Torchwood: in the Shadows by Joseph Lidster; audiobook read by Eve Myles (BBC, 2009) At last, a credible Torchwood story! Unlike so many writers entrusted with the spin-off media, Lidster can hold a pen, and here retrofits the narrative competence of season two onto the ill-used characters of season one. Result: a real threat, convincingly pursued.
Torchwood: Another Life by Peter Anghelides; abridged audiobook read by John Barrowman (BBC, 2007) The usual run-around, with the season one Torchwood team doing their damnedest to think slowly and stay behind the eight ball. Anghelides deserves credit for the Bruydac warrior and trying to flesh out Owen’s character. Even abridged, though, this strains one’s patience.
Torchwood: Hidden by Steven Savile; audiobook read by Naoko Mori (BBC, 2008) Untethered action scenes adrift on an oil-slick mix of lifeless plot and overly detailed backstory. Published just prior to Series Two, ‘Hidden’ harks back to Series One where the leads were gung-ho and hapless, flapping about with the perspicacity of misdirected salmon.
Torchwood Archives, Vol 2 by Gary Russell et al. (Titan Comics, 2017) While these Torchwood tales are a bit insipid—plenty of blundering around and treading water in the feature story, then three ho-hum vignettes and two prose pieces (one dubious, one light-hearted)—the illustrations and storyboarding are at least commendably original and creepy.
Torchwood: The Dead Line by Phil Ford (BBC, 2009) This full-cast radio drama is more scenario- than action-based, yet the premise is quite neat and the recording evinces a subtlety not always heard in audio adventures. Moreover, Gareth David-Lloyd is afforded time and story space for a beautifully delivered, character-defining monologue.
Torchwood: Golden Age by James Goss (BBC, 2009) In terms of script this radio drama harks back to the first series of Torchwood, where the team’s standard modus operandi was to rush in with no weaponry and no clue, just hoping for the best. Everything rests on an overplayed villain.
Torchwood: Lost Souls by Joseph Lidster (BBC, 2008) Having been written and broadcast to coincide with the switching on of the Large Hadron Collider, this radio drama in retrospect seems over-focussed on that aspect of the script. Likewise the Torchwood team’s lingering trauma subsequent to the second series’ harrowing finale.
Torchwood: Asylum by Anita Sullivan (BBC, 2009) Broadcast between series two and three, this full-cast radio drama sees the Torchwood team at its peak. When a troubled teenage girl falls through the Cardiff Rift, her memories suppressed, her plight brings out both Gwen’s (superbly played) empathy and Jack’s suspicion.