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Author Topic: Torchwood
Olivet
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Is this show available in the US yet?

My writing circle, peopled largely by women from Britain and Canada, is buzzing about it.

I thought it might be available on BBC America, but we don't get BBC America [Grumble]

Here's the wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torchwood

It's a Dr. Who spin-off. The lead is a character called Captain Jack Harkness who speaks with an American accent.

Anyway, these women are all "Captain Jack this" and "Captain Jack that" and I wish to know what all the fuss is about.

I'm also not up on the new Dr. Who yet, but that is easy to remedy thanks to Netflix.

So, has anyone seen it? Is there any legitimate way I can get hold of it?

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Puffy Treat
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Unless you count episodes being posted on YouTube as legitimate, no. There doesn't seem to be a US release yet.

I've watched a couple of episodes on YouTube. In both of them, Captain Jack came off as an ineffectual jerk...but, it could just be those episodes had him it his worst.

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Olivet
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Were you familiar with the character from Doctor Who?
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Teshi
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Good show, good show. [Big Grin] I've seen the first four episodes.

If you haven't seen the modern Doctor Whos (esp. 2005) you might want to catch up with them first. You don't at all have to be familiar with the plot, but I feel like it sets the stage.

There's more to the show than Jack Harkness- it takes place in Cardiff, Wales and has a cast of pretty good welsh characters. Jack himself is deliberately not perfect. This is a darker show than Doctor Who- with darker, flawed characters.

But it's still awesome.

In some ways, it reminds me of Firefly, only without Joss Whedon and in Wales.

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Olivet
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I think I'll probably Netflix the Doctor Who and torrent the anagram. However, a short stop by YouTube made it clear what the ladies were a-twitter over. [Big Grin]

It also leads me to think that it won't be imported soon.

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SteveRogers
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Is the new Dr. Who any good?
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Andrew W
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I don't think anyone who's seen the series could really suggest that Captain Jack is the main character, clearly the woman, I forget her name, is the main character. He's just the most interesting of the supporting cast.

I have mixed feelings about the series myself. When I watch it, it seems pretty good, but when I think about the episodes I've seen it seems pretty cheap. Especially considering the surprising number of lesbian scenes in what is for sure a program mainly aimed at nerdy guys, and thus this could well be suspected to be a gimmick, though it's been pointed out that there's been a few gay scenes, and that Russel guy (or whatever he's called) is gay, so it could just be a good example of inclusion of alternative lifestyles.

AW

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Andrew W
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And to answer Steve, yes, it's really good. The first of the new doctors was a little too angry, intense, northern, and un-doctor-y for my taste, but the latest guy is great.

AW

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T_Smith
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
Is the new Dr. Who any good?

Brilliant, even. I have to admit a sort of... big gaping hole without Chris Ecclestein, but David Tennant is doing a fabulous job nonetheless.
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Teshi
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(I won't argue with Andrew W about 2005 Doctor, just want to say I disagree).

quote:
Especially considering the surprising number of lesbian scenes in what is for sure a program mainly aimed at nerdy guys, and thus this could well be suspected to be a gimmick, though it's been pointed out that there's been a few gay scenes, and that Russel guy (or whatever he's called) is gay, so it could just be a good example of inclusion of alternative lifestyles.
I think part of the show's goal was to do this. And I don't think Torchwood is aimed at Nerdy guys- not considering the comments above. Nerdy guys watch Star Trek. It's aimed at adult Doctor Who fans (who aren't necessarily Sci Fi fans). It takes a later slot than Dr. Who but does run on mainstream BBC.

I don't think it's intended to be a gimmick, although it may well help the ratings of a certain demographic. But then Captain Jack probably helps the ratings also, so I think it's just intended to be "sexy".

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Nell Gwyn
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Semi-relevant sidenote: The guy playing Captain Jack, John Barrowman (if 'Russell' referred to him, I'm not sure where that came from), grew up and went to high school close to my hometown. Before he got so busy with Doctor Who, he used to run week-long musical theatre workshops in various places, and I attended one of them. He's very talented and an all-round awesome person (and also really, really hot [Big Grin] ).

