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Torchwood: In the Shadows (2CD) Audio CD – May 7, 2009
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When a 24-year-old goes missing and is found dead two days later--in the body of a 71-year-old man--the police turn to Jack Harkness. He begins a race against time to find the perpetrator, a lone cab driver with a box of matches who condemns Jack to "go to hell." As a result, Jack is thrust into a dark dimension, and the rest of Torchwood must find a way to save him. A haunting score and riveting performance led by Eve Myles combine for a taut and thrilling experience. Unlike other recent Torchwood titles, this is an audio program and not a radio play, a format that is especially well suited to the story's dark content. F.G. © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.
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But in this, not only did they mention afterlife, but hell. Clearly it was a man-made hell, but still...Spooky. And very much like I'd imagine hell to be.
The story was great, freightening even. The characters were spot-on; their interactions with one another as well as non-team members reminded me so much of the show.
Jack endured more torture, which I have come to expect from both Torchwood and especially Whoverse. But what made seeing him suffer bearable was the fact that Ianto was suffering right along with him. Suffering enough to risk everything to save him, or die with him. They didn't show enough of this side of their relationship on the show, but I always imagined it would be like this. One falling to pieces after losing the other.[spoilers if you haven't watched the whole show!]
We saw how Jack went to pieces after losing Ianto! He sacrificed his grandson and then left the planet entirely. Some like to say that Jack didn't care for Ianto as much as Ianto cared for him, but that's just not true. Jack loved him, and broke him when Ianto died. But I digress (as usual), this was a great story and Eve Myles read it beautifully.
NO SPOILERS ABOUT THIS STORY IN THIS REVIEW.
Aside from the spoiler in this story, it is interesting that the story also refers to "The Daleks" as a past event in the Torchwood stories. To the best of my knowledge, none of the Torchwood TV or Audiobooks ever featured The Daleks. Perhaps in a later audiobook or in a story that was dropped?
Here we have the best story of any of the audiobooks, and it is up there with the best of the TV shows as well. Genuinely mysterious and compelling events occur that pull in threads not only from many other Torchwood stories (Ianto is angry about Lisa's death; there is a reference to John Harper; dead Suzie Costello makes another appearance; among other references) but also from Doctor Who, key among them the Huon Particles from The Runaway Bride.
Although there is a spoiler for events at the end of Season 2 of Torchwood, the story is in fact a flashback that would fit somewhere in the middle of Season 2 had they chosen to make it into a TV episode. It features all members of the Torchwood team in approximately equal measure, though as usual Tosh is given somewhat less attention than the others. Rhys and Andy also feature in the story in their usual ways.
Without giving away too much, the story begins as two drunk young men in a taxi have a row. One of them turns up dead the next day - and the other, naturally, is questioned, and he even worries that he may have done it. But the really odd thing is that his friend has died of old age! Torchwood investigates, and the whole bloody thing goes to hell. That's when it gets interesting.
What is different about this audiobook is that it is more produced than the previous stories. Before, we had the opening theme, one of the actors reading, and the closing theme. Here, they have added atmospheric musical themes or sounds now and then to enhance the mood. I think it works nicely. The story is two CDs long, which is just the right length in this case.
Once again we benefit from Eve Myles (Gwen's actress) giving a stellar interpretation to the story. She is a first-rate actress, and she adds a lot to an already great story, bringing a lot of dynamic energy and emotion to this story. She is even better here than in her last reading.
No hesitation in giving this five stars - the best of the audiobooks I have "read" so far - and I don't give lots of five star reviews. I would not start here, but if you were to decide to listen to only one, this would be it. But hey, maybe there is better to come?
Note: I never read other reviews before I write and post my own, but as I post, I see that there are two so far, one is two-star, and one is four-star. I am genuinely puzzled that the others were not as impressed as me. I have reviewed all of the other audiobooks (check out my reviews) and have good reasons for thinking this is the best; read my reviews and see if you agree.