The latest Torchwood release brings the return of fan favourite villain, Adam. The character was last seen in Series 2 but now returns to worm his way into the memories of Norton Folgate and the rest of 1950s Torchwood in ‘Madam I’m‘.
As ‘Madam I’m‘ gets started most listeners will already know how Adam’s powers work. However James Goss adds some new elements here that were not part of Adam’s original episode or were not explored in that first outing. Adam can create multiple versions of himself in a person’s memory simultaneously. He can be a different Adam to one person at different points in the day. For example he can work in the Torchwood mail room during the day, but also be a stranger Lizbeth meets at the train station after work over and over. At the same time, he can also be her nephew! It was a bit confusing to understand this more complex way Adam ingratiates himself into the characters lives but it heightens his menace by making him unescapable in any aspect of their lives.
Torchwood: Madam I’m
Another interesting aspect of this audio is how Adam’s presence and influence changes Norton and Lizbeth, both personally and professionally. I loved the easy chemistry that Samuel Barnett and Dervla Kirwan had from the very start. Norton and Lizbeth were immediately believable and understandable as overworked and underappreciated co-workers, who rely on each other to have some fun and get through the day. They can’t rely on that bond and history as things progress though. Adam takes so much from them that they become completely different people at certain points of the story.
This is cool as you start to see it happen, but draws more attention to a bit of repetitive action later in the story as Lizbeth and Norton start breaking through to remember and forget again (and again and again). It makes a strong point though of how love and a safe environment can shape a person so fully. I wonder whose memories Adam may have learned that from back in his personal history?
The inherent horror of what Adam’s powers can do will always create the possibility for a great story and it’s fantastic that Big Finish attracted Bryan Dick back to reprise his role! He steps back into those creepy shoes as if he had never left. The flashes of darkness and the scenes that really focus on control, fear, and punishment are the highlights of the story. There’s a striking moment involving Lizbeth and a dose of retcon that I won’t spoil. It’s not a long scene, only a few lines, but it gets right to the heart of the fear that Adam can create, and sets up just how malevolent he is, in case any fans had forgotten. The opera house scenes with Lizbeth were also some of my favourites for bringing in more of that darkness and closer to the end are some very intense moments for both characters.
Although the anxiety inducing horror isn’t present from the very outset, things build steadily to a gripping climax. Madam I’m is a solid adventure with great performances from the cast. Fans of Norton may be worried as they listen to him so out of character for large chunks of the story, but it’s worth it to wonder about the strange Norton that might-have-been. And the ending line from him is extremely in-character. It brought the whole story back full circle in a way that put an unavoidable smile on my face!
This title was released in July 2021. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until 30 Sept 2021, and on general sale after this date.
Torchwood, Soho, the 1950s. Disgraced agent Norton Folgate has a new boyfriend, the very lovely Adam. Brilliant scientist Lizbeth Hayhoe meets a charming stranger on the underground, the very lovely Adam. Very soon, Torchwood has a new leader – the very lovely Adam.
With people losing their lives and their souls, Lizbeth and Norton must work out what’s happening to Torchwood. And why is Torchwood preparing to go to war?
- Samuel Barnett (Norton Folgate)
- Bryan Dick (Adam Smith)
- Dervla Kirwan (Lizbeth Hayhoe)
- Senior Producer: David Richardson
- Cover Art by Lee Binding
- Director: Scott Handcock
- Executive Producer: Jason Haigh-Ellery & Nicholas Briggs
- Music: Blair Mowat
- Producer: James Goss
- Script Editor: Scott Handcock
- Sound Design: Peter Doggart
- Written by James Goss
- Theme Music by Murray Gold