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Audio Book Review
When Yasmin finds a jewelled egg in her grandfather’s shed, her first thought is to sell it. Unfortunately, the object is no valuable Fabergé antique, but a dangerous weapon from another planet. Worse still, the buyer she finds online is a Russian secret agent working for the Committee for Extraterrestrial Research, who promptly swipes it, kills her brother Sayed and lands her in hospital. When Sgt Andy Davidson realises that he’s not dealing with an ordinary double shooting, he calls Gwen Cooper, who breaks the bad news about the egg and its deadly contents. With no Torchwood to help, and Gwen in America, it’s up to Andy and Yasmin to follow the trail of the “Shiva virus” - all the way from Cardiff to the British Museum...
Though more of a recurring supporting character than a major player in the world of Torchwood, which is presumably why Gwen is shown alongside him on the cover, Sgt Andy Davidson (originally known as “PC Andy”) has never been anything less than a reliable and welcome presence in the series, lending a plain-speaking and often comical point of identification for the audience. Now the character and the actor who played him, Tom Price, come to the fore with this audio book. With no surviving members of the Torchwood team around, it falls to Andy to deal with the “spooky” stuff this time.
Unlike Torchwood’s most recent screen incarnation, Miracle Day, and the previous audio release Army of One, Fallout is conspicuously British. Writer David Llewellyn’s story features only a brief excursion beyond UK shores, when Andy phones Gwen, who is still across the pond, to seek her advice - though the intervention of a sinister Russian operative lends an international flavour to the proceedings. Events culminate in the British Museum.
Price’s voice is easier on the ear than the heavy tones of Kai Owen during Army of One. The performer drops Andy’s light Welsh accent for the narration, which makes it easy to tell where the authorial voice ends and Andy’s speech begins. He also adopts a number of other tones, including decent imitations of Gwen and Rhys, and a convincing Russian accent. Tom’s work is well worth the asking price.
The presence of a humanoid alien adds menace and excitement, but confuses matters slightly in terms of an extinct alien race’s eggy plans and how long ago they were set in motion. However, that’s no reason to fall out with what is an enjoyable adventure for a hitherto unsung hero of Torchwood.
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