Posted in Audio by - May 19, 2024

Released May 2024


In 1987, ‘Disco’ Jones is the life and soul of every gathering, a gregarious and confident man who is never afraid to make his presence known. The only thing is, this is a version of his father that Ianto never knew about while growing up on the estate, and using his affiliation with Torchwood to furtively use time travel technology following his father’s funeral, Ianto is determined to learn who his father truly was and why he made the harrowing decisions that fractured their family so very long ago in ‘Disco’ by Gareth David-Lloyd.

At its core, ‘Disco’ is a very simple story, but unlike a simple jaunt down memory lane that could have resulted had Ianto had a good relationship with his father and a childhood full of happy memories, this one turns very much more emotional and introspective as it progresses. Indeed, Ianto is surprised and perhaps even happy initially to see the extroverted side of the man that he never got to know, and Gareth John Bale as Ginge and Sara McGaughey as Dezzy instantly create the sense that Disco has a solid social routine and place in the community with a certain happiness and support even as he racks up a bar tab and gives bad advice on certain bets to be placed. Nonetheless, whether gambling, playing darts, or dancing, Disco is always the centre of attention, and Ianto understandably wants to know more in order to determine what eventually changed.

Under the guise of Tom and on multiple occasions coming precariously close to blowing his cover, Ianto uses the brief time intervals the technology arrives to try to connect to the man who became so important in his life for all of the wrong reasons, and it’s telling that Disco reveals that even though he has only known Tom for such an incredibly brief period, Tom knows him better than anyone. This is a man who is anything but confident no matter the persona he chooses to show the world, and in the 1980s when men talking about feelings was hardly commonplace and borderline taboo, it’s painfully clear just how desperately Disco wants and needs to discuss his life. Even with their obvious connection, Ianto seems to be surprised by just how easy it is to connect with this man and just how vulnerable he is, but despite knowing the implicit dangers of time travel, he also cannot sit idly by and allow Disco to make poor decisions that Ianto knows will invariably feed into his father’s ultimate decision to leave them. He won’t consider himself a guardian angel even as Disco comes to realize that his new friend continues to give him good advice about certain bets to avoid, about the effects certain actions with other women will have, and about putting so much money to drinking, but Ianto does his best to balance the fine line between observing and interfering at this time when both men’s emotions are particularly charged for very distinct reasons.

Of course, as Disco grows more comfortable with Tom and reveals more of his inner throughts, ‘Disco’ becomes all the more powerful as he reveals the truth behind his drinking. It’s heartbreakingly fitting that Ianto by lending an open and caring ear is the conduit through which both men truly come to understand Disco, and Gareth David-Lloyd and Rhy ap Trefor are superb throughout on this powerful journey of discovery and reflection that completely redefines and accentuates the man who became so integral in Ianto’s life precisely because he was not there. There is no doubt that Disco loves his kids, but Ianto’s one night out with his father for old time’s sake at the end is the prefect ending to a story that is very blunt with its metaphorical fence-building as Ianto comes to reconcile his own selfishness with that of his father. Paired with the ramifications of his father’s death recently seen in Torchwood One: I Hate Mondays, ‘Disco’ has added yet another emotionally complex layer to Ianto by firmly exploring the conflict and turmoil that his father’s decisions in life caused, continuing to expertly refine one of Torchwood’s most beloved and well-defined characters along the way.

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