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     Home »  Torchwood - Series 1 »  A Question To All (Torchwood Spoilers)
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    A Question To All (Torchwood Spoilers) Views: 2400
     Wednesday, November 01 2006 @ 08:16 PM EST
    Indulge me a moment, friends, I'd appreciate some feedback on the following:
    I was thinking in the car today (where I do most of my deep thinking)about how Captain Jack, or I guess just Jack now that he has no ship, has, in my humble opinion, lost the characteristics that made him so much fun. I've made no secret of the fact that I was expecting more from Torchwood. I won't go into the reasons here, but the major one for me is that Jack just isn't fun anymore. It seems to me like he's become a neutered version of his former self. Captain Jack reminded me of Han Solo. He was a scoundrel who sometimes did what was right, but often times skirted the line. The Jack that I've seen so far on Torchwood is more a mysterious character with a somber side than the innuendo cracking con man I came to love. He's performing the "Doctor" role in this show, as Louis and others have pointed out.
    You don't have to agree to participate in my question, I just wanted you to know where I was coming from.
    Here's the question.
    If you could go back in time a year or 18 months, however long it was ago that plans for Torchwood first began to formulate, would you say that this was the best idea for a spinoff? In other words, if you knew that Captain Jack was going to be the star of a show, is this how you would want it to be? I know we are only three episodes in at this point, so I'll be fair. Personally, I think of all the directions that the spinoff could have gone in, and I am not certain that this was the best.
    I would much have preffered the adventures of Jack getting a new ship after he realizes that he's been ressurected, then following him as he wanders the galaxy. Maybe he could have been a sort of international private eye. Could have been a mercernary. Could have even been the same con man with a heart of gold that he was in DW series one.
    I simply don't think that sticking him on earth with 3 other characters and giving him sexual tension with one of those characters was the best idea. They clearly had to change the character to stick him in that formula, making him immortal, someone who doesn't sleep, a team leader, etc.
    What do you all think? Would you have preffered a different direction for Captain Jack or are you happy with where RTD has placed him? I just want to know what everyone thinks. Again, no right or wrong answer, just discussion.
    Big Grin

    Heath Holland
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     Wednesday, November 01 2006 @ 11:35 PM EST
    We all know how RTD likes people to be able to relate to his characters and that is probably why Captain Jack ended up on earth.

    I guess it is early days yet as who knows a spaceship might slip through the drift and end up in Jack's hands before the end of the series.


    I hadn't really thought of the other angles RTD could have gone with the series, so interesting topic.

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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 12:09 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] ...
    I would much have preffered the adventures of Jack getting a new ship after he realizes that he's been ressurected, then following him as he wanders the galaxy. Maybe he could have been a sort of international private eye. Could have been a mercernary. Could have even been the same con man with a heart of gold that he was in DW series one.
    I simply don't think that sticking him on earth with 3 other characters and giving him sexual tension with one of those characters was the best idea. They clearly had to change the character to stick him in that formula, making him immortal, someone who doesn't sleep, a team leader, etc.
    ...


    No question about it. I would love to have the Captain Jack we got to know and love in the 2005 series to go off and have his own adventures traveling the galaxy. Hell, I thought we were going to get this with Doctor Who as well and have the Doctor travel the galaxy as well as time...

    But this is a Russell T Davies series just like Doctor Who, which means: Earth-bound, Earth-bound, and more Earth-bound stories! Cry

    And yes, that is part of my disappointment with Torchwood is the alteration of the character, Captain Jack. It is funny, when I heard John Barrowman explain in behind the scenes interviews (i.e. Torchwood DeClassified) how easy it was to step back in the role of Captain Jack... I have to scratch my head because I don't think he is playing the same character at all... Just a shadowy reflection of the character he used to be.

    Cheers,
    Louis

    ☛ Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LouisTrapani ♥ ♥
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 01:23 AM EST
    I have been a Doctor Who fan all my life (I'm in my 30s now) and I make no secret of the fact that Torchwood makes me very uncomfortable. I don't like the fact that is so heavily associated with Doctor Who.

