And now some thoughts on this week's episode, "A Day in the Death":
- "Every day I get up..." But Owen, didn't you say last week that you can't sleep any more, due to the whole deadness thing? I suppose it's possible that you don't sleep now in the same way that Jack "doesn't sleep": i.e. you just lie scenically on the bed with your shirt off, waiting for passing cameramen.
- Oh dear, now Owen has taken to flashing his Jammie Dodger on rooftops and getting strange women to poke their fingers into it. I guess post-death thrills are hard to come by.
- And the final humilation: he's now making the coffee. I like Ianto turning his nose up at instant. (And I like Ianto's turned-up nose, too.)
- Ianto: "I didn't realize we were in a competition." You all are, and I think it's a drinking game. Meanwhile, Owen is righteously cheesed off at the fact that everyone else has had some action more recently than him, and Ianto is all hurt and defensive at the implication that he and Jack are just shagging. Poor petal, I fear for his fragile feelings.
- Speaking of Ianto, I notice that the official site (UK only, sorry!) includes an email from him to Jack, containing the following lines: "Incidentally, I think you could probably do with some R&R yourself. Let me know if you'd like my hands to work their magic, or if you'd just like a massage." Boom boom! And ding dong...
- Oooh, the Mad Old Alien-Collection Guy is Richard Briers! And Jack says he "used to be a looker". I take this as incontrovertible canonical support that Jack spent much of the 1970s hanging out in Surbiton, hunting for aliens that hide in goat-sheds and trying to start rampant orgies with the entire cast of The Good Life. Really, Jerry.
- The Tintin shout-out was especially appreciated by me because I've often wondered what Hergé's Adventures of Torchwood! would be like. (I've even thought of drawing it myself, but the style is too tricky for my lazy art skills to mimic.) Meanwhile, the nation discovers that Owen ships Tintin/Snowy (and now has the T-shirt to prove it), while Ianto thinks he IS Tintin and ships himself with Captain
- Careful with that scalpel, Owen! Ooops, too late. Now you've got another leisure option to fill your lonely undead evenings: practising needlepoint on your own body parts. Errrk.
- So Owen has no sense of touch. But hold on, in the previous episode, he did have a sense of touch and was using it feel up a brick wall. Maybe it wore off, though. Bet he wishes he hadn't wasted what was left of it on bricks...
- Jack's suggestion for enjoying your afterlife: watch the telly. Thanks for that worldbeating suggestion. Then again, perhaps he secretly yearns for a break from the demands of shagtastic adventuring so he can curl up with a boxed set of The Sopranos, but simply never finds the time.
- Oh my god. Owen has been reduced to the very depths of human despair. He is CLEANING OUT THE FRIDGE. I'm afraid I had to hide my sensitive eyes from these shocking scenes of unadulterated housework. The horror, the horror! Also, I note that he has a totally different flat this season. It has a lot more furniture in it, for a start. I bet all the hassle of moving house seems like a total waste, now he's pining for the fjords.
- I thought that Maggie (the roof girl) did a decent job with a fairly unexciting role, although she did at least get her bloodstained and symbolic Twin Peaks moment.
- It's undercover Owen! Maybe he could have a career as an international cat burglar? All he needs is a Catherine Zeta Jones leather catsuit and a few ballet moves.
- Awww, poor Richard Briers. He was really rather moving. (We'll ignore Owen being unable to breathe but still being able to talk. By Torchwood standards, that's a teeny plothole you can sew up yourself, once a week.)
- And lo, Owen's interest in existence was temporarily resolved by a singing alien lava-lamp. Well, that's all right, then.
- The Torchwood team NEVER learn their lesson about being supportive to each other, do they? As a plot device, it's getting a mite tedious that they keep forgetting that they're supposed to be mates. Also, you'd think that with his experience, Jack in particular could have been a bit more sympathetic. Does he reckon that since he had to sort out the whole immortality thing by standing on rooftops looking angsty, it must be good enough for everyone else as well?
- So, what was the point of Martha's three-episode cameo? What exactly did she add to proceedings? Of course, in a metafictional sense, it looks like a consolation prize for Freema for not being in the first half of DW series 4 (filed under "No, we do like you, honest!"), but within the context of the show, she may as well have ridden into Cardiff on a giant sentient shoehorn. I also reckon that the Powers That Be don't want to repeat information on DW that they've already mentioned on TW, especially since they can't assume that DW-watchers will be au fait with TW happenings (pre-watershed repeat or not), so that means not mentioning many Martha-facts on TW. But the net result of this reasoning is that Martha couldn't do or say much that we didn't already know, and she was therefore stuck in an unsatisfying dramatic cul-de-sac.
- Still, at least she's probably happy that her dramatic cul-de-sac is within liplocking distance of Jack. Mind you, Jack looked about as nonplussed by their halfhearted "snog" as I was, but I guess a score is still a score, especially if it saves someone somewhere a spot of Photoshopping. And whoever her boyfriend turns out to be (and what a big tease over nothing that was), maybe Jack's on her List of People You're Allowed If You Ever Get The Chance. Well, face it, Jack's on everyone's List. Jack's probably on Martha's boyfriend's List and they've never even met.
- All in all, not brilliant by any means, but a definite improvement on last week's peak of ridiculousness. The proof of the pudding will be whether Owen really does learn anything about making the most of your death. I imagine time will tell...
In other news, the earth may have moved for everyone else last night, but I managed to sleep right through it. Plus ça change, as they say in less wobbly geographical regions..