I have nothing else to add, though, because I have yet to see Torchwood or any of the Doctor Whos, although the latter is coming up very soon in my Blockbuster queue.

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anti_maven
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I saw a couple of the first episodes of Torchwood, and I must say I wasn't impressed at all.

After the success fo the new Doctors, which have breathed new life into the series I felt this spinoff was a lt down.

That being said, I was talking to a friend of mine, who said that in her circle of Dr. Who Heads, it had been very well received.

You pays yer money and takes yer choice.

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Bella Bee
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I posted about this series back in October on the old Doctor Who thread just after the first episode. Now that Iíve seen the whole series, itís surprising how many of my first impressions I still agree with. So this is a sort of cross-post, with a few add-ons.

Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who.

Storyline - a bunch of misfits work for a secret government organisation located in Cardiff, where a rift in space and time allows the debris of the universe to float into the city. They fight alien crime, often using alien technology. They eat a lot of pizza. Itís a like if the Men in Black were amateurs.

Itís an ensemble show. Although Captain Jack was widely expected to be the main character, Gwen, the local police officer turned alien investigator gets more attention that any of the other characters. But all the characters get their own storylines and development.

The Captain Jack who appears in this show is very different from the one in Doctor Who. Heís not at all that happy go lucky guy anymore.

In a lot of ways, the series invites comparison to 'Angel'. That's not a criticism, it's an inevitable comparison, and one which the showrunners donít seem to mind. Itís not just that this is a much darker, more disturbing spin off of a far lighter series.

Itís not only that Capt. J, as the boss, is a man living in a foreign country in which he has come to feel at home, with a dodgy and mysterious past, who became a hero through his association with (love for?) the main character of the original series. Or that he seemingly spends a lot of his free time standing on the edge of rooftops, walking through rain at night etc in a long dark coat.

Itís not even that he now runs a small crew of maladjusted and slightly odd people who work to fight weird crime. Although in this case, they're often saving people from evil aliens (in latex masks), not demons (in latex masks). There are definite supernatural elements to the show.

Oh, and did I mention...


SPOILER


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SPOILER OVER


But itís actually the tone of the show which seemed most ĎAngelí like. The characters often make painful and frustrating choices (at least to this viewer). And youíre never quite sure where their loyalties really lie.

There's the same mixture of epicness and ordinary everyday recognisable from DW, but this is absolutely NOT a children's show. There's graphic-ish sex, violence and gore, although not more so than Battlestar Galactica. Thereís some profanity. There are same-sex and interspecies relationships (though not with sheep [/welsh joke) , but thereís also a lot of boy/girl stuff. And sometimes it turns out that people are literally giving each other mouth to mouth resuscitation. It just happens, as it happens in everyday life, though maybe not the alien sex.

One of the things I adored about this show was the provincial location - that the glamorous city we're seeing in those flyover shots is... Cardiff, capital city of Wales. Itís like the equivalent of it being set in Minneapolis or something, but older and with more of a distinct cultural identity. It adds a lot of humour to the show and gives it a real sense of place - the accents of the supporting cast are Welsh, the names are Welsh, and we get to meet some of the local legendary wildlife.

The stories are usually genuinely creepy, and while I felt like there were are a couple of moments where the high emotion displayed by the characters wasnít quite warranted or set up well enough, thereís a moment of total grief/horror by one character in the finale which was completely, shockingly heartbreaking.

It might be good to know that Torchwood has already been renewed for season 2.

I really enjoyed it. [Smile]

Thereís also a new series for children, set in the DW universe, which is happening some times this year, featuring the Doctorís erstwhile companion Sarah-Jane, who fights alien crime in a more sensible, down-to-earth sort of way (though sheĎs still quite happy to blow stuff up, if itĎs really necessary). The pilot for it was on over the New Year holiday, and it looks like it will be more light hearted fun.

