Books & Literature

Audiobook Review: Torchwood Soho: Parasite, by Big Finish

SCI-FI: Gangsters are vanishing from the streets of Soho, there’s a deadly Nazi secret on the loose, and something’s moving in the smog.

Torchwood in the 1950s is an interesting concept explored well in this release.

Soho in the 1950s and Torchwood agent Norton Folgate is bored pushing paper in the Torchwood offices. There is an eerie fog in the air and it soon appears as though there is more than strange weather afoot. Folgate sees his chance to get back into the action but not before he is joined from the future by his friend, Andy Davidson. Together they have to expose and stop a Nazi plot that threatens to destroy the world as we know it.

A spin-off of a spin-off is right in the wheel house of the ever-burgeoning catalogue of ranges from Big Finish. Using one of the characters from the original TV show and then adding in a regular from their own stories is the perfect combination for a look at Torchwood in the past. Folgate and Davidson have met a number of times before in previous releases (and indeed, Davidson has again made an appearance in a recent Torchwood monthly release!) and the well-established chemistry between the two certainly works well here.

Core to this are the performances of Samuel Barnett (Norton Folgate) and Tom Price (Andy Davidson) which help move the story along through its six 30-minute episodes. They are surrounded by another great line-up of supporting actors which includes Joe Shire (Gideon Lyme), Dervla Kirwan (Lizbeth Hayhoe), David Troughton (Rigsby), Ellie Darvill (Gerta), and Franchi Webb (Belle Epoch).

James Goss’ scripts take a little while to get going (needing to set up the era) and some may find the overt campness of Folgate a little tiresome after a time (his double entendres certainly reflect the 1950s more than the 21st century way of thinking) but once the story kicks in, it keeps the audience entertained. The shorter running time of the episodes certainly play in favour for this story.

Scott Handcock does his usual exceptional work behind the director’s desk, guiding his cast well and making the most of the excellent sound and music design by Steve Foxon and Blair Mowatt respectively. There are extended interviews at the end of each disc included as a bonus.

This is a fun, if not entirely convincing, release from the Big Finish team. It benefits the listener to know the two main characters but it will not entirely ruin the story if you do not. Definitely worth a listen.

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: August 2020
Approx RRP: $36 CD, $17 Digital Download

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