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     Home »  Torchwood - Series 1 »  Torchwood: (E04) Cyberwoman
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    Torchwood: (E04) Cyberwoman Views: 5018
     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 11:25 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  old china] If I was RTD's teacher I'd give him a 3/10, a sad face Frown and tell him "stop copying other people's home work and think of something original yourself".


    To be fair, while he is the show runner and does have input on the scripts, he didn't write this ep.

    And, while I thought this one was a mixed bag, can anyone give me an example of a sci-fi episode/concept that hasn't been done before? Who was it that said there are only five plots (or was it four) in all of drama?

    "Don't play as if you've swallowed the metronome!" -- Nadia Boulanger
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 01:00 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  BadWolf]Yes it had some massive plot holes but the general concept was good and it had plenty of action. Then again I am not watching it wishing it was a Doctor Who episode which (reading some of the comments) I get the impression that many are.

    Darth posed the question: Would we still be watching if it wasn't Dr. Who related?

    I think another question should be: Would we be watching if Doctor Who had not returned?

    And you know I think the answer is that a lot of us would? Why because it is a reasonable Sci Fi show and I think that if the Doctor hadn't returned many of us would be marking it higher than we are now. The fact is that Dr. Who has returned and returned with such a high standard that many of the posts are making a comparison.

    Someone wrote that Torchwood is not to the same standard as Ultra Violet and I totally agree but then again Torchwood is not setting out to be Ultra Violet just as it is not setting out to be Doctor Who but because it comes from the same stable comparisons are made.



    I'm watching primarily because I am a fan of UK television drama. Whether it was connected to Doctor Who or not I'd be giving it a try because it I give most new UK dramas a shot. I'm not automatically interested just because it is sci-fi. I like good drama and good writing. Sometimes it comes in sci-fi, someimtes in police dramas, etc.

    When I mention other series which I consider to be high quality adult UK drams it's not that I expect Torchwood to be like those shows as much as I hold those series to all feature a high quality of writing. The four series I mentioned in my earlier post are all very different from each other. It's not that I'm judging Torchwood because it is or isn't like anything else but because so far, especially with the latest episode, I have not felt the writing to be of a high enough standard. I didn't list Doctor Who in that list as Doctor Who is a family show and not an adult drama.

    Again I think being "adult" is about more than showing graphic violence, having sex and swearing. All of those things are fine but if a show is to be considered truly mature I thing that there must be a cause and effect applied to everything that happens on the screen. Characters must deal with the consequences of their own actions as well as those of others as so far that isn't happening.

    We've seen before that telefantasy can be more than just eye-candy and so far Torchwood doesn't appear to be trying to be more than fun and stylish fluff.

    I don't want Torchwood to be Doctor Who or to be Ultraviolet. I have no problem with the premise of the show. I want Torchwood to be Torchwood but written to a much higer standard than it has so far. They've done a mostly excellent job on how the show looks and for some viewers I understand that that's good enough. For me to truly enjoy the series the writers will need to be a lot more mature about how they handle their characters and that doesn't just mean more T&A.

    Mike

    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 01:01 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Mohan] I enjoyed the episode but I have this question: What's up with all the spontaneous snogging in the series? I've been to London and have never seen such spontaneous snogging come up.


    Obviously you need to go to Cardiff and not to London!

    Mike

    "There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things which act against everything we believe in. They must be fought."
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 01:31 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  MikeD] I have no problem with the premise of the show. I want Torchwood to be Torchwood but written to a much higer standard than it has so far. They've done a mostly excellent job on how the show looks and for some viewers I understand that that's good enough. For me to truly enjoy the series the writers will need to be a lot more mature about how they handle their characters and that doesn't just mean more T&A.

    Mike


    Amen. Not that I am opposed to a bit of T&A. Wink

    [Quote  by:  actorguy] And, while I thought this one was a mixed bag, can anyone give me an example of a sci-fi episode/concept that hasn't been done before? Who was it that said there are only five plots (or was it four) in all of drama?


    Well I think "The Time Machine" for a start was an extrodinarly original concept yes we had the obligitary monsters (and, yes it was a political/cautionary tale) but to come up with with the concept of Time Travel before Einstein's postulations on space-time was truely awe inspiring. Cool

    Oh.. wait I think you might have meant a modern concept.

    Well if you read "The Time Ships" (and could follow it) you will see that an original concept can be done with a bit of borrowing, and still be done right.

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 04:04 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  BadWolf]
    If you think about it STTNG set such a high standard that DS9 was bound to fail.

    Actually, I think that ST:TNG started out real slow, and didn't really become a great series until season two or three. The first season didn't have that much going for it.

