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Carrying a Torch?

January 24, 2008

Had a few emails from peeps over the last week asking why I haven’t yet commented on the new series of Torchwood. Well, last week I was off galavanting around London with film directors and simply didn’t have the time (dahhrlink!). Watched last night and… *gag* I hate to say it but *heave* It wasn’t that bad…

There.Which means it’s kind of neutralised the bile I had for the first episode last week. Last week’s not-so-oh-so-thrilling return was just embarrassing. I’m not a huge fan of James Marsters anyway, so they’d already started off on the wrong foot with me (crappy British accent, weird skin, he generally makes my skin crawl – although apparently he’s a lovely chap, so there’s clearly something wrong with me).marsters.jpgSo now it’s a week old, here’s a list of what was wrong with TW: S2, E1
> James Masters was basically playing Spike off Buffy/Angel
> In fact the Buffy references went beyond subtle and descended into shameless plagiarism (Jack and John’s make-out fight was just Buffy and Spike’s rewritten if memory serves)
> Cliches and film rip offs galore (especially the lumbering embarrassingly knowing Star Wars refs – don’t feck with the force, Davies!)
> Clumsy plot devices (like the DNA jab, the triangulation of phone calls – especially when Gwen didn’t actually make the call, it was her bloke who called her, convenient spontaneous going back in time at the end… Oh and by the way, I can fortell messages going “So you’re OK with a fishman but not with a DNA jab? Well, even though it was a bit Eerie Indiana, Fishman was part of the basic conceit of the show. The instant techno fixes were to resolve difficult plot issues. If every time there’s a problem it can just be fixed with a machine with flashing lights, then it all rather falls apart as a story. And yes, I’m fine with the Sonic Screwdriver. It doesn’t seem to get used as much…)
> Bisexual-a-rama. Jack and Ianto, Jack and Gwen, Spi- sorry, John and Jack, John and Gwen… Phew!
When chatting to The Girls over pizza last week, it was mentioned that TW is basically an Angel rip-off. Now, I was never a huge fan of Angel. I loved Buffy (those who know of the legendary Buffy-fest of 2002 will understand. Big love, Cooney. Big love…) but can’t really remember much due to my old brain. So I’ve done a bit of scouting of various forums and pages and such and have found a guide to why TW is like Angel. Enjoy, and feel free to add your own:
> Both shows are a ‘more adult’ spin-off of popular show
> Neither quite match the success of the original
> Captain Jack/Angel are brooding team leaders trying to save the world
> Gwen/Cordelia bought into to be the heart of/humanising influence in Torchwood/Angel
> The second episode of the first season involved a sex monster
> In the first season an illegal monster-fighting group is uncovered and stopped
> Captain Jack/Angel has a former partner played by James Marsters who tries to tempt him back to his former life (and it’s implied he was naughty in that life)So now on to last night’s ep. And what a relief! A pretty good ep all things considered. It’s not gush-worthy, but it was good to watch and even had Mr Badger giggling (in a good way). Much better than last week’s – more plot, less sex (although I did think it was going back to that with Owen’s ‘end-of-the-world’ speech, but thankfully Ianto put him straight – as it were). I’m not anti-sex, but it did feel (in series 1) that it was used lazily in the place of a decent plot and strong characterisation – we still don’t know much about the characters to be fair. This ep was well paced with wit (as opposed to lazy, embarrassing Star Wars references for funnies) and just the right amount of tension. Yes, there were references to other bits of sci fi and fiction to keep the uber geeks happy but the rest of us got gore and explosions (becuz we iz fik lik dat, innit!).So roll on this new Torchwood. I have wiped the slate clean from last week (even though that appalling Star Wars rape did cut me deep. Very deep). I shall put it out of my mind and see what you’ve got up your sleeves next week.ianto.jpgAlso loving The New Ianto and his little quips:
Ianto (To Jack after Beth’s interrogation): Just us and this room. For as long as it takes… Terrifying.
Jack: Really?
Ianto: Absolutely. Shivers down my spine.
Jack: You don’t look scared…
Ianto: It… passed…

“We don’t sniff the sub-etheric resonator!”

Beth (to Jack): You have a terrible bedside manner.
Gwen: You should see his manners in bed. They’re… Apparently. So I’ve heard.
Ianto: They are! I remember this one ti-
Jack: Ianto…

“I know everything. And it says so on the bottom of the screen.”

The whole “phone networks are down” spiel with Owen and Tosh, especially the finger-phone gestures: “Hello? Anyone there? No! Because THE PHONES AREN’T WORKING!”

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