Review: Torchwood: AudioGo: Red Skies

Jack Harkness finds himself on a planet where Torchwood is God.

…which you might think would be a perfect place for our ego-driven team leader, but in fact it’s the exact opposite. Jack’s come here to get away from it all – but instead ends up being reminded of some of his greatest errors, and some of the worst times of his life.

Joseph Lidster has written a smart character piece for John Barrowman’s character, which makes it a crying shame that it’s not being read by Mr B, but instead by the (on the basis of this) talented John Telfer, who switches between accents very easily. There are sequences which are set inside Jack’s mind, though, that really do need Barrowman’s distinctive delivery…

It’s an examination of what Torchwood is: it’s not just an organisation that defends the Earth from alien menaces like the 456, or homegrown ones such as those using the Miracle for their own purposes. It stands for various ideals, and, whether you agree with them or not, they are clear through the actions of its members across the years. Faced with something that seems to have perverted the very ideas behind Torchwood, at least as personified by Jack Harkness (if not the ones that Queen Victoria had in mind after her encounter with the haemovariform back in 1879), Jack has no option but to declare war, with the only ally a young policeman who is troubled by his own life.

As with the best Torchwood stories, this isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste, but it is continuing the series’ hopes, as well as those of the organisation it features.  7/10

Paul Simpson

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