Torchwood end of term report

Posted in Torchwwod, TV by Tony C on January 2, 2007

When is a team not a team?With the first season of Torchwood now finished I’m still in two minds about the series.  Don’t get me wrong I’ve enjoyed it and haven’t missed a single episode but I can’t help feeling that Torchwood has yet to deside what it wants to be, a fully fledged serious Sci-Fi drama, adult teen friendly light entertainment or some kind of hybrid mutant mix of everything in between.  As Karen pointed out to me it’s a bit a curates egg in that respect…it’s good in parts. 

Firstly with 13 episodes to play with I’m surprised more time wasn’t spend on filling us in on the background of the characters.  How did they get involved with Torchwood?  None of them apart from Gwen seems to have a social life.  Toshiko and Ianto seem woefully underdeveloped, Ianto particularly is still paper thin character wise…yes he had a Cyberwoman for a girlfriend but then he hardly said anything for the next half dozen episodes.  Oh and where’s the empathy between the members of Torchwood Three?  No wonder they keep things from each other when they all think the others to quote Gwen are ‘tossers’. 

However for me the character that needs sharpening up the most is Harkness who is frankly all over the place.  I know Russell TD is trying to make Capt Jack come across a complex and somewhat troubled character but I’m not sure we should mistake randomness for complexity, sometimes he’s a man or should that be alien of action the next he couldn’t organise piss up in his local.  A leader he isn’t, no wonder they all seem to ignore him when the shit hits fan and whilst indestructability worked for Capt Scarlet it removes any sense of danger for Capt Jack.  I know the Doctor won’t die but I know he could.

So here’s hoping Season Two sees the scripts and the characters tightned up because as it currently stands if these guys are our last line of defense against the scum of universe we’re f*&%$d!

2 Responses

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  1. Ports said, on January 3, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I think you are spot on. They seem to confuse confusion for enigmatic. Very different things. But the thing that I think they have got most wrong is that I don’t like most of the characters any more. Gwen is shagging around on her lovely partner and yet trying to take some moral high ground. As you say, Ianto has the personality of a tea bag. Tosh has as much spine as a jelly fish. And Owen was always a bit of a twat but has really turned into an oddious bully. Only Capt Jack has remained likable but his mysterious qualities seem to have been replaced by bumbling ineptitude.

    Likewise, the “ambiguous sexuality” theme that has been going through the series has stopped being an indication that it is more Adult but rather a childish distraction from the stories. For example the “will they/won’t they” between the Captains Jack in the last episode was so laboured it wasted half the show!

    Having said all that – I do basically like the show and hope that it finds it’s feet in the next series.

  2. choddo said, on January 12, 2007 at 2:10 pm

    SPOILER!!! Just downloaded 12&13, as the series link on BBC HD screwed up. Grr.

    but then, they pre-spoiled the existence of a 2nd Capt Jack in the ridiculous trailers they seem to insist on adding to most programmes these days (Lost being particularly guilty)

    I agree with everything you guys have said, and would add to that the bizarre mixture of US-style production values (although they really need to move to 24fps like Lost, Planet Earth, 24, Heroes) and horrifically bad Blakes7 visual effects.

    And my vote for the best episode of the series goes to 10, the one with the plane from the 50s.

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