Following the superb Night of the Fendahl, Big Finish continue the mixing of Torchwood with Classic Doctor Who. In the second release, The Green Life, listeners are treated to a thrilling sequel to a classic Doctor Who story. It’s not just a monster that is back but a companion too!
It’s terrifying to think that The Green Death was over 45 years ago now. A story shortly to be released onto Blu Ray in Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 10. But after all this time Jo Grant, now Jones, has returned to Llanfairfach. And Captain Jack Harkness has come along for the ride. The story kicks off with Capt. Jack and Jo already knee deep into the action and doesn’t let up that pace. As the plot is unravelled, explaining the changes to the former Welsh mining village, things are not as they seem.
The Green Life serves as an intriguing sequel to The Green Death. Very rarely do we have the opportunity to revisit a location previously encountered during a Doctor Who story. Sometimes things don’t work out quite as planned after The Doctor and UNIT have departed the scene. The giant maggots have survived, but how? Unfortunately, these creatures don’t fare well on audio but a solid attempt is made to elicit fear and terror. This requires them to hiss more like snakes but the imagery generated by The Green Death does most of the hard work. Seeing the original Doctor Who story is therefore helpful, allowing the listener to clearly picture Jack and Jo deep within the mines surrounded by the maggots. It’s powerful stuff.
Starring John Barrowman and Katy Manning
The interplay between the fabulous duo of John Barrowman and Katy Manning is the main selling point of this release. Unsurprisingly, the dialogue allows the characters of Capt. Jack and Jo to bounce off each other. Both characters are full of sass and form an unlikely team but a hugely successful combination. Also thrown in for good measure is Stewart Bevan, the heroic Cliff Jones from The Green Death, but not in that same role. This adds a poetic circularity, pulling together a theme explored back in 1973 with individuals involved in that original tale.
Katy Manning is simply extraordinary in this audio. John Barrowman is his usual, dynamic self but it is Manning who steals the show. Her passionate delivery during particular moments of heated discussion is a thing to behold. There is a lot of genuine feeling and emotion that comes through in the audio. Under the Torchwood banner there is no need to hold back, things can be more raw and that includes emotion.
Torchwood: The Green Life is a sublime sequel to the original Third Doctor story. There are numerous references to the source material for those who wish to spot them. However, the adventure stands on it’s own merit, skilfully put together by writer David Llewellyn and director Scott Handcock. Holding it all together are the two central performances by John Barrowman and Katy Manning who prove to be a fantastic pairing. After listening to this adventure one can only hope that Capt. Jack and Jo Jones cross paths again in future!
It was a bold decision to attempt a sequel to Image of the Fendahl but Night of the Fendahl more than delivered. The Green Death is even more highly regarded by fans with a memorable monster and an emotional conclusion. But once again Big Finish have pulled it out of the bag and delivered a successful sequel which builds upon the original material. Whilst The Green Life uses previously established creations it does so in the freedom of the Torchwood range to create another successful adventure.
Torchwood: The Green Life is available now from the Big Finish website. This story features adult language and content unsuitable for younger listeners.
This title was released in April 2019. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until June 30th 2019, and on general sale after this date.
This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Torchwood vs Monsters!
Many years ago Jo Grant met Professor Clifford Jones, fell in love and saved the world. It all happened in the idyllic Welsh community of Llanfairfach.
Josephine Jones has come back to Llanfairfach and she finds it a bustling place with a thriving economy. The little town is now at the spearhead of a healthy-eating revolution. And yet, something’s missing. It feels like the heart has gone out of the place.
She falls in with a dashing stranger and realises that although the past was a lot simpler, not everything’s changed. There’s still something nasty in the mine, and it’s been waiting for Jo for a very long time.
- John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness)
- Katy Manning (Josephine Jones)
- Stewart Bevan (Voice of the Hive)