There are Aliens Among Us … and so is Torchwood (again)

(cover art via Fansided (c) Big Finish)

 

From the get-go, I loved Torchwood, Russell T. Davies’, sometimes quirky, often harshly emotional, never dull and boring, spin-off from the long-running Doctor Who TV series.

Treating dealing with aliens as an almost gladiatorial sports in which the fate of the universe hung in the balance, and death was always a possibility as payment for your efforts – forget any kind of trophy; Torchwood was always a hush-hush idea that the public-at-large knew nothing about  – the show was authentically real and confronting in a way that Doctor Who, for all its gravitas at times, was never allowed to be.

Yes, it was almost willfully uneven, veering from supremely touching “Captain Jack Harkness” (S1, E12) through to a little silly (“Countrycide”, S1, E6) but it was never less than brilliantly-imaginative, searingly emotional and grimly real.

This was life in the alien-fighting trenches and it was hard, brutal and dark.

Unfortunately, Torchwood also lost its way quite quickly with season 3 “Children of Earth”, patchy, creepy but watchable, and season 4 (“Miracle Day”) so off the boil, thanks partly to an attempt to American-ise a very British show, that I have, to this day, yet to finish off the show.

 

 

The good news is that Torchwood had enough life, and death in it, to merit a return visit in the form of “Aliens Among Us”, an audio production from Big Finish that reunites the surviving members of the cast with some new additions in what is being hailed as a winning return to form. (To be fair Titan Comics has released a winning series of comics that did a great job of continuing the show; even so, having the voices of the beloved cast back is an entirely different special something.)

As you might expect, those it’s been a long time between extraterrestrial drinks, the Torchwood team of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen (Eve Myles) is, according to the synopsis from Big Finish, pretty much to business as usual in the much-anticipated season 5:

“Big Finish picks up the events after Miracle Day with Torchwood: Aliens Among Us…

“Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper have restarted Torchwood. But it’s in a very different Cardiff. Something terrible’s happened to the city. With every day getting darker, will Torchwood need to adopt a whole new approach?”

Thanks to the close involvement of Russell T Davies however – read all about it at Fansided – who has a penchant for upsetting the narrative apple cart, this doesn’t mean the team will emerge unscathed from their latest adventures:

“Some of the thoughts that Russell had are things we would never dare do. Big Finish normally (rightly) has a custodial duty to the brands it licences – take them interesting, amazing places but, at the end of the day, return them to the garage without a scratch. With Aliens Among Us, Russell’s approach is “Drive it off a cliff! Bring them back, kill them off…” Some of the stuff to come is really shocking.”

So they’re back, it’s on for young and old, and we don’t know who’ll make it out alive in the always titanic battle between humanity, aliens, and the tortured souls of Torchwood’s won.

Just like old times then!

Torchwood: Aliens Among Us Part 1 is available now from Big Finish.

Posted In TV

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