    I have children now who love the new Doctor Who, and Captain Jack come tho that, but I can't let them see Torchwood even though it was rammed down their throats for most of series 2.

    I know it's an adult programme, but why does it need the sex and swearing? I'm no prude but I suppose I am when it comes to people messing about with my childhood. The x-files was aimed at adults and I don't remember swearing in that. I'd let my children watch that.

    Torchwood on it's own I could deal with if the name wasn't an anagram of Doctor Who and John Barroman character wasn't Captain Jack, as a standalone programme it's fine, but as a Doctor Who spinoff, it has lost everything that was ever great about Doctor Who.

    Just a thought!

    P.S. It is of course possible that this message is a trap. If it is I can deal with it. P.P.S. I'm leaving this note in case I can't!
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 05:54 AM EST
    I don't mind the sex, the swearing, or the adult themes in Torchwood. What I do mind is that Captain Jack's character has changed and not for the better. There is no explanation for the dramatic change and I don't realistically believe that suddenly because he's "immortal" that his character would change so much. The Captain Jack that we knew from before would probably be trying to hook up romatically with as many men/women as he possibly could. Captain Jack has a selfish attitude (like Han Solo) but he would do the right thing.

    I've seen it mentioned before on this forum but the writing for Torchwood really is weak. People just don't say or speak as they are--it's not believable. I would think that if Torchwood were on American TV that it would have been canceled by now.

    I'm not giving up on the series yet, but it's definitely not what I had expected (and I don't mean that in a good way).

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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 07:01 AM EST
    Jack wondering the galaxy having adventures and sh*t sounds waaaay more fun than what we've ended up with. I'm fed up with Earth and am gutted that DW series 3 is also set to be earthbound. Yaaaaawn. If it wasn't for the DW connection I wouldn't go out of my way to watch this.

    At the risk of sounding excessively grumpy, I don't think small town Cardif is the right location for this either. If we have to stay earthbound, I'd have based Torchwood in a disused London Underground station (there are loads of these "ghost" stations on the Tube network) and still decorated in WWII posters to enforce Jack's connection to that period. All shaded in those muted, browns of that era, with some old technology still hanging about in the background - old wirelesses, gramophones and so on, mixed with alien stuff. It would look great!

    Lovely though Cardiff is (I visited there a few weeks back and it is beautiful down on the waterfront) I think somewhere bigger, more historical and more diverse in terms of environment, people, buildings and so on would have been a better choice. I can see why RTD loves living there, but I don't think a predominantly white, middle-class, ex-mining town makes for an interesting backdrop for a show like this. Still, at least he can stroll home after a days script editing.

    I see from the BBC website that RTD is already planning series 4 of Doctor Who. I'm hoping for some new blood in series 5 as I'm getting bored with his ideas (sorry if that sounds mean and maybe that's a topic for a different thread). I am finding this series, and some of DW series 2, a bit boring with nothing new to say and can only imagine it getting worse.

    That said, the only other sensible anagrams I can get from "Doctor Who" are CROWD HOOT or DOCTOR HOW. At least RTD picked the coolest sounding anagram. Although maybe if he'd pushed himself to come up with a series based on "Crowd Hoot" we'd have something more original!

    If half the art of survival is running away, the other half is knowing when to keep a straight face.
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 07:48 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Louis]

    But this is a Russell T Davies series just like Doctor Who, which means: Earth-bound, Earth-bound, and more Earth-bound stories! Cry

    Cheers,
    Louis


    This the main factor - RTD - thinking it has to be 'soap' I mean 'Earth' based.

    Responsiblity is another factor....Captain Jack has to think he's leading 21C humans that don't know what he knows.

    Even if it had to be Earth based his character would work better as a 'free' agent....and yes with his ship....BUT then I suppose some people would say that's not a spin-off of Dr Who - just a copy.

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 07:50 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007]Captain Jack reminded me of Han Solo. He was a scoundrel who sometimes did what was right, but often times skirted the line.


