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VINE VOICEon 21 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I have been a huge fan of Torchwood for several years and have been quite disappointed with the latest offering - Miracle Day - and was a little worried that I would be disappointed with these radio plays. However, I am pleased to report that these were how Torchwood used to be.

The 3 CDs were great stories set before The Children of The Earth series.

Still lots of extra terrestrial activity and plenty of action and adventure. John Barrowman and the cast are All fantastic.

Any true fans of Torchwood will not be left unhappy with these three stories. Don't be put off if you didn't enjoy Miracle Day
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VINE VOICEon 17 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Torchwood: The Lost Files

Three Radio 4 full cast dramas set before the Children of Earth series

The Devil and Miss Carew is the simplest of the three adventures. Rhys' great uncle dies drawing him and Gwen to the nursing home to pick up his belongings, but they encounter a resident speaking of other residents that have left with their life force restored to them. As increasing power cuts disable the country and the world Gwen tracks down Miss Carew, previously dying from terminal heart failure, now back at the helm of her computing company, and Torchwood homes in on an alien force communicating via the Shipping Forecast.

In Submission the team receive a distress signal heard throughout the world through the water. It's source is the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the sea. Ianto is reunited with an old friend from Torchwood One and the team journey to the bottom of the sea.

In The House of the Dead it's closing night at the pub of the same name known as the most haunted pub in Wales. As last orders are called a psychic calls on the dead to contact their loved ones, and Jack bursts in trying to stop the seance. The ghosts start arriving, Jack's behaviour becomes erratic and Ianto and Gwen are torn between their trust in him and worry for him. At first a good story, but then with a twist at the end that is a real punch to the gut, elegantly and devastatingly plotted.

All three plays carry each in their own way speak of what death is, how it defines life and The Lost Files is a precursor of and paen to the events to come in the Children of Earth story arc. A great chilling collection.
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VINE VOICEon 25 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you're missing "Torchwood", then this box set of three CDs is for you. It contains three 45-minute radio episodes, which were originally broadcast to coincide with the UK television debut of Torchwood - Miracle Day [DVD], but set a couple of years earlier, when Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) was still alive.

Like "Miracle Day", all three stories deal with extended life in one way or another, most obviously the first one, "The Devil and Miss Carew", in which an old lady called Miss Carew (Juliet Mills) makes a deal... but not with the Devil exactly. She is one of several residents of a nursing home who have miraculously recovered their health and returned to work. I suggest that you don't read the full synopsis on the back of the individual CD, because it is far too revelatory about subsequent plot developments, including the identity of the mysterious "Fitzroy".

This episode, written by Rupert Laight, starts off promisingly, if rather reminiscent of the "Doctor Who" episode "The Idiot's Lantern" (Doctor Who - The New Series: Series 2 - Vol. 3 [DVD] [2005]), but it could have done with more time to unfold. We never learn what Fitzroy's other recruits have been doing for him (were they working at Miss Carew's IT company, or elsewhere?), though the being himself is splendidly voiced by the silky tones of Martin Jarvis.

In common with Torchwood - Children of Earth [DVD] and several episodes of "Miracle Day", Kai Owen plays a prominent supporting role as Gwen's husband, Rhys.

The medium of audio often enables "Torchwood" to travel farther afield than television production usually allows, whether it be to visit the Large Hadron Collider in "Torchwood": Lost Souls (BBC Audio), India in "Torchwood": Golden Age (BBC Audio), or the Mariana Trench in "Submission", the second episode in this box set. Here the team go on a sub mission (geddit?) and there's a sense of awe as marine biologist Carlie Roberts (Erin Bennett) shows them the wonders of the ocean depths, including the strange ecosystems that surround black smokers (hydrothermal vents).

Unlike the writers of "Miracle Day", Scott doesn't overlook the fact that Captain Jack (John Barrowman) is omnisexual, not just homosexual, as is shown when Jack tries to flirt with Carlie. The writer also throws in several crowd-pleasing references to "Doctor Who", including name-checking UNIT and the Doctor himself.

Ianto takes a leading role here, as his past involvement with Torchwood One is mentioned. The actor sounds more gruff than usual, though - rather like comedian Rhod Gilbert. Like Rhod Gilbert, Ianto gets answers - usually by tapping away at a computer!

