Sunday, 31 May 2015

Reviews Up On the Roof by DJ Forrest

Up On The Roof

By DJ Forrest

‘When this old world starts getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face
I climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space
On the roof, it's peaceful as can be
And there the world below can't bother me.’ -
James Taylor

It’s the anniversary of your wedding, and to many it should be the happiest time of your life, still in that honeymoon period, when everything is joyous and the bubble hasn’t burst yet, and you’re not bogged down with kids or a heavy mortgage, or redundancies or long hours at work keeping you apart.  Instead, you’re up on a roof contemplating whether to jump or not!

Owen Harper is coming to terms with life as the living dead.  No longer able to eat, sleep or drink, he also can’t shave, or shag!  There’s no purpose to his life any more, and to cap it all, his own boss has given his medical job to Dr. Martha Jones, making him somewhat redundant.  What hurts even more is that, while Martha takes not only his job but also has a say in the daily goings on in the Hub, Owen has been demoted to Coffee Boy, a role that even Ianto is unhappy about. 

It’s all too much.  Gone are the days when he could use his sarcasm wit and tough attitude when riding shotgun with Jack bringing in the most unsavoury of characters, now any strenuous exercise, any tussle with another, any punching, cutting, trip, could render him incapable of mending.  So when you’re faced with the burdens of your life, what do you do? – you run down the jetty and you throw yourself into the cold Cardiff Bay and you wait for the air to leave your lungs and the realisation that you’re….not going to drown!

However, you do have one thing going for you – being dead, or the living dead, you’re the ideal candidate to break into a house with a high level of security, walk past the heat sensor equipment without setting off the alarms and locate an alien piece of technology that is on the verge of causing some serious damage to a large chunk of Cardiff.  But the device is not what they expect and the pulse it radiates is not the threat to Earth or even Cardiff, and it’s giving hope to a dying man, or so he thinks. 

Yet where there’s a high, there’s an incredible low. 

You’ve been a doctor for a good portion of your life, in hospitals to working at Torchwood.  You were able to save people, it gave you a kick, a fantastic buzz to find cures, discover diseases and fix what was broken, only now, an old man is dying, his monitor is flashing critical, and all he needs is a breath of air into his lungs….that you don’t have.

A Day in the Death written by Joseph Lidster is a heart wrenching, emotion packed episode, that has you caring for not only Owen, who we’ve loved throughout the series, but also the poor woman Maggie, played by Christine Bottomley, who lost her husband on her wedding day, in a car accident.  You feel her torment going through day after day without the man that she loved by her side.  You question how you would feel in that situation and you choke up. 

You feel for Owen because coming back from the dead has knocked him sideways.  He no longer feels the way he used to.  All the things he took for granted are now snatched away from him.  His morning routine, the lathering up for a shave, for whiskers that don’t grow, coffee that won’t be drunk, a fridge full of food that won’t be eaten.  Every single moment of every single day for the rest of his life is just like a repetitious pile of crap, so much so that all he can do is run, run so hard that ideally his lungs should explode but they don’t, because everyone thinks that Owen Harper is doing OK…but he’s not!


©BBC Torchwood 2006
A Day in the Death
James Taylor lyrics – Up on the Roof

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