    Excellent comparison. I never made the connection before, but he did have that Han Solo scoundrel thing going before. I agree it's definitely lacking now.

    I haven't read all the replies yet, so if I duplicate something I apologize in advance. The way I was hoping the show was going to be, knowing that it was going to be focused on an Earth-based organization, was that Captain Jack would be acting as more of a free-lance consultant rather than the head of the organization. Kind of like the 3rd Doctor did with UNIT. I wanted him to be the scoundrel Jack pushing the bounderies of what Torchwood would allow because ultimately he was the one with most of the real world (and off-world) experience. By putting him in charge they are forcing him to be "the grown-up" for lack of a better term. He should be the one shaking things up.

    -L

    I'm going "Full Circle" and putting my avatar back to what it was when I first joined. :)
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 07:52 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  Mohan] I don't mind the sex, the swearing, or the adult themes in Torchwood. What I do mind is that Captain Jack's character has changed and not for the better. There is no explanation for the dramatic change and I don't realistically believe that suddenly because he's "immortal" that his character would change so much. The Captain Jack that we knew from before would probably be trying to hook up romatically with as many men/women as he possibly could. Captain Jack has a selfish attitude (like Han Solo) but he would do the right thing.

    I've seen it mentioned before on this forum but the writing for Torchwood really is weak. People just don't say or speak as they are--it's not believable. I would think that if Torchwood were on American TV that it would have been canceled by now.

    I'm not giving up on the series yet, but it's definitely not what I had expected (and I don't mean that in a good way).


    I agree completely, and I think you are right about American TV, and how it would have been cancelled. I've stated it elsewhere, but American shows don't get a whole season to find their legs. They get a handful of epsiodes. If they don't hit the ground running, they get cancelled.

    Heath Holland
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 07:57 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  old china]If we have to stay earthbound, I'd have based Torchwood in a disused London Underground station (there are loads of these "ghost" stations on the Tube network)


    Funnily enough - on Halloween - Channel 5 (UK) had a documentary called 'Ghosts on the Underground'....oh and the narrator?..... none other than Paul McGann. Twisted Evil

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 08:26 AM EST
    First, a comment on American TV. Some of the best-written shows have been those that have been cancelled, mostly due to lack of viewership. It's the dumb, stupid shows that attract the lowest common denominator that last.

    Sure, a rare few good shows survive and live long lives, but great shows like "Sports Night", "Herman's Head", "Firefly", and countless others have been given the axe too quickly not because of unrealistic dialogue, but for too smart dialogue.

    The dialogue writing in Torchwood so far has been quite good. The show has still not gotten its legs, but it's still far better than my famed reference point: Star Trek: The Next Generation season one. "I'd give it all up, to be a real human." Data says, blatantly plagiarising Pinocchio.

    This show far exceeds that level, and it's only had three episodes.

    As for the question that begat this thread, whether or not Jack is as fun as he used to be... think of this:

    What was happening to Jack the last time we saw him?

    He was involved in two strangers who very nearly got him killed, only to be rescued at the last second by them. So far, all's fun.

    Then come the Daleks. Jack's the last man standing in an assault by the Daleks, and he resignedly accepts his fate and is killed helping these two people he hardly knows.

    Then he's suddenly revived, and the two people he died to save are nowhere to be seen - he's been abandoned.

    He's lucky to be alive. He has no idea how he's still alive or why. And he's stuck on Earth.

    Somehow he manages to get back into the 21st century, (we don't know how yet) but he's a changed man. His happy-go-lucky life of living on the edge, escaping justice by the skin of his teeth - that got wiped away by his savage murder by the Daleks, and further by his abandonment by the very people he died to help.

    You have to admit if that doesn't sober you up a bit, nothing will.

    To me this change of personality is an honest one, and the fact that he can even smile at all seems to me to prove that he is every bit the hero he showed himself to be when he faced down the Daleks with absolutely no hope of victory.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 08:37 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  timeflight] ...

