Almost six years after the last series of Torchwood aired on BBC1, the Doctor Who spin-off is back. Series five, Torchwood: Aliens Among Us, takes place after the events of Torchwood: Miracle Day, with John Barrowman and Eve Myles reprising their roles as Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen Cooper alongside new characters co-created by Torchwood supremo Russell T Davies.
Fans, many of whom have long been petitioning for a return for Torchwood, may see the news as a mixed blessing though, because this series will not be on TV but will instead be released as a twelve-part audio drama by Big Finish Productions, which has been adding stand-alone adventures to the Torchwood canon in the intervening years.
Released in three four-part instalments, the new series begins with Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper having restarted Torchwood in Cardiff. "But something terrible's happened to the city," warns the official synopsis. "With every day getting darker, will Torchwood need to adopt a whole new approach?"
The answer appears to be yes, with a series of new members apparently set to join the team.
"Russell's been wonderfully involved in the continuation of Torchwood," said producer James Goss. "We came up with some characters and ideas and he very kindly, very politely said 'Marvellous, but no. Howabout...?'. And that's what lead to Jack and Gwen being joined by Mr Colchester (Paul Clayton), Ng (Alexandria Riley), Tyler (Jonny Green) and the enigmatic Orr (Sam Béart)."
There will also be returns for Gwen's husband Rhys (Kai Owen), and her former police partner Andy (Tom Price), as well as another mystery reappearance...
"This is an ambitious series for Big Finish – an entire season of Torchwood!" said Goss. "There are some great scripts by some new writers, but there are also some familiar old faces – of course Rhys and Andy are in it, but there'll be a few other surprises, including an appearance by someone who just has to be, has to be dead..."
All three sets of Torchwood – Series 5: Aliens Among Us can be pre-ordered individually for £25 as downloads or £28 on CD, with specially-priced bundles collecting all three for £60 and £75 respectively. Torchwood Series 5: Aliens Among Us part 1 will be released August 2017