Big Finish – Torchwood 1.2: Fall To Earth

Torchwood 1.2 Fall To Earth - Big Finiah

Time again for new Torchwood, and the second part of the new Big Finish series heralds the return of everyone’s favourite tea boy – Ianto Jones is here! Well, I say “here”, does the edge of the atmosphere count? He’s headed this way at least… what, under control? Bah, some people want everything…

Fall To Earth’s basic story is pretty much informed by its title; Ianto is stuck on a crashing spaceship. Wounded, alone, and with dreams of intergalactic fame for his coffee-making skills in tatters, it’s not looking good – and what a time for a cold call? It’s a little reminiscent of the “high-concept” approach that was at a peak in the 90s and 00s, and is suitably taut and pacy, but the imprint of Torchwood is evident throughout in style, content and sound/music design. So too is that of writer James Goss, whose sense of humour is deeply entwined in a story that is well aware of the ridiculous aspects of a man used to admin stuck hurt in a falling ship while stuck on a call to an outsourced call centre. And that’s part of its brilliance – it must have been hilarious while recording (as it often is while listening) so it’s all the more impressive that Gareth David-Lloyd and Lisa Zahra can keep straight, er, voices. Mind you, Gareth did manage to remain looking serious in an Asylum mockbuster of Sherlock Holmes that involved jumping dinosaurs – yes, really – so this is just reiterating that skill of his. That’s not to say that this is just a comedy story, and while there isn’t a huge progression of the arc started in The Conspiracy it is not forgotten and is likely to become more integrated as the season continues.

With a tale that is essentially one long conversation between two people the chemistry is extremely important, and the two leads work fantastically well together. Lisa Zahra’s Zeynep is smart and slyly witty, and with well-judged emotional weight is a reminder that for all the annoyance that cold calling may give there are real people doing a job at the end of the line.

I have a feeling that the last five minutes are likely to be quite divisive, but that’s quite Torchwood in itself. It continues to impress just how naturally this series both integrates and expands the show, and it’s intriguing to see where the direction will head. All I know is, I’ll be waiting to listen…

Torchwood: Fall To Earth is available now from BigFinish.com

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