In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Expectant

With hunters on the loose and a battlefleet in orbit, Cardiff’s suddenly became a dangerous place for a man to be pregnant.

Synopsis: The Yalnix Empire is a fragile alliance of a dozen systems, under constant attack from their ancient enemy, the Vad. With the Empress unable to trust any of her court she gives the job of growing the next Ruler of the Yalnix to an old friend – Captain Jack Harkness.

With hunters on the loose and a battlefleet in orbit, Cardiff’s suddenly became a dangerous place for a man to be pregnant.

This release contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.

Review: With Torchwood: Expectant, writer Xanna Eve Chown fulfills a promise, finally giving fans a story of a pregnant Captain Jack Harkness. In the process, listeners also finally get closure concerning two Torchwood characters.

John Barrowman and Aaron Anthony are a lovely double act throughout the story. Barrowman cycles through the pregnancy tropes with panto level gusto, while Anthony plays the straight man alien midwife with wonderfully exasperated tenderness. The lengths Jack and Jonty are driven to are both absurd and apt, as Jack can only be Jack as his pregnancy progresses. Jack’s interactions with the weevils are a highlight. I was also tickled by the UNIT cameo, giving listeners a somewhat unusual context for a jurisdictional spat.

Underlying it all, however, is Jack’s profound grief over the losses of Owen and Tosh. The pregnancy forces him to face not only what their absence means in particular but also what immortality means in general. It’s nothing new thematically, but listeners so rarely get to hear Jack vent over what truly matters. There comes a point when glib won’t cut it anymore, and Barrowman plays that realization perfectly.

As an unexpected treat, listeners who keep going to the very end of the audio will get a meta surprise. Several members of the cast act out a snippet from a soap Jack and Jonty watch in the story. It’s awesome!

Cast

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Aaron Anthony (Jonty), Catherine Ayers (Paula), Meryn Davis (Resident), Jessica Hayles (Brigadier), Emily John (Resident)

Production Credits

Cover Artist Lee Binding

Director Scott Handcock

Executive Producer Jason Haigh-Ellery, Nicholas Briggs

Music Blair Mowat

Producer James Goss

Script Editor David Llewellyn

Sound Design Richard Fox @ FoxYason Studios

Written by Xanna Eve Chown

Theme Music by Murray Gold

 

9.5
Big Finish: Torchwood: Expectant
  • 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.
    2 Comments on this post.
  • Alec
    22 December 2019 at 4:24 pm -

    It was like water boarding, but worse. Because I was still breathing, and paid them to do it.

  • raissadevereux
    22 December 2019 at 6:46 pm -

    Mileage will vary.

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