    I have children now who love the new Doctor Who, and Captain Jack come tho that, but I can't let them see Torchwood even though it was rammed down their throats for most of series 2.

    Right. You can't. Because it's not a kids' show. That's only smart parenting.

    [Quote  by:  timeflight] I know it's an adult programme, but why does it need the sex and swearing? I'm no prude but I suppose I am when it comes to people messing about with my childhood. The x-files was aimed at adults and I don't remember swearing in that. I'd let my children watch that.

    I beg to differ. By saying "why does it need the sex and swearing" you threaten to brand yourself a prude. Plenty of movies and TV shows have it, and it's there to provide realistic dialogue. No one says "Gosh darn it, man!" anymore, and it's time TV censors began to realize that.

    Torchwood is NOT Doctor Who and the moment you begin to accept that, you may look at it differently. Sure, it's related to Doctor Who. It's a spinoff. Just like "Mork and Mindy" was a spinoff of "Happy Days".

    Nor is Torchwood X-Files, which was aimed at a comprehensive audience, not just an adult one.

    If you want to compare it to something contemporary, it's closer to Buffy whose sexual references were as extreme as a show could get in the US without having to be shown on pay-only cable channels.

    I recall the scene in "Hush" in which Anya walked up to Xander, and because neither could speak, and she wanted sex, badly, she made the universal sign of the finger of one hadn poking through the circle made by the thumb and forefinger of the other hand.

    I can only imagine that got by the censors because the censors aren't all that hip to street signal language.

    And during "Once More With Feeling" we basically see Willow and Tara having sex. Joss Whedon even admitted that that was blatant pornography.

    Torchwood IS aimed at a more adult audience, and I applaud the BBC and the British viewing public for not allowing themselves to be held hostage by some Big Brother Censor board whose repressed members can decide what the people they are hired by can or cannot see.

    [Quote  by:  timeflight]Torchwood on it's own I could deal with if the name wasn't an anagram of Doctor Who and John Barroman character wasn't Captain Jack, as a standalone programme it's fine, but as a Doctor Who spinoff, it has lost everything that was ever great about Doctor Who.

    As stated, it is a spinoff, it is NOT Doctor Who. What the anagram has to do with it I don't know. That was originally used to disguise the outgoing tapes so no one would know it was Doctor Who tapes and therefore steal them. Torchwood can be and is its own show. It just happens to take place in the same universe as Doctor Who.

    I, for one, can't wait for episode 4.

    It has Cybermen.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 08:55 AM EST
    so, Sean, are you basically saying that you prefer Torchwood to other possible Captain Jack vehicles?

    Heath Holland
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 10:30 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]

    Then he's suddenly revived, and the two people he died to save are nowhere to be seen - he's been abandoned.

    Sean.

    Sinpped lot's of good points.

    This is one item I'm not sure of 'he's been abandoned'....does he think that or does he think (not knowing how he came back to life)...that the Doctor and Rose believe him to be dead.

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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     Thursday, November 02 2006 @ 10:33 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]

    If you want to compare it to something contemporary, it's closer to Buffy whose sexual references were as extreme as a show could get in the US without having to be shown on pay-only cable channels.

    I recall the scene in "Hush" in which Anya walked up to Xander, and because neither could speak, and she wanted sex, badly, she made the universal sign of the finger of one hadn poking through the circle made by the thumb and forefinger of the other hand.

    I can only imagine that got by the censors because the censors aren't all that hip to street signal language.

    And during "Once More With Feeling" we basically see Willow and Tara having sex. Joss Whedon even admitted that that was blatant pornography.

    Sean.


    Not to mention Spike doing his 'exercises' in bed ...with an invisible Buffy helping out.

    Cheers, daveac

    daveac on blip.tv, TalkShoe, iTunes, LiveVideo, uStream, GE, Sci-Fi, DWO, DS & WTA, Dave C on WLP, cooperda on AVF, dac100 on YouTube & PB, dac on Tiscali
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