    There are some that say that DS9 was the best of the Star Trek series, though I am not of that opinion, not many would say that it failed. Most would point to Voyager or Enterprise as the failures.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 04:17 PM EST
    Wow. I guess I'm late to the party with my opinions again, but here we go. And I must apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I have A LOT to say about this, so if it seems too long, skip ahead.
    For those of you who know me, my thoughts will not suprise. I didn't like it. Not at all. I actually took notes during the episode, creating two colums.
    One column had things I liked, the other that I disliked. I'll save what I liked for last, so as not to be a downer. Also, please remember that these are my opinions. I know some of you are really enjoying the show, and that's wonderful. I am not coming down on anyone who does. This is just my take.
    What I didn't like:
    -Ianto is still ordering Pizza to be delivered? 10 dollars, or pounds, says he's still using Torchwood as the name.
    -I felt absolutely nothing for any of the characters. Louis said this too. I could care less what happens to any of them. With the exception of Gwen and maybe Jack, they've done nothing that makes me find them redeemable at all. in fact, they've done things that makes me dislike them.
    -When I say I feel nothing for the characters, let me include Lisa the Cyberwoman in that. Am I supposed to give a rat's hairy hiney that some woman I don't know is Ianto's girlfriend and she's been halfway cyberfied?
    -Speaking of Cyberfied, that was the stupidest costuming on Lisa I can recall in recent television. It's hard not to laugh at the absurdity of it. It's been suggested that I'm a bit of a prude because I feel some of this stuff is heavy handed. She's basically wearing a metal Madonna bra and steel knickers. It doesn't seem mature to me, it seems ridiculous. It's not even functional. That's not armor! It's barely covering anything.
    -The spontaneous kiss between Owen and Gwen. Note that I have nothing to say about the kiss between Jack and Ianto. It fit into the story, as I am assuming he was giving him life essence (see, I'm no prude!). But why did Owen kiss Gwen? number one, it took me out of the moment, and that's the last thing you want to do when you are trying to tell a story, and two, it made me like Owen even less that I did, which didn't seem possible. It seemed as out of place as if Owen had pulled out some granola bars and munched away. "Why are you eating granola," Gwen would say? "I'm about to die, I want to leave this world eating something crunchy."
    Pointless.
    -We've said here that many of these concepts seem ripped from other shows. I'll throw another one out there. Lisa seems like a huge ripoff of Battlestar Galactica. A woman who is mostly machine? Cyber? Cylon? Seems too close to me. It feels like the writers saw it working for BSG and decided to see if it translated.
    -Jack holds a gun to Ianto and tells him, and I think this is a quote, "Execute her or I will execute you!" Guess what? Ianto doesn't execute the cyberwoman, and Jack doesn't kill Ianto. I would have been so proud if Jack had popped him right there. If you are going to make idle threats, no one is going to respect you or obey you, because you don't follow through. I may seem to be coming across as too hard, but I'm not the one who held a gun on Ianto.
    -After all is said and done, Ianto is free to go?! This man has seen all sorts of things, technology and events. Plus, he's proven that he is not to be trusted. He was keeping someone in the Torchwood HQ without anyone's knowledge. "Okay, Ianto, you're fired, clean out your desk. Oh, don't talk about this to anyone."
    At least do a Men in Black style memory zap and dump him on the street.
    -Like Louis, I kept checking the clock. I was flat out bored. I've seen it all before, only better. If you are going to do a "tribute" to a show, or let's face it, boost some other show's concepts, try to do it better than them, not worse.

    What I liked:
    -I did like the fact that Jack actually pulled the gun on Ianto. It reminded me of the scoundrel that I enjoyed in Doctor Who.
    -I thought it was a nice moment when Gwen was being pursued by the Cyberwoman and she had to roll away the steel door and secure it behind her in the nick of time. Nice tension build-up.
    -If you are going to have a Pterodactyl, you have to have it eat people. So in that regard, well done.


    that's all I liked.

    Final thoughts: There is almost nothing to keep me coming back from week to week other than Jack Harkness. The supporting cast are boring and dull. The plots are tired and worn out, and feels very shallow to me. I can't promise that I am going to make it to episode 13. I probably will watch them just because of the connection to Doctor Who, but we are now around 1/3 of the way through the season, and the show is still not clicking with me, nor with a lot of other people, from the sound of things. I am honestly wishing that this show doesn't get picked up for a second series. I'd rather see Jack folded back into Doctor Who as a semi-regular guest star, or even a companion. I don't think he works as a leader, and I think this spinoff is watering down the Doctor Who franchise.

    I say this final thing, and I want you to think about it. Are you accepting of the show because you are genuinely impressed and entertained by it, or are you making allowances for it because we love Doctor Who and the character of Captain Jack?

    Heath Holland
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 04:19 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  BadWolf]
    If you think about it STTNG set such a high standard that DS9 was bound to fail.

    Actually, I think that ST:TNG started out real slow, and didn't really become a great series until season two or three. The first season didn't have that much going for it.

