In-between series 2 and series 3 ("Children of Earth") of TORCHWOOD on television, BBC Radio 4 broadcast four audio dramatizations of the series using the voice talents of the remaining cast members John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper) and Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones). The first, "Lost Souls" was broadcast in 2008 (as part of "Big Bang" day to coincide with the official opening of the Cern Large Hadron Collider). Then, on consecutive weekdays (the week before "Torchwood: Children of Earth" was broadcast on TV) came the other three plays of which this, "The Dead Line" was the last - not that you need to listen to "Asylum" or "Golden Age" to appreciate this episode as they do not form a linked trilogy.
The three surviving members of the original TORCHWOOD team are involved in a spooky little tale of alien infiltration of the telephone system that has its roots in the long hot summer of 1976 which leads to another encounter with an old flame of Captain Jack's and some fun nostalgic references. Jack is actually sidelined for quite a lot of the story which ultimately means more central and significant roles for both Gwen's husband Rhys (Kai Owen) and Ianto Jones.
Actually, it's Ianto who has the most memorable role in this story as he waits in hospital and reflects on the significance of his place in the immortal life of Captain Jack Harkness. As events unfolded in the subsequent TV series, this all gains a certain significance and is appropriately memorable and poignant. All-in-all a quite thought provoking and entertaining three-quarters of an hour in the company of the familiar characters from the TV show.
This episode follows "Asylum" and "Golden Age" to complete the 2009 threesome of TORCHWOOD audio dramas, and there are no bonus features on the CD, just the 45 minute radio play.