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Nov 14, 2006

To Shanshu in Cardiff, boyo!

Oh, COME ON! That was just a botched episode of Angel, wasn't it? The "aliens" of the week were demons! The lead of ambiguguous background has an american accent is incredibly old, even though he hasn't aged. Oh, and he can't die buy normal methods. The flashbacks were exactly the same as the sort Angel had, the only difference being the sepia tint. Why not just call Torchwood "Jack Investigations" and have done with it?

Now all we need is a prophecy saying that when Jack helps to stop the apocalypse, his mortality will be restored.

Other burning point: Where are all these people from? We're meant to be in Cardiff, yet everyone seems to be english!

One thing I've mentioned before is a complete lack of any coherent explanation of anything. Nothing gets explained, there isn't even any attempt to explain some things! I'll explain as I go along.

What on earth does the episode name mean anyway?

The fairies are quite well done. The CGI is a little off, but it's a hell of a lot better than it could have been. Although why do they suddenly appear at the party? They're invisible all the way through, then they appear when it becomes dramatic? Here is a point where an explanation would have been easy. The Jack Pack are arriving anyway, so why didn't they say that Jack had some sort of device which made them become visible? Any explanation would have done!

Jack's old love was quite well brought into the story, but then she died having done absolutely nothing! Why did the fairies kill her anyway? What was the reason behind that? Instead, she should have been either brought in in an earlier episode, or killed off later. As it was, she was pretty meaningless, and all we gained was a cheesy line delivered in a horrible way: "We swore we'd be together til we died." at a disruptive moment. If she was in a bit more it wouldn't be a last minute comment.

The pedophile was a little overdone. It wouldn't have taken much too make it obvious what he was after, in fact it was pretty clear as soon as he started following the girl. The petal thing was a bit gruesome. It was his mouth covered in slobber that weirded me out.

The little girl. So much creepier than the Fear Her girl, although still not great.

The writing was all over the place, and while there were some good bits, it still felt a bit off.

The good side of this, however, was the directing, which seemed to hit the nail on the head. If only it had a better script, which would have given it the boost required to be brilliant directing.

I had suspected that Cyberwoman had been moved to be the day before The Invasion was released, which was a problem in that it made Ianto look overlooked before anyone else had really been looked at (Does that make sense? Read my last week's review, it's clearer there.). There aren't any sly comments about Ianto, there isn't any tension between him and Jack. He even makes a cheeky comment! Hardly the reaction of someone on reprimand grieving. Also, his being in the office when he shouldn't have would have worked better as a build up to the revelation that he's keeping his girlfriend in the basement. If this is after, wouldn't Jack be suspicious again? And Ianto seems so timid that I can't imagine he'd have the bottle to be there when he shouldn't after the "My girlfriend's in a pizza girl!" bonanza.

Finally, the ending. What on earth happened there? I can understand Jack giving the girl up to the fairies, but what the hell was he talking about? "A dead world, is that what you want?" "What good is that to you? There will be no more chosen ones!" What on earth did that mean? What on earth was he trying to say?

To sum up, what we have here in Sci Fi terms is a botched episode of Angel. In Doctor Who terms, an adult Fear Her, albeit slightly more enjoyable than the original. In lamen's terms, a mess.

5/10.

The Bumper Book of Made-Up of Made-Up Ptorchwood Facts has this to say about Small Worlds: When PJ Hammond was first asked by RTD to do a story about fairies- No, even I can't say that one, lest he reads it in a fanzine and hunts me down.

Comments

TOO MANY JELLY BABIES! BLAAAAAAAAAAAAGH!

I haven't seen it yet, but I think you're dead-on about Ianto. Wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a little switching going on for the sake of The Invasion, and it makes more of a difference than just Ace wearing a badge before she gets it...

Yet the fangirls of LiveJournal are citing the first scene between Ianto and Jack as a point of continuity between this and the last episode: the initial questioning of Ianto's presence, the comforting pat on the shoulder...

O'course, most of them are about to weave it into some slash, so their judgement might in question -- were it not for the fact that, at the end of Cyberwoman, Gwen asks Jack if he's ever loved someone (as much as Ianto loved Lisa), to which no answer is forthcoming; and then Small Worlds deals with a past love of his.

Under the circumstances I choose not to share my cosmic wisdom, because reading deeper meaning into Torchwood inconsistencies is something YOU PEOPLE DO.

Coleman/Damon: I'm with you on the switching bit. In fact, if the next episode starts with the team being a bit pissy with Jack, I'm labelling this one "4", that one "5", and Cyberwoman "6."

Mark: I've seen the slash. It isn't pretty. It's so far from pretty.

Dalek Sex: Calm down and take your meds.

I'm not even going to TRY to put the series into some sort of continuity order because it's probably not possible. It's getting to be like The Prisoner where not only were the episodes made hopelessly out of 'story' order, but transmitted that way too. I'd much rather view them as individual slices of drama because some of them (like this week's) would work substantially better that way; alas the series itself pissed all over that notion right from the very beginning.

George Markstein would have taken one look at this show and QUIT.

Hey There James, re the explaining why the faires turned visible at the end, I dont think we are ever going to get good answers about that because RTD does not like to explain himself.

He has proven it in DW and now in Torchwood, its either lazy script writing or or not caring about the viewers. Im hoping this series improves but not holding my breath.

Oh, man, that episode was dire. And I'm one of those fans who'll look for the good bits in any episode. "Paradise Towers"? Love it. "Fear Her"? Interesting idea for an alien race and it gave Rose a chance to save the day on her own before she left.

But "Small Worlds" was the most dour, melodramatic, plot-hole filled, out-of-character for everyone (since when is Jack "Mister Sweet and Noble" and since when is Gwen nothing more than a Scully clone?), heavy-handed, dull, and at times offensive piece of crap I've ever seen this side of a made-for-TV movie on the SciFi channel. The only reason I watched til the end was because I'd enjoyed the rest of the season up until this point.

I mean, come on. Has there ever been a really good episode of any cult/sci-fi show that involved a creepy little kid? Ever?

The Empty Child.

The Empty Premise.

What?

"Let's do that. Yes, let's do exactly that. It's not like anyone actually read The Mothman Prophecies! They'll never suspect a thing."

Well, I actually liked it - with the exception of the histrionics at the end and the cheesy Torchwood gadgets - because it was engaging, well shot, atmospheric, and actually creepy in parts.

If Torchwood can keep up the lovely effects, I really don't care if it's not terribly original or if you think there are plot holes. I don't think even Captain Jack entirely understood what was going on! You see everyone's in the dark = more creepiness.

Have you guys read any Gene Wolfe? His stuff doesn't quite make sense the first go and you come out of it nicely disoriented. But the more you read the more you get...

I also liked how in the Torchwood bunker they weren't running around like cut chickens but rather it seemed like another day at the office. Nice.

I don't mind unoriginality so long as it's still an entertaining and interesting story. I'll get the chance to judge for myself when I see it tonight.

Andy H - build high for happiness!

But the whole point is we weren't left in the dark, because they didn't give us anything to be left in the dark from! With The Beast earlier in the year, the Doctor felt like he was in the dark because he was sure there was an explanation. The way this episode behaved was not as if there was an unknown explanation, but that there wasn't an explanation.

Like I said, it's the difference between "There's a scientific reason, but we don't know what/can't explain what/don't understand what/we've just been killed so are unable to explain" and "A wizard did it.".

We weren't in the dark, we were in the open, but with nothing to look at!

Oh, and I never care about unoriginality as long as it's done well. It's my same principle with remakes/dramatisations of novels: As long as they're good, who cares if the content is the same or not?

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