Posts Tagged ‘ Torchwood ’

“It’s like science has won.”


Last week, I was struck by a moment during the first of Torchwood’s five episodes.  Gwen Cooper, Torchwood agent, was talking to Doctor Rupesh Patanjali, someone who could potentially be brought in as a new member of their team.  His explanation of his interest in alien life was intriguing:

The past few years, suicide rates have doubled and that’s ever since the first alien.  My first case… my first… death, was a suicide.  D’you know why she did it?  ‘Cause… she’d written all these letters, been a Christian all her life, and then alien life appears.  She wrote this bit, she said “It’s like science has won.” [Gwen comments ‘Lost her faith?’] More than that.  She said she saw her place in the universe.  And it was tiny.  She died because she thought she was nothing.

Leaving aside the fact that we can’t necessarily trust what the charming Dr Patanjali was saying, as his motives in the conversation were not quite as Gwen or the audience believed, this is an intriguing statement, and I suspect it may reflect the views of the scriptwriter (for Day One, Russell T. Davies) to some extent – that the existence of alien life would terrify some, amaze others, and cause believers to lose faith and hope.  I wonder – is this true?  If alien life were to make itself known somehow, whether in peace, war or otherwise, would faith suddenly become meaningless?

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Torchwood: Children of Earth


Torchwood, the adult spin-off from Doctor Who, has had its ups and downs.  Some excellent episodes and some truly awful ones, and a steady progress from its beginnings on BBC3 to last week’s special storyline in prime time on BBC1.  A week-long series, one episode per night, which told a five-hour storyline which is surely the show’s best output yet, but may also be its last.  Yes, I enjoyed it an awful lot, and yes, spoilers follow below.

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The world will always welcome lovers?


…or Torchwood and the gay agenda’.

The first series of Torchwood came to an end this week in the British Isles, managing to bring many of its threads to a close while still hanging a huge ‘to be continued’ sign on the final scene.  I have greatly enjoyed this series, even during times when it seemed there was more hole than plot and the all-too-frequent occasions when the best character (quiet young Ianto) was relegated to the tiniest of supporting roles.  Good, quirky fun.  Less entertaining, often, is the rather unpleasant reaction it gets in various corners of the internet which object to the show’s ‘gay agenda’.  It has not shied away from showing sexuality in many manifestations and has thus probably made an enemy of the Daily Mail and similar British institutions.  And, it would seem, a large number of the internet’s denizens.

Watch out if you haven’t seen all of Torchwood.  Some spoilers will follow.

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The 21st century’s when everything changes…


…apparently.  According to Captain Jack Harkness, that is.  Having mentioned dreaming about John Barrowman being at a recent audition, I thought it would be polite to mention his latest televisual exploits in Torchwood.  Now I like science fiction, me, as it can do things that other genres of literature, film and television just can’t.  It can take a perfectly ordinary relationship difficulty, moral dilemma or whatever and take it far beyond ‘realistic’ genres.  Plus, it’s an awful lot of fun.

Now Torchwood is a spin-off from Doctor Who, if you didn’t know.  The titles are anagrams, isn’t that clever?  Well, maybe not.  Anyway, it tells of the adventures of a fictional paranormal investigation team who are ‘beyond’ the government and the United Nations, based (for very sensible reasons, which have nothing to do with convenient shooting locations in the area) in an underground complex in Cardiff.  It’s led by Captain Jack (said Mr Barrowman), a character who appeared in the Doctor Who series, and it all happens in the same universe.  The Doctor, the TARDIS, Cybermen and other ideas from the main series have been referenced, but it’s an entirely different beast.  For a start, it’s an adult show, definitely not suitable for the Doctor’s family tea-time audience.  The characters say naughty four-letter words (though not to excess, it has to be said), do a lot of kissing, get their kit off from time to time and most definitely have active sex lives.  None of your metaphors about ‘dancing’ here.

But the show is adult in more than just a certification sense. Continue reading

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