September 2015 and the release of the first ever Big Finish Torchwood story, The Conspiracy by David Llewellyn, directed by Scott Handcock. Focussing, as it should, on Captain Jack Harkness, how was it and how did John Barrowman perform?
Let’s find out…
First the Big Finish summary from the product page:
Captain Jack Harkness has always had his suspicions about the Committee. And now Wilson is also talking about the Committee. Apparently the world really is under the control of alien lizards. That’s what Wilson says. People have died, disasters have been staged, the suspicious have disappeared.
Only Jack knows that Wilson is right. The Committee has arrived.
Wilson (John Sessions) is an ex-news reader, now conspiracy guru, on tour spreading the word of the Committee. Jack Harkness investigates under the guise of a journalist, and meets both a nerdy conspiracy fan (Sam, played by Dan Bottomley) and Wilson’s daughter, Kate (Sarah Ovens). Jack interviews Wilson, who doesn’t realise much of his doctrine is, in fat, completely true. As Jack investigates the mood darkens, things get ugly and the plot telescopes out beyond conspiracy in Cardiff to a more galactic plot. All very Torchwood.
[pullquote]a bit more of the team chemistry[/pullquote]
John Barrowman is instantly returned to us as Captain Jack and all the cast are spot on. The story feels authentic, but even with four actors still shows it is something of a pilot. We know the interest in this episode was such the rest of the series was moved up to run contiguously, and we now know a second series will follow immediately. Big Finish have a recent habit of having a Chronicles type series with reduced cast, moving out to a fuller cast as the commercials start to tip in the favour of larger productions (the Blake’s 7 model). With all the will in the world, pretending to talk to Gwen on the phone is a nice try but Torchwood needs a bit more of the team chemistry to really shine.
I liked this story, even if the resolution was only a set-up for a series. Do let me know what you thought!