And now, the end is near, and so we face the final curtain. We’ve been going on this epic adventure in the fifth series of Torchwood, Aliens Among Us since August of last year, and now the series’ third box set means it’s the end of this particular adventure for this new Torchwood team. Today, I’ll be reviewing the final episode in this box set, and in Aliens Among Us, Herald of The Dawn by James Goss.
It starts normally enough: a car park full of ramblers is incinerated by a thunderbolt. But the next day it’s clear there’s something very wrong. Something’s changed. Something’s coming. It’s the end of the world. And that’s what Torchwood are best at…
Torchwood. It’s sexy, right? In their earliest days, Torchwood literally had a sex monster. So, it seems fitting that the start of the final episode of this series of Torchwood should start with some dogging. There’s a massive explosion in Cardiff, and nobody seems too bothered, everything radical has become normalised. God is coming.
Orr and Jack get a nice scene together, and Orr is trying their best to understand Jack’s motivations, especially since Yvonne extradited him from Torchwood. Considering this is a Torchwood series, I’m surprised how little Jack we’ve actually had. It’s not necessarily a bad thing though, as it’s allowed us as listeners the chance to get to know more of the new team.
There’s a great little reference to Kate in UNIT, showing that Torchwood does know of them. (I’m waiting for the crossover box set, can you imagine Jack flirting with Osgood?) It seems that the rift is acting up, and Gwen is shipped off to the scene of the dead doggers to help out PC Andy. God (is coming), I love PC Andy.
Meanwhile, Yvonne and the Mayor are coming to some kind of agreement, and there’s a sense of foreboding throughout, especially thanks to the music. Talk about unnerving.
Throughout the entirety of Herald of The Dawn, there’s a slight sense of defeat, and it’s really disheartening, but it seems fitting when you think about how things have turned out for the Torchwood team. God is coming.
There’s a lot of interesting plot threads, and it really gives the story a sense of scale. Gwen and Andy are trying to work out exactly what went on with the dead doggers, Mr. Colchester is trying to save the world, Yvonne is getting pally with the mayor, Tyler is attempting to outsmart an assassin, God is coming, and Jack is running a terrorist organisation. Just your average day at Torchwood, really.
Considering how much of a force Red Doors has been throughout the series, it’s great to hear them get dressed down and thoroughly told off by Yvonne. This is a woman who has stood up against Daleks and Cybermen at the same time. Some petty little terrorists won’t get in her way.
It’s around the halfway mark through Herald of The Dawn when the first big blow comes to the fore. When something this big happens so soon, you know that there’s going to be a lot of stuff going down. The stakes are just going to get higher and higher.
Rhys is absolutely bloody brilliant in this release; he’s blissfuly unaware of the scale of what’s going on, but he’s mostly concerned about the wellbeing of Gwen. That man is probably the best husband in all of Cardiff, if not all of the northern hemisphere. I bloody love Kai Owen, can he have his own series please? Him trying to raise Anwyn? Coming soon to Big Finish- Rhys Williams: Dad. I’d buy it. Twice.
Finally, the Torchwood team manage to see sense, and the series long arc gets resolved. Kinda. I have to admit, the initial solution to the little… “problem” Torchwood faced was a bit of an anticlimax, but then, just as I was losing a little bit of faith, there was another twist.
God is still coming.
Meanwhile, Gwen is finally the focus of Jack’s attention, and it seems like this could be another monumental moment in Torchwood history. Jack, somewhat surprisingly, does the right thing and calls Rhys. It’s nice to hear the both of them have a little bit of a heart to heart, and then for Jack to ruin it with his… well Jackness.
I’ll tell you what, Eve Myles’ delivery of the speech she gives near the end of this story reduced me to tears. It didn’t help that Blair Mowat’s simplistic, pure score was playing too. Gwen Cooper may be one of the Whoniverse’s greatest characters, and I’m so glad she finally got her moment in Aliens Among Us to shine. And she’s never shined brighter.
After all that though, God is coming. God has found us.
God, what a cliffhanger.
Overall, Herald of The Dawn is the perfect way to end a series. There’s going to be changes going forward, sure, but that’s what Torchwood is about. Evolving. A few characters get their own cliffhangers, and, if you don’t think that there’s going to be another official series of Torchwood, you must be a fool. Or, if they’re planning on leaving it there, which they may well be, the entire Big Finish team is a bunch of massive teases. There’s not too much I can say without spoiling it, but it’s safe to say that Torchwood is not going anywhere any time soon. And you’ve got to be ready.
Should you want to purchase Aliens Among Us 3, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £28 on CD or £25 for a digital download for a limited time.