Eve Myles returns as Gwen Cooper, in a new full-cast audio drama, Torchwood: Smashed, released today. How do you fight off the infected inhabitants of a Welsh mining town while you’re completely smashed? And what a better way to deal with a typical Torchwood threat?
Well just ask Eve Myles. As the famed Torchwood star states, “This has been such an enjoyable script for me to do because Gwen is such a three-dimensional character. She’s a bit of everything; she’s your mum, she’s your superhero, she’s your heart, she’s sometimes the villain, but we’ve yet to hear her smashed. And yet she’s a Welsh girl – a Welsh girl who raises a family and saves the world. I’d be smashed if I was her, a lot of the time. Although in this story, she’s not intentionally wanting to be smashed, she’s needing to be drunk because of the plot.”
And who came up with this idea? Director Scott Handcock spills the beans and points the figure squarely at Eve Myles. “The lovely thing about working with the Torchwood cast is they’re all still really engaged with the material. Smashed came about through conversations with Eve (jokingly at first) about how she’d like to do a story where Gwen needs to solve a case whilst utterly inebriated. Naturally, writer James Goss found a way to tell that story and Smashed is the result. Like all the best Torchwood adventures, it’s dangerous, absurd, emotional and grounded very much in the here and now.”
This story does have a sad note since it features one of Helen Griffin last performances. The actress who portrayed Mrs Moore in the Doctor Who television episodes Rise of the Cybermen and The Age of Steel. passed away in June 2018. She was also known for roles in TV dramas Keeping Faith with Eve Myles and Twin Town. She also guest-starred in the 2010 Big Finish release, Doctor Who: Cobwebs, alongside the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison.
Scott Handcock remembers Griffin and last year’s recording. “Smashed also gave me the opportunity to work with the fantastic Helen Griffin, in what would become one of her final jobs before she passed away in June 2018. She’d obviously been in Doctor Who, on-screen and at Big Finish, not to mention appearing alongside Eve in Keeping Faith, so it was lovely to reunite them in our Cardiff studios and have them face off against one another. And Eve was thrilled at the chance to work with her again. Helen was not only a great actress but also a talented writer and such a fun presence in the studio, which is hopefully how everyone will remember her.”
Torchwood: Smashed :
Glynteg was never much of a place. Since the refinery’s shut down there’s been nothing much going on – no jobs, no money, more pubs than buses. One of those sad Welsh towns where’s there’s little to do but drink.
Then the fracking company came and there was a brief spark of hope – maybe there’d be some jobs, at least. But that fizzled out. Instead, the people started falling ill.
Gwen Cooper’s come to Glynteg to find out what’s happening. Something ancient has woken up beneath the ground and will do whatever it can to protect itself. The Hunters have been unleashed. And there’s only one way to stay safe.
Please note that Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Torchwood: Smashed is available now as a collector’s edition CD at £9.99 or on download from the Big Finish website at £7.99.