Books & Literature

Audiobook Review: Torchwood #38: Iceberg, by Big Finish

SCI-FI: Has Owen Harper discovered a bridge between the living and the dead? In a hospital ward full of coma patients, each has a dead relative as their imaginary friend.

A gripping hour of audio delight that never quite goes where you think it might.

A phone call from a friend at 1am sees Dr. Owen Harper go to an almost completely shut down hospital. He has not seen his friend Amira in 18 months and yet she seems to have regressed in her knowledge. There is also a ward full of coma patients except for one girl called Lucy who is apparently communicating with her dead sister. As the night wears on, Harper starts forgetting the basics of his profession and he soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than a few bodies in a coma because he may be the next one…

The latest instalment in the monthly Torchwood range is another case of quality over quantity. Whilst many of the monthly range can seem padded out and lacking in characters, this release has found that balance almost perfectly. It is a credit to writer Grace Knight who has made a piece that weaves character development and backstory effectively into the fabric of the narrative, instead of what could have been a yet another alien or ghost story with the usual beats.

Burn Gorman (who always seems to be the focus of the better monthly releases in recent years) reprises his role as Owen Harper and has not lost an inch on the grumpy, often unlikeable character. His portrayal as the gradual reveal of the plot happens, is quite remarkable to listen to. Maya Saroya matches him step for step in her turn as Amira. They are well supported by Lowri Walton as Lucy, who has to play manic for pretty much the entire story.

Scott Handcock does his usual excellent effort in the director’s chair, and the music and sound designs by Blair Mowat and Iain Meadows is up to their usual high standard. There is also a bonus interview with the cast at the conclusion of this release.

This may not quite match the brilliance of last year’s Owen-centric The Hope but it does make for an entertaining hour that is only slightly let down by the ending, which seems a little too convenient – something that the original show always tried to avoid in its early years. It well worth a listen and should please fans of Torchwood and Big Finish.

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: May 2020
Approx RRP: $21 CD, $9 Digital Download

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