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The first Torchwood Monthly Range release of this year is Coffee, written by James Goss. Weaving its way through the first three seasons of TV Torchwood, this story follows café baristas David (Shaun Chambers) and Kathy (Sarah Griffin) as they become caught up in various alien invasions after meeting Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd).
Right from the off, David and Kathy are very compelling characters, due both to Goss’s excellent writing, and to the strong performances from both actors. Though most of the events presented in this story are very familiar to Torchwood fans, given that they appeared in the TV series, it’s very interesting to see them from a non-Torchwood perspective.
In essence, that’s what this whole story is about: exploring how the weird and wonderful world of Torchwood might appear to outsiders. Sure, it’s nice to fill in some gaps in Ianto’s story (which this script definitely does), but where this release really shines is in the way it shows the intersection of the mundane and the extraordinary, and the consequences that might bring. It has a very early-2000s Doctor Who feel, with strange happenings encroaching on normal life, though there are some suitably Torchwood moments of darkness throughout that elevate it.
Funny, entertaining, and with a touching ending, Coffee is another strong release in the Torchwood range. All three actors involved give great performances, while Goss’s script takes the listener back through Torchwood history, reminding us of episodes we know and love while putting a new spin on them; apt for a story released during the series’s 15th anniversary year. Complete with understated-but-effective sound design by Joe Meiners, Coffee is highly recommended.
Torchwood: Coffee is available now on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com