Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Torchwood: In the Shadows

Joseph Lidster's In the Shadows (an original Torchwood audio book) contains a few good ideas, but on the whole the production is more annoying than it is entertaining. The plot involves a religious zealot who receives in the mail a book of matches labelled "Lucifer." The zealot soon discovers that striking a match sends someone he perceives as a sinner to "Hell" (an extradimensional space where time travels much faster than normal), and he goes around like a serial killer punishing the wicked. The idea's not bad and there's some nice atmosphere, but some flaws in the execution really undermine the story. First, the serial killer has the incredibly cliched habit of humming a children's nursery rhyme in a slow, "creepy" way. This was repeated to the point of nausea. Second, the origin of the Lucifer matches is never explained (there's some speculation it may have been an experiment by the now-defunct Torchwood One, but why test the device out by mailing it to an unsuspecting stranger?). Third, the story ends with another cliche, the "this killer has been stopped, but there's another one out there!" ending. And finally, Eve Myles butchers the recording by trying (and failing miserably) to give Captain Jack an "authentic" American accent that actually comes out as a weird, strained, cracking nasal falsetto that most closely resembles a middle-aged blue collar guy doing an impression of the Queen of England. That last line might not make any sense, but trust me it's bad.

Shout out to Nebraska Steve: Your first and last name is the same as the opening murder victim in the story!

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