When serial torrenters uncover a killer tune, Toshiko Sato is called in to put these pirates back in the Bay.
Naoko Mori makes her third audio appearance as Toshiko, a role she played in Doctor Who before appearing in Torchwood. Tosh is taken out of her comfort zone, making Mori’s effortless slip back into the role even more impressive. With a technological menace to solve in one hand and a romantic interest in the other, Mori perfectly balances Toshiko’s confidence with one and obliviousness with the other.
You Wouldn’t Steal a Car
Joining her is Stephen, played by Robbie Jarvis, a survivor of the now-defunct Torchwood One. Since Ianto was hitherto the only survivor we knew about, it’s exciting to see other ex-Torchwood folk running around. Though Big Finish might have missed an opportunity not bringing back a character from ‘Before the Fall’ for this role. Especially since this release drops more than a few references to that outing. Regardless, Jarvis does a splendid job as Toshiko’s companion and has great chemistry with Mori.
You Wouldn’t Steal a Handbag
The release is riddled with intentional audio glitches, skips and jumps to emphasise the premise of a cursed torrent file. It’s a fun conceit and emulates that unnerving sense of wrongness when a familiar song file corrupts. However, it sometimes it becomes irritating. While that was probably the point, it took me out of the story a few times.
You Wouldn’t Steal a Television
To say this release is meta would be an understatement. Without giving anything away, you don’t realise the full extent until the very last second. And I mean the last second. Playing around with the format like this is a very Big Finish way of telling a story like this. But in terms of plot, it’s fairly straightforward. Writer Scott Handcock understood that you can’t tell a complicated story in a confusing way and has simplified the plot. That being said, the dialogue is excellent and really takes advantage of the rapport between Mori and Jarvis
You Wouldn’t Steal an Audio Drama
Given the outline, I was half-expecting a preachy anti-piracy message. While there’s an element of that, it’s a natural part of the story. Handcock has crafted a clever techno-thriller and any message about supporting its creators is incidental. There’s no doubt that piracy is a big problem. On a related note, please support Big Finish by purchasing the official releases. They can only keep making them if we keep buying them.
TORCHWOOD_CASCADE_CDRIP.TOR is an exciting experimental release with some clever storytelling behind it. Torchwood’s audio success is firmly established, so it’s encouraging to see the Big Finish team aren’t getting complacent. It’s a matter of personal taste how well this particular experiment worked. But you can’t deny that the future of Torchwood looks rosy when its creative team are willing to take risks.
Blogtor Rating – 7/10
TORCHWOOD_CASCADE_CDRIP.TOR is available to buy now from the Big Finish website.
This title was released in June 2017. It will be exclusively available to buy from the BF website until August 31st 2017, and on general sale after this date.
WARNING: The unauthorised reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Your downloads are monitored. Internet piracy is a crime and is punishable by up to 5 years in prison, a fine of £250,000 or death.
Come on, we’ve all done it. We’ve all downloaded a cheeky little something we shouldn’t have. After all, what’s the harm, eh? You never get caught. No-one knows. No-one knocks at your door and tells you you’re about to die.
Turns out, there’s something hiding in the internet. It knows what you’ve done. And it’s going to stop you.
Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners
Written By: Scott Handcock
Directed By: Scott Handcock
Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Robbie Jarvis (Stephen), Ashley Kumar (Max), Rachel Handshaw (Nikki)
Producer James Goss
Script Editor David Llewellyn
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs