Double concludes with a Torchwood episodes which shocks with twists and turns from the very first scene

Last time, Blogtor Who noted that it was hard to review Double Part One without knowing how, or if, its various plot points and character arcs were going to resolve. If anything, Big Finish’s release of Part One of the debut story for Louise Jameson’s Roberta Craven has only compounded the dilemma for reviewers. Blogtor can tell you that it’s good. Very, very good, in fact. But how much else to share? Because the first instalment ended on a searingly dramatic hangover of the best, Doctor Who style, ‘how on Earth are they going to get out of that?’ type. The opening scene of the conclusion not only answers that question, but does it in such a shocking and intriguing way; a way that defines the entire second half of Double. So it’s almost impossible to discuss what happens without spoiling that reveal. What’s a humble reviewer to do?

Louise Jameson continues to deliver one of the most searingly powerful performances of her time at Big Finish

Well, what can Blogtor tell you? For a start, Louise Jameson continues to be the glue that holds this 1970s vision of Torchwood together. Her Roberta, full of fire and ice, rage and pragmatism, is a Torchwood leader unlike any we’ve seen, and delivered through a courageous performance that audibly inspires the rest of the cast to try and match her. And Roberta’s scattered, unfocused, strand of genius dominates proceedings. This time we do get to see evidence of that giant IQ she boasts of, as she reveals herself a meticulous games player and solver of puzzles.

That sense of Torchwood as not so much a mysterious and powerful organization ‘beyond the police, outside the government’ but one woman operating out of a flat somewhere fades too. By the end of Double we’re well on the way to assembling a team to rival Big Finish’s various Soho, One, and Among Us flavours.


Torchwood: Double - Don Gilet, Omari Douglas, Louise Jameson, Reda Elazouar, Emma Lowndes, Anthony Howell (c) Big FinishTorchwood: Double - Don Gilet, Omari Douglas, Louise Jameson, Reda Elazouar, Emma Lowndes, Anthony Howell (c) Big Finish
Torchwood: Double – Don Gilet, Omari Douglas, Louise Jameson, Reda Elazouar, Emma Lowndes, Anthony Howell (c) Big Finish

Guy Adams leads the listener through his script with a quiet confidence in his listeners

Guy Adams’ script is Double’s other great asset. There’s a quiet, and impressive, confidence in his audience throughout. Many people behave in terrible ways, and the lines between heroes and villains get distinctly blurry. But the story has no interest in telling you how to feel about that, an approach the direction and music reinforce. It neither glories in, or wags a finger, at any of it. It just pulls back the curtain on a bunch of people hip deep in a mess not of their own making, as they try to pull themselves out of it any way they can.

Even when characters discuss the various ways they’ve compromised themselves, and how they feel about it, there’s little self-pity or epic Lear speeches. Just a jaded acceptance that the one thing life can relied upon to do is to always get worse. Similarly, a revelation of what’s been going on with Roberta’s personal Jiminy Cricket, Emma Lowndes’ Patty, isn’t played at one. Instead Adams simply presumes listeners have worked it out for themselves from the clues in the first half and gets on with things.

Big Finish’s Torchwood has once again created a team and era it’s a dark delight to spend time with, now, and hopefully in the future

At the start of this review, Blogtor said the one thing that could be said about Double is that it’s very, very good. In truth, that’s an understatement. Almost appropriately for its 1970s setting, it feels almost more like a Tale of the Unexpected than a typical Torchwood episode. It’s full of darkness and twists, but built around truthful and naturalistic performances of people in crisis. In various ways all the iterations of Torchwood emphasize the anyone pulled into the Institute’s orbit is living on borrowed time. But that’s never felt more true than with Roberta Craven and her team. How long can they dance at the edge of the abyss? Let’s hope future releases bring us back to the brown plaid streets of 70s London to find out.


Torchwood: Double - Part Two. Cover by Sean Longmore. Autons (c) Big Finish
Torchwood: Double – Part Two. Cover by Sean Longmore (c) Big Finish

Torchwood: Double Part 2

A lot of people have died, and not for the first time in her life, Roberta Craven has changed sides.

Travelling the world with a dead man, she’s negotiating world peace. Or is she starting a world war?

The Autons are coming. And Torchwood won’t stop them…

Torchwood: Double Part Two, written by Guy Adams, is now available to own for just £10.99 (collector’s edition single-disc CD + download) or £8.99 (download only).


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.