‘Torchwood: Outbreak’ review: Big Finish bring Jack, Ianto and Gwen back together

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The brand new full-cast adventure, Big Finish’s Torchwood: Outbreak is a three-disc epic story set in Cardiff somewhere between Season 2 of the TV series and Children of Earth.

As the title suggests, it’s about a medical trial gone wrong – a deadly virus is on the loose in the city, Torchwood are caught in the middle and what’s more Captain Jack has seen this disease before. Cue John Barrowman, Eve Myles, David Gareth-Lloyd, Kai Owen and Tom Price…

The three discs are written by Guy Adams, Emma Reeves and AK Benedict and they worked closely together to produce a seamless tale though each step has a specific flavour. Guy’s ‘Incubation’ introduces us to the disease and the threat facing both Cardiff and potentially the world. Various main characters each have something important to do and the tension builds nicely.


Emma’s ‘Prodormal’ makes the threat personal while bringing in the Big Finish creation of Norton Folgate (Samuel Barnett), and painting a grim backstory for the virus. Each story has a primary title as well as a part of the overall strap-line:

“First they know you, then you love, then you kill…”

‘Prodormal’ then explores love and in particular the love between Ianto and Jack. There are some very powerful scenes in this story, and with extra thanks to Scott Handcock’s direction, and to misquote Brian Clough, this is possibly in the top one of John’s performances for Big Finish. Even knowing how the set must broadly end (i.e. we know who is still alive for the next TV season), there is real tension and superb drama.

AK Benedict wraps the story, tidying up the past and present and returning some measure of status quo to the city. Not only is there plenty of action but we also learn a lot more about the motives of those responsible for creating the virus. Again everyone is involved in the resolution the denizens of Cardiff now seem as much part of Torchwood as our heroes.

It’s all gripping stuff and another success for Big Finish.

Extras: A CD full of interviews and celebration of the show’s ten year anniversary, including Russell T Davies.


Released on Tuesday 15 November 2016 by Big Finish.

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What did you think of Torchwood: Outbreak? Let us know below…