If any one have drunk too much, if it be a man the testicles should be washed with salt and vinegar, and if it be a woman, the breasts, also let them eat the leaf or the stalk or the juice of a cabbage with sugar.
(John of Gaddesden's Rosa Medicinae, circa 1314)
And now, while some of you rush off in search of salt and vinegar, let's have a look at Torchwood on the Radio. Here are some brief thoughts on Asylum:
- I may have mentioned before that I'm not really a fan of the audio medium, because my eyes get bored. However, my primary problem with this episode was that my ears were bored too. The small amount of mystery in the story seemed dragged out to an inordinate length, and while I have no objection to PC Andy, all he got to do was his standard schtick of stating the bleeding obvious and complaining when nobody would tell him about aliens. Worst of all, there was very little Team Torchwood interaction, and even less humour. We certainly don't learn anything new about the gang: Jack and Ianto are barely in it, and all we find out about Gwen is that she's better at radio acting than the boys. Ianto seems to overenunciate the few lines he gets, and Jack is, well, John Barrowman (although at this stage, it would be kind of disturbing if he wasn't).
- As for Freda the half-alien asylum-seeker, she wasn't bad with what she was given, and managed to deliver her Scando!Future!Slang chirpily enough, but it was all a bit Random Future-Shoes: I don't object to non-Torchwood members getting airtime, but only if they pass the Be More Interesting rule. The timeloop bit was the only slightly intriguing plot point, and even then, it was fumbled into is-that-it-ness. I thought they might imply that Jack himself had sent Freda back, or that he would send himself some obscure message from the future, or SOMETHING, but 'twas not to be.
- Does Jack often practice knife-throwing in the Hub, then? That's a dreadful Gwen-bashing death-fic waiting to happen, surely. (Or perhaps the knives would bounce off her aura of general Welsh loveliness?)
- "Probably from Newport, then": a bijou jokette at the expense of GDL's hometown, I notice.
- I'm not usually one for gadgets, but if anyone would like to buy me an URC, I wouldn't say no. Especially if it can be used to pause traffic lights and fetch biscuits.
- In one of her soliloquies, Freda says that the "ghosties" have grey skin. However, she herself presumably doesn't (since no one mentions it: they say she's pale, not grey) and nor is it explained how her alien grandma passed for human, if she was grey. So errr, was it worth mentioning in the first place?
- In conclusion: substantially less entertaining than the previous TW radio outing, Lost Souls, and even that was no great shakes. Not overbad, admittedly, but definitely not overgood either. Let's see whether tomorrow's effort can improve on this slow start...
* For a value of "fascinating" that is roughly equivalent to "more interesting than Torchwood to people who aren't interested in Torchwood".