You may have noticed that some low-profile sci-fi show began this weekend. So, my thoughts on the first two episodes of Torchwood.
In a nutshell, I liked it. It wasn't perfect, there's lots of things it needed to get done, and lots of things it still needs to do, and some things it could have done a bit better, but on the whole it filled my brain with bouncing ideas like nothing has for quite some time. Which is, I must underline, a Good Thing.
Random round-up of gleeful things:
- "Period military is not the look of a straight man." In fact, this whole scene with everyone desperate to gossip about Jack the minute he goes to the bog was great. (Also, I know I sometimes come across as hopelessly toilet-obsessed, but hooray for a character randomly answering the call of nature. Is this the first time anyone in Whodom has ever gone to the loo?)
- Jack/Hand = CANON. This is the kind of great romance that songs get written about. Well, Tom Lehrer certainly wrote a rather appropriate one.
- Didn't guess Jack's secret at all. It is a bit like a sort of fanfic cliché, but potentially really interesting. I foresee a lot of leaping-into-certain-death (only NOT)...
- "If we were going through my back catalogue, we'd be here till the sun exploded." Hee hee. If Jack ever did have to track down everyone he ever slept with, it would come in handy to be immortal.
- Two words. MORE IANTO. This had better happen.
But to me, the most potentially interesting thing is how potentially off-kilter and dark and compromised everyone seems to be already. Look at the scene with Suzie, Owen and Tosh having all sneaked home with dodgy gadgetry (beats stealing Bics from the stationery cupboard, doesn't it?). Look at nobody knowing anything much about anyone else. Look at Owen, the deliberately twattish perv. Look at Jack's enormous invisible baggage. Look at Gwen already lying to her dim sweetie of a boyfriend about where she's been and what she's doing there. Look at her already being lured in by Jack and his lusciously-mouthed out-of-the-ordinary excitingness.
They are obviously playing up the references to the Doctor and Rose in Gwen and Jack's relationship and I've heard people whinging about this already, and saying "borrring, more of the same". But I think this is going to turn out to be a very twisted version on the theme. Gwen is clearly falling for the sparkly sci-fi fabulousness in a big way, and Jack's already champing at the bit - so no change there. But this time around (NB: this is entirely speculation on my part, not based on any actual knowledge or spoilers), I bet they actually DO get it on - I mean, if Gwen is keen, why would Jack stop himself? A moral compass he is not. And unlike Rose, Gwen is not hundreds of years and millions of light years away from her real life - even if it feels like it when she's at Torchwood, she is actually just down the road and round the corner, and likely to trip over it all at any moment.
I mean, the Doctor is not without compromise, but he does at least know he's meant to be doing the right thing and encourages other people to do the same. But this lot? It's going to get very messy, isn't it? And people are going to get hurt. Badly.
Oh, this could be really interesting...
Now it's goodbye from me for a short while. I'm off to Vienna on holiday tomorrow, for a few days of Secessionism and Sachertorte. Mind you don't break the internet in my absence, and I'll see you when I get back on Sunday...