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Review of Orr by Speechless

5 June 2024

Torchwood: Aliens Among Us #1.3 - "Orr" by Juno Dawson

So far, Aliens Among Us has been... fine. Changes Everything was a pretty good remake of the show's pilot that made me interested in what was to come and Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy was a thoroughly irritating affair salvaged by our main characters being likable and the ending being pretty stellar. Orr is the highest rated story out of the whole box set so going into it, I was looking forward to where The Story Continues really got going and, though it was good, I was still a little disappointed by it.

After a fateful meeting with a property developer on Ro-Jedda's payroll, Torchwood-3 is landed with Orr, a shapeshifter designed to emulate your deepest desires who just so happens to have a bomb wrapped around their neck, a bomb that could take the whole of Cardiff with it if it were to explode.


Basically this whole story is centered around the introduction of Orr, the newest member of Torchwood-3 who, I will admit, is the best part of the story. Instantly they're an incredibly interesting character that immediately has about ten different things going for them and their conversations with different members of the team are all pretty interesting and well written. Another thing I admired in Orr (the story, not the character) is how much it explored the Sorvix, who before had simply "invaded" Cardiff without much explanation of how, where and why. Here, we get to see how Ro-Jedda manipulates powerful people into being her underlings and how there are alien black markets running through the back alleys and underpasses of the city, which is a really great concept that fits really well into the wider Torchwood mythos.

My main problem with the audio, however, is that it just isn't all that interesting. A majority of the story is just conversations with a constantly shifting Orr and, whilst they are written well, it gets old fast and the story eventually becomes increasingly slow because of it. The story, despite being a race against a literal timebomb, feels decidedly lacking in any action and, writing this review a week or so after listening to it, I have trouble recalling enough details to even properly analyse it. Episodes like Orr, which purely exist to introduce a single element for the rest of the series, is why I think episodic structures work better for Doctor Who seasons than serialized formats. Outside of introducing Orr, there is nothing in this episode I would call great.

Orr does what it sets out to do well but that is unfortunately all it does, feeling lacking in anything special besides it's goal. I like Orr but when episodes basically have one major strong point, I really don't see them as anything special and I really hope The Story Continues has more episodes that revolve around detached concepts, such as next episode.


+ Orr is a great new addition to the cast
+ It's good to finally see more of the Sorvix and how they've "invaded Cardiff" considering the last two stories neglected to tell us
+ Liked a lot of the conversations between Orr and Torchwood-3, even if it got a bit repetitive
+ The Sorvix assassin shouting "God is great" as she blows herself up is an, if simple, cool image
+ The concept of an alien black market running beneath a city is great and I hope it becomes the focus of a story some time in the future

- Very little happens and, without the inclusion of Orr's introduction, there isn't even a story to this episode
- The first twenty minutes with Vincent felt very slow and ploddy
- Too focused on the aim of the episode rather than the story and episode itself

Torchwood: Aliens Among Us | Ranked
3. Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy by James Goss - 5/10
2. Orr by Juno Dawson - 7/10
1. Changes Everything by James Goss - 8/10

Overall - 6.7/10

Review created on 5-06-24