The Lost Files
The Torchwood 2.0 team returns for three more adventures set in the interval between the second series and ‘Children of Earth.’
This brings the number of audio episodes up to seven; which is great news for people who want to hear more from Ianto Jones.
In ‘The Devil and Miss Carew,’ Rhys’ uncle Bryn (apparently, ‘y’ used as a vowel runs in the family) has a heart attack after listening to the shipping forecast, and it’s not because the shipping forecast is homicidal boring. Gwen gets suspicious when she meets an unusually fit, 80 year old woman and connects the strange goings-on at the nursing home with the unexplained power-outages plaguing the country.
It’s a Gwen and Rhys-heavy episode. It’s a good, if somewhat straight-forward story that is reminiscent of the TV series. The mystery involved is multifaceted, allowing for some detective work, and the villain is very whovian, with a mix of greed and pathos.
‘Submission,’ on the other hand, is the kind of story we’d never see on the TV series, if only for budgetary reasons. People all over the world hear an odd noise while underwater, and Torchwood tracks it to the Mariana Trench. Ianto calls in a girl from the old Torchwood, Carlie Roberts, who’s now a marine geologist, and Jack gets a super-high tech submarine called the Octopus Rock to help them carry out the mission (get it? Submarine Mission = Sub Mission = submission. Ha!).
Despite being more ‘out there’ than the typical Torchwood story, this episodes remains amazingly grounded. It probably would have seemed sillier if I had been able to see what was going on; but the audio format kept things focused on the characters. It’s about as exciting as a radio play can get, and it’s a nice change up from the overly-talky other episodes.
‘The House of the Dead’ is about the ‘most haunted pub in Wales.’ Ianto is attending a seance being held to mark the pub’s closing, and soon finds that the reputation is well deserved.
Ianto is the star of this episode, though Jack and Gwen pitch in. I won’t go into any details lest I spoil it; but suffice it to say, this episode connects back with the events of the TV series in some interesting ways. It adds to the drama, and it makes the story feel more ‘real’ than the other episodes, which are more often unimportant side-stories.
I’ve talked about the acting in my reviews of the previous episodes. Obviously, they are all great actors, we know that from the TV series, but they sometimes sound insincere and forced in these audio plays. I think it really is just a fault with the format. Emotion, separated from facial expressions (especially when you are used to seeing them) comes off sounding a little hollow. It’s not to the point of distraction, but the drama just doesn’t hit quite as hard as it should.
The Torchwood radio-plays are great in their own right, but not quite up to the level set by the TV series.