on 3 May 2010
These 3 stories are plays originally written for the radio and not someone reading a novel. We hear the voices of the actors themselves, which is great, because who can do Captain Jack other than Captain Jack himself?
The 3 adventures are exciting and well presented, with just enough sound effects.
I would recommend this product for fans of Torchwood and Captain Jack on family car journeys (as was the case for our family).
Our only complaint - we want more!!
on 4 December 2010
I say Torchwood-lite because these plays have obviously been written for a "pre-watershed" sort of audience, the Doctor Who demographic if you like, or perhaps the genteel Radio 4 listenership.
The Torchwood TV series (uncut) seemed gratuitously at odds with it's parent series because it is set on a comparatively more realistic plane of reality than Doctor Who. It had more realistic dialogue (especially compared to the "classic series") with the requisite level of Anglo-Saxon profanity, snippets of mundane down-to-Earth domestic/work life and occasional unflinching scenes of slightly unglamorous marital/extra-marital/homosexual/interspecies sex that many of us may endure and/or partake in (don't get defensive, I'm not judging!) in real life, not to mention that in Torchwood if you were to fall off of the Pharos radio telescope tower or get shot in the chest by triads while locking the TARDIS doors behind you there would be a lot of visceral, bloody mess as opposed to an elegant, prone body or a sequence of tidy little holes across the front of your waistcoat. (Can you imagine a post-watershed period remake of "An Unearthly Child" - or ANY classic series Doctor Who story - by the Torchwood production team?)
The reality of Doctor Who is (necessarily) filtered and homogenized therefore, in the hands of lesser writers, a little remote and plasticky and it is into this polite BBC reality that the reduced Torchwood team are incongruously bound for these adventures. Two of the stories transcend these limitations by being really interesting (Asylum) or really spooky (The Dead Line). The third embraces this reality by sending the team thousands of miles away to interact with people from a politer past era (Golden Age) but is unfortunately slightly dull and feels a bit like one of the Barry Letts 3rd Doctor plays of the mid-1990s, with sprinklings of "Invasion of the Dinosaurs" and a dash of essence of "Carnival of Monsters" thrown in for that traditional, familiar home-baked predictability.
But all three of the plays were miles better and far less somnolently boring than the preceding play "Lost Souls" and you get three of them for the price of one! It's a nice little box that helps bridge the gap between series 2 and 3, and because the BBC transmitted the plays they are arguably officially "canon", for those who care about such things.