As Gareth David-Lloyd says, right at the start, The Twentieth Century is when it all happens, and Ianto Jones is ready. Yes, it’s the second story in the new Torchwood range, Fall to Earth by James Goss, and Ianto is falling to his death on-board the SkyPuncher for its inaugural private space flight. Get out of that one, Ianto!
The Big Finish synopsis tells us little more:
The SkyPuncher is the first private spaceflight. But Ephraim Salt’s visionary project has gone horribly wrong – the ship is falling out of the sky and there seems no way to stop it.
Ianto Jones thought the flight would be sabotaged. The only problem is… he’s on board.
Ianto is plummeting to his death when he receives a call selling him life insurance. Amused he engages with the call centre operative, Zeynep (Lisa Zahra) and she runs various internet searches for him as, between them, they regain control of the SkyPuncher. There is more to it than that, just as the story seems to be petering out it becomes clear the ship is still on course for Turkey, and a building that holds a certain call centre!
It is all a plot from the same Committee we first met with Cpt Jack last time. Ianto manages, with plenty of help, to save the day (ignoring a lot of dead people and (other collateral damage) and everything is once more as it should be with the world. Conspiracy aside!
[pullquote]Gareth is flawless[/pullquote]
First up Gareth David-Lloyd. Ianto Jones died in episode 4 of Children of Earth, all the way back in July 2009. Six years later he returns to the part (apart from a few audios, particularly another James Goss story The House of the Dead, 2011). Four years later, and Gareth is flawless in his recreation of Ianto.
The story works through the developing rapport between Ianto and Zeynep; Lisa Zahra is another new actor delivering a superb performance in the role. I fully expect her to appear again, either in later Torchwood or another title.
The story mixes humour with indignation, rarely feels padded and gives us Ianto early in his career in Cardiff. From clues in the narrative, this story (and therefore the previous) are set in the same time as the first television series (Ianto frames his role in Torchwood in terms of his ex-girlfriend, the topic of the TV episode Cyberwoman.)
The story entertains and while it might not add a lot to our immediate understand of the intentions of the Committee it does a good job of keeping the ball rolling. Scott Handcock’s direction makes the stars shine and next month can’t come too soon!