We’re almost venturing into uncharted territory here. While the previous entries in this series of Torchwood have been set in the past, this one is the first to take place after the events of Miracle Day, and it’s body-swapping time as we meet a culture called The Evolved.
The body-swapping provides a unique opportunity for Captain Jack to appear even though John Barrowman himself doesn’t have any lines in this release. Frankly, we wish he had; the voice of ‘Jack’ is laughable. We get that part of the point is that it sounds weird to us and that the voices are filtered, but couldn’t the voice have sounded like a halfway-decent impression rather than what we got?
We also have an issue with the slight retconning of Miracle Day. Surely the Erebus conspiracy shown here could have stood on its own, rather than having this story suggest that Erebus influenced the Three Families in their decade-long scheme. Separate factions working towards similar goals is not unheard of.
It’s definitely worth commending the general plotting and dialogue here; those aspects are very strong and the idea of an alien species whose whole point is that they’re incredibly up themselves is a very good one and seems like exactly the kind of thing that Torchwood would have to deal with. We also loved the bits with the hairdryer and with Gary.
The setting is suitably atmospheric; Torchwood was always great at the alien among the mundane and this story has oodles of that. That’s quite true of the range so far, in fact: it’s captured what exactly made the show so good (you know, when it was good). Fall to Earth was always going to be a tough act to follow (we’re still thinking about it now!) but fortunately Forgotten Lives does a great job of living up to it. Though it has its flaws, it’s still a good outing and you won’t be disappointed.
Unless you like halfway convincing American accents.
TORCHWOOD: FORGOTTEN LIVES / DIRECTOR: SCOTT HANDCOCK / AUTHOR: EMMA REEVES / STARRING: EVE MYLES, KAI OWEN, PHILIP BOND, VALMAI JONES, SEAN CARLSEN, EMMA REEVES / PUBLISHER: BIG FINISH / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW