Review: Torchwood: Long Time Dead (Miracle Day prequel 2)

By Sarah Pinborough

BBC Books, out now

The Hub may have been destroyed – but what happened to all the dead Torchwood operatives who were stored there? At least one of them has come back to life…

Of all the pre-Miracle Day stories, this is the first chronologically, set a very short time after the events of the main part of Children of Earth, as the Millennium Plaza in Cardiff is rebuilt. Featuring Andy Davidson, recently promoted to sergeant, and original Torchwood Three team member Suzie Costello – whose use of the Resurrection Glove plagued the team back in the first series – it also has a number of cameos by other Torchwood alumni, including Owen, Ianto , Tosh, and of course Jack Harkness. Pinborough has a good handle on Suzie Costello, and provides the reader eventually with some insight into why Jack tolerated her for so long.

A lot of fans queried what happened to the various bits of alien tech and other apparatus that had been stored in the Hub; it was all very well for it to be blown up to make a point in Children of Earth but it always seemed as if that was a decision that hadn’t been thought through very well. Pinborough’s novel explains the ramifications of the explosion, and also asks whether Retcon, the amnesia-inducing drug, really worked as well as the Torchwood team thought it did. The answers are wrapped up in a tale that would have made a very good episode of the show: like the best Torchwood instalments, it shows its roots in other sci-fi and horror tales but gives it a unique spin.

Verdict: Another strong story .  8/10

Paul Simpson

Read our reviews of the first novel, First Born



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