Red Scharlach (redscharlach) wrote,
Red Scharlach

"Tonight's the night for magic, not guns."

Today brought the final bout of Radio Torchwood, so here are a few thoughts about The House of the Dead:

  • So the plot of the day is that Sirieth/Siriaeth/Sirry-Eth the Death-Feeder has been hiding beneath the Rift since the dawn of time and now she's coming back... to sue J.K. Rowling for breach of trademark, perhaps?

  • Ianto's dad's single-word message to his son is "BETRAYAL". Still, at least it wasn't "DEBENHAMS".

  • "So, no coffee then." - And Ianto thought this was as tragic as this episode could get. Unfortunately he's wrong, poor lamb.

  • "You're still so cold..." / "That's cos I'm dead, love." - I know Torchwood often gets criticized for its gratuitous sex content, but given that the raciest moment of this week was Barry the landlord getting felt up by the ghost of his dead wife, the bar hasn't been set very high for Miracle Day. Any two living beings in physical contact beats an ectoplasmic grope: that's the standard Intergalactic Sex Bingo rule, isn't it?

  • Before we get to the Dramatic Revelation (TM), I note that the BBC's summary for this episode includes the line "Why is Jack acting so strangely?" I've been wondering this all week! You mean it's NOT just because he's not subtle enough for radio??

  • Okay, it's Dramatic Revelation time! I must confess that I only guessed it a minute before the big reveal. This was mildly annoying in retrospect, since I had clocked the slightly odd way Jack had said "Good to see you" to Ianto at the beginning, but I mentally wrote it off as another poor line reading. And then the tedium of the intervening storyline and Mrs Wintergreen's "I. Am. Speaking. To. The. Dead. Now." delivery made me forget about it altogether. Whoops.

  • There may be no pyjamas in the land of the dead, according to Eddie Izzard, but apparently there's porridge. That's better than nothing, I suppose.

  • I'm all for wish-fulfillment fantasy in fiction, but I think this episode wants to have its canonical cake (or should that be afterlife porridge?) and eat it too. On the one hand, it's adding fuel to the fire of the "Jack is a selfish bastard" trope (he doesn't even know if Ianto had a funeral? What a git!), yet on the other hand, it's got Jack and Ianto confessing their twu wuv in a haze of soppy self-sacrifice and handwavey technobabble. It's confusing, it's annoying, it's kind of sweet, I'm not sure it makes any proper sense whatsoever and I don't really know how I feel about it. In other words, it's pure Torchwood.

  • In conclusion: predictably shippy but otherwise a bit iffy, this was a frustrating fix-it fic made flesh, with the first 35 minutes being pretty much forgotten in the omg-wtf-bbq haze of the final ten. I'm not sure it was the best play of the three Lost Files, but then again, it was probably the only one I'll remember anything about.

So what happens next? Well, after an unseemly wait, the UK finally gets to watch the first instalment of Miracle Day tomorrow. If you tune in, I hope you enjoy it; I certainly did.

However, if you're waiting for a more extensive episode review from me, I've got a bit of news to share. I have written one, but I'm afraid you can't read it yet, because it's going to be published in the next issue of Doctor Who Magazine, out at the end of this month. Eep!

Nonetheless, I hope to have a few things to say (and to draw) about the episodes that follow, so I'll be back to bleat about those in my usual disjointed fashion as soon as I can. Some things never change, even in the 21st century...
Tags: torchwood
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