Torchwood: Cascade review

Torchwood Cascade

Internet piracy comes with consequences in the new Torchwood adventure. Here’s our review…

Scott Handcock, regular director of the Big Finish Torchwood range wrote the latest release, Cascade, or to give it its full name, Torchwood_Cascade_Rip.tor. It’s another tale for Naoko Mori, reprising Toshiko Santo and takes its title from the murky world of internet piracy.

The plot summary lays out a draconian response to illegal downloading, and yes, the extreme case is death. How, though, can this be enforced? What if there’s something that knows what you’re doing?

So, what looks like a geeky tale of torrents and other such technicalities is really a cover for an exploration of Tosh’s character, and her personal life. It all begins when Stephen (Robbie Jarvis) makes contact to ask for help with a strange situation connected to illegal downloads. We quickly realise Stephen is besotted with Tosh, but she doesn’t feel the same. As the story unfolds, Stephen makes repeated efforts to break down barriers and grow closer but will it work if Tosh is focussed on the mission?

The mission takes them into a strange world of ordinary people caught up in the murkier side of the internet; with a common view of ‘how can it hurt if I download the odd music track / film if everybody else does it’, we get a story that in some ways castigates the big music companies for their attitude to piracy, and the extreme response.

It’s all very intriguing, and in the real world is a material problem for Big Finish themselves. This story doesn’t quite advocate the death penalty for illegal downloading, but might just make some people think again. The real strengths, though, are the character tale for Tosh and Stephen along with the post-production.

We are used to high quality audio and music from Big Finish, but with Cascade Scott really goes to town. The idea is this episode has been illegally downloaded and is perhaps corrupted. If you have the chance to listen on good speakers/ headphones, you will be rewarded with some highly creative sound work, adding to the texture of the storytelling.

It’s another great release in the Torchwood range, and long may they continue!