Torchwood: The Three Monkeys brings back Burn Gorman and Tom Price for another two-hander, with Owen and Andy on the case of a shady businessman who seems supernaturally untouchable. This is the third outing for the pair. Their duelling outlooks on life still somehow gelling perfectly together, even if Andy says they’re “not friends”.
James Goss wrote The Three Monkeys after lockdown had started and the structure of the story reflects the practical challenges any new Big Finish production is facing. It takes place almost entirely inside Andy’s patrol car. This singular setting makes any sound design work happening from home less complicated. That bottle setting is actually my favourite part of the story though. A few times Owen or Andy will leave the vehicle and inevitably run into big trouble; goons with guns, unknown alien artefacts, “KNIFE-BATS” (or “bat-knives”). The only communication between the two during these moments takes place over their headsets. So the other character and the audience only have Andy or Owen’s running commentary to tell us what’s going on. Their concern for each other when alone in the car and unable to help is also nice to hear.
One potential issue is the pacing of the story. It starts off slowly, with a good chunk of exposition that could have been spread out a bit more. I found myself wishing the action would have started a bit sooner. Things also end very suddenly in a way that makes the resolution a little less satisfying. The middle is far more fun with a couple of action sequences and Andy and Owen swapping between friendly banter, shrewdly accurate insults, and their running gag of Owen ordering disgusting food to watch Andy eat.
The lucky monkey artefact is perfect for this pair to find. Neither has the luck to get what they want in life (whether that’s excitement or literally life itself) but Andy sums up near the end why neither could be truly tempted by this particular monkey. Aside from minor pacing issues with the set-up at the beginning, the story has some nice character moments for Owen and Andy. (Also I love to hear how much Owen mentions Tosh when she’s not there.) Fans of this friendship will find their latest story very enjoyable.
This title was released in October 2020. It will be exclusively available to buy from the Big Finish website until December 31st 2020, and on general sale after this date.
Andy Davidson’s been ordered to watch over a local businessman. Everything’s always gone right for him, and Andy’s long wondered why.
Owen joins him on the stakeout. He knows something – the businessman’s attracted Torchwood’s attention, and tonight, the two of them are going to take him down. But will luck be on their side?
- Burn Gorman (Owen Harper)
- Tom Price (Andy Davidson)
- Joseph Tweedale (Dennis)
- Joanna Van Kampen (Chief Constable)
- Senior Producer: David Richardson
- Additional themes by Ben Foster
- Cover Artist: Lee Binding
- Director: Scott Handcock
- Executive Producer: Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs
- Music: Blair Mowat
- Producer: James Goss
- Script Editor: Tim Foley
- Sound Design: Iain Meadows
- Written by James Goss
- Theme Music by Murray Gold