Uncanny Valley

105Written by David Llewellyn
Directed by Neil Gardner

Uncanny Valley is a story that is one I have mixed feelings about. This story is the second to feature Captain Jack although he did have a presence in Forgotten Lives. The story is written by David Llewellyn who wrote the first story in this series. The story is that Jack is investigating the business of Neil Redmond who is a billionaire who is living in a castle in Wales and yet is appearing on live TV at a weapons fair in Russia. The story is partly told in flashback with use learning how Redmond became a recluse and its hard not to feel sympathy for him because he didn’t seem like that bad a guy. What is quite obvious is what is going to happen when the robot Redmond is created. It was just inevitable that he was going to overrule his master. In narrative terms it takes two years for Redmond to train NJ to act more human but NJ becomes more able to cope on his own.

Here is what ruins this story for me. The actual love scene between Captain Jack and robot Neil felt unnecessary and I thought was quite gratuitous and is the only time that I felt that Big Finish crossed the line. It felt like the bad old days of Torchwood when they were trying to be too risqué and I don’t think that there is anything with implying it but we didn’t need to actually here it. I don’t know whether Jack needed to go to the lengths that he went to in order to show Neil what NJ was really like. This critiscm aside, I thought that John Barrowman gives a strong performance and despite not having any of the Torchwood team with him is still able to hold his own and stand up to Neil Redmond and NJ.

If it weren’t for the fact that the story was so good then I would have said this was the worst story of the series. Uncanny Valley has a good idea at the centre of it and David Llewellyn does a good job of giving John Barrowman & Steven Cree enough to do to make this an entertaining release. I think that this story that has a good plot and continues the story arc well enough. The final story of the series has a lot to live up to and I wonder whether it will accomplish this because overall this series has been very good so I hope it doesn’t end on a bad note.

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