Just to prove that there’s plenty of life in the Jack / Gwen / Ianto / Rhys (sometimes) combo the BBC treated us via Radio 4 to a trio of tales to warm us back up for Miracle Day. Inevitably I gave them a listen and this is how they seemed to me. Ahead of them, from checking the Radio 4 website they break into one with a great cast, one set underwater and one in a haunted pub. I expect the enjoy the first and last most, but who knows?
The Devil and Miss Carew – 3 stars
Well I was looking forward to this one but actually got to the end somewhat disappointed. For me this Rupert Laight tale felt as though there wasn’t enough story going round for four characters and could really have been told by just Gwen and Rhys (which it nearly was anyhow). All the plot unfolding of Faustian pacts and the end of electricity was uncovered by Gwen with Rhys providing the background (dead relative in a care home) and the rescue at the end. Apart from that (and the wonderful Martin Jarvis) not a big hit for me.
Submission – 3 stars
Today we heard the work of Ryan Scott who it turns out wrote a couple of episode of Miracle Day. This rapid pace UNIT / Torchwood story managed to keep Jack and Gwen busy, give Ianto plenty of dialogue and introduce an ex-Torchwood ex-flame of Ianto’s. Meanwhile there is one lonely alien at the bottom of the Mariana trench!
Sadly for me this failed on the ‘we are all trapped at the bottom of the deepest bit of the ocean’ for me. It isn’t easy to do tension when we know they all live. The creepy alien and brittle skeletons of the crew of the Guernica lost in 1959 did work well though. For me a good three stars but not quite four. I suspect I am just in a bad mood!
The House of the Dead – 5 stars
James Goss (see also here) turned in a storming third episode for this little run of plays. A tighter script featuring the most haunted pub in Wales focussing on Jack and Ianto with the tale of a death goddess from the old universe hidden behind the rift using the dead to seduce the living.
For the first half-an-hour this was a decent if slightly formulaic Torchwood tale hitting the usual bases and allowing us to explore some of Ianto’s guilt regarding his dead father (and girlfriend). As the story started to close the observant listener will have thought ‘hang on there’s loads of time left’.
Then the ending hits, takes no prisoners and leaves you thinking ‘James Goss, you clever B*st*rd)’.
Absolutely full marks here and I can not drop even a hint without diminishing the power of this story.