REVIEW | Torchwood: Dead Plates

George Hewitt reviews June’s Torchwood release, featuring the sinister Bilis Manger…


The fourth Torchwood Monthly Range story to feature Bilis Manger is, in line with his previous appearances, a creepy affair. This time round, we encounter Bilis in a restaurant in 1970s Soho, surrounded by a group of people all of whom he believes to have murdered him. The story takes a look at each individual, and explores just how manipulative Bilis can be. Each character having their own part of the story told through flashback works well as a narrative technique, and the framing device of the dinner is equally well-used.

The performances from the cast are brilliant, and the colourful characters are elevated beyond mere stereotypes. Murray Melvin excels as Bilis – it’s clearly a role he’s considered carefully, as every line is delivered perfectly, and you can’t help but fall in love with the character even when he’s doing some very nasty things. The cast are aided by Toby Hyrcek-Robinson‘s sound design and Blair Mowat‘s eerie music, both of which help to give the story a great atmosphere.

Ultimately, however, the story’s final twist doesn’t quite land as satisfactorily as it could have done – there seemed to be more that the episode was building up to, and unfortunately the journey was more exciting than the destination. That said, the first 50 minutes or so of the story are excellent, and it’s only the final act that felt under-baked. Overall, this is another great outing for Bilis, even if the ending leaves a little to be desired. Let’s hope we can hear more from the character soon.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Torchwood: Dead Plates is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com

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