Review by Doctor Squee (Host of Gallifrey Stands Podcast)
The great match up of Guy Adams writing & Scott Handcock directing this Torchwood 3-part special event release are bringing back together the full classic Torchwood team from the first two series. It’s set just before the end of Torchwood series 2.A cult-like religion much like Scientology in many ways, The Church of the Outsiders, who worship the idea of leaving planet earth and merging with the stars, has sprung up and Owen (Burn Gorman) believes Torchwood need to stop them, but Jack (John Barrowman) seems oddly reluctant. In the process of trying to stop this seemly harmful cult, will Owen push things too far? This feels like a story set in the perfect time in Torchwood history and it calls to mind the high point of Torchwood that was ‘Children of Earth’ in tone.
Owen at this point in Torchwood is ‘living dead’. Alive in a sense but if he gets injured he can’t recover. He can’t eat and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh he is so used to and this feels like a really interesting point to have him taking the lead on a mission as he struggles to get a hold on who he now is as a human. There is some really interesting interplay with him & Tosh (Naoko Mori) who is in love with him, but is tortured by the way he wants her to act here, in scenes that feel even more real and dark than the TV show and what those characters got to play.
Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto gets to go undercover and has a genuine struggle with separating the every day people who are involved with the cult but are most likely innocent and the real dangers the cult represents.
Eve Myles as Gwen has been rumoured (ED: Incorrectly…) to be retiring this character, so although she isn’t in the action as much, it’s still amazing to have her back and she is great in the parts she is in. Jack also plays a lesser part for a lot of the set, but it wouldn’t be Torchwood without him turning back up at the 11th hour with a plot twisting turn of events now would it?
And as for guest cast… how’s Arthur Darvill for you?! All I’ll say is he is wonderful as Frank Layton as are the entire supporting cast.
This is classic Torchwood with the classic Torchwood cast. As good and more gritty than the high benchmark of the TV shows best moments. 10/10
Buy it on CD or download here https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/torchwood-believe-1814