Reuniting the pairing of Owen Harper and Andy Davidson last seen in the fantastic “Corpse Day”, this new Torchwood story has been billed as being possibly the most emotional installment in the series to date! But does the script live up to that promise, and to Andy and Owen’s previous adventure? Read on to find out!
Let me begin by saying that The Hope most definitely lives up to the “not suitable for younger listeners” warning at the start of the story. Seriously: this is a dark story, even by Torchwood’s standards. Who better to experience it, then, than Torchwood’s darkest member: Burn Gorman‘s Owen Harper?
Quite possibly the most developed of the original Torchwood team, Owen gets more development still in this story. James Goss crafts a tale which, while seeming on the surface to have little to do with either aliens or Owen, eventually ties in with both, and this is one of the thing that really added to my enjoyment of the piece.
Gorman’s performance in this, especially in the second half of the story, is up there with some of his best. It’s such a shame this is a spoiler-free review, because there’s a particular moment right at the end of the episode I really want to talk about. Emotional indeed!
The interactions between Owen and Andy are, as they were in Corpse Day, fantastic once again. The contrast between Owen’s nihilism and Andy’s optimism is just brilliant, and leaves me clamouring for more stories where these two are paired up with one another.
The guest cast in this story is incredibly strong too. Siân Phillips, who plays the “most hated woman in Britain” Megwyn Jones, is absolutely fantastic in the role, imbuing the character with a great sense of ambiguity that leaves the listener guessing as to whether she really is morally corrupt or not.
Nia Roberts is also great as grieving sister Sally, and Ian Saynor‘s Colbourne is a great foil for the character of Andy, who is, as always, brought to life wonderfully by Tom Price.
Blair Mowat‘s music is on point as well, and I particularly enjoyed it when Owen’s theme from the TV series kicked in; a welcome aural link back to the original show. This, along with Richard Fox‘s sound design, which creates a suitably bleak atmosphere, helps to create an incredibly polished production.
Unflinchingly dark, though also containing some moments of welcome levity, The Hope is a story all about dichotomies. From the clever double meaning of the title and the contrast between the personalities of Owen and Andy, to the ambiguity of all the guest characters, this is a tale that expertly wavers between dark and light, and, overall, is another successful release in the Torchwood range.
Torchwood: The Hope is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com
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