In Review: Big Finish: Torchwood: The Sins of Captain John

From zombies in Restoration London, to Hell gatecrashing a funeral, rogue Time Agent Captain John Hart leads the universe to rack and ruin in four new adventures written by David Llewellyn.

Synopsis: From zombies in Restoration London to Hell gatecrashing a funeral, rogue Time Agent Captain John Hart leads the universe to rack and ruin in four new adventures written by David Llewellyn.

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

Review: Torchwood: The Sins of Captain John is a darkly comic four-episode bedroom farce with just enough plot to be coherent. Captain John Hart is as wonderfully irreverent and psychotic as ever. James Marsters chews his way through every inch of The Fourth Wall with glee.

Story

“The Restored” is a double entendre — one of a double economy-sized bag worth — referring to the time period and the undead threat. I loved encountering all the Restoration comedy tropes with twists. I hope we encounter Mohisha Varma again. She would be great opposite any of The Doctor’s incarnations.

“Escape from Nebazz” is a prison break caper, featuring several people even more unhinged than Captain John. I hope listeners don’t encounter any of them again.

“Peach Blossom Heights” is a social commentary and send-up of social commentary. John and Jack set off a sexual revolution, fixate on ferrets, and remember Charlton Heston.

In “Darker Purposes,” the plot threads coalesce. The framing device comes into focus, as John’s scheming clients are revealed. The characters are intentional tropes and called out within the story for being so. 

Acting

I’ve run out of adjectives for James Marsters and John Barrowman. These two — separately and together — have to be heard to be fully appreciated. The plot of the interlinked stories had to be minimal to give them sufficient performance space. The result is a showcase that the BBC couldn’t have afforded on its best day.

For their part, the supporting actors were perfect. They walked a difficult line, allowing their characters enough space to be memorable without outshining the leads whose show this most definitely was.  

Overall

Bravo! I can’t wait for Torchwood: The Sins of Captain John Volume 02.

9.5
Big Finish: Torchwood: The Sins of Captain John
  • 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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