Writer James Goss is in fine form in Goodbye Piccadily weaving a historical tale into Torchwood and bringing back Big Finish’s own Norton Folgate (Samuel Barnett) alongside Sgt Andy (Tom Price). It starts as it means to go on, and it’s all Andy can do to hang on for the ride…
Goodbye Piccadilly (but Hello, ’50s Soho)
The setup really pushes the story in one direction:
Sgt Andy Davidson wakes up in the 1950s. He’s chained to a bed, his clothes are missing and the building’s on fire. Norton Folgate needs his help.
The streets of Soho are swarming with gangsters, rumours and betrayals. Somewhere out there is a mysterious alien artefact, and Andy and Norton have to get to it first. Because tonight they’re going to save Torchwood.
Across the first three-quarters or so of this story we get Andy struggling to make sense of just what Norton is up to, who he’s betrayed and also struggling to keep his clothes on. Against a backdrop of ’50s Soho, Andy learns more about how homosexuals were (mis-)treated than he might have wanted (at least first hand) and meets a wide assortment of characters, many of whom are voiced by the talented Rachel Atkins, with several other roles as well, such as Fat Kim (Lucy Sheen). Amongst the seedy side of London, there’s aliens, intrigue then, just as all seems lost, a big plot reveal and a serious science fiction ending.
If you liked Norton Folgate in other Torchwood stories (such as Ghost Mission) you will find a lot here to enjoy. If you’ve not met Norton before, this story offers a great opportunity to savour one of the most memorable new characters in the range.