Torchwood Season One

february 3, 2008

I just blew through Torchwood Season One as a rental from Netflix.  Torchwood is a spin-off series from the new Doctor Who series ("Torchwood" is an anagram for "Doctor Who").  Torchwood follows the adventures of the immortal Captain Jack Harkness -- who was introduced in Doctor Who -- and his team of alien hunters.  Well, at least that is what it is sold as.  After watching the season, it is turning into more of an X-Files meets CSI type show, which is great.  Torchwood is an edgier and more adult show than Doctor Who -- whereas Doctor Who can be shown on the SciFi Channel, Torchwood can never be shown on the SciFi Channel -- there's sex, violence, and a lot of swearing.  The characters in the show are not as palatable to mainstream audiences as the happy-go-lucky Doctor and his companions.  The characters in Torchwood are absolute bastards and they all have huge flaws.  And that is what makes them so watchable. The series was a little difficult to get into because the first six episodes were not the greatest pieces of television.  The cast and writing were mediocre at best and it was a struggle to get through the first six episodes.  But, am I glad I stuck through the first six episodes because from the seventh episode on, the writers, actors and directors really hit their stride.  Suddenly, the characters are deeper.  The stories are more interesting -- mainly because they start to incorporate the human aspects of the characters.  The stories start to draw you in because they have a slight humorous edge to them ("Random Shoes" reminded me a lot of old X-Files episodes that had the Lone Gunmen in them).  And just when I was really loving the show, the season ends.  Sigh.  I can't wait to see season two on DVD.  It'll be a long wait. Do you have to be a fan of Doctor Who to get into Torchwood?  No, not at all.  There are some small references to Doctor Who -- the hand in the jar and a whooshing noise at the end of the season -- but, they have no real significance to enjoying the show.  I highly recommend Torchwood.  What an exciting show with so much potential.