Reviewed: Torchwood Exodus Code

Doctor Who TV, books and audio reviews at Kasterboroust’s been over a year since we last saw what the Torchwood gang were up to. The events of Miracle Day ended on a cliffhanger and certainly proved that there was life in the series yet. But due to behind the scenes problems, we’re unlikely to see a new series of Torchwood to carry the events of Miracle Day on for quite some time.

So much like its parent show, Torchwood is keeping itself sustained and alive in print format while Captain Jack and Gwen Cooper are away from the screens and with Exodus Code, a new novel from John and Carole E. Barrowman; we’re treated to another apocalypse, Torchwood style.

From the off, Exodus Code sticks to the new style of Torchwood storytelling, the remaining members of the team are split up and spread across the globe and it’s only when events start to spiral out of control that they’re brought back together. Jack’s involvement is once again based on something that happened many years ago in his expanded past but this time around it seems that only the female members of society are paying the price for his fixed point in time status and things get very violent very quickly.

In fact, Exodus Code may have the new storytelling style from that sets it apart from its first to BBC television series but the checklist of sex, violence, swearing and deep mystery are all present here. This is definitely not a book that is intended for the young or faint of heart and contains some very adult moments and descriptions indeed. The Captain Jack Harkness that can drop cheerily in and out of the Doctor Who universe is not present here and instead we have the one who has been left emotionally battered and bruised after his solo adventures.

Torchwood: Exodus Code by John Barrowman and sister Carole E. Barrowman

Going deeper into the character, Jack has certainly had some of his cocky self assurance taken down a peg or two for Exodus Code. After facing mortality in Miracle Day he’s scared that his number might well be up at some point and he’s been left unsettled. That is to say, he’s scared of dying and scared of living too much. The good Captain has always been a secretive sort on screen but in this book his psyche is explored and the Barrowman’s give a clear idea of his thoughts and feelings that we seldom get to hear about. It’s also an interesting choice of co writer for a book, to ask ones sister to help you write about your overly sexual and emotional damaged alter ego must surely lead to a few awkward moments of collaboration especially when writing about what certain body parts are doing in certain scenes.

Exodus Code manages to remain as epic as Children of Earth or Miracle Day by spreading the impending end of the world out to various players and organisations and keeping the tension constantly high, it also manages to continue the story of Miracle Day with the CIA looking for members of the families that were responsible for Earth’s temporary refrain from death. Along with that, there are also some fan pleasing moments for Doctor Who or Sarah Jane Adventures followers with fleeting references to both shows and the revelation at the end of the book regarding the reasons behind the female population turning insane and Jack’s involvement will have Doctor Who fans grinning.

Torchwood as an organisation may be gone for now but through Exodus Code, the Barrowman siblings do a fine job of keeping the fires alive in print.

Exodus Code is out now in hardback and audio from all good retailers, including Amazon!


What happens when an eight year old kid watches the 1993 repeat run of Planet of the Daleks? He pretty much ends up here writing about the show that grabbed hold of him and never let go!

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