Posted in Audio by - June 30, 2023

Released June 2023


Driven by a new boldness and strength after her encounter with God, Orr is desperately trying to get to Voloshnik, a city seemingly destroyed and now sealed off in the middle of a war the world has forgotten or at least remained neglectful of, in Ash Darby’s opener to Among Us 2, ‘Propaganda.’

Of course, propaganda and misinformation have become ever more prevalent and dangerous as media and social media alike have continued to amplify dissemination of information and both subtle and overt manipulation of thoughts and biases. One further consequence of this is that these factors have come to influence politics on local, national, and international levels, and while the war in Ukraine is the most prominent example that has captured global attention over the past year-plus, conflicts of varying scopes continue to erupt across the globe of which much of the global population simply does not know. Unfortunately, it appears that far too often even the soldiers themselves are not told the entire truth about their commands and orders, and ‘Propaganda’ delves into that aspect quite successfully as Orr looks to uncover the truth behind this city and its population that has disappeared.

Playing into the fears of misinformation and uncertainty about what the genuine truth is, ‘Propaganda’ posits several theories along the way as means of explanation, providing the caveat with each that evidence can be planted to make any suggestion seem viable. Samantha Béart puts an added assertiveness into her performance to reflect Orr’s newfound confidence that the presence of soldiers likewise influences, and she forms a strong tandem with Amy Beth Hayes playing the more world-weary Tania who finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime after Orr wakes up on her autopsy table. As they come to learn the extent to which those in power may go to hide truths and then discuss what will happen when descriptions of what unfolded here leak out into the general population, they also put a very personal face to the global issue of disinformation through Robert, a British man abroad who is more than happy to mislead and increase tensions to receive a paycheck. He’s a truly terrible and unscrupulous man whom Milo Twomey plays with a palpable sense of entitlement and arrogance, but the journey he goes on as he comes to believe himself as the sole survivor in this city to be an almost religious-like figure is quite fascinating. Despite his own increasing insanity from being alone in these heightened circumstances for so long, the story he tells of a bright light appearing overhead and the people around him descending into madness before turning to dust is a harrowing one with plenty of potential causes and dangers behind it. The discussions about measles, its vaccine, shifting mindsets about vaccines, and viruses’ ability to mutate unexpectedly are particularly well-incorporated and resonant given the deepening divide about inoculations especially in the wake of COVID-19.

This is a truly strong story for Orr that is likely even more resonant and topical now than when it was written, but while it is certainly possible that elements from this story will heavily tie into future events, the only real issue with this story like others in Among Us to this point is that it isn’t really Torchwood in its truest sense. It features a character from Big Finish Torchwood and wonderfully builds on what she has been through previously, but a true continuation of the televised series as Among Us is billed should by this point have much more of a team-based component regardless of how integral the plot point of the organization being utterly fragmented has been to its setup. These single-character stories have indisputably worked well for this franchise for Big Finish and continue to allow the characters to feature and grow all the more successfully as a result, but following this format for these ‘The Story Continues’ instalments as well is something of a missed opportunity and fails to really set them apart as something special except for its placement being after the televised events of Torchwood and the main character being of Big Finish’s creation.

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