Torchwood: Department X and Ghost Train: Two Audio-Exclusive Adventures Audio CD – Audiobook, 12 Apr 2011
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Kai Owen reads this exclusive audio adventure, set before 'Children of Earth'. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
Top customer reviews
The plot takes place in an old department store in Cardiff, where people are disappearing in mysterious circumstances. This leads the Torchwood team to take undercover jobs in the store, as make-up assistants, clothes salesmen and the like - plenty of opportunity for comedy! I won't give away any of the plot, but there are the usual sort of Torchwood style mysteries, villians and shenanigans, as well as some developments that would be very difficult to show on TV but are easily described on CD.
The story is reasonably engaging, and Kai Owen (Rhys) reads it so enthusiastically and energetically that it is hard not to get drawn in (though his style can get tiring after a while!) His accents for Jack and Gwen are not especially good but he has Ianto down pretty perfectly.
As Torchwood fans may be accustomed to, the story does not make complete and total sense, but that's not much of a problem - there's fun, peril, intimate encounters in clothes changing rooms, Jack being cocky, some over-the-top violence, and people getting locked in freezers. It's the kind of insanity that the TW team do so well.
For those who enjoy the relationships between the characters, there's not much development here - some light flirting and an implied encounter between Jack and Ianto, and a very small flirtation between Jack and Gwen, with only a passing mention of Rhys. Those wanting a more emotional story should check out the recent radio play House of the Dead for Jack/Ianto action.
All in all, this is not essential listening but it is an enjoyable couple of hours and I will be looking out for more stories read by Kai Owen.
That didn't matter to me though, because the central premise of this story thoroughly makes the most of something I'm sure most of us have discovered at one time in our lives - that old, past-their-prime department stores are spooky. The excuse for visiting such a location is that Jack is determined to solve a mystery that has long bothered him about the Cardiff store of G. R. Owen before it finally succumbs to the inevitable and closes. As Gwen and Ianto go undercover as new staff, Jack does what no episode of Torchwood would be the same without - he dies and then comes back to life even more determined. Though this is a read story rather than a play, the creepy music is excellent and keeps on building tension.
I know it's out of date now with the series chronology, but it's a good story and it should tide the fans over until Torchwood: Miracle Day premieres (yes, there is a new TV series on the way!) later this year.
Well read and interesting to boot a great addition to the Dr Who spinoff series.
The plot was well conceived and fast paced, and kept my interest all the way through.
Overall an easily recommended story for anyone who like Torchwood.
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Department X is a mystery based in the run down Cardiff department...Read more
The story is set before "Children of the Earth", (which was the third series of...Read more