Save Our Souls is an extremely chilling mix of mystery and horror story, one that features the founder of Torchwood, Queen Victoria.
We’ve had several great Torchwood audios this year. Dissected. Iceberg. Tropical Beach Sounds and Other Relaxing Seacapes #4. (No no, seriously, that one’s real.) One particularly exciting story was Fortitude, due to its focus on a character that’s very close to the secret organization: Queen Victoria.
Queen Victoria had appeared in several Torchwood stories at that point already, including The Victorian Age, The Death of Captain Jack, and The Torchwood Archive. But Fortitude was special. It was the first time an audio story had been focused on her with no other major Torchwood characters. And, thanks to both strong writing and an excellent performance from Rowena Cooper, it worked brilliantly.
So it’s not surprising that Big Finish has made another story featuring the Queen. Set on a remote island, Save Our Souls focuses on five people. All of them there to hear a voice. A voice that will tell them which of them will die…
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Scott Handcock has written a very dark and character-based story with this episode. The template is very much in the style of Agatha Christie, with a particularly strong influence from And Then There Were None. Each of the characters is given a message letting them know when they will die. During the time before their deaths, we find out their flaws and fears. So there’s a nice amount of character exploration with each of the victims.
But, once again, it’s Rowena Cooper who steals the show as Victoria. It’s an extremely consistent and nuanced take on the historical figure, one that’s aided by a great script from Scott Handcock. Both the story and Cooper’s performance avoid giving us a friendly character who’s loved by everyone. Instead, we have a woman who’s extremely used to power by this point, and she has no problem letting everyone know exactly who’s in charge.
Save Our Souls is another strong Torchwood audio, one that combines a great leading performance with a story that combines mystery, horror, and historical period all into one. I’m already eager to listen to The Crown, the next story to feature Queen Victoria, to be released at the end of the year.
Have you listened to Save Our Souls? Do you think Rowena Cooper is a strong fit for the monarch? Do you think Torchwood should explore other time periods? Let us know in the comments below.