Excuse me for using probably the most male titilating clip, but unfortunately, other than trailers and whole episodes, it was the best I could find:

Anyway, Torchwood, the spin off from the current Sci Fi flavour of the month, Doctor Who has started last week on BBC Three (and repeated on BBC 2 at some point I believe) and tonight was the third episode, so I think, being a self confessed Doctor Who fan, it was high time I commented something upon it. And it really has suprised me by being actually quite good.

Admittedly, I came to the show with rather low expectations, and the first few minutes vaugely proved me right, with probably a fair amount more casual swearing than was really necessary – as if to say “GRRR, THIS ISN’T DOCTOR WHO, WE’RE ALL GROWN UP!” but then, even though the episode was mainly centered around introducing the main cast it wasn’t too bad. Sure, it seemed a little cliche to go straight for the whole “this is what we’re not supposed to do, and here’s why” style plot, but it was actually executed rather well. I know some people have critised Davies for some lacklustre scripts in Doctor Who, especially Love and Monsters (which I found to be really, really dire) but I didn’t think some of his episodes were too bad. However, I do agree with those who say he is much better suited to writing for an adult audience, which was proved here.

Now as a warning, there are some spoilers coming up. Anyway, an interesting thing to note was in the first episode they established that Jack is (for all intents and purposes) pretty much invincible, for some reason. One the one hand this can be seen as a bit of a cop out, as immediately we know that, whatever situation the team get in, Jack will survive. To the Doctor Who fans keeping up with the news, this was a given anyway, as he’s going to appear at some point in the 2007 season of Doctor Who, but in a way I thought it was a nice move and I admire their bravery for not trying to patronise the audience. I did though, on the other hand, feel a little off at the almost immediatly after killing off of someone who they tried to establish as a “main” charcter. The two put together, didn’t really work as well, I don’t think there was ever really enough time to get to know the TW team as it was, so losing one of them so early perhaps didn’t have as much impact as they perhaps intended. Still, I am also liking how we’re really getting to see Torchwood through Gwen’s eyes, much like we saw the Doctor’s world through Rose’s eyes during DW.

The second episode I felt was even better than the first, even if the plot did at first just seem like an excuse for some major adult content. Of course, it wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been – this is the BBC, after all – but overall it was a pretty strong episode, with some great lines, especially one memorable scene after the Torchwood team watch the CCTV footage of one poor sap who was basically vaporised and turned into dust as he was having sex:

Gwen: “So what happened?”

Jack: “He came and went.”

And of course, the above scene can’t have done much harm to the viewing figures…

The third epsiode, which was on tonight, was a little dissapointing however – quite a few clichés appear to be setting up, and as much as they tried to hide the eventual outcome of the episode, it did end up being rather predictable, and some overaching story elements seem to be rearing their head already (I mean, seriously, if Gwen is still with her boyfriend by the end of the series, I’ll probably eat my hat) and the end was so sickenly sacchrine, I thought I was going to cough up my pizza. However, I’m trusting things are going to start to pick up again very soon. I mean, next week they have a partially converted Cyberwoman, and indeed the doorman (whose name escapes me) seems to have some secrets of his own to reveal – much better timing than Suzie’s anyway – so Torchwood does indeed seem like – dare I say – an excellent series in it’s own right. And the nods to us Doctor Who fans are appreciated as well, it will be interesting to see how (and indeed, if) the two shows will eventually merge in some way.

Meanwhile, this is so bad it’s… no, it’s just bad.

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One Response to Spin Off in “Not That Bad” SHOCKER!

  1. B0FH says:

    The problem Ben, is that TW is doing the exact opposite of what DW has always been about – mystery.

    Sure, there’s always some fandangled explaination for things, but the eternal question remains: Who exactly is “The Doctor”. TW is taking ther “Who is Jack Harkness” question, and answering it through this series (And the season finalé of DW 2007 iirc).

    All in all though, if you ignore the bloody dinosaur, it’s fantastic

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