Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
If you had told me a few years back I would be looking forward to a Torchwood Big Finish release as much as a Doctor Who, I wouldn’t have believed it. Sure the TV show was great; but it’s always Doctor Who first. But Big Finish have done such an amazing job with the Torchwood range as to make it up there with their finest Doctor Who releases.‘Before the Fall’ is no exception to this high standard. As I listened to the first story ‘New Girl’ by Joseph Lidster, I was first struck by the feel you get from a Torchwood story from Big Finish. The sense of ‘who can you trust’ and ‘what is that person really up to’ that was first laid down by the TV show is even more powerful here and takes you into the story. Also having Yvonne Hartman again perfectly played by Tracey-Ann Oberman is always a pleasure. She in the stead of Captain Jack is a great mix of good guy / bad guy and you never fully know going into a story with her if she will turn out to be completely innocent in events. In fact, you can bank on some moral ambiguity, the question is how much. The title role of ‘New Girl’ or Rachel Allan is played by Sophie Winkleman. She is given so many different things to play in this and shoulders it well. Add to this Gareth David-Lloyd returning as Ianto and your off to the races for an amazing set. It’s good to see a different side to Ianto too as a slightly lighter version of the character from before the events of Cyber-woman maybe made him more withdrawn.
I am reluctant to go into any details of the other 2 stories (Through the Ruins by Jenny T Colgan & Uprising by Matt Fitton) as this is really one story that is best experienced without spoilers, as events from one part leads to the others. What I will say is there as certainly no poor cousins when it comes to stories in this set. All 3 are fantastic and create the feel of Torchwood you would expect and the time it is set in, whilst also adding a bit more flesh to the legend of Torchwood One. It feels like Torchwood One is somewhere you want to return and hear a lot more stories from and now we have a full crew we know there, that it might seem a missed opportunity not to. Also with the full cast Torchwood audios we have had recently with most of the cast from the original TV show, it would be great to see a story that maybe somehow weaved in Torchwood One with Torchwood Cardiff.
Series producer James Goss proves once again with this boxset that there is so much more to Torchwood to be done and 100 ways to make it familiar, yet new. This particular story is a tense, fun and entertaining ride that you will want to listen to several times to get all the nuances and references scattered throughout. I give it 10/10 Ianto coffee’s!
Buy it today here Download here: https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/torchwood-one-before-the-fall-1571