In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: Fortitude

Rule, Britannia!

Synopsis: Queen Victoria is stranded with Maharaja Duleep Singh on a mysterious fort in the middle of the ocean.

The fort has been ravaged by storms since it was built. There are ghosts inside and there’s something alien outside. It’ll do anything to get its release.

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

Review: Torchwood: The Victorian Age is one of my favorite stories in this Big Finish range. Torchwood: Fortitude is a marvelous next chapter in Queen Victoria’s adventures with her Torchwood.

Story

Writer James Goss deals with the complexities of monarchy and Empire in this outing. Queen Victoria is concerned; Queen Victoria is conniving. Queen Victoria is a warden; Queen Victoria is a prisoner. All of these things are simultaneously true, and all of these things are why she makes the perfect leader of Torchwood.

The story is enhanced by the return of the Victorian variation of the Torchwood music theme, which I adore. Thank you again to Blair Mowat and the rest of the Big Finish music team for putting that together.

The story is also enhanced by the Extra Interviews, which I recommend listeners stay for. We get a great history lesson concerning Queen Victoria, Maharaja Duleep Singh, and the sea forts.

Acting

Once again, Rowena Cooper absolutely inhabits Queen Victoria. Big Finish’s consistently genius casting is a marvel.  It’s more than casting, however. It’s also about how much Big Finish trusts their talent. They give Cooper the room to be the gloriously matriarchal bitch Queen Victoria is and has to be.

In turn, Cooper gives her co-stars the room they need to breathe life into their characters. Paul Bazely brings real depth to Maharaja Duleep Singh. He has a tough line to walk, straddling righteous indignation and petulance.

For his part, David Sterne paints a warts and all portrait of Colonel Crackenthorpe. This is a man who sinned, not in the eyes of the age, but in the eyes of the woman who gave it her name.

Overall

I don’t know if yet another full spin-off with box sets is feasible or not. I hope Big Finish will please give listeners as many episodes of Queen Victoria’s Torchwood, as they can narratively justify. Rule, Britannia! 

9.8
Big Finish: Torchwood: Fortitude
  • Story
    9.5
  • 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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