SEASON ONE: EPISODE 1: “Everything Changes”

A brutal murder leads WPC Gwen Cooper to Torchwood, a journey that will change her life forever.

This is definitely Gwen Cooper’s episode, all the way. Essentially it’s the story of an ordinary police officer who accidently stumbles into the world of Torchwood, and by the end of the episode proves she has the right stuff to join the team. I watched this episode with an eye toward how well it stands on its own: quite nicely, I think. Although technically a spin-off of Doctor Who, I think of it as more of a “parallel” series, such as CBS’s various CSI shows. That is, they occupy the same universe and may occasionally cross over, but remain independent of each other.

That’s not to say the Doctor Who references aren’t there, merely that they’re not integral to the enjoyment of the show. For example, the Doctor’s hand (from “The Christmas Invasion”) is seen in the Torchwood headquarters, but it’s no more necessary to know the story behind it in order to follow the story at hand (no pun intended) than it is to know the history of a trophy seen in the background of the Batcave to enjoy a Batman story. The story differentiates four different versions of Torchwood, and unless I haven’t been paying close enough attention to Doctor Who (always a possibility), more than one of these versions have yet to be fully explained.

While still told from Gwen Cooper’s point of view, about midway through the first episode the spotlight of attention is thrown on Jack Harkness, a character with a mysterious two-year gap in his history which I look forward to seeing revealed. Gwen learns the secret of his longevity in this episode, but apparently his teammates remain unaware at this point. The next episode is titled “Day One,” which makes me glad “Everything Changes” isn’t listed as “episode zero.”

Perhaps I read too many comics books.

BIG FINISH AUDIOS:

ALIENS AMONG US - Part 1
   1.1 Changes Everything - p14
   1.2 Aliens & Sex & Chips & Gravy - p14
   1.3 Orr - p14
   1.3 Superiority Complex - p15

ALIENS AMONG US - Part 2
   2.1 Love Rat - p15
   2.2 A Kill to a View - p15
   2.3 Zero Hour - p15
   2.3 The Empty Hand - p15

ALIENS AMONG US - Part 3
   3.1 Poker Face - p15
   3.2 Tagged - p15
   3.3 Escape Room - p15
   3.3 Herald of the Dawn - p15

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After today I'll be away from the board for a week (FYI), but keep going! I'll catch up when I return!
I am on day 3 of the Children of the Earth...wow this is excellent. Great production values, great script...wow


Jeff of Earth-J said:
After today I'll be away from the board for a week (FYI), but keep going! I'll catch up when I return!
For a minute there, I thought it was someone else speaking...

Yeah, RTD and co knocked it out of the park with this one.
I agree with you that Fragments was well done. I was surprised by Ianto's story the most, but I guess it jibes with his need to save Lisa. The crack about 51st century pheromones was great...obviously there has to be something more than Charisma working for Jack.

Exit Wounds: Having just watched the start of Children of the Earth and the massive blow up of the hub, does that mean that Gray and all the other instasis bodies have been effectively incinerated? I have to agree with those who noted that the ramifications of nearly 2000 years of living burial seem to have been glossed over a little too neatly.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
SEASON TWO: EPISODE 12: “Fragments”

When a booby-trapped building explodes we learn how each of the team was recruited to Torchwood.

I like flashback shows when done right, and this one was. There was a Firefly like this, too.

SEASON TWO: EPISODE 13: “Exit Wounds”

Captain John returns to have his revenge on Torchwood. But who is he really working for? And how great a price must Torchwood pay to save the city?

Well, that’s it! Now I can finally unblock the foreknowledge I have of Owen and Tosh’s fate! (I never knew the specifics, anyway.) This show isn’t any more like it’s parent than Mike Grell’s Shaman’s Tears is like his Jon Sable, Freelance, yet those diverse series have crossed over as well. It is like new Doctor Who in that there aren’t really any episodes I don’t like, and I liked it from the very beginning. Thanks to Alan for continually pushing me to give this series a try.

Any interest in me continuing this thread through Children of Earth?
I agree with you, for new watchers it would be assumed that all non-torchwood family were regulars not just new for the episode, the were really well drawn. I loved the gossipy estate living sister and her striving husband, such a contrast to always-in-a-suit Ianto.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
CHILDREN OF EARTH: Day One

I don’t know how much I’ll have to say about this mini-series that I didn’t say during the previous discussion, but after I got a lot more out of “Day One” the second time through… not only because I’ve seen it before but because I’ve now seen the two seasons that preceded it. One thing I’ll say through, the first time through I got the impression that Jack’s daughter and Ianto’s sister, like Gwen’s fiancé, were series regulars. That they were introduced in “Day One” shows that they were written with depth. This is the first episode since the very first episode to have been written by RTD.
No kidding. They were nicely setting her up as new leadership material ever since Fragments, they have shown how she does step in crisis and see the big picture and that she doesn't just need to run to Jack.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
CHILDREN OF EARTH: Day Two

My second time through I’m watching with an eye toward the future. I’ve heard that Torchwood will be back for another season, but I’ve also heard that John Barrowman has taken a part in an American TV series. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Torchwood under the command of Gwen Cooper. In the scene between her and Lois in the diner (with Rhys), it’s amazing to consider how far her character has progressed since the first episode.
Ha! I forgot to log out of the fluitnotes account when I posted...not having Chris jump into the story here....
Figserello said:
For a minute there, I thought it was someone else speaking...

Yeah, RTD and co knocked it out of the park with this one.
Jack has lived so many lives...and still trying to runaway...

Jeff of Earth-J said:
Ah, Figs... there you are! Interesting take, well worth the wait.

I had planned on capping this thread of with my wife's British-to-American English quiz, but she's not ready to "publish" yet. Instead, I'd like to speculate which direction Torchwood might take going forward. It's hard to imagine Torwood without Captain Jack Harkness, but I think he'll be out of the picture for some time (plans for a possible American series notwithstanding). I could easily see Gwen Cooper stepping into the leadership role, and unless they go with a cast of unknowns, here are some possibilities I'd like to see.

Gwen - leader
Martha - medical
Mickey - tactical
Lois - technical
??? - a new character, or a series of new characters until a suitable final fifth member can be found.
LOST SOULS:

Following the tragic deaths of two of their colleagues, only Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones remain of Torchwood, protecting humanity against the unknown. Martha Jones, ex-time traveler and now working as a Doctor for UNIT, has been called to CERN — the world’s largest particle physics laboratory in Geneva. They’re about to activate the Large Hadron Collider, designed to recreate conditions after the Big bang and thus give an insight into what the Universe is made of. But so much can go wrong: it could open a gateway to a parallel dimension, or even create a black hole.

Voices from the past are calling out to people from the LHC, and scientists have started to disappear. Where have they gone? What is lurking in the underground tunnel — and do the dead ever really stay dead?


Audio adventures have been dropping through The Rift and into my mailbox with increasing frequency. I’ve recently been listening to new audio adventures of Dark Shadows and Doctor Who as well, but none better simulate the production of an actual television adventure than those of Torchwood! This one also includes a bonus 25-minute behind-the-scenes program featuring interviews with RTD and members of the cast and crew.
Thanks, Jeff. I haven't tried any of the Torchwood audios yet. Now I know that I should.
You're welcome! See also the top of page 10 of this discussion for my thoughts on "Torchwood: The Radio Adventures" in case you missed it when I posted last month. these are the only four I've heard, but I've enjoyed them all. I think of them as "Series 2.5".
Jeff, if you can bring yourself to enter the "Who is the Doctor" group, there's an item in the RSS feed about characters who will appear in Torchwood season four.

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