Missing Molly

Posted in Audio by - April 14, 2024
Missing Molly

Released April 2024


As Ianto continues to try to establish himself as a valuable member of Torchwood Three, he travels back to the estate of his youth, following odd readings and finding that a young girl who went missing twelve years ago has suddenly come back with no memories of what has transpired since in ‘Missing Molly’ by Gareth David-Lloyd.

Perhaps even more than Doctor Who, Torchwood is able to deftly change gears to offer intimate, character-driven stories without a heavy focus on science fiction. Anchored by Gwyneth Keyworth’s performance as an adult Molly who retains the mannerisms and memories of the nine-year-old who disappeared from a local fair so long ago, the resulting story of despair, grief, hope, and love is beautifully written and realized. Keyworth provides an almost musical nonchalance to profoundly emotional scenes that simultaneously delves into the emotional mindset of an otherwise happy child who cannot comprehend the amount of time that passed while also presenting an emotional disconnect that her mother who has never given up hope cannot hope to understand.

Nia Roberts likewise gives a superb performance as Alison who has continued to buy birthday and Christmas presents for the little girl she lost, taking the extremely difficult role of and creating a wholly engaging and sympathetic character out of a woman whose life has been turned upside down in the ensuing years as her marriage has fallen apart and as she has become more of a social outsider while too frequently turning to alcohol to cope. Still, the relative lack of emotions from Molly proves to be too much for Alison to handle, and a particularly emotionally-charged scene perfectly showcases the power of the many emotions she has been building up over the past twelve years. It’s a rollercoaster performance that the emotional mindset of this woman requires which, of course, is bolstered by a steadfast love and hope for the future. Conversely, the bold contrast that Matthew Gravelle offers as the father Stuart who has boldly decided to leave the past in the past with no ties to that earlier life brilliantly accentuates the many different mechanisms of coping that particular individuals may choose. Stuart can be callous and even abusive as he steadfastly continues to state that the person claiming to be Molly is a fraud despite the very personal information she has that nobody but Molly could know, but Gravelle instills a certain earnestness and shrouded compassion to the role that helps to make the ending altogether more poignant without all truths being revealed.

David-Lloyd has quickly established himself as one of Big Finish’s most consistently strong writers, and his ability to delve into such weighty emotions is incredibly impressive. Lisa Bowerman’s direction likewise allows the requisite space and timing for those many emotions to develop and flourish realistically and viscerally, and David-Lloyd’s implicit understanding of his own Ianto who is able to find common ground with Molly as he revisits his own past on this estate while trying to find out if this woman truly is who she claims to be provides yet another emotional anchor to this story while defining Ianto at this particular moment in his Torchwood Three career. The suspected inclusion of the rift and the immense unknown that that brings with it only further accentuate the sense of the unknown, and ‘Missing Molly’ quickly establishes itself as one of Torchwood’s most gripping and poignant tales that truly highlights the heights that this range can reach with even a single lead as the focus.

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