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Two shits, a twat, a knob and a bollock…

October 26, 2006

The question on every young Dr Who fan’s (or more likely, their parents’) lips approaching the new spin-off Torchwood (Sundays, BBC3; Wednesdays, BBC2) was: would it be suitable? Well, during the first double-episode we had five fucks (one real, in a club toilet – nice to see they’re keeping it real), two shits, a twat, a knob and a bollock… Oh and a bit of same-sex snogging. We’re certainly not in Who-land anymore.

No. We’re in Cardiff, something you couldn’t fail to notice, what with the repeated aerial shots of the city and its stunning Bay area. Made me rather home sick to be honest (if you can be homesick for somewhere you only lived in for a year). After that wore off, it did get rather tiresome. Yes, Russell T Davies, we know you’ve have shunned England in favour of setting your series in Cardiff (where surely producing a series like this is a bit cheaper, no?). Well done. No need to keep reminding us. I preferred the way Oxford was used as a backdrop to Morse – subtler and way more effective. It was as if the series had been filmed but then they realised they didn’t have enough footage: “Er… I know,” says one exec. “Just take a chopper up and film a load of shots of the Millennium Centre and Stadium. That’ll fill a good ten minutes.”

Like many ‘locals’ who watch programmes based in ‘their’ city, I spent most of the first episode going “been there”, “been there,” “hang on, how can she have run from the Bay to the City Hall and not be knackered (it’s at least a good 45-minuite walk)?” And I smirked as they showed Gwen driving her police car seemingly out of Cardiff along the motorway and past the Celtic Manor resort (which is actually closer to Newport) and then arrived at her police station in the centre of Cardiff.

All in all, it’s not that bad (and it’s got that nice Mr Guppy from Bleak House in it). Certainly better than I feared and I’m sure it will improve. John Barrowman is a great ensemble lead and has great skill at developing chemistry with his leading ladies (must be all those years starring in Spatz, eh?) The rest of the cast are a little week, especially Toshiko… But I have high hopes. After all, remember the awful Christopher Eccleston-Who? And remember how RTD improved the series by the time Tennant took over? I know it took him a while to get into his stride, but for now, I am going to keep watching with anticipation.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    October 30, 2006 12:46 pm

    Closer to Newport? The Celtic Manor is in Newport!

  2. Anonymous permalink
    October 30, 2006 12:47 pm

    Closer to Newport? The Celtic Manor is in Newport!

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