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Oct 23, 2006

If We Tolerate This...

Twoood Before I post my reviews of the first 2 episodes I just wanted to say that I've got a serious problem with Torchwood as a concept. No, not the whole 'secret organisation scavenging alien tech' premise. That's fine. The problem I have is Russell T Davies getting his gritty, adult, horny and gory cop series on the air on the back of Doctor Who. Please, think of the kids!

We currently have 2 scenarios for the 6-12 year olds in the audience. Either they have irresponsible parents and/or a TV in their bedrooms and they managed to watch some gratuitous sex and violence last night (bravo Russell! - with the emphasis on Bravo) or b) they have responsible parents and they went to bed crying their eyes out because they couldn't watch Captain Jack. And how could they not know they were missing him? Trailers at 7pm, a Radio Times cover, references splashed through every damn episode of season 2...

What next for the BBC? Grange Hill Let Loose? X-rated Jackanory? Thomas the Spank Engine? It shouldn't be allowed to happen.

But not only that, why bother in the first place? Did we really need the f-words and the blood? What would we have lost if they'd toned it down and aimed it at a 7pm audience? Oh yes, a pathetic second episode where an alien takes out a wank bank! But I'm getting ahead of myself...

In short, it's completely irresponsible and, and I quote, "a fucking disgrace".

Or have I turned into Mary Whitehouse in my old age?

Comments

I think I just heard the ex-editor of the Virgin New Adventures series spitting his coffee out.

Was anyone else bothered by Owen Harper's use of the pheromones in the first episode?
It was essentially date rape - how was it any different from him slipping some rohypnol into their drinks?

And isn't that what Jack did to Gwen?

It wasn't quite date rape, because it made them want it, but morally it's exactly the same.

Neil: Quite right, it is a disgrace. The swearing is completely unneccesary, as all it does is make it less children friendly, which there is no need to do anyway. If you've ever seen a Richard Curtis film, you'll know that they are perfectly good family films except for the almost constant swearing.

I hold no objection to making a more adult show, but when it's so close to Doctor Who, it's inappropriate.

To be honest, swearing didnt bother me. The swearing in the show was tame. It kind of beats Ace's armpit insult. Very good show I thought.

"Or have I turned into Mary Whitehouse in my old age?"

Yes.

Let the bastards watch it. I don't think it'll show most kids what they haven't already seen.

I'm sure the parent programme could stand up to darker storylines: wasn't Jack's first story oozing with innuendo? I have to say, I prefer fizzing sexual tension to soft-porn any day and Torchwood doesn't have to scatter swear words around liberally to prove itself. I haven't seen "Day One" yet, but I haven't heard good things.

Mike - yeah, I've got the same reaction to Owen Harper. If he doesn't have his genitals forcibly ripped from his body by a rampaging hourde of ecstacy-crazed bacchae by the end of season one then there is no poetic justice in the Whoniverse anymore.

More than just the moral integrity of the show is questionable, but the artistic goal seems almost entirely about getting people into situations where they can snog, shag, swear, or bleed in various combinations. There's no realistic drama here (what I hoped RTD meant by "gritty" and "real"), and the format is almost exactly the same as Doctor Who's. It's almost totally superficial, so even if kids are tuning in, what they're learning is that "adult" doesn't even mean more depth, complexity, and more challenging issues. There's a big difference between more challenging images and more challenging issues, especially when the images are connected to nothing at all that is intellectually meaningful.

We do at least now know why the BBC were quick to stamp on soft porn versions of Doctor Who such as the polish "Abducted by Daleks" or the Adult Channel's "Doctor Screw" - it's because they'd already copyrighted the idea for Torchwood.

Anyways in terms of moral integrity, I always thought the ending to Love & Monsters demonstrated a severe lack of moral integrity, comparable if not identical to Owen's, and that was never addressed, so it's not as if amorality is purely the preserve of "adult Who".

Personally the sex and violence in the show doesn't bother me,though I think there is an element of the child cursing in front of the grown ups about it(maybe they just have to get it out of their systems?).Where I have a problem is the placing of trailers on BBC 1 during prime time,I had the task of trying to convince my 5 year old son that they were only advertising Who repeats of season 1 and not a new show (I don't think he bought it).So in short if you want to produce an "adult" show and broadcast it post watershed on a non terrestrial channel fine,but don't make gobshites out of all of us by putting on trailers at 7 o'clock.What's next....a Character Options figure of Carys possessed by the sex monster?Daddy Daddy I want the one without the knickers!!!

Adult show promising sex and swearing has - shock, horror - sex and swearing in it. Quit pushing on the moral high ground, you up there.

I have no issue with sex and violence on TV. What I do have an issue with is sex and violence in a spin-off from a TV show aimed at 8-12 year olds. Shessh! And I *do* blame the marketing - 7pm trailers when kids can watch it creates the situation where they a) are aware of it and b) will do anything possible to watch it.

An adult spin-off from a kid's show is highly inappropriate. IMHO.

One thing I can't help but keep in mind is that people are complaining about the show not having "more and complex issues" than Doctor Who. Sorry, but (and yes, there was a deficit in season two) but in at least season one, they handled issues pretty well. Loss of family, responsibility, "do i have the right"(not once but twice!) self-sacrifice, etc. Ok, so Torchwood is on the same idea-level as first-season Who, but with swearing and sex. Don't let the kidlings watch, but that kinda is what they were aiming at.

Bugger, I enjoyed it =/
Kinda makes me wish even more they'd made a Benny Summerfield series.

I think it is wrong to use Who as a trailer for an adult show that kids shouldn't watch.

I don't like the alien rohypnol guy one bit. I hope he is killed horribly.

I've really got to say, leave poor Owen alone.

Really, how's what he's doing any worse than those CONSTANT adverts for Axe and Tag body sprays where the women jump on men as soon as use the crap-in-a-can? And those adverts were only inspired by countless other pheremone/love potion/really good cologne moments in TV and movies. I think we're all overreacting just a little bit, considering that people actually sell pheremone sprays in the backs of magazines, and no one's banned or fined them, let alone locked up a bloke for using them.

In short, I hardly think Owen deserves the "serial rapist" label we're giving him at only two episodes in.

I can see your point entirely, Neil. It would probably be best if they only trailered it later and that they didn't mention it in DWM but perhaps if wouldn't have got the audience it did if they hadn't done exactly that.

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