Read by Burn Gorman who plays Owen in the TV series this triple CD release of Andy Lane’s ‘Slow Decay’ is one of three Torchwood titles released this month by BBC Audiobooks.
The death of five teenagers and the discovery of a partially eaten Weevil bring Captain Jack and the Torchwood team into contact with a young woman with an appetite for human flesh…
The instantly recognisable locations of the Hub and contemporary Earth free the author from having to spend a lot of time setting the scene – something which has slowed down some of the Doctor Who releases which often have to convey alien worlds and cultures.
However Lane seems at times uncertain what to do with the resulting space resorting to padding the narrative – I lost count of the number of times the makes of Jack’s and Gwen’s pistols were name-checked but at one stage it felt like every other word Gorman uttered was a make of weapon.
On the plus side Lane does a good job of accurately capturing the Torchwood regulars. Rhys especially benefits from the additional room offered by the source novel feeling a far more well rounded and solid character than the first series sometimes portrayed.
Perhaps fittingly given Burn Gorman’s contribution to this release Owen feels the most developed of the regulars. The character as depicted here is less shallow and more aware of other people’s vulnerabilities than on screen and as a result is far more believable as a doctor.
The story has the usual mix of alien threat, sexual shenanigans and city life which means if you didn’t like the first series you probably won’t like this but as someone who did this release proved to be a welcome filler while waiting for series two to appear.