Torchwood is back, and they’re on the run! Torchwood: Among Us 2, the second part of the seventh series of Torchwood, has just come out. Following up on Big Finish’s first box set, which came out last month, was always going to be a tall order. Misty Eyes and Moderation are among the range’s finest hours, and it also had the return of Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), an obvious big drawcard.
This set, containing episodes five through eight of the series, continued the story of Torchwood fighting against the algorithms whilst on the run. Now that we’ve introduced the plot elements for this new series and navigated around the absence of Captain Jack, the series can finally get moving. So how do these stories move the arc forward? Are we any closer to figuring out what The Child (Mia Hope) is? Let’s find out in this review of Torchwood: Among Us 2.
WARNING: These reviews will contain spoilers for the entire set.
This was a fairly strong opener for the set. Ash Darby penned this story. Darby is a writer with some seriously good Torchwood under their belt. They contributed the story Hostile Environment for God Among Us 2, which I love. This episode follows Orr (Samantha Béart), the only Torchwood character in the story. The cast of new characters, with a stunning guest performance from Amy Beth Hayes as Tania, really works in the episode’s favour. While until recently, I wouldn’t have said Orr was strong enough to hold an episode on their own, this story proved me wrong.
Right from the prologue to the end credits, the story doesn’t stop moving. It’s everything that Torchwood should be as a series, explosive and emotionally impactful. We follow Orr on a mission to Voloshnik, an Eastern European city where everybody’s disappeared. The first half follows the aftermath of a plane crash and the long journey to the city. The back half is the mystery about what happened in the city—splitting into even halves made for a nice pace. Darby used the length to their advantage, throwing so many ideas at the listener and still tying it up at the end.
There’s a lot of timely commentary here, most poignantly the similarities with the war in Ukraine. Towards the end, at the big reveal that everyone in Voloshnik turned to dust, there’s some stuff about vaccines too. The ending was a little shocking, to be honest. There’s no happy ending here. Orr (despite their best efforts) didn’t save anyone because there was nobody to be saved. The gravity of the ending alone makes it a standout in the set. Looking forward to seeing where it’s heading.
At Her Majesty’s Pleasure
Outside of the sadly now awkward title, this was a nice palate cleanser. This story was written by Tim Foley, one of the main story writers of the Torchwood: The Story Continues range. Starring both Andy (Tom Price) and Yvonne (Tracy-Ann Oberman) made for an absolute treat. Considering the funk the end of the last episode put me in, this one made me so much happier. It ends up reminding me of one of the biggest and most consistent strengths of Big Finish’s Torchwood efforts – the variety of stories they can tell in this world.
The story picks up right after Yvonne’s arrest at the end of God Among Us 3. Given that set came out nearly 4 years ago, I’m surprised they did that. It’s only a short scene, but it sets the tone for the next hour. This story is hilarious, and ultimately lighthearted. The last 15 minutes are more the traditional action sci-fi stuff, but the detective story is the real highlight. Like in Cadoc Point last year, Andy gets to show what a good detective he is, even when things get personal.
Yvonne on the other hand is a superstar. Having a character who was in charge of everything being placed into prison was a stroke of genius. The story of her breakout was beyond intriguing, with twists that kept me guessing until the end. Her being in control of the whole situation was amazing, Andy was only a pawn in her game from the very beginning. It’s a cool way to tie the story together, and get the character out of prison and into the rest of the story. There’s also a cool, but probably a bit too brief cameo from Tyler Steele (Jonny Green). All in all, a classic I’m sure to revisit soon.
Another top story in this set written by Tim Foley, really demonstrating his range. Where his last episode was a dark comedy prison escape, this one’s just dark. It’s a Bilis Manger (Murray Melvin) story, and his first appearance in The Story Continues since A Kill to a View. Sadly, this will also be the last Bilis story, since Melvin sadly passed away in April. Also returning for the first time in even longer is Ianto Jones (Gareth David Lloyd) as a hologram. This is a cast for the ages, which made this the story I was most excited for.
Sadly, they’re not the main characters. That honour goes to Vijay (Nathaniel Curtis), Bryn (Henry Nott), and Dee (Cecelia Appiah). Mostly Vijay, though. They’re a collection of social media vloggers. They’re written realistically, but at the same time that makes them quite grating. Usually I’d be cheering when annoying characters get killed in a slasher, but this was really grim. The elevator crushing scene will live in my head for a while. I love when Torchwood does this kind of thing. It was tightly written, a little spooky, and the ending had me both shocked and horrified. Loved it.
The end of this story is going to be an interesting point of discussion. After the eye removal scene (have I mentioned this is dark?), the whole thing falls in on itself. They introduce an alternate timeline where Vijay, Bryn, Dee, and hologram Ianto are a team. If this was a monthly story, like Empire of Shadows, I wouldn’t be so confused. Was it all a dream? Were we in a different point of time? Is it an alternate reality? Or maybe our team will reunite at the Hub and find all their tech dead? Only time will tell, and I’m really excited to see where this leads!
This one’s written by the series producer and script editor James Goss. You know stuff’s about to get real when he’s attached to a story. This is also the first team-up story of the Among Us range. If anything, it took maybe a bit too long to get here, but I can’t seriously fault any of the previous seven episodes. This one star Orr (Samantha Béart), Mr Colchester (Paul Clayton), Tyler (Jonny Green), Yvonne (Tracy-Ann Oberman), and Ng (Alexandria Riley).
This a beautiful story. A lot is going on, and for only an hour, the fact it does everything it does is a serious credit to Goss. It’s all about getting two people to The Inquiry, the temp agency that set many of the previous episodes in play. Yvonne is revealed as the head, and the mission involves getting two people from the Phlobos company to testify at an inquiry. Unsurprisingly, they run into serious troubles doing that, including fun scenes in plane bathrooms.
These people have had their hands in all sorts of things, from election fraud to pandemic testing. No wonder so many assassins are chasing them. Also, as well as it goes initially, it derails in classic finale cliffhanger fashion. I’ll be listening to Among Us 3 as soon as possible next month. Let’s say the Phlobos stuff ties in with the Voloshnik stuff, and we get a hint of what The Child (Mia Hope) is. The Torchwood team is together, they’re being laughed at, and they’re in serious trouble. What a perfect cliffhanger to a thrilling story.
Conclusion: Looking Forward to Among Us 3
They’ve really set up a story that can go anywhere from here. Among Us 3 will be an explosive set. That finale shook to me to my core, but it was a nice build up to the other stories as well. We had a nice foreign investigation with Propaganda, a lighter jaunt with At Her Majesty’s Pleasure, a case of multiversal confusion and emotional destruction with Cuckoo, and then a big explosive cliffhanger with Pariahs.
Beyond that, this was such a fun set. It’s altogether a step up from Among Us 1. Depending on how the series resolves itself next month, it may be regarded as one of the finest Torchwood sets to date. The variety of stories, mixed with the emotional weight, and serious moving forward of the arc is Big Finish at their best. The Child, or perhaps The Algorithm would be more accurate, is now far from a background villain, and is set to leave their mark on the team forever.
You can pick up your copy of Torchwood: Among Us 2 – the second set in the thrilling Among Us trilogy – from Big Finish Productions. It’s available at the link HERE for £27.99 (CD & Download) or £19.99 (Download Only). For news coverage, reviews, features, and geeking out about Doctor Who, be sure to follow Tardis Central!
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