We Always Get Out Alive

Posted in Audio by - May 24, 2018
We Always Get Out Alive

Released May 2018
SOME SPOILERS FOLLOW

Gwen and Rhys are the only survivors of a catastrophe, driving away from danger just as fast as they can to return to their normal lives and warn the authorities. But as they once more assure themselves that they’re part of Torchwood and always survive, something strange at the edge of sight and mind seemingly challenges everything in Guy Adams’s ‘We Always Get Out Alive.’

By all of the action and dialogue occurring within the confines of the car, Adams exploits the audio medium to its fullest without having to focus on the tedious visuals of people talking like a televised version of this type of story would. With inexplicable occurrences both inside and outside of the car that neither Gwen nor Rhys can quite remember, the long car ride on a seemingly endless road with no destination other than their point of origin is the perfect source of suspense and intrigue. The radio features distorted versions of their own voices, and conversations and actions slowly begin to take on a repetitive nature about which they can almost remember fleeting fragments at best. With specifics forgotten and sequences occurring outside not witnessed by the audience beyond faint sounds, the mystery and tension are ratcheted up even further in what essentially becomes one prolonged scene unfolding in real time at a blistering pace.

As engaging as that central mystery is before a dramatic conclusion, however, it truly is the relationship between the two leads that steals the spotlight. Eve Myles and Kai Owen know the characters of Gwen and Rhys incredibly well, and their nuances along with Adams’s strong dialogue that together expertly capture the essence and familiarity of a long-married couple ensure that this prolonged conversation never becomes anything but engaging. These are two who are comfortable enough to say whatever is on their minds but who also say just as much in what is not said with even the slightest pause or hesitation as their true feelings about Torchwood and themselves come to light in both measured conversation and inevitable arguments that the chemistry of the leads sells perfectly. Quite rightly, Rhys is afraid of the fact that Gwen seems to come alive most when lives are at stake; he understands that killing is a part of the job but can’t understand how she is able to carry on unaffected and continue to throw herself into danger knowing that her own life could end at any given moment on any given day. Gwen, to her credit, has learned to compartmentalize to prevent the tragedy and fear from overtaking her, and she never forgets that even one life lost or taken is too much. She only asks that Rhys trust her, but it’s the trust he does have in her that scares him just as much. Over the course of this journey, this core relationship is opened up and explored in much more depth than one sitting has ever provided before, and it’s quite amazing to see how fragile yet strong this layered foundation is as all emotions and truths are exposed with all pretenses dropped.

The monthly Torchwood range from Big Finish has exceled with its intimate studies of beloved characters, and ‘We Always Get Out Alive’ is yet another resounding success with Gwen and Rhys this time at the forefront, a relationship made all the more poignant given recent events in Aliens Among Us. With wonderful tension, suspense, and raw emotion on display throughout, this smaller-scale and standalone tale is sure to please old and new fans alike.

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