Yvonne Hartman (Tracy-Ann Oberman) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) continue there adventures at Torchwood One, this time themed around peoples’ later years and how people’s gold age might end up when you are part of Torchwood. Spoilers, it often ends badly!
Retirement Plan by Gareth David-Lloyd
Tommy (Timothy Bentinck) wants to retire. Not have his mind wiped, or get killed by some Torchwood misadventure, but real retirement, but in a cyber world of his creating. But when he takes Ianto into his planned retirement world, there are glitches that might mean retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – especially when they can’t leave.
Gareth David-Lloyd returns to writing duties and this is just the kind of funny, poignant and adventurous script I’ve come to love from him. In the action he plays off Bentinck like a great double act, and this shows as a peak into both the characters psyches in a world that can be whatever you want it to be and how someone can get greedy and unscrupulous with this. I won’t give away how, but Oberman also gets to show a character she doesn’t usually play as Yvonne and takes great relish at doing so.
Locker 15 by Matt Fitton
An ordinary locker at Torchwood One is attracting a mysterious force to Torchwood that is wiping them out, they can’t open it and only a cleaner called Dave (Derek Griffiths) knows what’s in it. Sadly he retired a long time ago and maybe not remember much, let alone the locker’s contents.
Derek Griffiths would be known to any child of the 60’s and 70’s in the U.K. as a regular of children’s TV and a great actor. It is clear from the beginning that although his character here may have lost a step or two, he himself has not. There is so much heart and pathos to someone who has clearly taken his job as a cleaner seriously and always done his best and got ignored by everyone for it, only to find himself in an old folks’ home with no one visiting.
This also makes great fodder for Ianto and Yvonne’s different approaches to this. Ianto feeling for the man and wanting to help him, Yvonne just worried about the mission. Both having a point, but you really feel for Dave and want him to remember for his own sake, not just to be a pawn again for Torchwood. There are also some nice twists in this story by Matt Fitton that are sure to keep you gripped.
The Rockery by Tim Foley
Yvonne hasn’t visited her Mum, Anne (Barbra Flynn) much since her Dad died. But when her Mum moves to the country away from all she knows, Yvonne wants to know why. She visits and gives her an alien plant to report back to her on, in hopes of keeping her busy. But from small alien seeds, much danger can grow!
This is a lovely insight into Yvonne and what made her who she is. Flynn is an amazing parry to Oberman and the pair are amazing together. Add a lovely, much put-upon neighbour in Michael Maloney as William and you have a great, dramatic ending to this set filled with human drama and foreshadowing of Hartman’s ultimate fate.
Wrapping up …
This is an amazing, consistently great set throughout. The theme is strong and doesn’t feel reparative in any story. Torchwood at its very best.
Buy this set now on CD or digital, here on the Big Finish web site.