This! This is what Big Finish does! Take a one off character from season 2 of Doctor Who and give them room to run! When I saw that they were going to throw a story into the Torchwood run that spotlighted Yvonne Hartman from Torchwood One I have to admit I was intrigued but not overly convinced that it was a gamble worth taking. It seemed like a leap to go from the core team of Torchwood that the TV series focused on and suddenly jump back to the Torchwood from Doctor Who (which had a decidedly different approach). Now the question is… did the gamble pay off?
The solicit from Big Finish:
“It’s been three weeks since the Mayor of Cardiff was killed by a shop dummy and the fight is on to see who will replace him.
Yvonne Hartman is visiting the city to retrieve an invaluable alien device. She’s in charge of Torchwood One, she’s saving the British Empire and she doesn’t care about local politics. But she is going to find herself caught up in that fight. There’s a bloodthirsty alien stalking the streets and there’s a special offer on at the all-you-can-eat Chinese buffet.
It’s the 26th of March 2005 and it’s the day that everything changes.”
This month’s installment of Torchwood takes us into previously untouched lore as Yvonne Hartman travels to Cardiff where Jack’s Torchwood team is up and running at the same time as Torchwood One.
This was very interesting, Yvonne is a complex character who almost played the role of a villain in Doctor Who in that she was set against the motivations of the doctor. Her more compass seemed suspect but no one could deny her drive. In this story we get to see that in action we get to see that unfold and it gets time and space to breathe.
I loved this one! In fact I was kind of blindsided by how good it was by now I should know better. The Big Finish machine does not crank out sub par stories. Their tagline is “We Love Stories” and they DO. That love is translated into impeccable and captivating tales that carry over so well that no matter what your eyes are seeing your brain takes you into the world of audio.
It ties into so many things including the overarching theme of of this first series… “The Committee”. It tied back to the very FIRST episode of Doctor Who it tied into Ianto and his time with Torchwood One. So many call backs and yet still very fun on its own. In fact the only thing that keeps this from being a perfect score for me is all that history. I know, I know, if you are listening to a Torchwood audio play you expect call backs but when you get THIS many your previous knowledge becomes vital to your enjoyment. I LOVED the callbacks but to someone who had not seen all of these episodes and all of these series of television the callbacks might have been confusing or even annoying. But I can’t give this story anything less than a 4.5 out of 5 stars because I found myself thinking… “Yeah. I would listen to a Yvonne Harman series.” and until yesterday (when I listened to this) I would NEVER have guessed that’s a thought I would have.
|Tracy-Ann Oberman at the Soundhouse Studios|
Big Finish is great at bringing back these one off characters just look at Jago and Litefoot! Who do you wish they’d choose for a series or even just a one shot like this one was? Let me know in the comments below or by shooting us a message to letters(at)grawlixpodcast.com.