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In August of 2017, Big Finish released Torchwood: Aliens Among Us Part 1, an official continuation of the Torchwood story, carrying on from series 4 of the tv show, Miracle Day, although retaining basically no elements from that series, instead planting seeds in the monthly range focusing on the return of Torchwood. Aliens Among Us features a whole host of new characters, and focuses on the Sorvix arriving in Cardiff, and them living among humans. Let’s take a look:
1. Changes Everything by James Goss
Changes Everything, the first episode of the continuation of the Torchwood story, is a bit of a play on the first ever episode of the show, Everything Changes. It’s an interesting episode in that it has to juggle quite a lot at once. It introduces us to a few new characters, the overarching story of the series (Aliens in Cardiff) and also gives a complete story on its own, a very politically charged commentary on immigration. James Goss (one of my favourite Torchwood writers) handles them all very well, resulting in a strong opening episode. The character of Mr Colchester, played by Paul Clayton, is a clear highlight with a fantastic performance from Clayton, and the ‘protagonist’ of the story, Tyler Steele, is interesting too. And of course John Barrowman is tons of fun as Captain Jack Harkness. I’m excited to see where this leads!
2. Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy by James Goss
This feels like a very standard Torchwood adventure, focusing on some aliens having a…hen do. Sure. It’s fine, but I expect more from Big Finish Torchwood. We’re introduced to the Sorvix, the main players of Aliens Among Us, and we get some lore about them. The highlights are Mr Colchester (of course) and the ending, otherwise, just an average, decent story.
3. Orr by Juno Dawson
Orr is a nice step up from the previous story and features the titular character Orr, a ‘sexual pyschomorph’ who can shapeshift to become the person of your desires. It’s a silly Torchwood concept, but unlike the worst of the TV show, it’s used to actually do some storytelling. We get some more lore about what the Sorvix are and how they operate, and Orr brings out some great character moments for our cast (including two people wanting to prevent Orr from ‘reading their minds’!). This feels like a sex-focused TV Torchwood episode done right, which is really quite fantastic to have. Mr Colchester continues to be a highlight and ‘Gwen’ and Tyler continue to be intriguing. A great story.
4. Superiority Complex by AK Benedict
This is a fun concept: a high quality hotel, exclusively for Sorvix and Sorvix allies. But I wasn’t particularly impressed with it. There were some good twists but on the whole I’m not very engaged by Aliens Among Us so far. It’s good, but I expect more from Big Finish Torchwood. Orr continues to be a fascinating character, she’s the clear highlight here like the previous story. Otherwise, this is just a decent Torchwood story, where I’m more interested in the overarching story than this specific episode unfortunately.
A solid first part to the series, with some intriguing stuff set up, but I’m not overly impressed just yet.