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     Home »  Torchwood - Series 2 »  [Spoilers] TW S2 Epi 3 'To The Last Man'
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    [Spoilers] TW S2 Epi 3 'To The Last Man' Views: 2249
     Wednesday, January 30 2008 @ 07:48 PM EST
    There will be spoilers

    As I've already posted on the Sci-Fi forum:-

    It was a real change of pace and the story had time to build.

    Reminded me of 'Sapphire & Steel'

    Liked the quick reference to HHGTG (save the world in my pajamas)

    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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     Wednesday, January 30 2008 @ 08:40 PM EST
    Right old chaps, here's my rant!

    Just when I thought Torchwood was getting better, it brings me back down to earth (or should that be Cardiff?) with a loud thump.

    However ‘To The Last Man’ started off well enough. The basic plot was about how a hospital in 1918 was merging with the present day, we even got to see ‘Torchwood 1918’, for a few pitiful moments.

    Then it all went tits up. A young solider named ‘Tommy’ was frozen by the 1918 team. Unfortunately he was no pinball wizard, nor was he deaf, nor blind, but he certainly was dumb! He had to be ‘woke up’ every year, in the hope that the time was right to return him to his own time.

    Tosh forgets all about her lesbian tendencies and falls for Tommy, who like any young man, is ‘in there’ quicker than John Prescott at a ‘hitting a Welshman contest’. Meanwhile Jack and Ianto are doing yet more gay snogging in a scene that was more pointless than a totally straight man in Torchwood!

    I’m really having trouble typing about this. It can be too easy at times to rip apart a Torchwood story but this is so bad, I’m struggling! Sorry Helen Raynor, but after such a promising start to the episode, it nose-dived like Kerry Katona ‘doing a line’, too much for me!

    To finish, lets just say the team found out what was happening and Tommy returned to his own time, the world (Cardiff) was saved (but he was eventually shot for cowardice) and Tosh is back fancying women (okay I made that last one up!).

    I feel that the episode would have been a lot better if we saw more of ‘Torchwood 1918’. It also badly needed that injection of action and the odd ‘jumpy’ moment that is why I loved last week’s episode so much! The story had the right idea but it’s a shame that it ran out after 10 minutes!

    Just typing about this as made me put it down a mark! Hopefully this is the low point of the series. With that in mind, roll on next week, where we have er alien meat, in an episode called ‘Meat’. Oh no, here we go again!

    4/10

    Next Week: Gwen's boyfriend leaves her and shacks up in Cardiff Castle with Mel Bush and the Kandyman of 'The Happiness Patrol' fame.

    -------------------------------------------------------

    Sorry, I just didn't like it. Maybe it was because I didn't have my pre-torchwood brew? Nah, I doubt it!

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode! http://journeythroughtimeandspace.blogspot.com/
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     Thursday, January 31 2008 @ 12:01 AM EST

    cybercolin: It has been well established in series one that every member of Torchwood has had relations with both genders. Or did you miss a few episodes (Tosh-Owen?). I think they got almost every combination back then. This group is just so screwed up that they will end up in anyone's arms, aliens included. That must be the price for the job, that consumes your very life 24/7.

    I really liked this episode. It included some of the best things from Out of Time, but changed the tone and the reason for the out of place person to try to return to their own time.

    In the end, this episode examines the meaning of heroism and cowardice both today and back in 1918. The pacing, as mentioned by Dave, was appropriate to the story and a nice change from the previous episode. This is Torchwood at its best.

    It was good to have another story focussing on Toshiko. I suspect that the Jack-Ianto relationship will be a subplot thru this series, so it is yet to be seen whether that snog was gratuitous, or part of a larger whole.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Thursday, January 31 2008 @ 05:07 PM EST
    And with that episode, the return of Torchwood moves to 3-0.

    Raynor herself now comes in at 2-0-2, with now two great efforts for Torchwood and two disputed episodes for Doctor Who. Apparently, script editor Brian Minchin has managed to wrestle his writers into giving us at least one consistent thing that we didn't get last year: full use of the cast. This episode continues evolving the "team spirit" of the second series, with a lot of nice character moments amidst a solid plot.

