Torchwood: Lease of Life feels like a horror movie, tapping into listener’s fears of terrible housemates, contagion, and being trapped in your own home. So, a fitting release for 2021.

Torchwood: Lease of Life

My favourite element of this release was the sound. This is Naomi Clarke’s first Big Finish credit and her sound design brought this story alive. The creepy and chaotic house is best visualized through the noises it makes, creaking and cracking throughout the story. The gurgling noises of “the pump” are a perfect sound of digestion. There’s a complete standout scene while trying to save one of the characters; the sound of which might haunt my dreams later. This adventure is horrifying and grotesque and the sound design helps listeners to hear, feel, and see it all.

By Aaron Lamont

There are multiple characters facing this horror but the main two are Owen Harper and an estate agent named Seren. Seren is a character that grows on you as the story goes on. It’s a great performance by Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo. Seren is stubborn and sometimes selfish, but also brave and brilliant. Those traits become clearer as the audience gets to know her, unlike the way that she and her housemates never bothered to get to know each other. She is a complex character and actually reminded me a little of Owen. Their partnership in this story really worked as it felt like they were on equal footing and understood how to deal with each other quickly after meeting.

Starring Burn Gorman

The story itself is horrifying and bleak and without much relief. The standout scene I mentioned earlier is a particular place that drives home the hopelessness of the situation. It makes survival seem distant and impossible even though we know that Owen doesn’t die here. I love the idea that these housemates who hate each other (and really don’t even know each other) are stuck in this inescapable scenario together. They could barely live with each other and then it seems like they just might die with each other instead. You’ll have to listen to see if they do.

Overall

It seems Owen’s adventures usually lean more into the horror genre of alien encounters and Lease of Life is no different. It’s a story that starts off a little slow, but once it gets going becomes totally engrossing (and sometimes very gross). The script from Aaron Lamont is wonderfully creepy. Burn Gorman was amazing as always, bringing depth and charm to a character it is hard to like, but easy to love. This is another great addition to Torchwood’s monthly range.

Torchwood: Lease of Life. Cover by Lee Binding (c) Big Finish Productions Owen Harper Burn Gorman
Torchwood: Lease of Life. Cover by Lee Binding (c) Big Finish Productions

Synopsis

This title was released in March 2021. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 31 May 2021, and on general sale after this date.

3 bed, 1 bath, shared house in a vibrant area with easy access to Cardiff city centre. Has a real lived-in feel.

Note to interested parties: There is a small spreading mould issue, and an investigation is being undertaken on site. Those worried are advised to contact the Council’s Mould Expert, Dr Owen Harper.

Cast

  • Burn Gorman (Owen Harper)
  • Rosalie Craig (Ellie)
  • Luyanda Unati Lewis-Nyawo (Seren)
  • Angus Yellowlees (Nye)

Credits

  • Senior Producer: David Richardson
  • Additional themes by Ben Foster
  • Cover Art by Lee Binding
  • Director: Scott Handcock
  • Executive Producer: Jason Haigh-Ellery & Nicholas Briggs
  • Music by Blair Mowat
  • Producer: James Goss
  • Script Editor: Tim Foley
  • Sound Design: Naomi Clarke
  • Written by Aaron Lamont
  • Theme Music by Murray Gold

Torchwood: Lease of Life 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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