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Raventhief
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As a fan of Doctor Who, I was really excited to see this series (Captain Jack was one of my favorite characters). Unfortunately, he's changed a lot. The series is a lot darker with little of the humor that makes Doctor Who so great, in my opinion.
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Puffy Treat
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The Torchwood episode with the evil fairies should have used latex masks.

Instead of CGI so cheesy it almost rendered those sequences unwatchable. [Razz]

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Olivet
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After seeing only the first episode. I would say that the woman (whose name I can't recall either) is the main character in the same way that Scully was the main character of the X-Files pilot. It's all her pov (and scully had a useless sub-plot boyfriend, too, but they cut his scenes). Still, I think they're going for a darker sort of feel, so the seriousness didn't put me off.

Seems promising, though. The ladies were obvious hot for Jack, who is hot. He also seems to be, by reputation, abisexual. Which is ... hot.

I have seen a bit of the new Doctor Who, but i think I missed the Torchwood-related episodes entirely.

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Teshi
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Before everyone goes crazy over John Barrowman, I should add that he's recently married-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-it, to his partner. Who's an architect.
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Nell Gwyn
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Yeah, I thought about mentioning that, but I didn't want to sound all fangirly-stalker. Alas that he's "officially" taken, but also very cool. [Cool]
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Bella Bee
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quote:
The Torchwood episode with the evil fairies should have used latex masks.

Instead of CGI so cheesy it almost rendered those sequences unwatchable.

If you are looking to 'Doctor Who' for good special effects, you will be disappointed. [Smile]
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Raventhief
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quote:
Originally posted by Bella Bee:
quote:
The Torchwood episode with the evil fairies should have used latex masks.

Instead of CGI so cheesy it almost rendered those sequences unwatchable.

If you are looking to 'Doctor Who' for good special effects, you will be disappointed. [Smile]
Come on, the Satan Pit? With the devil? I mean the devil himself?! And the poseessed guy?! That was awesome!
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Olivet
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quote:
Originally posted by Teshi:
Before everyone goes crazy over John Barrowman, I should add that he's recently married-or-whatever-you-want-to-call-it, to his partner. Who's an architect.

Oh, I knew that already. I'm taken, too, as in totally not going after anyone I'm not already married to.

But my hot-o-meter isn't broken. [Big Grin] I don't see why it matters whether someone is married or not, or of incompatible orientation or not. If people stopped being hot hot just because there was no possibility of having them, then no one would be hot. [Big Grin] Not that wassisname is all that, but we do like to watch pretty people, you know, fight monsters and stuff. *goofy grin*

And, yeah, nobody watches British TV for their cutting edge FX. *grin

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Troubadour
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Just watched the first episode.

The comments here linking the feel to Angel and other Whedonesque work was pretty spot on - I thought that if Nathan Fillion was playing Captn Jack, he'd be a lot less annoying.

As much as I've liked Doctor Who, I'm not sure I'll be able to get into this show, the writing was pretty average.

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Blayne Bradley
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SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT FOR DR WHO+TORCHWOOD
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Captain Jack is really the past version of the Face of Boe!

[ July 22, 2007, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: Blayne Bradley ]

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Bella Bee
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Blayne, could you maybe put some more stars in there, give it a bit more space? It's kind of difficult not to read your spoiler by accident.

In other news, (this isn't a spoiler, just casting info.) James Marsters, AKA 'Spike from Buffy' is in Torchwood this season. Which could be fun.

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sarcasticmuppet
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All you ever need to know about Torchwood. (mild language warning)
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Blayne Bradley
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How's dat?
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Bella Bee
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Brilliant, Blayne. Thanks. [Cool]
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Eaquae Legit
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I enjoyed Torchwood enough to watch it online, but it wasn't nearly so fun as Doctor Who. Too risque for my mild enjoyment. I'm glad I watched it, though, because when Jack showed up again on Doctor Who, I had a bit of extra perspective.

I know it's going to air in Canada sometime soon, but I don't know about the States.

