Torchwood Double Part 2 cover art crop

Torchwood: Double Part 2 audio review

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The 1970’s iteration of Torchwood continues as Roberta Craven handles the Nestene threat in her own idiosyncratic way.  

In the first part of Torchwood: Double we met the organisation’s 1970s boss, Roberta Craven. A former spy with bags of attitude, she carries a burden of guilt around from her former career. On top of that she is hyperkinetic, a neurodivergence which causes her to become overwhelmed with thoughts at times – a condition she self-medicates with alcohol.

Roberta has been working on a case, aware of the presence of Autons – plastic agents of the Nestene Consciousness – working within the British government. Their plan appears to involve securing control of the country’s oil supplies. It is control they’re willing to kill to achieve.

Torchwood Double Part 2 cover art

Spoilers for Double Part 1 follow…

The second half of Double is a thoroughly monstrous affair; Roberta begins the tale working for the Nestenes and their human agent, civil servant Herman Baker (Don Gilét). Her sidekick is Neal Hart (Omari Douglas), but not the human journalist we met in the first part – he’s now an Auton duplicate. We don’t dwell on what happened to the original.

As a team, they exert pressure on an Arab representative, Reda Elazouar’s Al Sabah, to get oil prices lowered; the intimidation tactics include the murder of his bodyguard and threats to his family – it’s dark fare indeed.

In Summary

Guy Adams’ tale comes to a satisfying conclusion, with the suggestion of further cases for this newly-minted Torchwood era. He also suggests a hierarchy of Autons, explaining the difference between the crude shop dummies and the more sophisticated duplicates we have seen over the years on Doctor Who.

As the horror deepens, we also get a sense of living with Roberta’s condition; Toby Hrycek-Robinson provides some wonderfully disorientating sound design to illustrate her deteriorating mental state. Composer Blair Mowat’s buzzy score really sets the tone too.

While the cast assembled by director Barnaby Edwards are all excellent, there is no getting past the blistering performance of Louise Jameson as Roberta Craven. It’s quite remarkable and unlike anything we have heard her do before.

We loved the first part of Double and the conclusion did not disappoint. It was also interesting to hear a longer tale, with more time to get to know the characters. Suffice to say we would welcome a return to this gritty and more political 1970s version of Torchwood anytime.


Torchwood: Double Part 2 is available on CD and download from Big Finish.