Torchwood: Review: Big Finish Audio 2.1: The Victorian Age

TWAB0201_thevictorianage_1417Torchwood London is being inspected by the boss – who insists on coming along when a creature escapes. Jack’s largest problem? The boss is Queen Victoria…

The second season of Big Finish’s Torchwood audios shows that the range will continue to cherry pick from all the many different versions that the TV series experimented with – this time, the flashback to the olden days. Rowena Cooper plays the elderly monarch very much in the mould established in the Doctor Who episode which first introduced the idea of the institute, Tooth and Claw. This is a Victoria who will step into danger when required, and do – and expect others to do – exactly what is required to save Queen and Empire.

It may be the timing of my listening to this (immediately after a funeral for a friend who was determined that her service was a celebration of her life rather than a time for dejection and sadness), but AK Benedict’s script provided one of the most life-affirming audios that I’ve heard in a long while. The humour and repartee are some of the best in recent times – Cooper and John Barrowman are on fine form – while director Scott Handcock ensures that the more serious elements, when Jack in particular drops the façade for a time, have the necessary gravitas. (The moment between Cooper and Louise Jameson is also beautifully performed and presented.) The music score is also very effective – and did I hear more than a hint of some of the original music cues in the scene where Jack faces off against the monster?

Verdict: Another audio that shows that Torchwood is proving to be one of Big Finish’s most satisfying ranges. 10/10

Paul Simpson

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