The adult-themed Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood has been a success on the ratings front, according to the BBC, taking their best digital channel audience for a non-sports event. I wasn’t totally blown away with the first two episodes, but I did enjoy it; the consensus with folks I know was pretty much the same, that it was good but not fabulous, although everyone thought it had huge potential to develop and looked forward to the next episode (which is pretty close to what the SFX reviewers also said). Captain Jack is back though, and we like Captain Jack! I wonder if his WWII attire will send many students scurrying to Armstrongs in Edinburgh and other second hand emporiums seeking out old RAF greatcoats (which are nice and warm for the winter actually)? And doesn’t the actress who plays the Welsh police officer who joins them look a bit like Audrey Tautou with her big eyes? Mmmm.
Being a Russell T Davies operation I ticked off the minutes waiting for the first gay/bisexual/metrosexual moment and naturally they delivered with boy-girl, boy-boy, boy-boy-girl stuff and then girl-girl in the next episode. Surprisingly Captain Jack wasn’t involved in any of them (boo!). Speaking in SFX though, John Barrowman who plays Captain Jack (who famously snogged both Billie Piper and Chris Eccleston’s Doctor in Doctor Who) gave out a great line when asked if he had done anything in the new series that was perhaps too risque and he wouldn’t want his mother to see: “nope. My mum pushed me out of her vagina, wiped my butt as a kid, seen my willy, everything, so nope.” Brilliant.
Good show though, some nice moments (alien entity taking over people, sure, seen that many times, but usually not alien entity which uses host for fatal sex because it is an orgy junkie leading to a climax – sorry – in a sperm donor clinic), terrific secret lair set (liked the flying pterosaur, a nod to the old Pertwee-era Invasion of the Dinosaurs perhaps?) and some nice hints about Jack’s mysterious background, how his resurrection by Rose after he was killed has affected him and questions about how he got from the future back to the 21st century and why he’s running Torchwood. Despite the fact the idea of Torchwood could throw some spanners in the continuity works for the older series (where the hell were they when the Doc and UNIT were defending against countless alien invasions for example?) I think this is going to be pretty good.