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     Home »  Torchwood - Series 1 »  Torchwood: (E02) Day One
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    Torchwood: (E02) Day One Views: 4206
     Monday, November 13 2006 @ 02:54 AM EST

    Death by snusnu from Amazon Women In The Mood from season 3 of Futurama..

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Monday, November 13 2006 @ 02:09 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Mohan] A few comments about the first two shows: My wife asked me: "Are the shows a must watch?" She was never a Doctor Who fan and I was able to convince her to see the new series (as she can't stand the old shows). But Torchwood: I don't think I could sell her this show. It's interesting, but there's a lot more RTD could be doing.

    Let me be direct: The writing on the show is way over the top. "Everything changes in the 21st century...." Jack is written as this heavy character (emotionally that is) who is carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders, and for me at least, this isn't coming off well. The plots are okay, but the execution of what the characters say and do are wooden and really weaken. You can see a mile away where Gwen is going to be emotionally tied to Jack, playing off of the whole Scully and Mulder sexual tension theme. I don't mind being manipulated as a viewer, but I don't feel as though the show has convinced me that it takes itself seriously. It's almost as though everyone in the show is going through the motions without believing they're in a good show.

    Let me draw an example: Anyone remember the first few episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation? The first few shows were pretty shaky. In fact, the first few seasons were questionable. The turning point, for many fans, were the Borg as Picard's dynamic relationship with them reached a new level. When events became personal and the Borg tried to take the Enterprise's Captain, suddenly the crew woke up and everyone seemed to care about what was happening around them. It's as though the characters bonded and this shows through.

    With Torchwood, I'm hoping that the show gets to that point in which the actors bond with each other, and the writers play off of this. I'd suggest the writers/producers, pull back from the "Jack is the Savior figure" (what the heck is the point of showing him standing off a skyscrapper??? He isn't Superman or Spider-Man!) and make him more human. Let's see more of what makes Jack tick and put him in situations where he's tested and makes mistakes.

    I quite agree with a lot of this post. However, I'd go one step further and say that the key to making Torchwood must-see TV for general (that is to say, non-DW fan) audiences is to back away from Jack. Five episodes in and we still haven't got a clue about anyone other than Jack, Gwen, and, to an extent, Ianto.

    The point about the Borg cliffhanger on TNG was that it forced characters to do something. Riker (and, with him, Guinan, Crusher, Troi and Data) suddenly had to be in the spotlight, because Picard was effectively written out of the episode. His absence had a dramatic consequence that couldn't be ignored. The episode's plot wasn't particularly novel or interesting. Indeed the previous season had concluded with a similar invasion theme that went absolutely nowhere. It was the mere fact that characters were shoved (kicking and screaming) outside their comfort zone, which raised the bar of the whole thing. The consequent action (the line-in-the-sand battle at Wolf 359) was a natural outcropping of what happened by putting people out of place, and the event was allowed to reverberate as a seminal event in Trek history.

    This needs to happen on Torchwood. As long as they're all the willing lackeys of Jack, the show will be emotionally stunted, and the plots will have no reason to persist from one episode to the next. Oddly, it's being allowed to continue storylines provided by Doctor Who, but not (yet) to really create any major changes to its universe which could potentially spill back to Doctor Who. Maybe this is coming. I'd like to believe that reports of Jack returning to Doctor Who bode well. But nothing so far has me keeping my hopes up.

    We're essentially watching the 21st century equivalent of the problem with classic DW. It's weird that RTD would have put so much effort into raising the dramatic importance of the companion, to great effect, on Doctor Who, and yet mostly failed to do so, yet, on Torchwood. Maybe he feels he needs to lay down some "history" of a basically harmonious team to start with, so he can use that as dramatic fodder later, but there's far too much time being spent on plot, and not nearly enough on character relationships.

    With all the obvious sexual tension between Jack and Gwen, for example, it's just odd to me that there's been no real meeting between the boyfriend and Jack yet. [Hell, from a need-to-do-a-background-check standpoint, that's just weird.] We've got nothing on Owen and Tosh. Five episodes in and two of the characters are effectively not even introduced yet. It took until episode 4 for me to kinda get what Ianto's role was in the organization.

    So I kinda have to laugh when people say Torchwood is a crime drama. It's not. It's a dramatic crime.

    "I think of myself as ambitious in casting terms, and I know that Bonnie [Langford] has the potential to make the part totally unirritating . . ." JNT, 1986
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     Monday, December 04 2006 @ 08:29 AM EST
    It is interesting to look back at the first series with the hindsight of several new episodes behind us. The show has strengthen by having the other characters coming forward and no John Barrowman doesn't seem to fit the 'saviour of the world mold'. He's much more small scale trying to do a good (i.e. protective) person's job in the face of bad (attacking / killing) people.

    I'll address the standing on building's point in another thread....

    Practice acts of random kindness.
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