Audiobook Review: Torchwood #30: The Hope, by Big Finish

Megwyn Jones is one of the most hated women in Britain. In her dying days, it’s up to Torchwood to escort her back to where so many children went missing.

By
The team at Big Finish have struck gold with a beautiful, emotional and well thought out story.
Overall
4.5

An old woman named Megwyn Jones is dying. She has been hiding a secret for 30 years and people want her to tell it. She is responsible for the deaths of many young people while she was in charge of a home for troubled youth, ironically called The Hope, located in an isolated part of Snowdonia.

Owen Harper of Torchwood and PC Andy Davidson are escorting and caring for this most hated of people in her dying days. She seems very eager to return to her former home, but not quite for the reason everybody wants. Of course, one could ask what interest Torchwood has in what is, on the surface, a simple case of missing children. The answer lies in the mists that surround the home and before long, more people will fall victim to those cursed grounds…

After a number of disappointing to average releases in this batch of Torchwood monthly releases, the team at Big Finish have finally struck gold with a beautiful, emotional and well thought out story. James Goss’ script is full of character and just about the right amount of drama and action to keep the listener engrossed for its seventy minute running time.

Returning to their onscreen roles, both Burn Gorman (Owen) and Tom Price (Andy) lead a small but charged ensemble and maintain many of the character traits they are both known for onscreen. Gorman’s Owen is particularly emotionally pointed in this episode – whereas he can often be portrayed as a miserable grump. Legendary actress Siân Phillips plays the central role of Megwyn Jones. It is a chilling performance that elicits both rage and sympathy over the course of the episode. She never overplays anything and lets the dialogue do the work for her. The three of these fine performers are as outstanding as one another. The cast is superbly rounded out by Laura Dalgleish (Reporter), Nia Roberts (Sally), Ian Saynor (Colbourne), and Kerry Joy Stewart (Ginny).

Director Scott Handcock does an admirable job keeping the tension high without it going into melodrama, particularly in the lengthy climax set in the mists of Snowdonia, and he is ably helped by the superb work of Richard Fox (sound) and Blair Mowat (music).

As with other releases in this range, there is a short interview with the cast included as a bonus.

It is heartening to see a strong release in this range and one hopes that it marks a turning point for this series. This is undoubtedly the highlight of the Torchwood monthly releases so far this year and will be a welcome addition to any collection.

Reviewed by Rodney Hrvatin
Twitter: @Wagnerfan74

Distributed by: Big Finish Productions
Released: August 2019
Approx RRP: $19 CD, $8 Digital Download

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