Torchwood: The Office of Never Was review

Torchwood Office of Never WasOnce again, James Goss demonstrates his mastery of the dramatic in this latest Torchwood release, The Office of Never Was. Gareth David-Lloyd stars as the much-missed Ianto Jones in this hour-long story set in a deserted office block. It starts spooky, and ends by explaining just how Ianto manages the ethical dilemmas working with Torchwood throws up.

It’s really rather good…

The Office of Never Was

The product page synopsis has this to say:

There’s an empty office block in Cardiff. That’s nothing special – plenty of businesses go under, clear out, cease to exist. All that’s left behind is an empty building. But there’s one office block that refuses to be forgotten about.

There have been stories about that building – strange lights, funny goings on, faces pressed up against the glass. Enough to get the locals worried. Enough to ask Torchwood to get involved.

It’s Friday night. Ianto Jones has better things to do with his time than look round a haunted building. But he goes anyway, and it turns out that The Office has been waiting for him.

Ianto investigates an empty building with a mind of its own. Lifts and lights have their own logic, and meeting the Girl (Bethan Rose Young) helps to increase the sense of mystery as they explore and begin to find the fate of those who once worked in the office.

The writing leads the listener towards the spooky, and as I’ve already heard (and really, really like) James’s The House of the Dead, I was worried he was covering similar ground. In the end there’s more going on than meets the ear, and the reveal of the story brings Ianto’s all to human nature into focus, and makes the listener wonder just how they themselves might deal with the dilemma’s they would face were they to have Ianto’s career. It pulls no punches and the ending will leave you with both greater respect for Ianto and a deeper sense of how grim working for Torchwood can be.

This story really tells you why this spin-off is so much more real, gritty and adult than the show it emerged from, and in The Office of the Never Was, James Goss has created a wonderfully crafted evening in Ianto’s life. Superb (as ever)!

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