Torchwood review: The origins of the resurrection gauntlets are explored in Escape from Nebazz

Captain John Hart tries to break a mad scientist out of prison, and a key part of Torchwood history is revealed in the second episode of Torchwood: The Sins of Captain John.

Remember the resurrection gauntlets from the first two series of Torchwood? The ones that would bring someone back from the dead? Of course you do – they were a key part of that early era of the show, after all. They’re also a key part of new audio prequel The Sins of Captain John. But did you ever wonder who made them, or where they came from? Well, that’s what Escape from Nebazz explores.

The episode focuses on Captain John Hart (James Marsters) trying to break Dr Magpie (Kathryn Drysdale) out of prison. Why does he need her help, and how is she connected to the origins of the gloves? The answer to the latter question is revealed surprisingly casually.

In Torchwood, the gauntlets were surrounded with mystery. We didn’t know where they came from, we just knew that they could bring the dead back to life. They came across as incredibly powerful, and perhaps the product of some incredibly ancient civilization.

So The Sins of Captain John revealing who or what made them is a rather bold choice for this series. Particularly as it’s done without much drama, although considering the more comedic tone of this spin-off series, that’s not surprising. But does the plot live up to that revelation?

A lighter episode

While we learn a major bit of mythology in this episode, Escape from Nebazz is rather light in terms of plot, especially when compared to the last story. While The Restored was definitely a fun and funny episode, it also featured history, schemers and zombies.

However, Escape from Nebazz features a great deal less than that. The fact that John spends a lot of the time drunk in this episode should tell you a lot. We do get an additional plot element with a rather interesting life form, but the story is much more focused on Captain John and Dr Magpie being stuck with each other while trying to escape. It has some of the comedy of the previous episode, but it’s not quite as effective, overall.

While enjoyable, Escape from Nebazz isn’t quite as gloriously fun or memorable as the opening episode was. Not a bad episode, just not a great one, either.

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Did you want to learn the origins of the resurrection gauntlets? Do you find the revelation satisfying, or does it ruin the mystery of the original episodes? Let us know in the comments below.