The latest Torchwood release from Big Finish is We Always Get Out Alive, a Gwen and Rhys story with both Eve Myles and Kai Owen performing. If that’s not enough to rouse interest, it was also written by the prolific Guy Adams.
Guy takes us to a car journey. Gwen and Rhys are on the way home, hoping to catch the babysitter before they charge for extra hours. If that weren’t vital enough, there’s something not quite right. Something might be along for the ride. Perhaps. They’re really not quite sure…
Meanwhile the listener is very sure something is not quite right, but the mystery is really a sideshow in a lot of ways, with this car trip being a chance to learn more, much more, about the family life of Gwen and Rhys. As they discuss life, marriage, aliens, work, family, aliens, sex, relationships and more aliens, we are treated to some excellent writing by Guy, delivered with a totally convincing chemistry by the leads, and all this under the guidance of director Scott Handcock. In a lot of ways it’s a small, intimate story, but this focus means we get great clarity on the two characters and explore the bonds that connect them.
It’s uncomfortable in places, as the inevitable arguments erupt, and the listener feels like a guilty voyeur seeing Rhys at his most vulnerable and Gwen at her most driven. Guy has a clear view of Gwen and Rhys along with what makes their relationship work, and it comes across in this gem of a story.
Yes, there’s an alien threat, some strange goings on and a dramatic conclusion, but make no mistake those are just window dressings to a clever and well-constructed examination of these two people.
Once more the Torchwood range delivers, changes the pace and keeps the listener engaged. What more could you want?