Thursday, 30 June 2016

TORCHWOOD - MOVING TARGET

Remember the 1980’s? And in this context I don’t just mean the decade I mean the LOOONG 1980’s that lasted until 1997. I would be fooling no-one if I said that Doctor Who was the most popular programme on TV during this era, so I wont even try. By far THE most popular show on TV for nigh on 15 years was Only Fools and Horses. Ok, he has finally lost the plot you may be thinking, this is meant to be a Torchwood review and here he is banging on about Only Fools and Horses – well, yes and it really is relevant so please bear with me. The reason that the antics of Del Boy, Rodney, Grandad (and latterly Uncle Albert) have transcended the mere title of “Sitcom” is that it could wrong foot you – it made you laugh out loud one minute and then you were crying along with the characters, if you have not seen the episode “The Russians are Coming” where Del, Rodney & Grandad build a fallout Shelter then check it out for Grandad’s soliloquy about the futility of war – comedy and drama hand in hand, two sides, one coin.
Which brings me to this months Torchwood release, and its an interesting one because this months  lead character is Suzie Costello (Indira Varma) the original rogue element in the TV series whose demise makes way for Gwen Cooper. Obviously this is set before the events of the TV series and sees Suzie isolated and almost alone – almost the last woman left on Earth, because in this story Suzie Costello has to reluctantly become the hero. You know sometimes you have one of “those” days – well Suzie is having THE worst day, time has been stopped – literally. All life on Earth has been frozen, the rain frozen in its downpour and Suzie is almost the last woman left on Earth who is currently sentient. I say almost as Suzie soon teams up with Alex (Naomi McDonald) – and this story really is all about Alex. She is an ordinary girl who has been selected by an intergalactic corporate hunting cartel as a target – she is the proverbial lamb to the slaughter a hand picked victim. Alex and Suzie have other ideas and they continue to survive and fight back against the hunters this only raises Alex’s desirability as a target and sends more and more hunters to gain the kudos of the kill. This is no free for all though there is a robotic referee (Nicholas Burns) and there are rules to the hunt, Remember that, there are RULES.
What we have this month is another in a series of “Cardiff Buddy Movies” where a member of Torchwood is teamed up with a member of the public. Readers may remember that last month I got a little moany about the format, but this month it couldn’t be done any other way – Suzie is a reluctant hero at best, Alex is not a fighter but as they slaughter the hunters together they get to know each other and grow in to the people they need to be to survive. But how long can they survive? As Alex cache as a target improves with every hunter she sees off more and more queue up to try to get the kill. Remember the rules? There are always the rules.
Now then, I started off this review talking about Only Fools and Horses and how something goes from good to great by turning on a sixpence – and Moving target does just this. for 55 minutes we follow the adventures of Cardiff’s answer to Thelma & Louise done by Quentin Tarantino, we also spend 55 minutes forgetting what we know about Suzie Costello from the TV show. The final two minutes are simply astonishing and made me listen to the whole thing again and listen with new ears and with a full knowledge as to who was the main character in this story – because ultimately Suzie Costello really does play by the rules of the game.
A stunning release just stunning, an exceptional piece of writing, acting and character development and a glimpse into the mind of the most enigmatic member of the Torchwood Team.  I urge you to hunt down a copy of this release listen to and listen well because Suzie Costello is back and she is ready. 10/10