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TWAB0103_forgottenlives_1417

“If Jack’s in trouble…”
“Jack is trouble, Gwen!  That’s the point o’ Jack.  Whenever the world stops endin’, he just…no sign o’ him, 5 years.  So if he’s back…”
“The world’s probably endin’…again!”
“You don’t have to look so happy about it.”
“Save me dealing from that massive pile o’ laundry…an’ your turn to change it.”
“Come on, you alien invasion!”

Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and her longsuffering husband Rhys Williams (Kai Owen) are summoned to the North Wales Bryn Offa nursing home…and a resident who claims to be Captain Jack Harkness (Philip Bond).

“We’ll look into it, okay, but you are not well, you should be in bed.”
“Now there’s an offer I can’t refuse…will Rhys be joining us?”
“Well if you’re not Jack, you’ve definitely met him…”

What is the Evolved Experiment?  And why is Jack aged into near-senility? Or is this strangely familiar old man even Jack in the first place?

“Always beware the ones that think they’re the good guys.”

With an odd twist implicating Captain Jack himself in a potential alien invasion, the questionable grey area morality of Torchwood comes very much into play.  To say more would constitute “spoilers”, but suffice to say that just as in the real world, the ends, however lofty and well-intentioned, never justify the means.

“So you didn’t call because you’re too vain?  Didn’t stop you trying to cop a quick snog when we got here…”
“oh, you’re irresistible, Gwen Cooper.”
“And so’s Rhys, apparently.”
“Like I said, it’s been weeks.”

Well, there’s no question that Gwen and Rhys are back and in fine form. Between the two of them and a very Barrowmanesque Philip Bond, the snarky banter, questionable couple dynamics and post-millenial borderless sexual interplay are all present and accounted for.  It’s amusing to be sure, and there are more than a few rib tickling lines to stimulate Torchwood aficionados’ funny bones.

“Ah, but you love standing in the rain.  You think it’s dramatic.”
“Not when you’ve got rheumatoid arthritis, come on.”

The performances are strong, as is to be expected from veterans of this particular teleseries, and authoress Emma Reeves captures the series trademark of darkness and grim overtones leavened with humor and a heaping helping of adult sexuality.

While Gwen (and to a lesser extent, likeable but much put upon comic relief Rhys) have hardly been personal points of identification in the original cast two series BBC run (see prior discussions of Torchwood for more on our experience and feelings thereto), there’s no question that both Myles and Owen, as well as Philip Bond’s ersatz Jack Harkness analogue, deliver some very strong performances here, no doubt aided by an oft quite witty script from Reeves.

https://www.bigfinish.com/releases/v/forgotten-lives-1296

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