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Nov 27, 2006

Impure Thoughts

Greeks5I'd given up on Torchwood. Two week's ago it almost killed PJ Hammond's reputation stone dead (even Holby City didn't manage that!), and I couldn't even bring myself to watch last week's installment after reviews on this blog made it sound like a crime against humanity. Call myself a webmaster?! I'm running a blog dedicated to a TV show I can't even be bothered to watch, and yet I've got re-runs of Crown Court on my Sky Plus Series Link! Hmmmmm, perhaps it's time to move on...

I wasn't going to bother with last night's episode either, but when I found myself at a loose end I decided to give it one last chance. And I loved it. Yeah, that's right, I loved it! Ok, so 'loved' is probably too strong a word but I want to get their attention. Dave Sanders is probably spitting blood right now. But let's face it, he needs therapy.

It could have been a disaster. The plot device revolving around a mind-reading power/curse is as derivative as they come - hmmm... Buffy... - but I thought it was handled magnificently. The sequence where Sato eavesdropped on Cardiff's collective thoughts was both disturbing and hilarious, especially the bloke who was reciting James Bond quips as he marched through town. I do that all the time. And I enjoyed how the pendant only served to reiterate that the Scooby Gang are a bunch of self-serving egomaniacs who have a tenuous grip on concepts such as collegiality and friendship. Yeah, that's right, their unlikability is actually intentional! I'm clutching at straws, here. I wonder if it's too late to do another Jeremy Kyle style review?

Even the would-be murder was handled really well; the ordinariness of the situation felt more like an episode of Cracker instead of the glorified uber-sexy sub-CSI nonsense we've come to expect, and, furthermore, the device even gave gave Owen and Gwen's sordid (and, frankly, disturbing) affair some much needed realism and, dare I say it, pathos. But more than that - it actually gave Sato something to do for a change! The fact that she managed it very well just highlights how she's been utterly wasted up until now.

Greeks1But the episode's unexpected success is wholly attributable to the screen presence of Daniela Denby-Ashe who played the alien-vamp, Mary. Christ, she was sexy! I'll have to try and talk about her acting capabilities now so everyone doesn't realise I'm just seriously smitten by her...She blew everyone else off-screen with her charm, wit and style; why isn't she a regular character? Hmmm... Sky Plus Series Link...

I can't believe that some people actually believe that Sato was raped by Mary. I mean, get a grip! It's not as if she was hypnotised or anything! It's like saying if you buy someone dinner or flowers in order to get to second base then it's rape! How puritanical can you get? Sean really needs to move on. He's watched 'Girl in the Fireplace' 724 times now. I worry for him, I really do. I wish he would just LET IT GO! God, Colin Baker hates me!

Greeks4There are also a couple of nice throwaway moments that helped to bolster my opinion of this fairly shambolic organisation, too. Firstly, Torchwood are working for (or with) UNIT, which makes sense, and secondly, they are powerful enough to actually have one-to-one phone conversations with Tony Blair; a concept that is both hilarious and long overdue. But Jack is turning into something quite nasty. It seems that every time he 'dies' he loses some part of his humanity. This could actually turn into something vaguely interesting down the road. When he confronted and trapped Mary during the climax of this episode he came across as a very dark - almost sadistic - variation on the Doctor. And that's no bad thing.

This show still has its fair share of problems ...Kill Ianto... but I honestly believe that it turned a corner last night.

They're gonna kill me for this...

Comments

Great review Neil. Daniela basically saved the episode which makes you wonder what it would looked like if they'd cast *anyone* else. I wouldn't say May raped Tosh just seduced her -- I think people are getting a bit sensitive in that regard. But she was another sexual predator. Why can't these characters have normal relationships?

Isn't the Prime Minister in the Doctor Who universe still Harriet Jones? Didn't we establish that Tony died in 'Aliens of London'?

Also, I wouldn't

... no, actually yes I would.

200 years down the road, when Doctor Who and Torchwood are treated as historical documents post-apocolypse, this shall be known as "The review heard round the world."

No really, I thought I was watching one of those sprint pindrop commercials as I was reading this review. Complete silence(and that was OVER Andrew Eldritch and that girl from Snake River Conspiracy screaming in my ear..) I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one Neil, gives me hope, as I've not timeshifted it yet.

Oh and are you imply Jack might go Angelus? Now that would be interesting.

You're only saying this because not getting any BSG this week has put you into withdrawal, aren't you? It's like sniffing glue.

haha pictures of Neil morphing into Warren Ellis clawing at his eyeballs and crying "STARBUCK!!! STARBUCKK!!! are now haunting my daydreams..

725, actually. And I've still got the Tennant & Myles commentary to come :-)

And what is this 'second base' thing, anyway..?

Now if you really *had* been reading everyone else's dark secrets during this review (therapy, indeed!), you'd know that I'm the group's token internet furry.

Oh bollocks, what have I done...

It was awesome. I thoroughly enjoyed it from beginning to end. Finally, this is how Torchwood should be written. Jack aloof and dangerous, Gwen paralysed by moral and professional failure, Owen arrogant and nasty but eccentrically brilliant and human underneath it, Tosh the naive humanitarian - bugger me, even Ianto had a good line this week!

Torchwood is finally edgy and do you know why? It's because this week they just shut up and got on with telling the story. Every previous episode has spent the whole fifty minutes shouting at you about how edgy it was, with the resulting experience like being pestered by a four year old with a sheet over their head for hallowe'en who wants you to tell them over and over how scary they look.

I was particularly fond of the line "You killed her!" "YES." (walks away) My brain instictively in Goon Show style "TA-DAAAAAAH!" fanfare at this point. (So that's why they moved Ten Downing Street to Cardiff!)

The Ladybird Big Book of World-Weariness has this to say: A Torchwood "Awesome" is still only as good as a Doctor Who "Very Good."

Nice to see a ray of hope at last - not just that TW itself might be turning the corner, but more importantly that this blog may not be about to die of terminal bile-duct exhaustion.
I must say I really enjoyed this episode - perhaps watching at 11pm post-pub was the key? Although I suspect I'm still in a tiny minority in one respect, namely, er, quite liking Owen...

Actually two things. Finally got to watch this one..

1) Neil's right. That one was quite good.
2) I think I'm falling in love with Tosh. She's such a nerd. It's so cute.

Good to see a bit less hating going on here, even if I thought that was one of the weaker episodes (but still, on the whole, better than the same scribe's Who episode).

Was the wafty alien lady modelled on a sea monkey?

I knew my enthusiasm would rub off eventually on here.

I thought this was another great episode but like Whithouse's School Reunion had little in the way of actual plot.

Salem: I've always had a soft spot for Tosh ever since Aliens of London. I'm with you on that one.

I thought it was a very 'meh' episode. Not bad but nothing amazing either. It just seemed full of ideas that we've seen recycled from countless other SF shows.

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