Friday, January 08, 2010

Holding a torch for Torchwood

It's taken a while, but we've finally finished the first two series of Torchwood.

When this originally shown I naturally rubbished it as being for kids and about sci-fi and never watched or intended to. But when the five-nighter was on last year I thought it was really good, so a kindly colleague lent me the first two series, and Mrs F-C and I were instantly hooked.

I think what I like about it is that it's grounded on Earth. Those deep space things set in the year 4520 on spaceships have never done it for me. I've only ever seen the first Star Wars (at the cinema on first release) and remember being utterly disappointed and unentranced by it that I banished the genre from my life.

So while this has elements of sci-fi and is fanciful and a bit silly, it's utterly watchable and sometimes it's actually rather scary. I'm not sure there was a duff episode to be had, though it tries far to hard to be a grown-up programme, so the gratuitous sex and swearing can grate, but on the whole it's a classic.

The acting's another matter. John Barrowman is a ham of the highest order of course, and Burn Gorman raised my irritation levels to a new high. The Japanese girl was neither here nor there, and I wondered if she's a cow in real life. The standout was Eve Myles. She's great. Again, a bit over-angsty, and saddled with that big Welsh lump of a husband whom it took ages to work out she was part of a top secret taskforce that everyone in Cardiff seemed to know about but him, but she's an action heroine for our times and in the next series of Torchwood she will be magnificent. Shame she's not in more stuff really. She's very watchable, and a fox.

Gareth David Lloyd as the plank-like Ianto (Yanto!), adds a certain something. I don't know what, but he always looks on the verge of tears and the fact that he'd be John Barrowman's boyfriend is laughable. Still, Torchwood would be nothing without him.

I think on reflection I enjoyed it more than Doctor Who. I'm glad to see the back of David Tennant, I do know that. John Barrowman's fine in small doses and those doses must only be in Torchwood. None of his Mr Saturday Night light entertainment bollocks.

When I go to Hell, I'll be eating fish pie in a hospital ward that smells of piss wiht only John Barrowman variety shows on the TV on a constant loop. It's really that bad. But as Captain Jack, I don't mind at all.

Bring on series three. Any clues as to what we can expect? Who's joining the team now that it's only Jack and Gwen?

I've not been more agog since Howards' Way ended.


A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

I think you've put your finger on the essence of Torchwood there: it's pretty rubbish in many ways, but at the same time it's great.

I haven't heard any rumours about the cast for the next series yet. It rather depends on whether they go with picking up characters who've been in it (or Doctor Who) before (e.g. that Lois girl who worked for the government in Children of Earth) or get totally new bods in. Are there actually any Welsh actors who haven't been in it yet?

Five-Centres said...

I don't believe I've seen Ruth Madoc, Kitten, but I could be wrong.

farsighted said...

Barrowman has said that Russell Tovey may possibly be his new companion in the series... hummm he got hooked up by the Doctor! LOL!

Anyway, I love your explanation of Hell, and while I do love JB it made me laugh...

Torchwood is one of my favorite shows and it got increasingly better over the series. I actually liked Owen a lot and he's the one I really miss. Myles really is the anchor of the show (besides Jack).

Can't wait to see what RTD does with it; once they agree on it's commission. OH you know they are gonna do it, it's a hit!

You mention series 3, but actually the new series will be series 4.

Five-Centres said...

So it will, farsighted. Those five-nighters are always put there to trip you up.