    I quite enjoyed the humanity of Owen coming out. It felt altogether right and proper that he should be churlishly offering Tosh emotional support as he's the only one (aside from Jack) with real experience loving someone who's "out of time". Meanwhile, it's good that the Ianto/Jack thing moved above the level of an innuendo into a full-on snog. Hopefully, now that there IS a relationship and not a mere punch line, we're being set up for some decent drama. There's just no way Ianto is anything more than a port in a storm for Jack, but he's precisely the wrong person Jack would want to (insert post-watershed word here) with. What, precisely happens when Jack ultimately dumps Ianto is going to be interesting, I should think.

    As for the meat of the story, well, high marks indeed for it. This was one rift-moment I could just about get my head around. Granted, it's exactly the same basic idea of "The Unquiet Dead" — someone goes into the middle of a rift event and seals it up by making themselves a bit of a sacrificial lamb — but I'm not sure that's so much stealing an idea as much as creating some rift continuity. And, let's face it, "The Unquiet Dead" And "To the Last Man" are otherwise quite different indeed. What makes this a comprehensible rift moment in the end is just that there's a goal and it's quite clear what success and failure look like. It's not some bloody last-minute Satan popping out of a birthday cake to kinda kill Jack (but not really).

    None of that is to say that the rift itself is comprehensible. It's still a bit of daft magic — a reverse TARDIS — that still needs to be defined with some greater clarity on screen if the overall level of drama and jeopardy is to be improved on Torchwood. As it is, "stuff comes out of it that's bad" isn't really quite enough for me somehow.

    But that's unfair. It's not Raynor's fault she has to deal with this bloody rift anymore than it was her fault she had to deal with orders to put the Daleks in New York. Before I get to the heaps of praise, there is one specific "Raynorism" that I can't just pass by. I thought the once-a-year defrosting of Rhys was a little, um, unusual — and perhaps a tad dramatically convenient — given the usual science fiction convention about cryogenics. I mean, "Space Seed", "Ark in Space" and others all pretty much say, "Don't touch unless you're serious about reanimation." This "annual checkup" business doesn't offend science, I don't think — I mean, who really knows how cryogenics work? — but it does seem to contradict science fiction.

    But I digress. This is one of the few times that the rift has worked for me as a dramatic device, and for that Raynor deserves some considerable kudos. More than that, this is one of the few times that the emotional pitch of all the main characters has seemed entirely believable for the full 50 minutes. One of the things that struck me as particularly noteworthy was Tosh's reluctance to get intimate with Rhys because she was older than him. When have you really ever heard that before from a television character? Certainly, we've never heard it before on this sex-mad show. But it's remarkably true to the introspective nature of Tosh that she would logically wonder less about the ethics of sleeping with someone from the past, but about sleeping with someone physically younger than her. I loved that moment, and I'm not sure it's something that would have come from very many other writers in the Upper Boat stable.

    Well, I've written a lot, so I'll let someone else take a crack at it for a while, but I think this episode seals the deal for me: this is a show I now actively look forward to seeing. And it's not just because it's related to Doctor Who. It's definitely finding its own voice.

    "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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     Thursday, January 31 2008 @ 08:15 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]Before I get to the heaps of praise, there is one specific "Raynorism" that I can't just pass by. I thought the once-a-year defrosting of Rhys was a little, um, unusual — and perhaps a tad dramatically convenient — given the usual science fiction convention about cryogenics.


    Snip lot's of good points

    I thought the 'one a year' was silly - until I realised that they knew the 'event' would happen on the anniversery of his arrival - but did not know which year that would happen.

    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, January 31 2008 @ 08:25 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  daveac]
    [Quote  by:  DarthSkeptical]Before I get to the heaps of praise, there is one specific "Raynorism" that I can't just pass by. I thought the once-a-year defrosting of Rhys was a little, um, unusual — and perhaps a tad dramatically convenient — given the usual science fiction convention about cryogenics.


    Snip lot's of good points

    I thought the 'one a year' was silly - until I realised that they knew the 'event' would happen on the anniversery of his arrival - but did not know which year that would happen.

    Cheers, daveac


    So they needed him "thawed" every year just in case this was the year...

    Also, it would probably take more effort to revive someone than can be depicted on screen, so this would lend a bit more credence to this idea.

    I also agree with the better utilization of the ensemble cast.

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 06:22 AM EST
    cybercolin, are you really Dennis Miller in disguise? There were more obscure references in your post than a normal Dennis Miller rant.

    That was not an insult, by the way.

    I disagree with your assessment of the episode, though. I liked it. And yes, it did remind me of Sapphire and Steel.

    But I don't think they woke him up every year in hopes that that day would be the day they'd need him - they woke him up because they had to - for his health and to ensure he was still functioning properly. Then back to the freezer for the day they WOULD need to thaw him out out of necessity.