    There are some that say that DS9 was the best of the Star Trek series, though I am not of that opinion, not many would say that it failed. Most would point to Voyager or Enterprise as the failures.


    Personally, I think that Star Trek TNG started out very well. I loved Encounter at Farpoint, and many of those first season episodes. While it did improve with age, I think it came out of the gate strongly.

    Heath Holland
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 06:42 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] -The spontaneous kiss between Owen and Gwen. Note that I have nothing to say about the kiss between Jack and Ianto. It fit into the story, as I am assuming he was giving him life essence (see, I'm no prude!). But why did Owen kiss Gwen? number one, it took me out of the moment, and that's the last thing you want to do when you are trying to tell a story, and two, it made me like Owen even less that I did, which didn't seem possible. It seemed as out of place as if Owen had pulled out some granola bars and munched away. "Why are you eating granola," Gwen would say? "I'm about to die, I want to leave this world eating something crunchy."

    Actually, this was the most believable part of the episode. It has been established that Owen is promiscuous in episode 2, and it is a cliché to kiss/make love/have sex in a moment of crisis. This has been used before, so it is probably more tired than out of place, and quite fitting of the Owen character.

    re. the costume

    One can not expect a costume designer to be up on medical science. The Cybermen costumes never have lived up to the fictional characters they represent, even in the new Doctor Who. They just look like tin robots. Don't get me wrong, I've liked them from a design standpoint, but as a representation of people who have replaced many of their body parts with artificial versions, they just don't feel right. That said, I did like what they did with Ianto's guests vis-a-vis their costumes/makeup post-upgrade/post surgery. But who is to say what the partial steps in Cyber conversion are like. Were the attempts in the 80s any better?

    Now, as to this program being targeted at adults. Good Luck! It seems to be written towards the tween and teen level. Just with a little more sex and swearing than they are normally allowed to watch, but that a good percentage of them either do or know about already anyway.

    Taras

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 06:54 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  BadWolf]
    If you think about it STTNG set such a high standard that DS9 was bound to fail.

    Sorry to hijack yet another thread, but there's an awful lot of misconception about DS9 running around these fora. It seems to be held up as an exemplar of sci-fi failure, and that's just not the case.

    DS9 did have lower ratings on aggregate than TNG, but there was different math being used to calculate later seasons of DS9 than the earlier ones, to the extent that the aggregate ratings for the whole run of DS9 versus those of TNG aren't compatible. (TNG always got to count the repeat broadcast in a week's ratings, DS9 didn't in later seasons.) In the earlier seasons, you have to throw in the fact that DS9 was competing with TNG. Where TNG fully enjoyed the novelty of being the only syndicated SF show for the majority of its run, DS9 was in the shadow of TNG up until season 3. After that, it was still left with the direct competition of Babylon 5 and others. Despite lower absolute ratings than TNG, it nevertheless generally was the highest rated syndicated show overall, week in and week out, just like its predecessor. Among adults 18-49 and 25-54, it was, for every single episode, the #1 syndicated first-run show, of any genre, in America.

    It's widely considered to be the best-written of all the Star Trek series, and, whether one likes the direction taken by the writing staff, it inarguably has the best-defined characters on any ST show. It was critically acclaimed by the mainstream press as being the best ST series. Its award nomination list is comparable to TNG, and far longer than the two shows that followed it. It ran for a full seven years, and is the only franchise spawning new "seasons" (as opposed to one-off adventures) in print.

    The only tangible sense in which it's demonstrably less successful than its predecessor is that it has spawned no movies. And it never will. But this is a consequence of what makes it such a strong television show. Seeing failure in DS9 for its absence from theatres is like saying The West Wing sucks because it never made a movie. Truly continuing dramas just can't be confined to the space of one movie. And TNG's success at the movies has certainly been spotty.

    A better measure of its relative worth may be its DVD sales rankings on Amazon. Now that you have a situation where every single scrap of the ST archives is available for individual purchase (well, okay, in two weeks the Animated Series comes out for the first time on DVD), we're in a pretty good position to see the relative popularity of each part of the franchise. Though the original series is still effectively king of the hill, and TNG is the most popular modern era show, DS9 is a strong second. Voyager is the real dog of the lot, with its output being well behind even lowly Enterprise. DS9 sales have been consistently similar to TNG. In a head-to-head comparison, Season 7 of both series have been in the top 10 of ST sales for months, in a virtual dead heat.

    So please, people, when you're looking for an exemplar of sci-fi failure, please look somewhere other than Deep Space Nine.

    "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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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 07:11 PM EST
    Now, to get back on topic, I find myself oddly compelled to say that this was the best Cyberstory I've ever seen. I was emotionally drawn into it in a way that I've never been on television, and have only gotten from the audio Spare Parts. I think the crew and cast managed to turn this half-Cyberman into a more credible threat than 40 years of Doctor Who appearances ever did.

