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Reviews & Ratings for
"Torchwood" More at IMDbPro »

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197 out of 254 people found the following review useful:

Better than these reviews would lead you to believe

Author: gilesyoung from United Kingdom
24 February 2008

There seems to be an awful lot of negative comment about Torchwood on these pages and there is definitely a certain 'its not like Doctor Who' element. I love the re-vamped Dr Who, and I was a fan as a child, I grew up with Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and to me he was always the definitive incumbent, until being eclipsed by both the modern incarnations. No, Torchwood is not like Doctor Who, it's a different series; I feel that the characters are very well drawn. They are a team of typical people, they do not have the solutions to all the problems they face, they get scared, they argue, they make mistakes. As far as I see it they behave exactly how most normal people would if recruited and working in a tightly knit team under stressful conditions. There is of course the Russell Davies trademark BLG sexual behaviour, but it is portrayed in a refreshing manner and very much it keeping with the general vibe of the show.

What many of the reviewers seem to miss is the fact that the show is as much about the characters as the aliens, the scripts with a couple of exceptions have been excellent, exploring human relationships and attitudes from a range of perspectives, but most importantly they have been rip-roaring entertainment.

The acting is strong, Barrowman being particularly good, but they all acquit themselves well. The casting is excellent, rather than a stable of beautiful people, they have chosen actors that look, and thanks to good writing, behave, like real people.

A couple of points;

John Barrowman's American accent isn't fake; he lived there from the age of eight.

A lot of comments regarding how derivative the series is; I suspect that Bram Stoker might consider Buffy to be more than a little derivative of his work, but none the less entertaining for it.

This is an excellent series, watch more than one episode before reviewing and please try to approach it with out a particular expectation.

In summary, it is brilliant entertainment.

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123 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

Ignore the nay-saying uber-fans

Author: fung0 from Canada
4 April 2008

It's amazing how a high-quality production can sometimes draw reviews that would be more appropriate to low-grade syndicated filler. Torchwood is, at the very least, an imaginative, well-acted, well-photographed and, more than anything, totally idiosyncratic series.

Many seem put off by the sex. Fortunately, that wasn't a problem for the show's writers. This is a series that neither glories in nor shies away from sex. Characters have believable sex lives, that affect their actions in realistic ways. Some episodes are frankly *about* sex, in a brilliantly science-fictional way. (Bear in mind, the series is very definitely *not* aimed at kids. These characters are adults, and the show is written for adults. That in itself is pretty refreshing!)

Some of the interactions may border on soap opera... but that's the format. It works. It's an ensemble show, and it's about how the private lives of relatively normal humans are transformed by extraordinary events. No, these characters aren't as cute and lovable as, say, the crew of the Serenity. They're thorny, often irrational. I love that about them. Like real people, they often act in ways that even their best friends can't predict. And as with real people, one develops an affection for their faults as much as their virtues.

Stories are clever, but not cerebral. This isn't Twilight Zone. It's not 'hard' Science Fiction. It's a 'pulp' show for adults who want to feel like kids for an hour. It creates a world where the bizarre is commonplace. The viewpoint character is a 'normal' policewoman... she moves into this strange world, adapting to its superhuman challenges and becoming addicted to its heady rewards. It's a highly involving formula... if you're the sort of viewer who often finds our 'real' world far too dull and predictable.

Like Doctor Who, Torchwood is a show that, on paper, shouldn't really work. At every point in Doctor Who's long, long run, nay-sayers have proved with inescapable logic that it can't possibly work: it's too violent, it's too dark, it's too silly, it's too intellectual... it's too expensive. Many of the criticisms have been mutually contradictory! The same seems to be true of Torchwood... it's an odd, angular beast, that doesn't really follow any established paradigm. Saying it's "like Angel," or "like the X-Files" really isn't very revealing. In SOME ways, it's like Gunsmoke. Or Bless This House.

I won't give Torchwood a 10/10. Yet. It could be tighter... I have the feeling the first season meandered just a bit. But considering the oddly discordant tone it's trying to hit, that's hardly surprising. It would be even more surprising if the show was able to attract more than a cult following. What does seem ironic is that the cult followings of other, genetically-similar shows such as Doctor Who seem largely unable to appreciate this one. Sci-fi and fantasy used to be about shedding one's preconceptions... now they're cults with preconceptions of their own.

To me, that only adds to the attraction. Torchwood isn't 'like' Doctor Who, or any previous show, in tone, style, pace or perspective. But it has the same essence... the same willingness to take chances, to forge a new myth unlike any other that's gone before. Even if it stumbles a bit at the start, I can't wait to see where it's going.

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81 out of 113 people found the following review useful:

Torchwood. There is nothing else like it.

Author: lzvzz7
14 April 2008

Torchwood. There is nothing else like it. If you're looking for serious conventional scifi that tackles the universal problems of the cosmos and ends in an epic battle between good and evil this won't be the show for you.

