PC Andy has gotten himself a girlfriend. Just one issue… she’s dead. She’s not the only dead person walking around Cardiff though. She and Owen have a lot to talk about. Torchwood: Gooseberry is a character-driven story that pushes Owen, and his friendship with Andy, right to the edge.

This is the latest in what could be considered a series of adventures featuring Owen and Andy. They are a Big Finish favourite and for very good reason. Burn Gorman and Tom Price have a brilliant chemistry that makes these two unlikely friends so believable. There are some really lovely moments that put into words just how much these two mean to each other and how much they each value their friendship. They are set up here for humour, heart, and a not small amount of heartbreak as well.

The character of Caite also slides perfectly into the Andy and Owen dynamic. Any one of the three could be considered the titular “gooseberry” after listening. Caite has her own, realistic connection with both characters. Lois Chimimba plays her with a cheer and sincerity that makes it hard for audiences to get a read on her intentions. Are you suspicious because of her actions and attitude? Or is she acting perfectly reasonably for a strange situation and you’ve been listening to too many stories of duplicitous characters? Caite keeps the listener going back and forth, unsure until the very end.

Dark and Open-Ended

The path that Owen ends up taking in this audio is an extremely dark one. There is a turning point in the story that turns his world on its axis. Suddenly his choices and actions are not just going to affect his friendship but his entire sense of self. He is faced with a temptation that can only lead to misery and his failures are not something that can be erased. In a brilliant decision, the ending is left open and ambiguous, both in how much harm he caused and how he could move forward from it.

This monthly range has done many great things and one of my favourites is that they’ve really developed and shown a lot of love and respect to the character of PC Andy. He gets a fantastic moment to shine near the end of this adventure but is shown throughout as determined and observant, with a strong sense of self. That’s not always a side of Andy the audience gets to know. Something else to love from across the range is that they’ve created this complex friendship between him and Owen that does a service to both characters. This script from James Goss adds even more layers to their relationship. It also shows that a secret from a friend, no matter the intentions for keeping it, can have devastating consequences.

The final scenes with Owen and Andy are begging for a follow up. This cannot be the last we see of this team. I’m incredibly intrigued to see how their dynamic changes following these events. So fingers crossed that the Big Finish team is already working on their next adventure! Fans of the duo will be anxiously waiting after listening to this instalment…

Torchwood: Gooseberry (c) Big Finish

Synopsis

This title was released in April 2021. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 30 June 2021, and on general sale after this date.

Andy has a girlfriend. She’s called Caite, and she’s utterly lovely. And then she meets Owen.

Owen finds out that Caite has a secret. One that he’s desperate to understand. But the more he discovers, the more dangerously close to Caite he becomes.

What’s going to happen when Andy finds out?

Cast

  • Burn Gorman (Dr Owen Harper)
  • Tom Price (PC Andy Davidson)
  • Lois Chimimba (Caite)
  • Lowri Gwynne (Mae)
  • Daniel Llewellyn-Williams (Bus Driver)
  • Bestan Llwyd (Pathologist)
  • Joanna Van Kampen (Homeowner)

Credits

  • Senior Producer: David Richardson
  • Range Producer: James Goss
  • Additional themes by Ben Foster
  • Remote Sound Engineering: Paul Midcalf
  • Cover Art by Lee Binding
  • Director: Scott Handcock
  • Executive Producers: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
  • Music by Blair Mowat
  • Producer: James Goss
  • Script Editor: Tim Foley
  • Sound Design: Peter Doggart
  • Written by James Goss
  • Theme Music by Murray Gold

Torchwood: Gooseberry is available now from the Big Finish website. The title is priced at £10.99 on CD and £8.99 to download. The Big Finish App, available for free on Apple and Android devices, makes listening even easier.

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