Thanks for giving options for each episode, I'm going to take this one episode a day to try and get the '50s serial' vibe James Goss seems to be suggesting and it'll be fun to give feedback like the old weekly audience response surveys.
As it out I think Spoilers will be OK but i put Caution for people who intend to listen to it an Episode a Day/ Week.
That's me! Thanks Mark, and apologies in advance to everyone posting on this thread - I'm intending to listen to 1 ep/day and to do a quick post as I hear the story evolve - but for obvious reasons I won't be reading any other posts until I've reached the big finish, so to speak. Just so you don't think I'm being unusually rude , repeating what others have said, etc.
Imagine me posting with my stylish 50s hat brim pulled well down at the front so I can't see a thing.
I've only listened to The Man from Room 13 so far (and I won't be clogging up the forum with reviews of every episode), but I found this opener to be great fun. Not only that, but something of a relief as well. I was worried that, as head of his own box-set, Norton's archness would be too much. Luckily, rather than the string of Polari I feared, he's - well, not restrained exactly, but quite sparing with his one-liners. That means that when he does come out with a Folgate Witticism (I'd love to give examples, but there'll be no spoilers here!), it is that much more effective and genuinely funny.
The performances (especially Samuel Barnett, Dervla Kirwan and Joe Shire) are terrific and the story moves along at a fair lick. There are a few cultural references to underline the time in which the story is set, but unlike some recent releases from BF of late, they are subtle and deftly handled. It's a given I know, but Blair Mowat's music is top-notch too. I'm looking forward to unwrapping the rest of this.
Just finished it. Without giving anything away, I really loved the tone and the rhythm. The 6x30min format allows the story to be really fast paced, and yet there is still plenty of time to establish the 1950s Torchwood and its world in the process.
I've loved Norton since he was first introduced and I'm also a big Samuel Barnett fan in general (loved Dirk Gently) so I was looking forward to this, and was not disappointed. I enjoyed this one a lot. I had just heard The Dying Room, and there are a lot of references to that one. Who would have ever thought that PC Andy would end up this adventurous. He's everywhere! And that is a good thing.
As others have said, the pacing is great and the story moves along quickly. The cast is fantastic, but I particularly loved Dervla Kirwan. I think Lisbeth and Norton made a great team.
So here I am by the brand-new Bakelite radio in 50s thriller mode, listening to one episode per day as the 'pea-souper' rolls by outside...
Episode 1 drew me straight in with the new characters seen (Gideon Lyme - seems likeable but is he there by chance or design? Remembering this era's duplicitous Harry Lime, 'The Third Man' - is there a writer's clue in the name?) and unseen (Nazi leftovers and "The Stagnant Pond"'s 300 year old crime boss!- what's that all about?!), plot threads running off in all directions and not a clue where any of this will go, just as it should be for an opening episode.
But the thing that grabbed me most was the pace of the dialogue - I'm now imagining James Goss typing in a blur of speed to keep up with the rattling-fast delivery of Norton and Lizbeth especially! So much information being delivered, so fast and naturally as they mention things in passing, this is going to be a drama to concentrate on. Great start and of course peppered with Norton one-liners.
(Oh yes, for clarity I am NOT from Room Number 13 the name is purely a coincidence... )
I've got to say, having not enjoyed Goodbye Piccadilly I'm very pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this. For what was touted as an Andy/Norton box set, I think Andy's smaller contribution worked perfectly for the story. Having Norton as the main lead for the set has actually made me like the character (I didn't dislike him before, I just wasn't really bothered either way). Derlva Kerwan and Joe Shire also produced two spot-on performances as the guest stars. Overall, it was just a fun (with serious played perfectly where necessary) release. Definitely recommended
Only the second episode and I'm already having to reassess what's gone before, now they've given us a bit more detail. Someone is manipulating someone and Gideon Lyme is right in the middle of it. One minute he's out on the street with nothing - the next minute a big 'scoop' is practically thrown at him to get him the job he thought he already had and a mysterious 'fund' is paying his salary., His room is sorted, his luggage turns up intact and (meeting a rather mysterious "librarian") he's found both a source and a maybe-'date', all just like that. Almost as if a fairy godmother had waved her wand - and he doesn't question any of it. Starting a new life, finding an exciting 'story' and contending with endemic racism would be enough to distract anyone but still... for a journalist he doesn't seem that curious about who is pulling his strings.
For the rest, the episode is rather a classic-style post-War espionage story of packages and plans and agents and intercepts. All so authentic of its kind that it's easy to enjoy it and almost forget this is TW and what might be in the package - until the tension ramps up at the end and - pow! - what a cracking cliff-hanger!
I've put these two together partly because I didn't get round to posting yesterday and partly because stylistically they do make an excellent matched pair with another nail-biting cliffhanger in the middle!
From the instant that Sgt. Andy pops out of the vortex, 'Parasite' goes The Full Norton and becomes a high-speed monster-filled, fog-bound rush through the more dingy bits of 50s London, plus TW add-ons. ('Team Quatermass on a pub crawl' as we were apparently promised! )
Great episodes with Norton clearly running things at his usual frantic pace and no doubt clinging on to the edges of a Plan by his fingernails. Time for a few quieter character moments too, lots of 'time to panic NOW!' monster-horror and one laugh-out-loud scene I more or less expected would happen at some point as a tribute to past escapades!
A terrific ride and then - a sudden shift in tone at the end of episode 4. Where now, I wonder?
One thing I think I've worked out - Gideon (or 'Lyme') genuinely is one of the good guys, which is good, but I'm sure there's a lot more than chance behind why he's there and what he's for.
Anywhere near Norton Folgate, everyone is 'for' something...
Well that went dark all of a sudden, didn't it? A very effective shift in tone and flashbacks to the grim wartime (then recent) past and the all-too-believable personal history between Lizbeth and Rigsby; her brains, his ambition. Very good to give their characters the main focus for an episode, with this great guest cast.
Perhaps it's also believable that a 50s Torchwood would want to gain alien weapons presumably for use, having just come through that desperate, total war and now facing the start of the Cold War and the arms race - but with their willingness to exploit even Nazi horrors if they could, this version of Torchwood seemed perilously close to turning into something as ruthless as The Forge until that package conveniently arrived and stopped them... It was Norton, of course, and he's clearly feeling guilty about Lizbeth. Norton has a conscience, who knew?!
In a generally dark episode I also enjoyed the light flashback to young Private Folgate meeting Lizbeth and the Skylon.
And at last, Lyme seems to have twigged that something is up (beyond the mould and the monsters and the pub stuck in time!) - someone is up to something and nudging his life into a path they want. But I still don't have a clue why!
Hmm. This sounds like fun. Question- how annoying is the Norton character in this? I got Goodbye Picadilly and that was ok-ish, but I did not warm to Norton who I found a bit annoying and I also thought the sexual humor was too juvenile. In parts it sounded as if the author was channeling his inner 14 year old (which I assume is an entry condition for writing Torchwood). How does this compare? I do love Andy, so I am contemplating getting this.
Even though I'm a big Norton fan in general, Goodbye Piccadilly is probably his worst episode, don't worry. He's much calmer in this. Although, you could try and listen to Ghost Mission beforehand if you can, it's his very first episode and Andy's first for Big Finish, so it might help you making your mind up.
This forum is for fans of audio drama, and is not endorsed by the BBC, Big Finish, or any other organisation discussed within.
Links to our forum from other websites do not indicate our endorsement of, or cooperation with, those sites.