Girl Number 9: the limited edition DVD
How does a web-based thriller fare on the jump to DVD? It’s better than what you’re likely to find on the telly tonight, reckons Simon…
Imagine you'd added to your CV the script of a feature film (Severance), an episode of Doctor Who, scripts for Torchwood (including for the majestic Torchwood: Children Of Earth) and an assortment of other credits over the past few years. What would be the next, logical thing to do?
Er, there's little point asking James Moran. For along with Dan Turner, he expended his energies and resources on a web-based thriller, without a great deal of hope of getting much cash back the other end. Said thriller, Girl Number 9, was released in six episodes of roughly five minutes apiece last year, and pulled together an impressive cast, led by former Torchwood favourite Gareth David-Lloyd.
It's a lean piece of filmmaking, too. At first glance, you can't help thinking it's all gone a bit Saw, as a suspect under interview at a police station reveals he's got a girl locked away somewhere, and the clock is ticking. Literally, as it happens, as he promptly shows the investigators a web feed of the girl tied up, seemingly facing her doom.
But that's the starting point for a thriller that doesn't go the way you think it might. We don't want to give anything away here, but it's a psychological piece of work, and a really strong one. If you're expecting cheapened production values just because this is a web drama, then you'll be happily mistaken here - the half hour that the combined Girl Number 9 adds up to would rival anything on the evening viewing schedules right now.
So how does it work brought all together in one run? Very well, and we didn't expect to write that. This was a production, after all, designed to be watched in five minute chunks, yet it makes a successful half hour straight viewing too. And we've got to say: we love the ending.
The DVD is an independent production, which means you'll need to order it from the makers themselves. But it's certainly worth the effort. There's a real labour of love feel to Girl Number 9, and that's reflected in the disc too. Firstly, you can watch a complete version of the main feature, or get it in its episodic form. On top of that, there's a good selection of extra features. Included are a trio of trailers, a gallery from the production, Lyndon's Interview, an interesting Making Girl Number 9 feature and an interview too with James Moran and Dan Turner. Considering the main feature is half an hour long, you get all of that again and then some with the extras.
On top of that, there are welcome audio options. The best, of course, are the commentaries, and there are two to choose from. One features Dan Turner and James Moran, and the other brings Turner in again, this time with director of photography Richard Swingle. Finally, there's an option for a music-only track.
It's a comprehensive package for a far better than the norm web production. The cost of the DVD is £9.99 plus £2.50 for postage and packaging, and you can order it here. Here's hoping that Moran and Turner consider a Girl Number 10, or something of that ilk, for some time in the future...
You can order the DVD here.