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Olivet
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I was wondering if there will be another season of Torchwood. I rather liked it, except for two things. One, it's rather darker and less hopeful about life in general, and two the writing gets a bit creaky at times.

I'm not sure if it's the writing or the editing, in some cases, though. "Countrycide" was pretty intense and dark and cool up until the tractor burst into the place. I think maybe they were trying for John Woo-ish slo-mo, balletic violence, but it didn't work. It kind of worked, I guess, but it seemed a bit forced.
Also, Jack would TOTALLY have failed the Red Cross CPR course.

[ July 23, 2007, 02:01 PM: Message edited by: Olivet ]

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Kwea
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I think the 2005 Doctor was the best so far. [Smile]
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Mig
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BBC America ran an add this weekend that it would be showing the series in September.
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Javert Hugo
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I want there to be another season, despite never seeing a single episode, because James Marsters might be on it and I just want him to be happy.

The crush is getting out of control.

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Amilia
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Just watched the third episode. Why does Jack have to teach Gwen how to shoot? Do police officers in Cardiff not carry guns?
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Troubadour
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Cap'n Jack is still an idiot.
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Bella Bee
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quote:
Do police officers in Cardiff not carry guns?
No, they don't. Apart from officers assigned to specialist armed response units, most police officers in the UK carry only batons and CS spray.

Plus Cardiff is not exactly a centre of gun crime. It would be quite possible that an officer like Gwen would never have fired a gun in her life.

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Amilia
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No kidding? Wow. Different world.
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theCrowsWife
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So, um, how bad is it to watch this show without ever having seen any episodes of Dr. Who? It caught my eye when I was flipping through the channels and I vaguely recalled seeing the name somewhere, so I watched it. I didn't remember that it was connected to Dr. Who until I searched Hatrack.

Overall, I liked it well enough to keep watching.

--Mel

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Itsame
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IMO it is a decent show, but not nearly as good as Doctor Who. Not even in the same league, actually.
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Ron Lambert
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Torchwood can be viewed by people with a Canadian station included in their cable package. We here in the Detroit area do. In fact, people with regular broadcast TV can get it--from the CBC affiliate in Windsor, Ontario.
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Narnia
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I'm sad to hear that TW is darker and more sexed up. [Frown] I'm in the middle of season 2 of Doctor Who and I just loved Jack to pieces in the first season. We saw the ad for BBC America's run and figured out what it was...but now some of my excitement is quashed. Alas. [Smile]

I guess I'll just keep watching DW, though I still miss Christopher Eccleston sometimes.

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Olivet
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Well, dear, it is a bit sexed up. most of the sexed-up-ness revolves around the Owen character, which surprises me.

In the pilot I liked him because he was desperate enough to use alien pheromones to get people interested. I though, "Awww. The poor muppet-faced boy gets no love." I felt sorry for him.

Then it turns out that everyone (except Jack and Ianto) either falls for him or has had an affair with him in the past. So I thought, "Maybe muppet-faces are all the rage in Cardiff."

I'm hopeful that the second season will be less about finding alien excuses for girls to kiss girls or boys to kiss boys and more about interesting stuff.

Which reminds me I need get nice stopwatch...

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Javert Hugo
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I've never seen or even heard of any of this, but James Marsters is on in January, and that makes me want to see it.
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Olivet
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Oh, I love James Marsters! *pets*

The second season of Doctor Who had Anthony Head as a headmaster/bat thing in one of the episodes. I half expect more familiar faces from various Whedon-verses because Russell Davies has said time and again that they were going for a kind of Buffy and Angel feel for the show.

You sort of get that feel in Torchwood, but it is much more grim in outlook than Doctor Who. I'll be looking forward to seeing him. Wonder what color his hair will be?

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Eaquae Legit
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Torchwood was too adolescent in its sexed-up-ness to feel really dark. More like drunken teenagers fumbling around and trying to pretend they're all experienced.

I mostly watched it for Jack, who I enjoy as a character, and because I knew he would be returning for season 3 of DW. I might watch next season to see what the fallout of Jack's return is like.

