It’s to Eve Myles to bring the first series of Big Finish Torchwood audios to a close in More Than This. Guy Adams (who wrote the wonderful Vienna story Big Society, also out this month. It’s a pillar to post tour round the everyday realities of Cardiff in the Torchwood universe in the company of Gwen Cooper, ably supported in a straight-man role by Sgt Andy. All this as Gwen tries to convince Mr Pugh (Richard Nichols) of the value of Torchwood.
So, Tom Price gets a part in the new audios, but is More Than This up the standard of the rest of the season? Well I loved it; find out why…
The Big Finish product page synopsis sets out this story as follows:
Gwen Cooper has triumphed against impossible odds before, but now she’s finally met her match: Roger Pugh, Planning Officer for Cardiff City Council.
Mr Pugh doesn’t believe the world needs Torchwood. Gwen sets out to prove him wrong. For Mr Pugh, it’s a day that’ll change his life. If he can survive it.
As presented that would be an acceptable if somewhat trite story. The reality is this is a story about Roger Pugh, a man with a past he is still coming to terms with. The form of the story is like a sketch show: Gwen drives fast to a location, Roger Pugh may or may not stay in the car, something dramatic happens involving aliens / time travel or the end of the world and Sgt Andy pops up at the end to make the whole thing stranger by virtue of his down to earth demeanour.
Really though this is a story about Roger Pugh facing up to his own life, his own challenges and moving on. As a form of counselling a day in the life of Gwen Cooper may be a drastic therapy, but in this case it provides a solid ending to a series I have enjoyed and am delighted will return immediately.
[pullquote]ticks every box[/pullquote]
Scott Handock allows plenty of time for the characters to breathe and catches the rhythm of the story’s beats perfectly. Tom Price as counter point to Gwen works well and is different to the normal Gwen / Rhys setup. The soundscaping (Neil Gardner) is fantastic (listen through decent speakers / headphones) and this story ticks every box I can think of.
Congratulations all round!