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Originally posted December 21 2006 at 22:12 under General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

Time For Torchwood

Ah, see what I’ve done with the title there. Yip, titles are getting worse around here. This is another spoiler laden Torchwood review, this time it’s episode 10, Out of Time. Watch out below if you haven’t seen it!


Well, first thing is it’s better than last week’s, not that that’s much of an achievement. Also, as warned last week, it didn’t get my completely undivided attention so maybe didn’t’ have to engage as much as the preceding episodes have had to. That said, it wasn’t that bad.

It may have been that I just wasn’t paying as close attention but I don’t think this episode was a riddled as normal with the self inconsistencies which are Torchwood’s bane. There were still some—Torchwood can produce passports and full backgrounds in any name you care to mention by not a pilot’s licence for Diane? They still have the most lackadaisical attttude to secrecy and security too—but they certainly seemed to be few and far between. Unfortunately the episode was far from defeating Torchwood’s other great problem, a lack of originality and uniqueness.

The dwellers of the past flung forward in time thanks to the rift is OK, and works well enough, is even a neat little nod to the show which spawned this troubled series. Imagining what visitors from 50 years ago would make of today is not anything new though. Too often Torchwood is treading a very fine line between what might be OK and what really is so clichéd and worn as to only work any more as the butt of a joke or self-referential parody—and quite possibly it’s dallying too much on the wrong side of it. We’ve seen they past dwellers tearing open tea bags, being confused by automatic doors, running happily through well stocked supermarkets. It’s been done, and really it’s a bit of a waste for a new show to be doing it yet again without saying something new. It’s not only a waste, it’s lazy too.

The episode is well written—even the Gwen’s boyfriend scene (aha, so they are still together, at least they’ve finally cleared that up, like I can care) didn’t feel tacked on. It’s just entirely lacked a nugget of inspiration (or more to the point, seems far too inspired by what’s gone before). Right from the off the long strands of story could be seen stretching away. As soon as you saw Diane you thought, probably some love interest and knew, knew she would fly away back through the rift at the end (second week running to end with a flash of light. Is this Torchwood’s new signature ending). Each little mini-scene was painfully predictable as well; they could have just flashed up signs…supermarket (oh, they’ll stare at the doors, be excited by bananas, maybe have trouble with the concept of debit cards); kitchen (bet it’s the tea bag joke); son (he’ll be old, in a bad way); girl at Gwen’s flat (well, if you could be certain he was around you know the boyfriend will appear naked—what sort of relationship, again, where she doesn’t mention the girl on the sofa to her lover by the way). It’s a lot easier to write well when all you’re doing is connecting the dots.

So it was well written, pretty well hung together and ultimately a completely pointless contribution. It does show some hope though. If only we could have writing that’s up to that standard (at least) with something interesting and original to say then we might have a worth while series. It’s not impossible, which is a big step up from last week.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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