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Olivet
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I thought "They Keep Killing Susie" and "Countrycide" were really dark. Where Doctor Who has that kind of Gee-Whiz-Ain't-humanity-grand thing going, Torchwood leans more toward a world where people eat other people for fun and there's nothing out there when you die sorts of stories.

The "Oh, Look! Another irresistible alien with lesbian kiss potential" stuff is a bit wearing, but you can't tell me the characters' hopelessness isn't dark.

I can happily polish off a season of Doctor Who in a week and be no worse for wear. I watched Torchwood fairly spread out and it still very nearly made me too depressed to blink at times. I really hated seeing Gwen lose her center and jeopardize the good things in her life (even though I found her a tad grating).

So, yeah. The 'sexiness' was clumsy at best, but the themes were still darker than in Doctor Who. I also agree that the fallout should be interesting. I'm just hoping Owen keeps his clothes on. *shudder*

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Shigosei
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I watched the first two episodes of Torchwood and really didn't care for it. I didn't find most of the characters that interesting, and I found all the sex a little annoying. It felt like they put it in just to make it not a children's show.

Should I give the series another try? Does it get better?

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Olivet
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I don't know. I mean, the series is 13 episodes, of which two or three were thoroughly good, maybe another three or four more were flawed but enjoyable and the rest were kind of embarrassing with an occasional moment of interest. (Though even one of my favorite episodes, the deeply creepy "Countrycide" had a really poorly realized 'action' sequence at the end.)

Maybe it just takes a few episodes to get going. Even the ones with embarrassing FX (the faeries!) had some interesting things happen (I never thought rose petals could be so dang creepy).

So, yeah. Even some of the better episodes had spots that were wobbly enough that I couldn't watch. For example, the "Cyberwoman" episode had some good stuff, (action and angst and people struggling with loss in a believable way) but it also had two people hiding in a cabinet to save their lives get suddenly hot for each other, and another character using rescue breathing to poach a deep kiss from someone who was unconscious. *eyeroll* Not that I donít sympathize with wanting to snog the hot teaboy, mind you, but I don't think it helped the story at all.

So, "Does it get better?" Yes and no. Some of the stories really work, but at least 85% of the 'sexy stuff' (kisses, whatever) are little more than "Look at me!!! I'm not for kids!" Just as you said.

Entertainment Weeklyís blurb went like this: If youíve ever watched a SciFi show and wondered, ďWhere are all the bisexuals?Ē This is the show for you.

Then they turned around and put it on their Must List. *shrug*

I think maybe it does get better toward the end, though it may just be that I learned to overlook its flaws because, wellÖ Pretty men! Kissing! *IQ drops to double digits*

I'll probably watch season 2 as it airs instead of downloading it all at once when it's over, because watching the first season straight through was genuinely depressing. Gwen Cooper could headline on Bad Decision Theater.

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theCrowsWife
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I'll say this for Torchwood. It was enough of a hook to get me to finally start watching Doctor Who. I've always been overwhelmed by the sheer number of episodes, and my obsessive-compulsive nature was going to make me start at the very beginning and watch all of them (that still exist). Torchwood gave me an "in", so that I only had to start with the beginning of the new version. I'll go back and catch the oldest episodes afterward.

--Mel

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Olivet
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NKw0WKoMtQ

This month! It looks much better than the first series, from that.

James Marsters!

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The Pixiest
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SPOILER!!!! For Torchwood And Dr Who Series 1
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quote:

and another character using rescue breathing to poach a deep kiss from someone who was unconscious.

Funny thing about that, I sorta assumed he wasn't simply coppin' a snog but somehow the intimacy of the kiss passed along some of the "Life" that Rose had infused him with previously. He wasn't just giving rescue breaths, he wasn't being creepy. He brought the guy back to life.

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End Spoilers.

I really enjoyed Torchwood, though there were definitely some cringe-worthy moments. I'm looking forward to the second series. And it's not just because it's a series chocked full of bisexuals and bisexuality. (though that helps.)

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