Torchwood is back once again with the second instalment of Aliens Among Us, four new episodes have been released, and Torchwood will never be the same again. Today, I’ll be reviewing the sixth episode of Aliens Among Us, A Kill To A View.
Ritz Towers is a luxury tower block so exclusive not even aliens can get a place there. Mr Colchester has somehow secured a flat at the Ritz. With the streets increasingly troubled, his husband feels safe there. The problem is that Ritz Towers is anything but safe.
For a start, the building has more tenants than it has flats. Then there are the endless dinner parties. The whole new definition of upwardly mobile. And finally, there is the very mysterious caretaker.
Yet again, Aliens Among Us manages to have an absolute corker of an opening, with a dinner party mixed with the Hunger Games. If there was going to be a sadistic murder complex, Death By Chocolate would be the most British way. If that wasn’t bad enough, it seems as if in Ritz Towers, the most luxurious tower block in Cardiff, has a somewhat familiar caretaker; Billis Manger.
Penned by Big Finish newcomer Mac Rogers, A Kill To A View really gets going by focussing on ‘The Torchwood Widowers’, the partners of the Torchwood team who seem to occasionally get left behind. Rhys is once again an absolute delight, and it’s as if Kai Owen has never been away.
We learn a bit about Mr Colchester’s other half, the other Mr Colchester, like he enjoys sudoku and he’s a Leeds lad. (A fair few parallels between me and OMC as I’ll abbreviate him; we’re both from West Yorkshire and we’re both now living in the Bay.) I think the reason I’m enjoying this story so much because it shows you the ripples and repercussions of how having someone you love being part of Torchwood effects you and your day to day life. It reminds me a lot of the RTD era of Who, where we’d see how travelling with the Doctor would effect the companion and their family.
There’s something so insincere about the majority of the characters in A Kill To A View, that it’s so unnerving to my British ears. There’s nothing quite as unnerving as insincerity to our British sensibilities.
The final act of A Kill To A View is incredibly fast paced and action packed, and considering you only have one of your senses to rely on for information, the actors and the sound designers have done an absolutely sterling job to paint such an intense picture in your minds eye.
During the final five minutes of this story, Rogers managed to take me an one hell of an emotional rollercoaster, there was tension, fear, relief, horror, shock and maybe even a tear or two. I said in my review of Love Rat that Torchwood is so much more human than Doctor Who in a lot of respects, and I think that A Kill To A View proved that once again.
For most, the most notable aspect of this story will be Murray Melvin’s return as Billis Manger, which to me is a stroke of genius, if you think about iconic villains and monsters from the TV series of Torchwood, chances are you’ll think of the Weevils, the 456, and Billis. Melvin’s portrayal and performance is still absolutely bloodcurdlingly creepy a decade later.
Overall, A Kill To A View is yet again another extremely strong story; like I said at the beginning of the review, the basic premise is a mix of Come Dine With Me and The Hunger Games, and I loved it. This is really the Colchesters’ story, and we get to learn a lot about the couple. Personally, I really enjoyed seeing a gay couple in Torchwood that weren’t fuelled purely by hormonal impulses like we’re used to seeing, instead we get to hear the story of a slightly older couple who are very content in one another’s loving company. The ending of the story also raised a few more questions, which I anticipate will be answered by the end of Aliens Among Us, and it seems that, even at the halfway mark of the series, there’s still a lot we don’t know about Cardiff…@
Should you want to purchase Aliens Among Us 2, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £28 on CD or £25 for a digital download for a limited time.