Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

Can't resist the strange attraction from that giant dynamo

Today the world was poised on the edge of its seat and braced itself for imminent disaster. But I somehow managed to hang on to my usual calm and rational demeanour. After all, Torchwood on the radio: it couldn't be so bad, surely?

Well, here are some thoughts on Lost Souls:

  • A caveat to begin with: I'm afraid I find audio plays rather a challenge. When there are no visuals, my eyes just don't know what to do with themselves, and while I was listening to this, they had to bounce around the room in a distressed fashion, looking for something to land on. If they ever do another radio Torchwood, I'll have to remember to print out a picture of John Barrowman's bottom and stare at that instead.

  • So, Martha calls up Jack and asks for his help. It's true that his resumé lists a lot of experience with large hadrons, but there's surely a typo in that sentence...

  • Here comes the science part, as Jack has to explain the entire point of the LHC to Gwen, Ianto and anyone in Britain who hasn't been watching the news or paying attention lately. Indeed, Jack seems so excited by the LHC that I'm tempted to start shipping them. After all, it's got a hole AND a pulse, of sorts.

  • The Large Hadron Collider is opening "today", is it? Well, that's interesting. I wonder why the LHC in the Whoniverse took a whole YEAR longer to construct than it did in this universe? Perhaps the building work was disrupted by the invading Cybermen or something? After all, it couldn't possibly be because the writers forgot that the Whoniverse is meant to be running a year ahead of us, could it?

  • The plane-taking-off sound effect plays, and suddenly we are in Switzerland! I was going to put money on how soon they'd refer to the magnificent scenery, but darn it, they didn't. See, Torchwood ARE capable of avoiding a cheap joke occasionally.

  • And it's a warm welcome back to the Ferrero Rocher Ambassador's Reception references, as last heard back in The Unicorn and the Wasp. With this ancient chocolate-related joke, you're really spoiling us. Nonetheless, respect is most definitely due to Ambassador Ianto, especially when he's making admiring noises about Martha's boss's equipment.

  • "You can't just lose your neutrons." Except apparently you can. Sheesh. Next they'll be telling us that you CAN simply walk into Mordor.

  • "Is Ianto moaning?" Jack sounded distinctly like he might be missing something at this point. But to make up for his disappointment at not riding a bike down a tunnel, he decides to noisily crash the opening ceremony of the LHC and draw attention to himself. If I'd been writing this show, I'd have had him STREAK in. Nobody could have ignored that. (But I do have to wonder, are there are rules about nudity on Radio 4 before the watershed?)

  • Martha needs to open a door, and doesn't have a sonic screwdriver, so what does she decide to do? Bung a rock at it! The Second Doctor would be so proud.

  • Another great romance: Ianto/bell on bike! I also giggled at "So, you're the dead, then."

  • It's notable that the alien/ghost thingies do REALLY bad Owen and Tosh impressions, although their Lisa impression sounds marginally better (i.e. like a human female). When they moaned "We're starving...", I bet Ianto wished he'd brought some of the half-eaten pizza that's usually lying around the Hub.

  • "Is Ianto an angel yet?" Silly aliens, he's not an angel, he's a wedding fairy.

  • Big cheer for reversing the polarity!

  • "We're gonna die in a tunnel. In Switzerland!" Ianto is upset because he hasn't even had a chance to buy a supersize Toblerone yet.

  • "You love coffee. Coffee and Jack." And a collective fangirl sigh sweeps the nation. Awww.

  • Jack offers to show Professor Johnson the fundamental particle. I bet he says that to all the geeks.

  • A gigantic collective groan, please, for absolutely the worse line in this entire endeavour, namely "By George I think she's got it." Even though Jack's no stranger to making dreadful jokes, I'd like to think he drew the line at silly voices. But apparently, that's not true. Argh.

  • "We're back. And we're hungry." Was it just me, or did the aliens sound like they'd escaped from an ad for super-powered toilet bleach?

  • Martha's boss has a confrontation with the alien thingy in the tunnel, the value of human life is asserted, yadda-di-yadda. This felt like a rather odd climax to the story, since it didn't actually involve any of the Torchwood team. I was expecting Jack to penetrate the tunnel and unleash a flood of immortal neutrons into the ether, or some other scenario I could make lame Freudian jokes about, but nope, it didn't happen.

  • Ianto stops glowing, and breathes a sigh of relief as the risk of being stalked by Twilight fans melts magically away. Handily, he can't remember a thing about his alien-induced woobie breakdown, which is sure to help maintain his reputation as a stoic man of action in the outside world. As long as no one was listening in... ooops, I think we all were.

  • Jack didn't know Ianto was a Tennyson man. Well, if this is code for angsty and bisexual, I'd have thought Jack was pretty well aware of it. Or perhaps it simply refers to knowing the words to "All Things Will Die", or to give it its full title, "All Things Will Die, Except Jack, Unless You Believe The Whole Face Of Boe Thing Which Not Everybody Does, Apparently".

  • In conclusion: A passably entertaining piece of fluff, albeit one that is unlikely to shake anyone's atomic foundations. It definitely could have done with more plot and some sense of actual suspense, but it nonetheless provided a few pleasures to help sustain me through the long wait for series 3. While I do think there's a bit of a flaw in any plan that involves putting a bunch of very pretty people on the radio, at least I've got Ianto doing his Ambassador voice to warm my autumn evenings. Eccellente...
Tags: torchwood
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