Torchwood Take 1

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So we’ve had the first two parts of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood – and it’s already gone one better than the only previous spin-off, K-9 and Company and managed two episodes rather than one!

The two episodes were shown as a double bill, a wise move I think, as the Russell T Davies pilot episode was definitely the weaker of the two. It will be interesting to see how it is greeted, as this is definitely not Doctor Who. Yes there are quite a few references – although never by name – but this is definitely an adult show, with occasional swearing, some gore, and well with the plot of episode two being about an alien entity that absorbs energy from orgasms (which I know sounds like the plot of a porn movie) quite a bit of sex. It will certainly be interesting to see if there is any sort of outcry from parents who had let their Doctor Who obsessed children watch it without checking it out first – certainly Beth is aware of pupils who are fans who were going to tape it.

As to whether it was any good, it wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t fantastic either. When Doctor Who came back it had the benefit of the key elements being almost embedded in the national psyche, so in general it didn’t need much exposition. The thing is that as a concept I don’t thing Torchwood quite works – I mean they’re fairly visible for a secretive organisation – dashing around waving guns around and in the most conspicuous car imaginable, which looks for all the world like a drug dealer SUV only more cheesy and yet conversely after the massive numbers of personnel that were visible when the London base appeared in Doctor Who, they now seem to have a staff of five at their base in Cardiff.

Having said that, most sci-fi shows tend to take a while to find their feet – and I suspect this may be no exception. However I do think that it might have been better not to saddle it with quite as much of a link to Doctor Who – especially as this is a very adult show spinning off from a show with a family audience. Quite apart from that I’m slightly concerned that with Sarah Jane Adventures coming along too the Doctor Who ‘franchise’ doesn’t go the way of Star Trek in that it spins so many shows off that it gets lost in it’s own continuity.

4 thoughts on “Torchwood Take 1”

  1. Ug the car with those very distracting meaningless bling lights in the side front window pilars? Whats that all about?

    I enjoyed the the two shows, the first episode was very much about setting the scene. The second episode to me set out the stall in basically this series isn’t fluffy and safe, the team want to tackle more adult subjects and to create a cool post water-shed show which Russel T Davis perhaps wanted to do before Dr Who.

    For my it will be interesting to see if the show has enough depth of subject matter to become a classic.

    I am concerned about the location, Cardiff it’s not hte biggest city in the world and certainly doesn’t strike as being Alien central, temperal rift or not.

    The American series called ‘The Unit’ has a similar covert gang trouble shooting for the President of the good old US of A, but it’s secret to success is that it’s remit is global, perhaps the same should have been done with Torchwood not narrowing itself from the start.

    The other great thing I like about ‘The Unit’ is that it is big boys toys, yep, but it is very well acted and shows the other sides of the coins, what do the wife’s do when the Soldiers are away?

    Anyway, early days for Torchwood so we’ll wait and see. Lets hope it doesn’t go the same way as Robin Hood, riding up it’s own back-side.

  2. Yes, Robin Hood is definitely going downhill – the I Shot The Sheriff joke in this weeks episode being a particular low point.

  3. There have been no further comments about the series – despite the fact that a handful of episodes have gone by.

    Has Torchwood “fallen off your radar” so to speak? I know there is a definite slice of Doctor Who fandom who decidedly dislike Torchwood.

  4. We’ve been watching it regularly – and quite enjoying it, just haven’t got round to commenting on another episode!

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