And now, the end is near, and so we face the final curtain. We’ve been going on this epic adventure in the fifth series of Torchwood, Aliens Among Us since August of last year, and now the series’ third box set means it’s the end of this particular adventure for this new Torchwood team. Today, I’ll be reviewing the second episode in this box set, Tagged by Joseph Lidster.
“I know what you’ve done. I know what you’ll do.” The phrase starts appearing everywhere around Cardiff. On posters. On the internet. It’s just a prank, isn’t it? Only a wave of vigilante crime spreads through the city. People are taking revenge. Suddenly everyone knows what you’ve done. And they know what you’ll do.
We start with some of the most chilling questions ever, delivered absolutely brilliantly. Cards mysteriously start appearing with the simple message “I know what you’ve done. I know what you’ll do.” How ominous is that? In the final box set of a series, you’d expect things to start wrapping up, but it seems like this is only just the beginning.
We’re quickly introduced to Serena, a new character who knows PC Andy, who works for PC Andy, who’s been confined to office work, just in case he’s a murderous psychopath. You can never be too sure.
Back with Torchwood, and Jack is gone, replaced by Yvonne. She’s incredibly efficient at her job, and she’s managed to turn the hub around into something that can actually be utilised well. You know what they say about things when they’re too good to be true.
Tyler rejoins the fray, albeit extremely briefly, and he and Gwen have a nice little meeting in a coffee shop. It’s a great little exposition scene, which is made even more enjoyable by the fact that Gwen is in utter despair at how office-like Torchwood seems to have become overnight. I can totally relate to Gwen when she shivers at the thought of a powerpoint; they’re just awful.
Serena quickly becomes one of the most interesting characters in Aliens Among Us, she’s filled with guilt about a certain event that’s taken place, and there are a few times when it’s hinted that she’s becoming more and more paranoid. Even when she’s around Andy (who, as always, is absolutely glorious).
Once again, Orr and their abilities comes to the fore, and it’s interesting how an alien seems to grasp humanity and what humankind means a lot more than either Yvonne or Mr Colchester. Sometimes, an outside perspective can be the most honest. I’m personally really glad that Orr is being utilised a lot more in this final box set of Aliens Among Us, as Orr is really the most interesting character that Torchwood has had on their team in a long while. I, of course, mean no disrespect to the rest of the Torchwood team, but to have an alien who is so alien, and can be utilised so brilliantly, is truly a blessing to the Torchwood team. My only hope is that Orr lives on outside of Aliens Among Us.
Joseph Lidster manages to hold up a great big mirror to society, using Yvonne’s mercilessness and Orr’s special talents. Christ, humanity is awful at times isn’t it? Can’t we all just be kind to one another, please? It’d save so much torment for Orr, and I like Orr. Orr is great.
It’s one thing after another in Tagged, just after you realise how much Orr is in pain trying to impress Yvonne, Gwen gets the sharp end of the stick. Talk about ripping up Torchwood. All these little things are so small and personal, yet you can’t help but think that it’s going to be cataclysmic.
Back with Orr, and there’s a soundscape that’s absolutely phenomenally done, showing what the internet contains through pure sound, the inanity and mundanity of what we spend most of the time doing online. It peaks at a crescendo of noise, yelling at it wouldn’t change the effect; it wouldn’t stop it, it’d just be adding to the problem. It really goes to show how a lot of the internet is futile and pointless. (GallifreyArchive not included, of course.) For the second review in a row, I have to give a huge shout out to Blair Mowat on the music and Steve Foxon on sound design, they’ve both done it again.
Of course, when it’s revealed what the evil hidden in the internet is, it’s called the Meme. Because of course it is. Meme’s are the cancer of the internet in the world of Torchwood, and it’s up to Orr to meet the Meme… I hope it’s not Troll Face.
Yvonne get’s an incredibly heartwarming and emotional little moment, which I honestly didn’t see coming. We’re used to Yvonne being so cold, results driven and manipulative, that having her be kind, compassionate and seemingly honest is extremely jarring. I only hope that it was sincere, and not some double-bluff for nefarious reasons further down the line.
The conclusion of Tagged is somewhat sinister, with Mr Colchester giving some very steely words to someone whom he isn’t too fond of, and, if the repercussions of that are anything like some of the repercussions we heard in this release, this could be the most pivotal phrase spoken in Torchwood history.
Overall, Tagged is another brilliant story, developing the characters we know, giving us hints of the conclusions of certain threads, whilst also introducing new, complex characters like Serena. It’s a shame that I’m already halfway through Aliens Among Us 3, I don’t want it to end.
Should you want to purchase Aliens Among Us 3, it’s currently available from Big Finish here for £28 on CD or £25 for a digital download for a limited time.