I particularly appreciate that the creatures in this creature feature are both campy and scary, as befits the period. I also like how they are so effectively bound up in the kind of cathartic morality play so common in genre entertainment of that time.
Last but not least, I adored meeting Belle Epoch and learning about the Teddy Boys. Like the fashions they wear, I hope they come back around again.
Once again, Samuel Barnett and Tom Price absolutely delight. Norton and Andy are the most adorably compatible mismatch in Big Finish canon.
What’s more, though, Barnett gets to do smaller two-hander plays with other perfectly cast actors. Joe Shire is extremely engaging as Gideon Lyme. Shire seamlessly integrates himself into the established dynamic and in no way feels like a third wheel. I look forward to hearing his performance evolve.
For her part, Dervla Kirwan instantly establishes herself as Lizbeth Hayhoe. As with Price and Shire, Barnett’s chemistry with her is sublime. They spark off each other like they’ve been playing these parts together for years.
Thank you, Big Finish for giving us everything we’ve wanted and a lot more we didn’t see coming. I can’t wait for the second installment of Torchwood Soho.
- You can purchase Torchwood Soho – Parasite here.
- Audio Production10