OTOH, if you're looking for a fun sexy romp that gets serious when it needs to, focuses on the human factor and plays fast and loose with just about every "rule" imaginable, you'll find it in Torchwood. It's just what it's billed to be - Doctor Who for the grown-up set, the open-minded set, the slightly skewed set.

John Barrowman does a terrific job as Cap'n Jack Harkness, a man whose lived a life that won't allow him to die and has taught him a flexible sense of morality to match his flexible sense of sexuality. Cap'n Jack laughs, jokes, flirts and fights his way through one set after another of impossible circumstances, but a heart of gold beats beneath his suspendered chest. His team means everything to him and he'll give anything to protect them.

Playing Alfred to Jack's Batman is Ianto Jones. Gareth David-Lloyd is a lovely young talent who adds more depth to Torchwood's favorite coffee boy with each passing episode. He's bright and soulful with a very British sense of humor that hides a deep and painful sorrow. A real find for the producers of the show. He's fascinating to watch and even more fascinating to guess his motivations.

Every superhero needs someone to keep them in touch with their humanity and that exists in the person of Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles). A terrific spunky heroine with the sensibilities of a crafty cop, she keeps her boss focused on the human factor when his instincts tell him to shoot first and ask questions later--a conscience when Jack needs one the most.

But beware, this may not be the show for family viewing on a Saturday night. It deals frankly with human sexuality. It can be violent, gruesome, bloody and heart breaking. It can make you laugh one moment and tear up the next, but it can also send chills down your spine.

All in all if your up for some alternative entertainment this show can be pretty terrific. Open your mind and dive in. It won't be for everyone but if you like, chances are you'll love it.

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120 out of 192 people found the following review useful:

Try watching past the first episode before commenting!

Author: marcw_w from United States
21 September 2007

To all the people that voted low, try watching past the first episode before commenting.

In general the first episode or two aren't the best due to time taken for character development. Get past that and you're in for a fun ride.

If you're looking for good feelings and happy endings, or another Dr. Who, this show is not for you.

It takes a sci-fi element and puts it in real life terms. It's a British Area 51, but they don't have all the answers, and you learn as they do. We have always been told that we are kept in the dark to protect ourselves, but this shows that even the protectors are human, with the same weaknesses and curiosities that we would all have. It's Dark and it's good.

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83 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

Adult sexuality, Infantile characters and plot

Author: mt-kailash-1 from Ecosse
14 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

After eps.1+2 I was ready to submit a comment or two ,but giving time to bed in the characters I thought I'd let it settle in. This is a spin off from Doctor Who. Jack was killed off , resuscitated and abandoned sometime in the future but inexplicably we now find him safely back in 2006 leading 'Torchwood' an organisation which investigates and deals with inexplicable phenomena (like the X-files). We can accept this.

However Torchwood is staffed entirely by self obsessed dimwits whose indulgent behaviour in episode 2 leads to the deaths of around a dozen men (and nobody cares).In episode 4 their doorman merely compromises the security of the unit,gets two people killed,shows himself entirely untrustworthy but in episode 5 he's back at his desk. This is the problem.The characters may have sex and booze sessions, but their actions and attitudes are those of 10 year old children.They're allowed to kill off the local populace at will-and nobody cares.

"I'm a fully trained police officer" new recruit Gwen snaps at her live in boyfriend.I'm glad she told us because it's not obvious by her actions or skills.The other personnel are similarly hampered. This is the problem.The programme is really a Comic Strip Famous Five satire- Five go mad in Caaadeeef- People who look like adults,shag like adults, and work for special ops, but have the maturity of 10 year olds and a script composed of a selection of tiresome soap opera clichés in a sci-fi setting. The trouble is that it's not funny.

Give it a miss.

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84 out of 145 people found the following review useful:

Torchwood, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways…

Author: coolhandspiff from United Kingdom
5 January 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

1: I hate the awful plot lines that in some cases rip off other films/shows wholesale. For example the episode Combat complete with Weevil Club and Tyler Durton's younger smarmier brother.

2: I hate the terrible incompetence of the Torchwood staff that leads them to make repeated mistakes either out of selfishness or plain stupidity that often end up causing the deaths of innocent civilians. I hate the fact that the staff then seem to just shrug this off with no guilt or reprimand and get back to the main business of trying to sleep with each other. I hate the fact that any other decent black ops unit in any other show would have fired and quite possibly executed all of them several times over by the end of the series.

3: I hate the fact that the writers idea of an adult Sci-Fi show is basically a kids sci-fi show with a little bit of gore and some rumpus. Gone are complex plot lines, thoughtful explorations of tough issues and realistic characters. In their place are quick cheap shows with lots of filler and plot holes so vast that they actually threaten to absorb small galaxies.

