George Hewitt reviews the second episode of Torchwood: Among Us
Moving on from the excellent series opener with Ng and Orr, the star of this episode is, as the title would suggest, Colin Colchester-Price. Colin is Mr Colchester’s husband, one of the few characters in Big Finish‘s many Torchwood ensembles who feels genuinely grounded to reality.
Colin Alone is Una McCormack‘s first entry into the Story Continues range, and it also marks the first time Joplin Sibtain has appeared in the series, taking over as Colin. The recast initially feels slightly strange, as it takes a while to adjust to Sibtain’s voice, but there are points where he sounds almost identical to Ramon Tikaram‘s interpretation of the character, and his performance throughout this story is excellent. McCormack’s script is relentless in its treatment of Colin, really throwing everything at the character. The episode follows Colin as everything goes wrong for him, from having his phone stolen to a leak springing in his flat. While ensuring listeners feel sympathy for Colin, Sibtain also manages to keep us aware that Mr Colchester is always on Colin’s mind, and much of the tension and drama here come from that separation.
The story follows a fairly repetitive format, often dropping in on one of Colin’s many meetings with Jeff and Mira, two mysterious figures working for an unknown organisation that seems fixed on finding Mr Colchester. The pair are played by Chris Jarman and Sandra Huggett respectively, and both actors are able to to keep the characters interesting, portraying their saccharine insincerity excellently and ensuring that repetition in the script doesn’t translate into boredom for the listener. Instead, thanks also to Scott Handcock‘s direction, these scenes are engaging and provide important context for the story.
Colin Alone is a strange story in that it doesn’t really feel like an episode of Torchwood. However, by the time the conclusion comes along, it becomes obvious why this episode exists – it allows listeners to understand the extreme contrast between the lives of Torchwood members, and the lives of the people they (seemingly) leave behind. Colin Alone strengthens not only Colin’s character, but also Mr Colchester’s, and does a lot of work to develop the world of Torchwood as a whole.
Despite occasionally feeling as though we’d heard some characters and situations a little too many times, this episode bodes well for the future of the Among Us series, and proves that you don’t even really need Torchwood to tell a good Torchwood story.
Torchwood: Among Us 1 is available on CD or as a download from http://www.bigfinish.com
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