Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Torchwood - has it burned out yet?

So - Torchwood, Doctor Who's answer to Angel. It's been 2 weeks now and you're wondering what the verdict was.

What I've seen of it so far is definitely on par with the last season of Doctor Who at its best. That's right - the first couple of episodes are nearly as good as... er... well, actually last season's Doctor Who wasn't that great. I guess it's nearly as good as the 2 parter not set on Earth I guess.

It's very dark. It's very adult. It's very bisexual. It's actually meant to be set on Earth every week. At times the humour seems a little immature. So it's very RTD I guess, it's a play-pen he's more used to. At times though Torchwood seems to come across as being a ludicrously Ally Macbeal sexy-people-working-in-an-office-having-affairs-and-not-doing-any-work type office environment, with RTD's teenage attitude towards sex. That kind of humour worked in Buffy, when the characters were teenagers, but in Torchwood it seems kinda odd that the Man in the Dr. Who 2-parter spent her time tittering quietly about one of her office mates seeing the other one.

I'm not sure why Captain Jack is a leader in Torchwood. A drifter from the 51st century seems an odd recruit, let alone commander, but fortunately he is a bit more interesting than he was in Doctor Who. It seemed every time he was mentioned in Doctor Who confidential RTD would say something like, "Captain Jack is an interesting character. He's from the 51st century and that means he fancies everybody. Did I mention he sleeps with anyone? Isn't that really interesting and a wonderful blueprint for the future."

Jack is still his old "interesting" self but now has the added backstory of being an immortal angsty type with a lot more backstory to develop over the 13 episodes, allowing him to be a lead character, not a sidekick. He's obviously peeved at the Doctor and has even gone so far as to collect a David-Tennant-hand-in-a-jar. Maybe he's trying to grow a Doctor?

Gwen seems okay, though I'm worried by Season 2 she'll turn into a Rose. Owen is a strange character, introduced as essentially a date-rapist (but he's a funny date-rapist so apparently that's okay) and appears more sympathetic in later episodes, while currently the tech-girl (who was a medical Doctor in Dr. Who right?) and receptionist guy are awaiting their own episodes.

Good stuff, and more sci-fi than Doctor Who at times.


Anonymous said...

You mean you have seen episode 3 without us?


Stuart said...

I still have it on Sky+. Panic ye not. I am weak, not cruel.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I thought

Episode 1 : Here's all the characters! Wheee looky! Oh wait isn't there supposed to be a story? Um one goes evil... isn't very good at it... THE END

Episode 2 : Skinny Welsh bint re-enacts the film Species, seriously damages the Welsh baby making industry.

Episode 3 : Straight down the line standard sci-fi short story on its 4,438,012 rehash. Sad and predictable.

Episode 4? : Looks promising, could actually have some meaningful action, and some tension which the first three have been sorely missing.

In short, the first three episodes feel like they have been written for 30 minute shows then stretched to the point of stupidity. It's obvious it hasn't got even a tenth of the Dr Who budget.

Saying that... it has potential. If they can actually focus on ANY of the characters other than copper lass they might have a good show, but if, as Stu says, turn her into a Rose, it'll get boring fast.

(whispers) look to firefly for inspiration... you know you should!(/whisper)

Stuart said...

Actually I thought episode 2 was very similar to episode 2 of Angel. Which was about a demon that transferred from host to host during sex. Our heroes were forced to stake out a night club, a bit like the first 30 mins or so of Torchwood's episode 2.