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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Three series (the third being the 5-part Children of Earth)...all are on DVD
Oh, COE is counted as a series! That explains it! I had heard that Torchwood will be coming back for a fourth series, yet as far as I knew, only two were available on DVD (but I wasn't counting COE). Thanks!
Week 4 - you have been warned

Figserello said:
Cavalier said:
Five WEEKS? Are they trying to kill you, Figs?

You said it!

Fair play to RTD for coming up with something that just had to be viewed back-to-back. That's original TV, but those ABC programmers are Goons. It's like painting a moustache on the Mona Lisa, man!
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
I'd be interested in the next season after COE because after the events of COE I just can't see many countries not going through internal turmoil and riots after the events. I can't imagine many would stay in the military after being blackmailed into doing what they did, I'm sure Gwen's friend Andy would leave the force, it should be a near total societal meltdown.

Mark

"Do you remember the Zygon gambit with the Loch Ness Monster? Or the Yeti in the Underground? Your species has an amazing capacity for self-deception." -- The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks
The thread is called 'Jeff watches Torchwood'

Not 'Everyone spoils Children of Earth'

Photobucket

Sounds like the wife is not going to like it...
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
Sorry.

Mark

Figserello said:
The thread is called 'Jeff watches Torchwood'

Not 'Everyone spoils Children of Earth'

Photobucket

Sounds like the wife is not going to like it...

Ah, no biggie.

Jeff tends to fly through his DVDs, so we can blether away about CoE in a few weeks, I'd imagine. I'll have seen a few more episodes by then too.
I forgot to mention yesterday how impressed I was at the performance of the young actress who played Carys (the girl possessed by the gaseous alien entity). In what was certainly a very demanding role, she was able to alternate between (relative) innocence to sultry experience at the flick of a switch, and she did it most convincingly.

SEASON ONE: EPISODE 3: “Ghost Machine”

An alien shows visions of the past to the Torchwood team, bringing a long-buried crime to the surface.

I don’t have a lot to say about this episode, but it’s possibly my favorite (of the three) I’ve seen so far. Gwen is becoming increasingly accustomed to her new job, but so far Ianto has remained primarily in the background. Gwen, Ianto and Jack are the three I think of when I think of Torchwood; the others haven’t yet made much of an impression. It reminds me of when I started watching the CSI shows. Tracy watched them long before I did, and when I started I at first couldn’t keep the casts of the respective shows straight (nor did I try all that hard). Eventually, though, I came to learn which was which, as I’m sure will happen with Torchwood as well.
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
Yea, but they've given that up. Everyone knows that there are aliens now. The ship hitting Big Ben, the other ships over London, as Martha said to the Dr when they were on the moon things have changed. And you have soldiers blackmailed into breaking into peoples homes and stealing their children. What person stays loyal to a country that does that to his children? What honorable man stays in the military after being told to do it to other men's children or we will do it to yours? And as the dots are connected and it is realized that the government specifically targeted the poorest people what stops a revolt other then more and more force? Where does all that anger go?

Mark

Doctor Hmmm? said:
Mark S. Ogilvie said:
I'd be interested in the next season after COE because after the events of COE I just can't see many countries not going through internal turmoil and riots after the events. I can't imagine many would stay in the military after being blackmailed into doing what they did, I'm sure Gwen's friend Andy would leave the force, it should be a near total societal meltdown.

Mark

"Do you remember the Zygon gambit with the Loch Ness Monster? Or the Yeti in the Underground? Your species has an amazing capacity for self-deception." -- The Seventh Doctor, Remembrance of the Daleks

Well...there are real world examples...but let's keep this fun, shall we?

Soooo...

Maybe everyone forgot after their time as the Master.
SEASON ONE: EPISODE 4: “Cyberwoman”

Beneath the Torchwood building, Ialto Jones hides a terrible secret: a half-converted cyberwoman.

This is the first episode to focus on Ianto Jones; so far he’s been little more than a background character. As I’ve noted before, despite that fact that this series is a spin-off of Doctor Who, the tone is so different that even this episode which borrows elements directly from the parent show seems more of a “parallel” show set in the same universe than it does a spin-off (such as Angel from Buffy). I think it’s more likely for fans of Buffy to enjoy Angel than it is fans of Doctor Who to enjoy Torchwood. Torchwood is more of its “own thing,” complementing Doctor Who, but with a different approach.

Plotwise, Ianto’s girlfriend worked at Torchwood One and was in the process of being converted when the Cybermen were defeated. Ianto’s intention is to restore her humanity, but his plan goes horribly wrong. The hard-hitting ending provides a double-twist, either one of which separately but certainly both together underscore the differences between Torchwood and Doctor Who.

I now think of the episodes of Doctor Who in which cast members of Torchwood guest-star as comic book style crossovers b etween the characters of two different companies that work so well in both continuities that you have to buy two copies, one to file with each title, y’know?
SEASON ONE: EPISODE 5: “Small Worlds”

What are the supernatural forces stalking the Cardiff suburbs — and what do they want with the seemingly normal Pierce family?

The mother had a really, really bad day, but the situation resolved itself to a happy ending (relatively speaking) by the end of the episode.
Didn't you think it was a little daft that the cyber-woman was impervious to high-calibre weapons etc, but she was pulled apart in a sealed room by a flying dinosaur that normally needs updraft thermals to be able to fly?

Fun, I'll grant you, but daft too...

And I'm only going by memory here, but I seem to recall that the Torchwood people weren't all that successful with the wee folk in the garden. Didn't some people die horribly before they got their act together?

I can't remember how explicit they made it in the show, but this episode owes a lot to The Stolen Child, a beautiful poem by WB Yeats. (A personal fave, too)

Gotta love Celtic Twilight references in Welsh TV shows...
Didn't you think it was a little daft that the cyber-woman was impervious to high-calibre weapons etc, but she was pulled apart in a sealed room by a flying dinosaur that normally needs updraft thermals to be able to fly?

Fun, I'll grant you, but daft too...

Small Worlds.

I'm only going by memory here, but I seem to recall that the Torchwood people weren't all that successful with the wee folk in the garden. Didn't some people die horribly before they got their act together?

I can't remember how explicit they made it in the show, but this episode owes a lot to The Stolen Child, a beautiful poem by WB Yeats. (A personal fave, too)

Gotta love Celtic Twilight references in Welsh TV shows... Here's the poem set to music by Celtic folksters The Waterboys. I love this version.

(I used to use this in classes now and again to give foreign students some ideas of the recurring themes in Celtic literature and folk-stories.)

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