Day Zero

Posted in Audio by - June 25, 2019
Day Zero

Released June 2019

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

With only two stories remaining in the God Among Us saga, writer Tim Foley in ‘Day Zero’ boldly steers the narrative back to the continuing crises confronting Cardiff. The city has been warned of a poisonous mould in the water supply for ages, and the day that fresh water runs out has finally arrived. With supplies dwindling and fights breaking out, the Disaster Recovery Committee must take drastic action, and Torchwood will do anything to keep its members from reaching the last true source.

Science fiction is at its best when it can use a real-world problem as a foundation for its more fantastic events, and water shortages in the likes of South Africa and lead contamination making water undrinkable in the likes of Flint, Michigan prove just how relevant this issue remains and could become to people across the globe in all walks of life. It’s never fully been explained just why Cardiff has been so completely isolated without significant aid from the rest of the UK or the globe, but the city’s situation here also mirrors what at times seems like a transient or else nonchalant and dismissive response from the outside world to these genuine and life-threatening concerns.

Rightfully so, then, it’s the response from the suffering public that takes centre stage as water supplies run out except in one residence now under the assumed leadership of one Colin Colchester Price. Facing an absence of one of life’s necessities unsurprisingly brings out the worst in people simply fighting to survive, and chaos quickly reigns as innocents die and the police resort to force to enact some semblance of control as news of the water spreads. This latter aspect, again, is quite a pervasive topic in modern society, but the heightened situation thrusts everyone’s actions into murkier shades of grey that typify the most instinctual and base nature of humanity when social norms and foundations are no more.

With Andy now heading the powerful Disaster Relief Committee and Torchwood little more than just a word that used to demand such reverence, the fractious relationship between Andy and Yvonne nicely mirrors the fractures forming within Cardiff’s populace. This is the first time that Andy has a genuine sense of status, and though he believes implicitly in what he is doing while taking any action necessary to find a solution and perhaps harbouring a hidden agenda, his intransigent and brutal decisions reveal a layer to this beloved character that is incredibly ripe for further exploration in any capacity. Equally intriguing is how effectively Colin has coordinated this group of refugees, further developing this strong man and better hinting at the more of the hidden qualities that Colchester finds so attractive. However, despite the very human strengths and weaknesses on display in every facet of this production, it’s surprisingly Orr who serves as the greatest reflection of the human condition as she once again commits to alleviating the general suffering no matter the personal price incurred. She remains a beacon of hope in this worsening darkness and remains one of the most fascinating beings within the Torchwood universe whose role continues to expand and develop all the more effectively.

With Jack perhaps permanently incapacitated and Colchester learning the shocking truth behind his revival from Tyler in addition to the incredible afore-mentioned drama, ‘Day Zero’ with its incredible performances is a raw and powerful story in its own right, but it also effectively sets up the finale with so many of its well-known characters all thrust into unfamiliar positions. Colchester and Ng remain the effective vestiges of Torchwood as they investigate the mould and attempt to minimise the impact on society, and how or even if the organisation can be reformed and returned to its traditional position of hidden power alongside or in place of the DRC remains an effective hook that could continue to shake the usual assumptions about the franchise.

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