    While I wasn't especially wowed by the clearly "sexual" costuming, I do think that the explicitly half-human design would be a better way to go for these monsters from here on out.

    None of that speaks to whether it was a good episode of Torchwood. I'm still not sure what that means yet. Nor is it to imply that there weren't plot holes. I still don't get how removing her from dependence on the machines made her cyber personality assert itself, nor especially how she would have had the technical knowledge to implant her brain into a human. (Surely that would have been explicitly counter to her programming, and a procedure not at all in the Cyber database.) But strictly on the basis of whether I was emotionally engaged by the Cybermen, I found myself quite surprisingly saying, "Well, I'll be damned. Someone finally did it on screen."

    This was also the first full episode in which I actually liked Jack, throughout. And, finally, there was some real conflict between team members. The Ianto/Jack conflict was real, palpable, and totally believable. I'm compelled to say that it actually defined their characters in a meaningful way.

    "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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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 07:17 PM EST
    Thanks Darth for having the guts and the statistics to stand up for a show that (in my humble oppinion) stands up quite well for itself. I liked the character interplay in DS9 better than in TNG and love that Torchwood 3 has a similar door Smile . That said, please look to the following link for an exploration of the current biological content of ep4-
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/classic/webcasts/realtime/

    Under artwork then spoilers (for those of you who haven't seen/heard the story yet.

    Spoiler space-




















    Here is another example of a partial conversion/scantily clad female Cyberperson (So PC) This is neither new nor shocking. Fantsy/Sci-Fi have portrayed women in very little to no clothing to portray a vunerability that may belie the nature of the character. So as they say in California "Cyberboobies-Big Deal". Cool

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 07:23 PM EST
    Okay, a question about "Cyberwoman". I think I may have missed something basic, but who is this "Susie" that Jack mentioned having scavenged the lock-opener? Is she the person who appeared in episode 1 and has not since recurred?

    "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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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 07:56 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  tarashnat]
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007] -The spontaneous kiss between Owen and Gwen. Note that I have nothing to say about the kiss between Jack and Ianto. It fit into the story, as I am assuming he was giving him life essence (see, I'm no prude!). But why did Owen kiss Gwen? number one, it took me out of the moment, and that's the last thing you want to do when you are trying to tell a story, and two, it made me like Owen even less that I did, which didn't seem possible. It seemed as out of place as if Owen had pulled out some granola bars and munched away. "Why are you eating granola," Gwen would say? "I'm about to die, I want to leave this world eating something crunchy."

    re. the costume

    One can not expect a costume designer to be up on medical science. The Cybermen costumes never have lived up to the fictional characters they represent, even in the new Doctor Who. They just look like tin robots. Were the attempts in the 80s any better?

    Now, as to this program being targeted at adults. Good Luck! It seems to be written towards the tween and teen level. Just with a little more sex and swearing than they are normally allowed to watch, but that a good percentage of them either do or know about already anyway.

    Taras


    Frankly, the attempts from the 80s weren't fellows running around in nothing but a codpiece. Would have been a much different show. I would have been slightly more impressed if at least her face was covered up. it just looked silly to me. Not menacing at all. But I guess maybe that's just me.
    I agree that the show seems targeted to the tween/teen demographic with some sex stuff thrown in. It actually feels at, or below, the level of maturity of Doctor Who. What I don't understand is why didn't they leave the sex stuff out and just let the kids watch it? Put it on in Doctor Who's timeslot. It's certainly geared for it.
    I suspect that it was put in a later time slot to drum up some word of mouth. On that level, it worked, because love it or hate it, we're all talking about it.

    Heath Holland
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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 07:24 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  hdutch007]
    Personally, I think that Star Trek TNG started out very well. I loved Encounter at Farpoint, and many of those first season episodes. While it did improve with age, I think it came out of the gate strongly.
    Okay, one more break in the topic. Yeah, I'd agree with ya here. Season 1 isn't the problem so much as the dreadful Season 2. IMHO, the only decent Season 2 in ST history has been the original series' sophomore entry. Every other series you can clearly see a dip in quality as they try to steer the show into a long life. [That said, actually DS9's second season lays a lot of important groundwork, which, on reflection, made it way more relevant than it seemed at the time.]

    "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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     Tuesday, November 07 2006 @ 08:01 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical] Okay, a question about "Cyberwoman". I think I may have missed something basic, but who is this "Susie" that Jack mentioned having scavenged the lock-opener? Is she the person who appeared in episode 1 and has not since recurred?


    Yes, Susie was second in command and rumor is that she will be back. I think the Swis Army tool is going to figure into several stories (they spent too much money on that peice of stainless steel to use it just once Wink ).

    I'm a Time Traveler, I point and laugh at archaeologist.
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