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Audio Drama Review


Lost Souls


Author: Joseph Lidster
Starring: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd and Freema Agyeman
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.99
ISBN: 978 1 405 68944 1
Available 18 September 2008

Following the tragic deaths of two of their colleagues, only Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones remain of Torchwood, protecting humanity against the unknown. Martha Jones, ex-time traveller and now working as a doctor for UNIT, has been called to CERN - the world's largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva. They're about to activate the Large Hadron Collider, designed to recreate conditions after the Big Bang and thus give an insight into what the Universe is made of. But so much could go wrong: it could open a gateway to a parallel dimension, or even create a black hole...

Torchwood: Lost Souls was originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 10 September 2008 - the same day that CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was due to be switched on in order that scientists could recreate the conditions a few moments after the Big Bang.

Voices from the past are calling out to people from the LHC, and scientists have started to disappear. Where have they gone? What is lurking in the underground tunnel - and do the dead ever really stay dead?

The LHC experiments sparked quite a few news items that pointed out that the resulting particle collisions could produce microscopic black holes that could, in theory, bring about the end of the world - fears debunked by CERN. However, the fact that the experts were unable to foresee that the LHC would have to be stopped, because over 100 super-cooled magnets overheated, doesn't install a lot of confidence in their ability to predict the outcome of their experiment with any real certainty.

This audio drama examines what, in the Torchwood universe, might be awaiting scientists and mankind once the experiment is underway.

In addition, there's a special bonus program, Torchwood: All Access, which goes behind the scenes of the TV show. This was originally broadcast on BBC Radio Wales, and features Russell T. Davies and members of the TV series cast and crew. While this is interesting, I was a little disappointed to hear that there was an issue with the sound on some of the interviews.

While the acting is fairly good on the whole (although Barrowman hams his way through the occasionally line) it's Joseph Lidster's plot that really shines through. This is an interesting concept that is tied in neatly with the mass media speculation on what awaits scientists.

Torchwood fans will find this a delight.


Nick Smithson

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