Torchwood

Not quite sure what to call this, a summary? a review? an opinion? Well…whatever, it is my view (sort of) on the last 6 episodes – we are almost halfway through the first series…why are british series so short?

The first thing I thought when I watched the very first episode of this was “darker than Dr Who”, the second was “not sure if I like her [Gwen]”, the third, when the double bill ended at almost 11 was “definitely shades of Buffy and Angel in this”. I know that Russell T Davies admitted that this was his homage to Buffy, even the credits have the same composite images, the montage of characters and then the prerequisite group shot of them all walking out of the smoke and blackness as the introduction in John Barrowman’s smooth American accent comes to a close, but really? Even the credits? The second episode of the show, with the alien that lives off the power of orgasms, was very reminiscent of the sex demon in Angel’s premiere episode.

Anyway, less of the “This is very much like Angel” comments, and more discussion about Torchwood. It has a very good ensemble cast, although I am still not sure about Gwen, and the secretary/managerial dweeb. Owen, oh I love Owen. He is mouthy, smart, sarcastic. He is snarky Severus Snape with Wesley’s intelligence and Gunn’s street smarts, mixed in with a bit of Angel’s darkness and Spike’s inherent sexy cocksure swagger. I know that the whole thing is meant to be focused very much on Jack, but sometimes even he is eclipsed by the appeal of his co-star(s).

This week, when Owen pushed Gwen up against that tree in the woods and started to talk about how their f*ck wouldn’t be all sweetness I groaned, not because it was corny, but because it spoke to the darker side of me, appealed to that part that most women know they have but few talk about in pleasant company (unless they have had a few to drink).

In Torchwood we have all the elements of Dr Who – the aliens, the timelessness, the potentiality for campness – mixed in with the elements that make it a show for grown-ups, definitely not Sunday afternoon in front of the telly with a cup of tea and a plate of Fox’s butter crunch creams. This is dirty, it’s dark, it’s a tub of the richest Haagen Dazs and a glass of the darkest, heaviest Cabernet.

I know that some of the episodes (as with any fledgling show) are weaker than the others – the Cyberwoman episode was like a corny b-movie that I wouldn’t watch again but for the incident that occurred between Gwen and Owen shut together in the mortuary locker (I cringe when I think about the pterodactyl scene…bbq sauce for the dinosaur?). I am sure that there will be more that make me groan (and not in a good way), but I live in hope that they will not be like most of Buffy’s (or Angel’s for that matter) Season 4 (during which I was perpetually wondering whether I should just switch over for the 42-minutes of pain that each episode gave me). But for every awful scene there is a scene worth its weight in gold (like a Roman general), for every Cyberwoman there is a Countrycide, and for every Season 4 there is a Season 2 (Buffy’s second season was superior to every single season that followed it), so it balances almost equally.

I do have to admit that although I love Owen, not sure what I think of him with Gwen. Maybe to my mind she is a bit too much goody-two-shoes and not enough hell-for-leather, but perhaps she will be corrupted, maybe she can be corrupted – time will certainly tell.

In the mean time I will continue to watch and enjoy.

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