    It just happened, didn't it, that this was the day? The day they decided to tear down the hospital?

    I liked it. Not as much as last week's, but a good ep.

    Still, I will have to re-watch it, I admit to watching it while distracted with something else.

    The one thing I REALLY liked about this one was something Torchwood often gives us - an unusual perspective. Remember when Tommy said that they woke him up when the Big War ended, only to find out we had another one three weeks later... that was great. When you realize he sees every year as a day, he must feel incredibly sad as he sees his caretakers age and die. It's kind of scary and freaky, but they did that very well.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 06:53 AM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter]

    But I don't think they woke him up every year in hopes that that day would be the day they'd need him - they woke him up because they had to - for his health and to ensure he was still functioning properly. Then back to the freezer for the day they WOULD need to thaw him out out of necessity.

    It just happened, didn't it, that this was the day? The day they decided to tear down the hospital?

    When you realize he sees every year as a day, he must feel incredibly sad as he sees his caretakers age and die.
    Sean.


    I guess that the most likely day would be the day he was taken - however many years in his future.

    In one way - it would have been good if the lad had been able to say to Tosh (when she said she was older than him) - that they were the same age when they met :-)

    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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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 08:16 AM EST


    click here

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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 09:19 AM EST
    I thought this was a really strong one; not on action or blockbusting moments, but in the way it thoughtfully handled and portrayed a tragic, frightening event in history.

    The 1918 scenes were very well done and truly looked the part. A bit more Torchwood 1918 would've been nice. I particularly liked that bit of the program (it had a little bit of a steampunk thing going on and it worked very well).

    If I was being picky (and this is Torchwood afterall), I'd say the relationship between Tosh and Tommy wasn't essential, and was simply Torchwood being Torchwood. I'm sure many will feel it gave us a personal relationship slant on the central non-regular character, but a decent writer (and everything else about this episode comprehensively goes against things I may have said about her in the past) could've woven that human aspect in without the need for the (I thought silly) relationship with Tosh.

    Minor quibbles aside, this was a great story...........

    9/10.

    Nothing dies of old age on Skaro!
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 09:41 AM EST
    Jack Harkness's suggestion that "more than 300" shell shocked British soldiers were executed is false. Total British military executions numbered 346, of which 40 were for murder, treason, or mutiny. The remaining 306 were for desertion, cowardice, and other offences, and while many can now be attributed to shell shock, many cannot, although all 306 were posthumously pardoned in 2006.


    from wiki but I think its important


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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 12:24 PM EST
    I think a real potential has opened up here for one of those "cast-lite" shows, where they shoot an extra episode using as little of the main cast's time as possible.

    Do a show based entirely in 1918.

    Man, I think I'm going to get started writing it.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 12:26 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  Tin Dog Podcast] Jack Harkness's suggestion that "more than 300" shell shocked British soldiers were executed is false. Total British military executions numbered 346, of which 40 were for murder, treason, or mutiny. The remaining 306 were for desertion, cowardice, and other offences, and while many can now be attributed to shell shock, many cannot, although all 306 were posthumously pardoned in 2006.


    from wiki but I think its important



    Well, Jack DID say that's how it went. They were put back on the lines, displayed cowardice due to the shell shock, and were executed. He might have been simplifying, but I think it wasn't too much of a stretch to say that whatever reasons those boys were executed, it was inherently down to shell shock and what it made them do, or not do.

    Sean.

    One solid hope is worth a cartload of uncertainties.
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 12:43 PM EST
    [Quote  by:  seanhuxter] I think a real potential has opened up here for one of those "cast-lite" shows, where they shoot an extra episode using as little of the main cast's time as possible.

    Do a show based entirely in 1918.

    Man, I think I'm going to get started writing it.

    Sean.


    Maybe try and sneak Bilis Manger in there too!

    Nothing dies of old age on Skaro!
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     Friday, February 01 2008 @ 08:12 PM EST
    I would love that personally. He was by far the most intresting person in TW, speaks volumes for the rest of the cast doesn't it!

    (sorry:

    I Must Not Diss Torchwood
    I Must Not Diss Torchwood
    I Must Not Diss Torchwood
    I Must Not Diss Torchwood

    I'll try to remember for next week!)

    Please check out my blog, as I attempt to watch and review EVERY Doctor Who episode! http://journeythroughtimeandspace.blogspot.com/
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