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Cult Review

S02E11: 'Adrift'

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S02E11: 'Adrift'
Torchwood returns to form with an emotionally charged tale about a missing boy and Gwen's obsession to do the right thing.

Chris Chibnall's poignant script neatly brings out the conflicting components within Gwen's character, aided by a great performance from Eve Myles. In light of recent high profile disappearances, the subject matter is very contemporaneous and boosts the impact of the story, and forces us to consider what we'd do in Gwen's circumstances. Is it best to reveal the truth and remove the hope from the parents of the missing, or conceal the truth and allow them to go on searching in vain?

Captain Jack's shady but benevolent dealings with the off-shore facility builds intrigue and ultimately demonstrates that it's not only space whales that he can show compassion towards, with his realism clashing with Gwen's idealism. The welcome return of PC Andy offers a nice external perspective on the world of Torchwood and the fiery domestic barneys between Gwen and Rhys are always great fun. Crucially, the episode's ability to heighten emotions is maximised by the haunting performance of Robert Pugh as the lonely, tortured Jonah.

'Adrift' showcases the versatility of Torchwood, focussing on a character study and slow-burning mystery not long after the contrasting all-action romp during Gwen's wedding. It also shows how badly science-fiction is overlooked as serious, well-crafted drama.

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