A fun romp and a welcome return of two of the Torchwood regulars.
It is Valentine’s Day and Toshiko Sato has convinced her co-worker, Owen, to go on a not-Valentine’s Valentine’s Night at the opera. Awaiting his arrival, and feeling slightly tipsy from the excessive alcohol she’s consumed, she settles in for a night of entertainment when who should appear but Ianto, looking smart. He then tells her that Owen is not coming and that the audience is approximately 70% aliens, and so is the cast…
Naoko Mori makes a welcome return to the Torchwood monthly range with an adventure that straddles the fine line between comedy and drama with a large degree of success. Gareth David-Lloyd also makes a return appearance in both the writer’s chair and as Ianto Jones, and the two spark off each other magnificently.
David-Lloyd’s script plays upon the best elements of Torchwood – aliens in disguise, strange situations to find them, and unusual plot twists – showing his familiarity with the material is considerably deep. Mori’s performance includes several touching scenes that show her more sensitive side. She also does well with her drunk acting without overplaying it too much. Over the course of the adventure we get to learn a lot about Sato’s feelings for her co-workers and we also get a glimpse at the relationship between Ianto and Captain Jack that would play out in later seasons of the TV show. John Rutledge (Wallfisch) and Rhys ap William (Ilmatar) round out the cast by playing the over-the-top aliens (one of whom has a rather raucous catchphrase you should not let your children hear!).
Scott Handcock once again runs his expert hands over the production from the director’s booth and the sound design by Steve Foxon is incredibly atmospheric and moody. You actually get a really good sense of the changing locations throughout the story. Blair Mowat’s music is also up to his usual high standard. There is also a bonus interview with the two leads and this highlights the affection the two actors have for one another.
This one of the better releases in recent releases and this continues a good run of stories from the monthly range that should please both long-term fans of Torchwood and new listeners to the Big Finish range.
Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: June 2020
Approx RRP: $20 CD, $9 Digital Download