Having spent most of last night and today suffering from a server bout of toothache, I decided to help distract the pain by watching one of my favourite television series in recent years.
Torchwood is a spin off series from the BBC’s Doctor Who. Doctor Who is a long running British science fiction television show that had been aimed at families watching together on a Saturday night, more so from the 2005 ‘revamp’. Torchwood, making use of a popular character introduced in Doctor Who, was to be targeted and a more mature audience, a ‘grown-up’ version of Doctor Who. And after watching the first few episode I can heartily say that yes, the stories, dialogue and effects are not suitable for children under 15-18yrs.Torchwood follows the adventures of Gwen Cooper and what happens when she comes face to face with Captain Jack Harkness and his team member of Torchwood.
Now I have always been a ‘Whovian’ and sci-fi geek, and, being a in my mid thirties, I was rather keen on having a bit of ‘adult’ science fiction on television. A show that would not simplify or dumb-down science-fiction. One that can offer great drama, using adult themes from the wonderful and diverse genre. And I have to say, Torchwood, from the offset, gave this and in such big spadefuls.
From sex-killing aliens, to cannibalism to fairies and alien cage fighting, we are given a slew of strong stories and characters that not only attack the science-fiction genre head on but throw it in your face on a no-holds-bard basis.
The stories offer a varied take science-fiction staples and the charters development in dealing with the bizarre and unusual. To start with, I had a strong affinity with Captain Jack, and was pleased that the Beeb had decided to give this part-time companion of the Doctor his own series. And the premise of Torchwood, set up so nicely in the Doctor Who episode,Tooth and Claw, was an excellent setting for the ‘eternal-man’. The team surrounding Captain Jack, are wonderful in their diversity and in being a flawed and complex group of adults working for a secretive organisation, that in their own and very different ways love and enjoy working for Torchwood and Captain Jack.
I did find that the first few episode of the series, I was slightly annoyed with John Barrowman’s continuously shouting at everyone and everything, that he had to scream his acting out through the scene, but once some produced had a quiet word with him, Captain Jack settled down to being the all action hero, with an intense depth. And the love affair, only hinted in the first series between Captain Jack and Ianto Jones, was such a wonderful and subtle development that for me, sets Torchwood above all other
science-fiction television shows.
I highly recommend to anyone, not having seen this show, and if you are at a loss of something to do of an afternoon, give this typically British show a go. I am certain that you will be more surprised and hooked before the 3rd episode is finished.