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There’s an alien menace loose in the sewer tunnels of London, and the Queen Mum herself decides to accompany Torchwood’s Captain Jack in pursuit.

There’s not a hell of a lot going down here, plotwise: the alien is barely onstage, as it were. ┬áBut what you do get is a comparatively lengthy bit of character business between Rowena Cooper’s imperious yet plucky Queen Victoria and the not-yet head of Torchwood (the ever charming John Barrowman).

Quite enjoyable, the Victorian Age flies by at a brisk pace for all the chat it
essentially revolves around, offering a humanizing and often nuanced look at one of history’s strongest women in power, with a touch of effective comic relief from Barrowman’s always snarky, sexual innuendo-laden Captain Jack.

Elevated primarily by a rather well-portrayed and tempered performance from Ms. Cooper, due respect should also be given to AK Benedict’s script, which duly emphasizes character over bombast – always the mark of a proper writer (hello, Hollywood…).

With both Barrowman and Cooper oozing with charm – Cooper’s very much of the slightly doddering but ultimately quite loveable and sharper than you may be given to expect Margaret Rutherford variety – fans of Torchwood really can’t go wrong with this one.