4: I hate the fact that this could have been such a great show. There are one or two moments in the series that were genuinely wonderful, such as when in the Episode Out of Time the father met his senile dying son and then took his own life. Touching, poignant stuff. A pearl sat softly in the midst of half a ton of glistening oyster mucus.

5: I hate the fact that this whole abortion of a show clings like some kind of parasitic worm to the Doctor Who franchise to gain loyalty from legions of fans who would otherwise probably not have cut the show as much slack as they have. I watched the entire damn series waiting for it to get good. It never did.

6: I hate the fact that we were promised a mixture of This Life meets the X-Files. It sounded great. But what we actually got was a TV version of Heat magazine with the occasional alien and the odd gunshot wound.

Hmm. Six ways. Each of them more than enough reason on their own to have the show loaded into a rocket and fired into deep space.


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44 out of 67 people found the following review useful:

Beyond Bad

Author: millenniumgamer from Canada
20 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The most difficult part about commenting on Torchwood is avoiding the negatives presented by others. From the bland, unlikeable, inconsistent and undeveloped characters to the uninspired scripts and lame music. Not to mention the silly sexual ambiguity which is just insulting to anyone. It almost seems a prerequisite that to be a member of Torchwood one has to be ready to jump in the sack with either gender. As a sci-fi series some leeway is allowed in believability, but even here Torchwood falls off the tracks. In one scene, Tosh, the most serious of the staff is sitting in a bar when she's hit on by an alien disguised as a human. Before long Tosh is spilling her guts about what it's like to be a member of the most covert government organization in England. Another example of silliness is that the Torchwood team tours Britain in a black SUV with Torchwood written on the roof. But personally, the most disappointing aspect of the show is its billing as adult-oriented. Well take away the tacked on elements of some mild sex scenes, blood splatter and the occasional four letter word and one is left with a kids show suitable for Saturday mornings. For anyone interested in seeing a better show with a similar theme, look for the British series Ultraviolet, which at only six episodes leaves Torchwood in the dust. The two star rating is just for the special effects which are actually decent but on the whole not worth keeping your eyes open for an hour.

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64 out of 107 people found the following review useful:

If the fate of the world hangs on these people, God help us!

Author: bethy_joy from Canada
9 August 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I wanted to like Torchwood. I really did. As a total fan of the new Doctor Who and the slick and funny scripts therein, I had high hopes. I loved Captain Jack back in season 1 of Who, and letting him have his own show sounded fun. It had so much potential. How wrong I was.

Torchwood is supposed to be a national organization that has been going on in the background since the 1800s, so why does everyone at Torchwood Three act like teenagers who cannot control their emotions. They are so busy sleeping with each other and breaking protocol that they have no idea how to deal with the aliens that are supposedly their modus operandi.

Day One was about a sex alien, and it went downhill from there. So far, Cyberwoman was the least believable. Ianto lies, betrays his teammates, endangers the world, and all he gets is a kiss from Jack? He should be fired! Gwen and Owen are sleeping with each other, but nobody cares, Tosh is totally isolated, Jack goes from manically depressed to desperately flirting with anything that breathes, and the aliens are incidental.

It's like they shoved Bones, Buffy, CSI, X-files, Days of our Lives, and just a Dash of Doctor Who into a blender and hoped really hard that what came out would be good. Then, just to prove that they were 'edgy' and 'adult', they mixed in some random sex scenes that not only do not contribute to the plot, but in some cases slow it down.

I really did want to like Torchwood. But no matter how hard I try to see the good in this (Gwen is OK, but tell me how she can be a fully fledged Police officer but not know how to use a gun??) the bad just pulls it right to the bottom of the ocean, along with all the other sludge. Hopefully in a couple of years Torchwood will nothing but a bad memory.

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115 out of 209 people found the following review useful:

An Insult

Author: Theo Robertson from Isle Of Bute, Scotland
13 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

There,s no doubt that the biggest television success story of the last few years has been the resurrection of DOCTOR WHO which has captured the imagination of a whole new generation of fans , children everywhere are looking forward to Christmas because that's the day when the BBC broadcast a Christmas special and should the new version degenerate into the debacle that it was in the 1980s so what ? There's children already converted into die hard fans who will one day be working in television and like Russell T Davies will be in a position to bring back the show . In short the revamped DOCTOR WHO shows that the show is immortal and will certainly out live everyone who saw the very first episode on November the 23rd 1963

So when RTD said he was going to do a spin off show " That is both adult and intelligent " I was rubbing my hands in glee . RTD assured the world that this was definitely not for kids and was a programme that deserved to be shown after the watershed . " Great " I thought " We'll be seeing a British version of The X Files , or maybe Doomwatch crossed with Cracker " and I wasn't the only person looking forward to it as the BBC bombarded the public with the type of hype not seen since the BBC brought back DOCTOR WHO in March 2005 . So unlike the viewers who had BBC digital who saw the first two episodes on BBC Three I had to wait a couple of days later when the show was broadcast on BBC Two and I was disappointed with what I saw but the season opener for the new series of DOCTOR WHO was poor so I gave TORCHWOOD a chance . After seeing a couple more episodes I will go on record as saying TORCHWOOD is the biggest insult served up to the British television public

