I’ve never been a big fan of Torchwood. I tried, seriously. I loved Captain Jack Harkness when he first turned up on Doctor Who. He was a fun, roguish character with a mysterious past involving some “Time Agency” that had done him wrong and wiped his memory. Remember that? That was back in the first new season of Doctor Who, with Christopher Eccleston playing the Doctor.
Whatever happened to that character? What happened to the mysterious past, or the Time Agency, or the memory wipe? What happened to the guy who faced down two fashion-obsessed killbots stark nekkid with a big grin and a “Ladies, your ratings just went through the roof”? And then (possibly literally) pulled a gun out of his ass and blew them both away?
I liked that guy. The Torchwood version is an angsty, frequently inept douche, and I really want to like him, but he’s just not the same character who used to pop up on Doctor Who once in awhile.
I tried watching Torchwood, but that first season was just so damn bad, guys. I mean, the half-a-cyberwoman with cyberboobs? Seriously? The fairy episode? Migawd. It was awful. Children of Earth was somewhat better, although I can’t get over the abysmal stupidity of pretty much everyone involved in that fiasco. (Come on. If you can’t win against junkies, you can’t win against anyone.)
I didn’t have much hope when I heard Torchwood was getting a 4th season. The show wasn’t that good to start with, and that was with the BBC and the guy behind the triumphant return of Doctor Who at the helm. (Say what you will about Russell T. Davies, he did bring our Doctor back.) Americans are way better at churning out crappy TV than good, and we’ve already seen what Americans do when handed the Whoniverse to play with.
I am pleased to say my low expectations for Torchwood: Miracle Day have not been met. The show is pretty kick-ass so far. I like the new characters. Gwen is actually useful. Jack has a better (read: less angsty-whiny) attitude. The writing is better, the acting is better, the production values are better. The show is fun!
I love Rex Matheson. That guy has balls of steel, y’all. Rex has a sucking chest wound, and so far, he’s kicked every ass he’s met, flew off to Wales to single-handedly find and capture the non-existent Torchwood, climbed 33 flights of stairs and shot a guy while gushing buckets of blood… People, this guy is a damn superhero. If it wasn’t for the gaping hole in his chest slowing him down, Rex would have had this whole Miracle Day mess sorted out in episode two. Esther Drummond is sweet and terrified and trying hard to get things right, and Dr. Juarez is just fantastic. Gwen has a sharp sense of humor and a get-things-done attitude that she was lacking before, and it’s good to see Jack enjoying himself again.
I love that Rex is calling Torchwood on being an amateur-hour outfit, because they always have been, and it always annoyed me that they kept getting away with it. I love that Dr. Juarez isn’t taking any crap from anyone. I love that Esther almost screwed up a whole operation over her sister and her sister’s kids, because it makes her more believable and less the stereotypical useless female. I love the over-the-top bad guys, the PR agent, Phicor, and the mysterious Triangle Villains.
The show isn’t perfect, granted. Russell T. Davies is beating us over the head with the modern-day social parallels he’s trying to draw, but let’s face it, Davies doesn’t do subtle. I’m willing to bet the plot is going to get goofy, because Davies’ plots always do when he shoots for epic. For the moment, though, the show is so much fun that I’m willing to cut Torchwood an awful lot of slack. I just hope they manage to keep up the pace, because this new version of Torchwood is showing a lot of potential, and I’m going to be mad if they screw it all up.
- TV Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day – “Dead Of Night” (blogcritics.org)
- Torchwood News of the Day (geeks.thedailywh.at)
- STDs Are Forever? Torchwood: Miracle Day – “Dead of Night” (tor.com)
- TV Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day – “Escape to LA” (blogcritics.org)
- Miracle Day for Torchwood (chris-bradley.org)
- Does TORCHWOOD have a bright future on Starz? (geektyrant.com)
- The Rapture will be televised, on Torchwood [Video] (io9.com)
- Don’t hold your breath for more Torchwood [Torchwood] (io9.com)