Ianto truly comes to the fore in the final - and best - story of the collection, "The House of the Dead", which takes full advantage of the involvement of Gareth David-Lloyd and our knowledge of the tragic loss of his character during "Children of Earth". In a way, this episode is the antithesis of "The Devil and Miss Carew", in that it initially appears to be a fairly regular adventure - but writer James Goss has a trick up his sleeve, which is both ingenious and extremely moving.

I can't say much more about this story without spoiling it, except that David-Lloyd and Barrowman act their socks off, while Goss also ties up a loose end regarding the Rift.

If you're missing "Torchwood" - and especially "Torchwood" as it used to be - then this box set is most definitely for you.
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VINE VOICEon 5 October 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This boxset captures the three Torchwood stories broadcast on Radio 4 shortly before Miracle Day hit the UK screens. Ostensibly set just before Children of Earth (i.e. it is Ianto, Jack, Gwen and Rhys) we have three tales.

1 - The Devil and Miss Carew is a solid tale of an alien taking over a human being and hoping to use their powers to change the world. For me the story was crowded and the four characters were forced into the tale and didn't all have enough to do

2 - Submission, so called as it involves going on a mission in a sub-marine was for me the weakest despite promising premise of US/UK/UNIT style cooperation and an ex-colleague of Ianto's from Torchwood One

3 - The House of the Dead which starts as a slightly left-field tale of the closing of the most haunted pub in Cardiff and just as you are feeling 'that's ok then' a massive twist appears that can not even be hinted at but easily makes this the best individual Torchwood audio I have ever heard - better even then Ghost Train and Department X (and all previous Radio 4 broadcasts).

As a collection this is probably worth the money just for the third tale, so given you get two more hours of Torchwood this is an un-hesitating must buy!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 24 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
3 episodes broadcast on BBC radio 4 just before the travesty that was Miracle Day started.

They did something similar just before Children of Earth as well and for the same reason I would recommend getting this box set because they don't air them all that often

These three stories are all very good in their own right, but of course being acted by John, Even and Gareth really does bring them to life. There are a lot of supporting roles as well which add to dimension and atmosphere

The first story "the devil and Miss Carew" wasn't my favourite out of all them however the true sign of a good story is that on the second listen it really grows on you
Submission is very good, a claustrophobic deep sea thriller which once you suspend a little bit of artistic licence (none of these guys are trained at deep sea diving but apparently its fine) is a very enjoyable read
The house of the dead is just heartbreaking. I always remember listening to it the first time on the bus and crying...

If you were let down by Miracle Day then this might just restore you to what Torchwood used to be like
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
A box set containing three audio dramas based on the tv series Torchwood. These are all new stories for the characters which haven't been presented in any other media prior to recent broadcast on bbc radio. This box set collects all three of them.

Each is in their own plastic cd box and a bigger cardboard box contains all three of them.

All run for forty five minutes [approx] and all are self contained stories with a beginning a middle and an end. Just like the single episode ones that the tv version of the show hasn't done in a while.

Each of the three boxes has a small booklet with minimal sleeve notes, cast and copyright details.

All three are set prior to the tv story 'children of Earth' and thus the Torchwood team here consists of Jack, Gwen and Ianto.

Those who haven't seen the tv show might be able to get into this quite easily, but it is really more a product for fans. Who are probably the only people likely to buy this anyhow.

First story 'the Devil and Miss Carew' sees a mysterious voice on a radio offer a deal to a resident of an old folks home. Someone accepts what's on offer. And that could lead to deadly consequences for the entire human race.

This one has an excellent guest performance from Martin Jarvis, which really uses his voice to great effect. Whilst the whole thing can feel a little slight, it does touch on issues of ageing and accepting that and change. Which are quite emotional and offer food for thought.

Second story 'submission' sees the Torchwood team hear a mysterious sound in the sea. Which sends them on an expedition to the Marinas Trench. In search of something that lurks at the very bottom of the sea...