RTD said they'd be no cross over between the two shows which shows him to be economical with the truth . One episode featured a partially converted cyberwoman that tied in with the finale of DOCTOR WHO season two and in interviews with John Barrowmen it's heavily insinuated that the final episode of TORCHWOOD ( Which I probably won't be watching so dire is it as entertainment ) ties in with the next series of DOCTOR WHO . I take it David Tennant will be making a cameo perhaps ? Oh and let's not forget much of series two of DOCTOR WHO revolved around the setting up of the Torchwood organisation . No cross over Rusell ? You could have fooled me

And as the series goes on and on it becomes more clearer that most of the episodes are based on rejected DOCTOR WHO scripts with Captain Jack Harkness playing the ninth Doctor and WPC Gwen playing the role of Rose Tyler . Indeed the whole show feels like an entirely under developed DOCTOR WHO episode with " adult " scenes shoehorned into the half baked narrative. For instance two of the characters in the cyberwoman episode start snogging simply so that one of them can make a comment about her colleague getting an erection a couple of minutes later . It's totally bizarre because you watch this programme and it never feels like anything more than a children's show then we're treated to a meaningless sex scene or the F word which totally jars with the feel of a show that features alien technology used as a plot device to get the heroes out of a tight spot ( A sort of HARDY BOYS with lazers ) or of a cyberwoman fighting a pterydactyl

And make no mistake TORCHWOOD is a children's television programme but because there's a couple of swear words or a sex scene this means no eight year old with responsible parents will get to see it which must must break their hearts because it'd be impossible for them to ignore that Captain Jack from the first series of DOCTOR WHO is getting his own show , a show Mummy and Daddy won't let them see . I'm actually angry about this because an eight year old fan of DOCTOR WHO would love TORCHWOOD and I doubt if anyone over the age of twenty with little like of the source programme could find anything to enjoy about this show which insults the intelligence of adult viewers . You,ve broken the hearts of the very young fans RTD . Are you proud of that ?

In my review of CASANOVA I said that Russell T Davies was an extremely overrated writer but I would have given him his due as a producer after seeing the second series of DOCTOR WHO which showed the flexibility of the format . One week we saw a terrific horror story featuring the devil on an alien planet followed a week later by a brilliant post modernist comedy that was certain to wind up the fans but after seeing TORCHWOOD I've come to the conclusion that that Rusell T Davies is no more talented than John Nathan Turner , the man who effectively destroyed the DOCTOR WHO franchise in the 1980s . Thankfully the cult of DOCTOR WHO will outlast the cult of Rusell T Davies

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125 out of 229 people found the following review useful:

A very decent spin off

Author: Scotthannaford1 from United Kingdom
23 October 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Now - I have to draw the line at "camp" - look, this is a spin off from Doctor Who, and believe me, you can not get anything as camp as the Sylvester McCoy years....

Anyway, Torchwood is extremely good fun. We are bound to get people complaining that they let their seven year old to stay up late to watch it, and... shock horror... it has SEX and VIOLENCE! Erm yes - thats why its on after the watershed! Geez! Well, okay its no perfect, by far, and comparisons to X-Files, Men in Black etc are missing the point - as is the reviewer who commented that it was unbelievable that Cardiff would be on the edge of a rift in time and space. Okay, so its more believable for London or New York to be? Thats right, folks, Rifts check out the local house prices and amenities before popping up! Oh hang on - placing it all in Cardiff is... wow... unusual and unexpected... ohhhh does that make it original? Well, yes it does. Thats one thing people need to understand - there are accents other than "corr blimey mary poppins" and Daphne from Frasier, and there are towns and citied outside of London. Oh how I long for the episode of Dr Who based in plymouth, and wish David Prowse had voiced Darth Vader (Look, I am your favver, me lover).

Oh wow - what a tangent! Okay, the first episode was spasmodic and rather predictable (well except the serial killer being a member of staff), but the episodes have gotten steadily better and better. The latest, the Cyberwoman, with the run on from a Dr Who episode, was excellent, but with a couple of "yes, hang on a second....." points to discuss.

Anyway - Captain Jack - indestructible a la Captain Scarlet.... has the charisma to pull it off, and his squad are all well acted... yes the direction does (now and again) look like an MTV video, with all the fast moving in your face shots, but it is meant to be an in your face series.

So 9 / 10 - not a patch on the David Tennant Dr Who episodes (well except that awful Christmas special and the weird girl-drawing-people episode) but good fun!

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