The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello

Posted in Audio by - February 15, 2023
The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello

Released February 2023


Returning to the role of Suzie for Big Finish for the first time since 2019’s ‘Sync,’ Indira Varma takes her beloved character to the depths of the sea beneath an island that has appeared in the North Atlantic Ocean in ‘The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello’ by Rafaella Marcus.

Given Suzie’s tragic fate so early on in the televised run of Torchwood, there remains ample opportunity to further explore and tread new ground with her, and her apparent desire to prove herself to her coworkers and, indeed, the world by solving the mystery of Torchwood Four while everyone she knows believes her to be taking a vacation is a brilliantly insightful revelation that will hopefully be followed up on with future releases. Suzie, of course, is a person who would rather be by herself and who rarely opens up about her feelings or thoughts beyond what is needed in a professional capacity, and so her discovery of another individual who has been surviving alone for forty years in a stranded ship from far in the future creates a unique point of commonality that burgeons into something wholly unexpected for Suzie. Truly, Captain Anwir represents everything that she could ever hope to find, a dashing and adventurous spirit with a tragic backstory who is simply looking to get back home, and together Varma and James Backway create a tremendously engaging pair as they begin to open up to each other and work to escape these depths so far away from civilization and the light that represents their salvation and the promise of a new life alongside each other. These heightened circumstances and the strong characterization of Anwir warrant Suzie’s willingness to finally reveal more of the vulnerability that underlies her more overtly nihilistic and self-centred tendencies, and her own incisiveness and intelligence bolstered by her experiences in Torchwood mesh perfectly together to give Suzie another strong audio outing.

However, ‘The Last Love Song of Suzie Costello’ is a story that is somewhat let down by its central twist that reframes so much of the information provided that comes before it. Narratively, this subversion does make sense and creates a new and more visceral sense of danger for Suzie to confront, but it also robs the story of its emotional core as that truth is revealed. It does have the benefit of showing a shrewder and more calculating side of Suzie who so adeptly pivots on the spot without ever revealing her true intentions, but staying the course with the Anwir storyline as originally started had the potential to be so much more resonant and profound had this genuine loss of love more naturally or forcefully occurred since the culmination of Suzy’s story has long been known. Still, the truth behind this ship, its purpose, and its contents is perfectly befitting of Torchwood and without the initial developing relationship between Suzie and Anwir certainly holds the potential to carry a full story without any of the preceding obfuscation.

The framing device with the new island is unfortunately far too under-developed, but Danielle Kassaraté gives an engaging performance as both Magda during these portions and as Orion below the surface. The score and sound design likewise combine with the performances to create an immersive experience from beginning to start, creating a very intriguing if somewhat uneven start to Big Finish’s three Torchwood stories focusing on romance and a most welcome Torchwood return for Indira Varma.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.