Colin Alone

Posted in Audio by - May 16, 2023
Colin Alone

Released May 2023


While Big Finish’s continuing Torchwood saga has quite rightly focused on the incredibly important goings-on of Torchwood in relation to society and the world at large, it has also delivered quite profound insight into the personal lives of its members. For this iteration of the furtive organization, that is perhaps best exemplified by Colchester whose personal life is all but wholly separate from the harrowing deeds of his chosen profession. Colchester is now gone, however, and his husband Colin must continue to carry on as if everything is okay, hoping that one day his beloved will return in Una McCormack’s ‘Colin Alone.’

First and foremost, Joplin Sibtain gives a stunning performance as Colin, not attempting to do an impersonation of Ramon Tikaram whom he has replaced in the role but giving a nuanced and emotional performance as a man who has clearly sacrificed so much to have his life with Colchester but who now finds himself alone. While it’s hard to say that a story focused on Colin is strictly necessary when the state of Torchwood as a whole is very much in flux and unknown, the end result is nonetheless an intriguing one that studies just what a person will do and think when the world seemingly continues to turn against him and when each and every move is knowingly scrutinized with the mysterious GDPR steering events within his life.

To his credit, Colin remains rather optimistic and determined even as his situation grows ever more dire. Naturally, he grows increasingly frustrated and dour when he can’t access accounts that Colchester would have otherwise, when his phone is taken and used, when his credit cards are locked, and when he invariably loses his job, but whether because of his trust in people or just Colchester in general, he continues to carry on as best as he can. With frequent interrogations regarding his husband’s alleged activities abroad as well as each and every charge he has made and website he has visited that appear to last just long enough to make him miss his bus to work over and over again as well, Colin has much more to worry about than just the worsening leak in his flat, a leak that itself comes to represent the nightmares of bureaucracy in everyday life as a mysteriously missing payment and the impossibility of getting to the bank in person during working hours when without a phone directly collide. Through it all, Sandra Huggett and Chris Jarman are wonderful as the interrogators Mira and Jeff, respectively; each provides a very distinct method of trying to get the desired answers and admissions from Colin as they try to uncover the truths about Torchwood, and the brimming disagreements between the two about how best to go about garnering information is a subtle but surprising highlight that quite significantly humanizes the entire plot.

Of course, Colin is very much a man alone at this point, and it’s quite interesting to see how he continues on while so clearly hoping for Colchester to return and for human contact and companionship in any regard. Taken by itself, ‘Colin Alone’ has almost nothing to do with Torchwood directly and seems like it would be more suitable as a companion piece or as a subplot rather than a featured story so early in the main range return of the series after so long; however, with Colchester making a bombastic return near the end and reassuring Colin that everything will be okay even if he has to take the type of drastic action in front of Colin he has tried to avoid up to this point, plenty of foundational work for this series has been established that will hopefully act as a stepping stone into more tightly interwoven and cohesive stories going forward.

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