Following Night of the Fendahl and The Green Life, Big Finish continue the melding of Torchwood and Doctor Who. Whilst the previous releases have focused on bringing back some classic Who elements this next release only goes back to 2005. It sees an unlikely pairing combine and brings us back to Torchwood before we joined the story with Gwen Cooper.
When Doctor Who returned in 2005 Boom Town served a purpose within the 13 episode series. It didn’t require as much of the budget as other more expansive episodes but would have a significant impact on future events. Boom Town was itself a sequel to Aliens of London/World War Three. Elements would also serve as the foundation stones for the spin-off that would follow; Torchwood. Now we have a prequel to Boom Town and to that opening Torchwood episode Everything Changes.
It is established that Torchwood had been around for a while before Gwen Cooper stumbles into their world. In the Doctor Who episode Bad Wolf, surviving alien Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen, masquerading as Margaret Blaine, has become Mayor of Cardiff. There is an amusing aside that her victory is the result of poor voter turnout. Seems pretty apt given recent elections. So what if Margaret Blaine and Torchwood had crossed paths in Cardiff before the Ninth Doctor, Rose and Jack showed up? This is that story and it’s thoroughly enjoyable.
First on the scene of a crashed alien spacecraft are Suzie Costello and Margaret Blaine. Suzie seems to be part of Torchwood but this is her operating outside of their monitoring. Margaret is making an attempt to get off Earth, as she would try again in Bad Wolf. Then, using a standard plot device where two unlikely individuals are bound together, they need to work together. The success or failure of this venture is therefore going to be if that combination is successful and here it definitely works.
Starring Indira Varma and Annette Badland
Suzie Costello had a memorable impact on the opening TV episode of Torchwood. Indira Varma recaptures the character beautifully. Unlike other members of Torchwood, Suzie lacked the nerve and confidence of an elite agent. She was keen and intelligent but wasn’t the most comfortable when holding a gun for instance. Her actions in this story are also consistent with what we’ve seen of her so far. Similarly, Annette Badland rediscovers the character she first played nearly 15 years ago now. The Slitheen were a solid creation but were limited in terms of their moment given their hulking costumes. On audio however there are none of these limitations. Plus of course the character of Blon comes through wonderfully in audio.
The combination of Varma and Badland works well with these two experienced actors delivering great performances, laughing together along the way. Suzie Costello had a limited run on television but Big Finish have provided an opportunity to explore her character a little further. Sync matches the character study presented in Torchwood: Moving Target providing more background to the events seen in Everything Changes. Her character is enigmatic and intriguing, thriving when given more depth by the skilled scribes at Big Finish, in this case writer Lisa McMullin. Are there more details of Suzie Costello still to be revealed?
Torchwood: Sync is another great story. Whilst it doesn’t delve quite as far back into Doctor Who’s history as the previous two releases, Big Finish have again found a suitable gap in which to tell a cracking tale. Like all good Torchwood episodes the events of a night in Cardiff make for wonderful stories. This is a particularly wild adventure as two unlikely individuals ultimately become friends.
This title was released in May 2019. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until July 31st 2019, and on general sale after this date.
This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Torchwood vs Monsters!
Margaret Blaine is the Mayor of Cardiff. She’s also an alien who’ll do anything to get off the planet Earth. When a spaceship crashes outside Cardiff, it seems like the answer to her prayers. But she’s not the only person at crash site.
Suzie Costello works for Torchwood, but strictly to her own agenda. When a spaceship crashes outside Cardiff, it seems like the answer to her prayers. But she’s not the only person at the crash site.
Bonded by an alien device, Margaret and Suzie find themselves on the run from Torchwood, the police, and six warp missiles that’ll destroy them, Cardiff, and most of the Western Hemisphere.
- Indira Varma (Susie Costello)
- Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine)
- Raj Ghatak (Pilot)