As some fans might know, after leaving the Doctor and joining UNIT, Martha Jones then turned up for a few episodes of Torchwood Series 2. Across three outings, Reset, Dead Man Walking and A Day in the Death, Martha proved herself to be a great addition to the Torchwood gang. Whether it was due to behind-the-scenes issues or Russell T. Davies just wanted her in the middle arc for Series 2, Martha never turned up in Torchwood again. But now, thanks to the wizards at Big Finish, that’s all changed.
The end for Series 2 of Torchwood, was a massive shock, not only for the team themselves but also for the viewers. Dissected from Tim Foley sees Gwen Cooper paying Martha Jones a visit to ask her for help. Gwen has a body that needs looking over in her boot, but things are going to get worst before they get better.
Dissected also marks the first appearance of Freema Agyeman in the world of Doctor Who since her brief appearance at the end of The End of Time. And one wonders why it’s taken so long to bring her back into the fold, Agyeman proves herself to be highly adept at the audio format, instantly stepping back into the role of Martha. I’ll admit, Martha didn’t really do it for me on the television, I think anyone coming in after the mistake of a love-story arc with the Tenth Doctor and Rose, was going to suffer and she did work better for me in the Torchwood framework. So it’s nice to hear her back now and I’m hoping to get a Torchwood boxset with her involved.
But I’m also hoping that Agyeman’s appearance here means that we’re going to have a set of three Tenth Doctor stories which reunites Agyeman with David Tennant. Here though, she’s paired with Eve Myles’ Gwen Cooper, and rightly so, Foley focuses much of his story on the relationship between the pair. Foley wastes no time in giving them some interesting back-story, why didn’t Martha stay in touch and who exactly is Martha at this point in time?
The sub-plot concerns the re-appearance of the Chameleons, or at least I think it is a re-appearance of them since 1967’s The Faceless Ones. With an alien who can shape-shift, Foley does bring in elements of things like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, though keeps this side of it light, only really focusing on it at the end, and it does wrap itself up quite quickly. Normally I would call an audio out on this but because the story never really focused on it in the first place, I wasn’t too bothered, I just really enjoyed hearing Gwen and Martha getting their friendship off the rocks for the hour’s runtime!
Foley has a great handle on the characters. Myles has been with Big Finish for many years now and her character is always written brilliantly and I was pleased to see that continue, with Eve effortlessly stepping into the role time and time again.
Foley also manages to capture the character of Martha brilliantly and Foley has quickly become one of my favourite writers from Big Finish. He takes the time to explain how Martha’s engagement fell apart and the start of her relationship with Mickey. He also explains how Martha gets where she is at The End of Time, with her having seemingly died in an explosion, though Gwen will keep her secret!
Dissected is a great listen that starts off a little slow and then gets really going, once you get into the relationship between the two characters. The Chamelion story plot is wrapped up pretty quickly but it wasn’t a big part of the story anyway and it doesn’t hinder the resolution in any way. Instead, this is a well written, character-driven piece, that also effortlessly explores the differences between Torchwood and UNIT and its great to have Martha finally back into the fold.
I’m really hoping that Big Finish gets to do a lot more with her in the near future!