Harvey Edwards reviews the first Torchwood release of 2022: Cadoc Point.
After a worrying extended period of no Torchwood news from Big Finish, we finally got details on the first four releases of this year on 21st January. Less than a week later, Cadoc Point was released. The first solo Andy story since 2020’s Red Base (review here), Cadoc Point follows Andy as he visits his old art teacher, Merl Williams, in order to discuss the mysterious disappearance of four boys connected to him.
Set somewhere in the gap between TV’s Miracle Day and Big Finish‘s Aliens Among Us series, David Llewellyn‘s story takes place in the form of Andy having a chat with his old art teacher. They reminisce about Andy’s school days, before Andy’s real intention is eventually revealed. Interspersing the conversation between the two are scenes of another conversation, between Hazel Ellerby‘s Cynthia Jenkins, and her son Darren, played by Aled Pugh. Though seemingly unrelated, these two storylines do eventually come together towards the end of the story in a neat and tidy way that clears everything up for the listener.
One of the things that sticks out about this story is how well-researched it is. Llewellyn’s clearly done some diligent work when it comes to art (or perhaps he’s just an art lover), but you really get the sense that Merl is a real artist, his knowledge seeming genuine and nuanced. His character also has some lovely scenes reflecting on his sexuality, and what it was like to live through the AIDS crisis. Though not a focal point of the story, these moments really add to his character.
As usual, Tom Price nails the role of Andy. At this point in his life, Torchwood doesn’t exist, and the Sergeant feels as though it’s up to him to defend Wales from whatever’s still coming through the Cardiff rift. This aspect of his character is brought to the forefront a couple of times in this story, and Price plays them very well. It’s become the norm now to praise all the other aspects of the Torchwood releases’ production, but this is definitely justified – basically, everyone did an amazing job on this release, but a special shout-out goes to Sean Longmore‘s cover design. He’s really getting into the swing of things now, and I can’t wait to see what more he’s doing for the range, having taken over from Lee Binding.
So, what’s the future Torchwood line-up looking like? Already confirmed for this year are new stories with Rhys Williams, Norton Folgate, and Queen Victoria – with Norton’s story, The Black Knight, being the replacement for last year’s unreleased Absent Friends. Cadoc Point is a brilliant release to start off the 2022 Torchwood range, and if the rest of the year’s stories are as good as this, it’ll be another great year for the range.
Torchwood: Cadoc Point is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com