Future Pain

Posted in Audio by - October 28, 2018
Future Pain

Released October 2018
SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

With its series of Torchwood individual releases, Big Finish had on multiple occasions provided glimpses into life after the events of Miracle Day as Gwen Cooper fought to rebuild Torchwood Three in Cardiff with the help of Rhys and Andy. However, as full-cast productions set within earlier timeframes proved just how successfully the appetite for missing adventures could be satisfied, the desire for an ongoing serialized narrative to reveal the future of the furtive organisation continued to grow, and Aliens Among Us quickly proved that it was able to overcome any inherent risk of falling flat by highlighting intriguing new characters alongside beloved mainstays and never becoming too predictable. With aliens occupying Cardiff, the rift acting erratically, and a mysterious Yvonne Hartman assuming control of a team in disarray, God Among Us looks to further develop the dark but fascinating state of affairs already set in motion.

Whereas Aliens Among Us understandably had to move at a slower pace initially to introduce its characters and setting, James Goss’s ‘Future Pain’ hits the ground running, seamlessly picking up several plot threads left lingering after the finale of the previous series while never shying away from just how substantially the status quo has changed yet again. Fittingly, the funeral of Mr Colchester takes centre stage, and it’s through the interactions of the leads within this sombre setting that an immense amount of development occurs over a remarkably short span of time. Nobody shies away from the fact that Colchester was not always the most accessible or even likable of people, but the video backdrop of his wedding to Colin as Colin discusses the prejudice they faced even from their own family members who refused to show up on this important day is a poignant reminder of just how much these two meant to each other in a world that was often unkind to them. Yet while Orr learns what it’s like to be in a room filled with people who all want something but definitely not sex and while Jack must overtly confront what his own seeming immortality means as he continues to watch friends age and die while being sure that he will soon witness the same for entire planets, no moment is quite as profoundly powerful as when Colin angrily confronts Yvonne, lambasting her purported good excuse for missing the service by declaring that he has had so much practice getting used to being alone because of Colchester’s own arsenal of good excuses for the many empty seats he left in his wake over the years.

Following Torchwood protocol, Yvonne has not allowed Colin to see Colchester’s body, but the momentary rage that bursts through is tempered by Yvonne allowing Colin to view his husband’s goodbye message, one that aptly includes a fine aside about just how much Colin meant to him as a person and how much he was driven to make him feel safe in the world. Fear in its many forms is a major driving force in this serial, and it’s the ambiguity of fear in the future that in particular proves central to the mysterious alien being that just may be a god who has arrived on Earth. Its preferred food source does allow for some forced foreshadowing about the fates of some of the core cast, Tyler in particular, but this introductory story is very much more about establishing this being’s power as it learns to interact with this plane of existence rather than truly fleshing out any of its nuances. With Yvonne imprisoning Ro-Jedda in a cell next to the enigmatic Ng, a bit more history of this figure is offered along with differing perspectives about what its intentions are, and it seems clear that both will have a greater role to play as Yvonne tries to determine the current Sorvix power level in Cardiff.

While it’s hopeful that Colin’s apparent desire for Jack is simply the result of heightened and conflicted emotions during the funeral and while confronting an example of Colchester’s last job head on with such bravery, Jack also seems poised to become central to a battle for Torchwood control as Orr champions his kindness and desire to do good over Yvonne whom she claims can be nice but certainly not kind as Jack points out that this Yvonne will do anything to win. There are a lot of moving pieces in play already that by necessity rely on the audience’s familiarity with previous events, but ‘Future Pain’ is a more than serviceable reintroduction to this world that ably sets up the trajectory of this series in an emotionally engaging manner.

This post was written by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.