First thoughts on the Torchwood radio play

I listened to the podcast on the bus home last night — not the ideal environment, especially when the woman sitting behind me started shouting into her phone in that “I’M ON THE TRAIN!” way so beloved of mobile phone users in a slightly noisy environment. So I really need to listen to it again. But in the meantime, I’m of the opinion that I’m glad I didn’t pay for it, but I enjoyed it.

It didn’t really help that the cheesiest bits were at the start. Yes, Torchwood is the epitome of cheese and we love it because rather than in spite of its cheesiness, but there is good cheese and bad cheese.

First complaint — dear god, did we really need that huge and incredibly obvious infodump about CERN and the Large Hadron Collider? Yes, I know that this was part of the Radio 4 Big Bang Day and their remit included teaching people a bit about CERN, but it sounded like the press release it was. There are ways of inclueing that are *slightly* more subtle than that and still get the point across.

Second complaint — Barrowman doesn’t know how to act in a radio play, though he got better during the course of the play. The first five minutes reminded me of the scenes in the Declassified documentaries at the first readthrough of a script.

Third complaint — the plotdevicium is going to break suspension of disbelief for anyone who’s passed A level physics. Maybe even O level physics. It’s even worse than the abuse of DNA in the story about Daleks in Manhattan. I don’t expect Torchwood to be hard sf, but that was just *silly*.

On the other hand, there were some really good bits as well, not least the running joke about the Ambassador for Wales. And Gwen using “coffee and Jack” as an incentive for Ianto to hang on — nice piece of characterisation in its own right, but also a good way of acknowledging the relationship without making a song and dance about it.

I was worried most of the way through that it was going to end up as a rant about scientists meddling with nature and things that man is not meant to know, because that’s certainly where it seemed to be going with the idea that firing up the LHC would let Things through. But it did pull back from that at the end, if not quite as far back as I’d have liked.

So, not about to rush out and buy the CD, but still an enjoyable way to spend 45 minutes.


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