Torchwood review: The Last Beacon (audio)

In Torchwood: The Last Beacon, Owen and Ianto are investigating a mysterious alien signal near a remote Welsh community. Or they would be, if Ianto wasn’t trying too hard to enjoy himself on the trip.

The Last Beacon is a great writing debut from Ianto Jones himself, Gareth David-Lloyd. There are many dark episodes of Torchwood, but this story is something different. It’s very light in tone, and very funny. But it’s also great at character exploration, which is what all the best Torchwood stories excel at.

The unusual pairing of Owen and Ianto on a mission together is a brilliant idea. They did share some major scenes together in season one episode Captain Jack Harkness. But they were rather intense scenes, too.

However, in The Last Beacon, they’re put into a completely different context. While they’re on a mission together, they’re in a rather unusual environment. They’re investigating in or around a small Welsh community near a mountain. Ianto is right at home in this environment, and is really keen to enjoy himself.

Owen, on the other hand, is a fish out of water. As a London city boy, he really, really stands out in this place. Hearing his constant complaining, or how he continually upsets the local villagers, is hilarious to hear.

But what really stands out in this story is how much it explores Owen’s and Ianto’s relationship. As previously mentioned, they really didn’t get many key scenes together in the television series. So it’s great to hear them go on the equivalent of a team-building exercise. Particularly as we really get to explore what each of them really thinks of the other overall.

The Last Beacon is a really fun story. But more importantly, it’s a great piece of character exploration for two key characters. Another strongly recommended Torchwood story.

Have you listened to The Last Beacon? Do you wish there had been more interaction between Ianto and Owen in the television series? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.