This takes the characters well away from Cardiff but that works fine because it remains small and self contained. Decent sound design does create a good atmosphere and there's a nice sense of tension as things go awry. The mystery isn't something that's desperately original or groundreaking but as with the first play, the emotional content of this one is good and makes it worthwhile.

Final play 'the house of the dead' sees an old pub in Cardiff about to be knocked down. The place hosts a seance on it's final night. Which is interrupted by Torchwood trying to stop it from going ahead. Because something lurks beyond. But when people have a chance to see their lost loved ones again, they might not want to give it up...

Again some of this feels familiar plotting wise, but it actually takes the whole set up from a four star release to a five star release. Because some of the plotting is very clever and well thought out, and the whole thing takes some interesting twists and turns. All of which makes it the most memorable of the three and one you may not forget in a hurry.

So whilst these are not the most groundbreaking stories ever, they offer Torchwood stories that are complete in a lot less than ten episodes. Two of them are good. And one is very good. So it should keep the fans very happy.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This box set contains 3 episodes of Torchwood, each 45 minutes long and acted by the original cast. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed these. Although I've always enjoyed the odd episode I've seen on TV I've never found it a must-watch series. However, these radio versions definitely fall into the must-listen category for me. I think perhaps the lack of visuals allows the imagination of the listener to come into play, and this adds something to the overall enjoyment.

The acting throughout was excellent, not only the major characters but also the supporting cast. Because each of the main characters has a distinctive accent, there were none of the difficulties of differentiating between them that you sometimes get in audio productions. The sound effects were great - I listened in my car and the scary bits were greatly enhanced by the sensation of `surround-sound' you get with the car speakers.

Each of the episodes was well plotted - scary enough but not too much, plenty of humour, some mild horror. The third episode, The House of the Dead, was much darker than the others and, to my amazement, I actually found myself sniffling in the car park in Morrison's at one point! (There was no way I was getting out of the car till I got to the end of the episode...)

These would be excellent for family listening on a long journey or for a winter night in bed when there's a handy duvet to hide under as required! I will certainly be looking out for more of these radio adaptations - I'm now officially a Torchwood convert. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My daughter collects Dr Who, Sarah Jane Smith and Torchwood audio CD sets, and she really enjoyed this one. This audio set is in a radio play format rather than a book reading, and it's all voiced by the actual stars: Captian Jack, Gwen, Rhys and Ianto. The three stories are set back when Ianto was still alive, so we found it a bit sad to hear Gareth David Lloyd's voice again as his character Ianto. The stories timelines are just before Torchwood's season three 'Children of Earth. One story is about a submarine thing, one is about the dead, and third one is about bad goings on which are more alien related than the others. Each story is about 45 minutes long, making them feel just like a full Torchwood TV episode, with one story per audio CD. The three CD cases come inside a little thin cardboard box, run time 2 hours 15 minutes. Great entertainment for Torchword fans and easily ripped to the iPod, so 5*.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Torchwood is the darker, more adult, Dr Who spin off, starring Captain Jack Harkness and his team of action heroes saving the world from aliens.

The team has been much reduced of late, with multiple deaths, so the members are Gwen and husband Rees and Ianto Jones, along with Captain Jack himself. these are fun stories, not fully developed because they are short versions, but they contain all the classic Torchwood elements - weird goings on, heroes and "villains" who switch between good and bad, loathsomeness and sympathy, in the beat of an eye. The original TV stars play themselves, adding to the atmosphere. All the stories are set before the TV series "The cHildren of the Earth".

Each story is 45 mins long, so perfect for listening to in the car. Highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon 27 September 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a 3 disc box set, with each disc containing a complete story. All are full cast recordings.

The stories are taken from Torchwood - 'The Lost Files' - 'The Devil and Mrs. Carew', 'Submission' and 'House of the Dead'. Our Torchwood team are again alien hunting. We are taken deep underground, to the depths of the Mariana Trench and to a haunted inn.

Each tale has all the right ingredients to make excellent listening - tension, strange goings on and sadness with a surprising revelation in one particular episode.

All the stories are very well written and the reviewer found they were best listened to in the order as shown on the box.

Featuring John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Gareth-David Lloyd The Lost Files were broadcast on Radio 4.

Recommended.
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