As someone whose entire knowledge of New Zealand comes from Flight of the Conchords, I was charmed to find out that there genuinely is a toothbrush fence tourist attraction there. There's also a shoe fence, and there was once a bra fence too, but the forces of oppression had it taken down. What a shame.
And now, Torchwood. Here are my thoughts on Children of Earth: Day One:
- Isn't it a bit confusing that this is actually the second Torchwood episode to be called Day One? The first Day One being the second episode, of course. (I'm two sentences into this review and I'm already confused. Wibble.)
- Aww, Gwen says hello to Tosh and Owen's photo.
- "He died a happy man. And I've got Tupperware." Trust Ianto to have alien storage solutions under control.
- Lots of fanpleasing references in this one. Not only is UNIT present, but they even namecheck Colonel Mace from The Sontaran Stratagem! Martha can't be there because she's on
Law & Order UKher honeymoon! Even the Frost Lynch estate agency from that Weevil Fight Club episode!
- Jack (as an aside to Ianto, on walking into the Hub): "You get killed, not me. You die like a dog." Oh Jack, don't you know anything about FORESHADOWING? That's it, Ianto's surely a goner: brace yourselves, get your funeral suits dry-cleaned, and stock up on Kleenex for the end of the week NOW. *anticipatory sniffle*
- Hot Doctor Rupesh (to give him his full name) points out that everyone in the world is supposed to know about aliens now. They've really made a rod for their own backs with this, plotwise, haven't they? Please suspend your disbelief and handwave briskly until normal service is resumed...
- I didn't think the stopped children were particularly scary until they started screaming. Very Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Donald Sutherland version). Yikes.
- New office girl Lois gets government password privileges on the first day and cunningly uses them to surf the web looking for Torchwood
fanficbackstory. The jury is still out on how useful that would be in an international crisis, but hey! It passes the time.
- Can anyone take Peter Capaldi seriously in a governmental role nowadays, after The Thick Of It and In The Loop? I haven't actually seen either, but I still half expect him to start ranting and raving and going goggle-eyed about spin.
- The Torchites decide that they need a child. Fortunately, Owen's no longer around to make lewd suggestions about cruising at the school gates.
- OMG WTF Jack has a grown-up daughter and is a granddad! Now there's a surprise (and a bit of a retcon, since he has never worried about them at any world-shaking point in past episodes). Yet at the same time, it's almost more of a surprise that he hasn't got a seething crowd of descendants in every town. True, his neglect is partly due to Ye Olde Immortality Chestnut, of course, but more than that, it's due to Jack being bloody hopeless. One wonders about Alice's mother, too: I assume they must have got together in the late 1960s or thereabouts, which rules out Jack's photo-wife (as seen in Something Borrowed) because she was from the 1910s or 20s. So errr, I dunno.
- Ianto comes out to his lovely sister, and is very awkward about being the only gay in the village but everyone else is cheerfully vulgar about it, so that's all right, then.
- I also enjoyed Gwen's scene with Alien-Sniffer Man. Gwen's very good at being nice and normal, and he's a good solid character actor who crops up a lot (like playing Hostage-Taking Gunman Guy in Life on Mars), but to me he'll always be Egg's dad from This Life.
- Ah, Rupesh's secret evilness surprised me! That should teach Torchwood not to hire doctors just because their arses look good in scrubs. The evilness of Plainly Evil Assassin Lady did not surprise me, however, because she was plainly evil (hence the name).
- I am amused by the fact that you've got UNIT, who are quite secret, and then you've got Torchwood, who are more secret than them, and then you've got this new mob, who are even more secret than that. Perhaps if you keep following the secret organizations, down and down, you eventually find some old lady banging a typewriter in a broom cupboard, who is running the whole planet. (I hope she's played by Judi Dench.)
- Despite their flashy tech, Plainly Evil Government Organization are not all THAT clever, if they think Jack's immortality is something to do with the Hub. Why don't they suspect that it's something to do with the Doctor? Are we pretending he doesn't exist in case the kids hear about it and get overexcited and demand to stay up late to watch?
- In my office, if you get given a blank memo, it usually means that the printer's on the blink again...
- Ooh, when Ianto gives Jack a Reassuring Hug (TM), there's a continuity error! Between the close-up and the long shot, Jack's head changes sides relative to Ianto's. Stop mooning over the man-on-man action in that editing booth, and pay attention, crew!
- It's very thrifty of Torchwood to have turned an A4 scanner into a pregnancy test (and bomb detector). Gwen probably heaved a sigh of relief that she wouldn't have to pee all over the medical bay on primetime TV. I also giggled at the way the computer flashed up "ALERT" and a handy diagram of Jack's bouncing baby bomb, because if it's Jack, you can't rule out him actually being knocked up.
- Their science-fiction super-base has blown up and Ianto has lost the SUV, so how are Team Torchwood going to save the world now? With Gwen's pocket gizmo, a few mobile phones and whatever DIY tools and gardening equipment they can round up from PC Andy's shed, perhaps? I guess we will find out soon.
- As for other future developments, we've already covered the OMG FORESHADOWING OF DOOM, and that's my only prediction. What's the betting that Jack takes four days to get his commitment phobia under control and decides to act like a grown-up, and then TRAGEDY STRIKES?!?! Please be assured that I'm just guessing wildly here. But Uncle Russell does enjoy messing us around, doesn't he?
- I hasten to add that I didn't watch the trailer for tomorrow, so no spoilers please...