A welcome return of Gwen Cooper and an equally welcome first appearance of Martha Jones.
A strange death leads Gwen Cooper to seek out help from UNIT medic Martha Jones. Why does Martha seem so reluctant to help Gwen? Why does Gwen even NEED her help? A friendship is tested as the dead body starts to exhibit signs of life…
The final instalment in this current season of monthly Torchwood releases see the first appearance on audio of Martha Jones – companion to the Tenth Doctor – as played by Freema Agyeman. It is a welcome first appearance of one of the modern series’ more divisive companions. Agyeman’s character had the unenviable task of replacing Rose Tyler and her single season met with a mixed reception from fans and critics alike.
Soon after her time on Doctor Who, Dr Martha Jones briefly appeared in TV’s Torchwood series – hence her appearance on this set. In this two-hander, written by Tim Foley, she is joined by the always wonderful Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper. The two characters obviously had a lot more interaction off-screen than they did on-screen as they show a friendship that really was not there at the time.
That being said, this is an entertaining hour that punches a little higher than the bulk of the releases in this season. Both actresses play their roles with glee and Foley’s tight script keeps the suspense rolling along at a comfortable pace without it feeling either too rushed or too drawn out. This is also due in no small part to director Scott Handcock who, once again, works wonders with his cast.
The sound and music by Peter Doggart and Blair Mowat are as polished and professional as they always have been. There are the standard bonus interviews with the cast following the conclusion of the story.
This season of Torchwood releases has been a very mixed bag of quality in terms of the scripts. Casting, direction, sound and music have always been top drawer despite some of the lacklustre material. This final episode is certainly one of the better releases (in the top 3 for the season) and is well worth a listen for fans of the series or indeed of Martha Jones. Let us now hope that Dr Jones is reunited with her Doctor once again (and knowing Big Finish, the chances are better than average). Her appearance certainly gives the Big Finish stable even more credibility.
In the meantime, fans thinking that the usual 18-month gap between seasons that we see in the current TV series of Doctor Who will be replicated here, need not fear. The monthly range starts up again after only a month off.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: February 2020
Approx RRP: $20 CD, $8 Digital Download