Out now from Big Finish, the third in the latest series of Torchwood’s monthly range: ‘We Always Get Out Alive’.
This Guy Adams-penned look at two of our favourite characters and one of the most honest fictional couples in sci-fi. Eve Myles and Kai Owen are reunited for a chilling bottle episode as Torchwood’s power couple.
Gwen and Rhys are driving away from the end of an adventure. Fast. But what starts off as their usual banter – playful teasing and flirting mixed with jibes and insults – takes a dark turn as each starts pouring out their fears. Before you know it, we’re exploring both characters individually as as a unit in more depth than ever before. For a simple premise, this goes deep into character. It’s difficult to discuss without giving away too much of what they talk about. Needless to say ‘We Always Get Out Alive’ is appropriate title and feels like it could be a good spiritual prequel to the resolution of ‘Aliens Among Us’.
Despite its unusual format – a character focused, two-hander bottle show – it’s not all conversation. The tone takes a turn for the creepy as their night-time drive home starts going aroud in circles. The pair run the gamut of fighting and making up and arguing again, which feels like a great parable to long-term relationships. You just had a laugh, then a fight. Then you forget it ever happened and move on. Always together.
However, there is a point midway through the 60 minute running time where the circular nature of the story starts to become grating. Luckily, just as the listener’s patience starts to fray, the plot suddenly shifts gears. Since that frustration is reflected in the dialogue, I daresay this was a deliberate move on the part of Guy Adams.
As with the previous two stories in this fourth series, ‘We Always Get Out Alive’ experiments with the Torchwood tone and format. It feels like a concept album where each song stands on its own but the themes build something stronger together.
Guy Adams has delivered a beautiful script, slow and dark with moments of blinding speed. Add the always dependable chemistry between Eve Myles and Kai Owen and you’re laughing. Myles is such a powerful performer that even her breathing feels genuine. There’s never a moment where you doubt her intention or authenticity, which is vital to a two-hander like this. Owen is charming and delivering Guy Adams lines you believe him to be the most ordinary bloke going in the best way possible.
‘We Always Get Out Alive’ is a beautiful metaphor for long-term relationships. Taking two beloved characters who have stuck together despite the odds and now fight together, is a beautiful notion. Adams clealry understands these characters deeply. This story is crafted for the audio medium and the sound design work of Richard Fox and Lauren Yason has ensured that the full potential of this script was realised. The moments out of the vehicle, when you have to strain to hear what’s going on, are what makes the atmosphere so rich and powerful.
Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams are on the run from a cataclysm. They’re the only survivors, and they’re driving away from the disaster as fast as they can. They’ve got to get away, they’ve got to warn the authorities, and they just can’t be late for the babysitter again.
Dim problem. After all, they’re Torchwood and they always get out alive. But this time there’s something in the car with them. Isn’t there?
Torchwood contains adult material and may not be suitable for younger listeners.
Written By: Guy Adams
Directed By: Scott Handcock
Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams)
Producer James Goss
Script Editor David Llewellyn
Executive Producers Jason Haigh-Ellery and Nicholas Briggs