ScrapeJane

Posted in Audio by - June 24, 2019
ScrapeJane

Released June 2019

SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Following the intense emotional journey of a mother so desperately clinging to hope in a world filled with secrets and wonders she could never have imagined, God Among Us 3 returns Torchwood to its origins as an urban myth quickly becomes anything but in Robin Bell’s ‘ScrapeJane.’

‘ScrapeJane’ features quite a simple premise, but it ties neatly into the presence of God in Cardiff and the belief she both brings and demands. This is a creature who only exists to those who believe in her, and when a podcaster brutally dies with no apparent attacker present despite his proclamations that ScrapeJane is real, Colchester and Ng find themselves on the hunt for a truth they are sure is not what they have been told. This pairing is rarely used, but the two characters complement each other perfectly, both holding a healthy cynicism and both unsure of what the future holds given their unique situations. Indeed, Colchester carries with him an implicit fear that it may just be belief alone that is maintaining his very existence, and seeing just how profoundly belief can affect the world is understandably unnerving and enough to get under even his normally reserved and composed demeanour. At the same time, that Colchester should be the one to see ScrapeJane with his life at stake reveals volumes about his open-mindedness, and the ease with which even talking about the encounter to Colin at night quickly puts his husband at risk as well is a frightening illustration of just how dangerous this creature and the current state of affairs in Cardiff truly are.

Frighteningly, Ng as the Herald for God has seen the true power of belief ravage worlds before, and her own fear and belief that Earth will be the next to fall gain an added foreboding power when compared to the might of a myth turned real. There are only so many ways to delay the inevitable as the crushing truth mounts, and Paul Clayton and Alexandria Riley give profound performances that expertly capture the fear and swirl of emotions stemming from their realisation that the boundaries between fact and fiction are no longer present as Ng begins to wonder if this is what it is like when God begins to lose faith herself. Fortunately, Bell takes the trusted concept of a supernatural threat becoming real a step further by thrusting ScrapeJane’s creator squarely into events as well, a creator who can’t help but be driven by the potential money ScrapeJane has to offer her through various deals and outlets. Meredith Pope isn’t necessarily only out for personal gain since she does listen to the evidence presented her and eventually joins the Torchwood members in their mission to destroy ScrapeJane using firmly-entrenched magical beliefs, but the ever-present spectre of social media is never far from her fingertips, and this contrast between evidence and peer pressure and influence makes for a dramatic journey that Ri Richards capably delivers to help drive the narrative to a satisfying climax.

With Robin Bell sadly passing away in May, ‘ScrapeJane’ will remain his only contribution to the Torchwood franchise, but it’s a fine testament to this writer’s power with words and emotions that a staple plotline of this genre is able to hit so many personal notes and resonate so deeply. Again, this is not a story that necessarily progresses the overall plot of this series and instead fills in more background details, but the emotional rollercoaster presented here is wonderfully executed on every level and proves how versatile Torchwood and its newer additions can be.

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