A tedious entry, tenuously connected to the world of Torchwood.
On a huge container ship, Rhys Williams finds himself stranded in a sea of plastic that is slowly choking the crew and the water. His only companion is an environmentalist, Kaitlin Russell, and it appears as though something not of this planet is controlling the plastic refuse to their own advantage…
The fourth release from this season of monthly Torchwood releases continues the theme of returning villains. This time it is the Nestene Consciousness and the Autons. Rhys Williams, husband of Torchwood member Gwyn Cooper, connects the story to the world of Torchwood albeit rather tenuously.
Of course, anything involving waste plastic is bound to have an environmental message and Sargasso is no different. The script by Christopher Cooper unfortunately bears the same problem as recent releases in this range: too little plot to stretch out to an hour. Add in some preaching and you have an episode that becomes tedious very quickly.
Whilst there are moments of action and suspense, the limited cast can only do so much. Kai Owen returns as Rhys and plays his role well even if he is played as more of a chauvinist than he was on screen. His main support is Sydney Feder as Kaitlin and she plays the disbelieving greenie to perfection.
Scott Handcock does an admirable job directing the limited material well and, as usual, the sound mix by Adrian Townsend is atmospheric and represents the “living plastic” aliens remarkably effectively. There is also a short interview with the two leads and a preview of the next volume in the range.
This genuinely feels like Big Finish are using this episode as the prelude to a bigger story (as it may, indeed, turn out to be) but this story is nowhere near the best of even the Torchwood monthly range, let alone the Big Finish studios. It’s a meandering, moody mess that feels rushed and unpolished with little thought to genuine character continuity. If Big Finish are using this range to hook listeners into the bigger Torchwood boxsets then they need to seriously rethink the product they are putting out.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: June 2019
Approx RRP: $18 CD, $8 Digital Download