In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape

One of Torchwood’s most terrifying villains returns, but is he now a hero? Murray Melvin stars.

Synopsis: “Welcome to the Traveller’s Halt. You’re in luck – we have one room left. My name is Bilis Manger. Let me show you to your room.”

One of Torchwood’s most terrifying villain’s returns, but is he now a hero? Murray Melvin stars.

Review: Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape is the season finale of the Torchwood monthly range, as Big Finish prepares to release Torchwood: God Among Us. While I’ll miss the monthly installments (returning in March 2019), Bilis Manger is the perfect character with whom to enter hiatus.

That’s because we encounter Bilis at the Traveller’s Halt on a hiatus of sorts. Writer James Goss does an excellent job of establishing the atmosphere in what could have been an episode of Sapphire & Steel. The dread and resignation are palpable as Bilis navigates the situation with the hotel guests. I really appreciate how the setting informs the characters and vice versa.

I have questions, of course, as is fitting when Bilis is concerned. First, is he aware of the connection between Torchwood and The Committee? Second, does this take place before or after his memorable turn in Torchwood: Aliens Among Us, Part 2?

Murray Melvin is fantastic in a story that allows him to show some of Bilis’ emotional range. That said, Melvin understands that he must never equate that emotional range with scenery chewing. He leaves that to his costar, Gareth Pierce, who plays psychological unraveling with conviction.

I hope listeners are treated to further adventures with Bilis Manger. I’d particularly enjoy crossovers involving Vienna or Iris Wildthyme. Their contrasting personalities would be a treat.

You can purchase Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape here.

Written By: James Goss

Directed By: Scott Handcock

Cast

Murray Melvin (Bilis Manger), Gareth Pierce (Hywel Roberts), Cara Chase (Grace). Other parts played by members of the cast.

Producer James Goss

Script Editor David Llewellyn

Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs

9.5
Big Finish: Torchwood: Deadbeat Escape
  • Story
    8.5
  • Performances
    10
  • Audio Production
    10

Raissa Devereux became a life-long genre fan at the age of four when she first saw The Wizard of Oz at a screening at Arizona State University. Years later, she graduated from A.S.U. as an English major, History minor, Whovian, and Trekkie. Now a Florida transplant, she loves the opportunity Sci-Fi Pulse has given her to further explore space travel, time travel, masked heroes, gothic castles, and good yarns.
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