|Index||6 reviews in total|
The thirteenth and final episode of "Torchwood" is excellent science
fiction drama. Leading on from the events in "Captain Jack Harkness",
"End of Days" shows the damage caused by the interference with the
There are some great set-pieces in this episode and a few scenes of real tension. The outcome of this episode will keep the viewer on his or her edge-of-the-seat until the very end.
Another excellent performance here from John Barrowman but it's Eve Myles who's the real star of the show. Her warmth and humanity has been impressive in every episode and she has shown a great ability with both serious drama and comedy in this series.
Although "Torchwood" has had its share of less-than-excellent episodes, I have my fingers and toes crossed for another series. While its characters have not always been likable, they are realistic and that is where this series comes into its own.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I feel like I've been cheated. Mostly because I was.
You see, it's a Doctor Who spin-off; Russel T. Davis created it. So, I thought that something a bit more like DW was coming. But what did we get? Mostly silly story lines with bad language, nudity and a lot of blood. That doesn't make a show "mature" or "for adults". They could've done better.
And this finale? DW is epic. ALWAYS. The Parting Of The Ways was perfect and epic. Doomsday was more perfect and epic. Last Of The Time Lords was okay, but still epic. Jouney's End was messy and failed in many points, but still, pretty epic. I'm not even going to begin about The Big Bang and The Pandorica Opens.
End Of Days had it. The big, impressive title that sounds very good and epic. It had a good idea. It started off well. The highlight was Owen in the hospital. Just that line of thought would be a great plot for any episode, but it was such a minor part in the whole picture that I don't even know why it was there.
And it went downhill. The script was saved by the acting, that was almost the only thing that kept me watching. The big event was presented in 5 minutes, and solved God knows how in another 5. It wasn't a finale; it didn't have big changes. It didn't have a cliffhanger. The stuff that actually happened, happened in another show!
Torchwood had some good episodes in this series. The actors are superb. The characters, if not all likable, at least realistic. But I just feel like RTD gathered everybody in the writing team and said something like "Okay, people. This is not DW, so bring on the gore and the sex. Oh, and let's make good sci-fi stories, shall we?" but when he finished, most of the writers were already gone and missed the last part of the instructions.
When Owen opened the rift Jack and Toshiko did return but the consequences of that act was horrifying. Mr.Bilis Manger appears again to Gwen, when she comes to prison where the guard Andrew shows her and Jack a killer. It is a roman soldier who speaks in Latin, and he had savagely killed two persons. Jack decides to take him with them and lock him in one of the cells in Torchwood. Gwen tells Jack that Bilis asked her to forgive him, but she did not understand what he meant. In the hospital Owen and Toshiko are faced with another issue. The episode was very intense. As a closure for the first season some really unbelievable things happened. Bilis was an evil character from the start. It was strange to me that the team members one by one started to believe in his lies. Nobody was listening to Jack and I found that unacceptable. I really loved special effects in this one. The ending was a nerve wrecking but it was wort it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have liked many episodes of the first season, but the end episode is
one of the four worst episodes of the show (with Countrycide being by
far the worst).
First, we have Reese dying and Gwen going crazy about it. Problem is, Reese is nothing but this show's ball and chain, weighing it down because he has no real role in it, and isn't really part of the exciting parts of Gwen's life. Nobody bloody cares about Reese! (No offense to the actor, who's not bad.) Talk about a round peg in a square hole!
So that bit of emotional content fell flat for me, which is a shame as I think the show's done very well with its emotional impact in most episodes.
Second - Abaddon?! What, ANOTHER big Satan villain, like in DW's Impossible Planet/Satan Pit two-parter? It may work once, but certainly not twice.
And the bit that clinches it: we weren't even told if all the people who died under Abaddon's shadow actually died, of if they were brought back in the end like Reese. That's a pretty important detail, I think! Did it really happen at all? Did it happen and was undone? Or did it happen and was real, with the dead people staying dead? No explanation. That Reese came back may be an indication that everybody else did as well, but if so we need to see that. But no, they were too busy having Jack come back on the third day like Jesus bloody Christ, weren't they. Harumph.
5 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The season finale of Torchwood was AMAZING!!! No television programme
has made me want to jump out of my seat like End of Days did.
Everything was so well written. It was funny, it was sad, it was just
fantastic!!! No programme has ever affected me in the way that
Torchwood did last night.
The best part however was the final fifteen minutes where it really just kicked in. With Rhys dying, Abaddon arriving, Jack dying. And then disappearing into the TARDIS!!! And I am so happy about Jack and Ianto.
Well done Torchwood team, keep up the good work. Torchwood only ended yesterday and already, I am looking forward to Series 2
It is a rainy night in Cardiff and WPO Gwen Cooper is at the scene of a
stabbing in the city centre. A group of special investigators take
control of the scene and Gwen heads up into the flats nearby to watch
them at work. When she thinks she sees the victim brought back to life,
she investigates further and returns to the crime scene where she finds
some form of beast/man that kills a hospital porter in front of her
eyes, with only the intervention of the team she saw the night before,
saving her from the same fate. Looking deeper into the mystery she
discovers the existence of Torchwood a group dealing with the alien
and paranormal threat to earth, led by none other than Captain Jack
Harkness, a man not unfamiliar with aliens and strange happenings.
Trailed with a "viewer discretion" warning, featuring bloody murders, tragic deaths and swearing in the first 10 minutes and given a post-watershed slot in the schedules, I fairly assumed that this would be a pretty adult extension of the shadowy organisation that writer Russell Davies had running through his Doctor Who series. Sometimes hype causes the audience to unfairly expect too much from but in this case there was no reason to doubt that this would be an adult sci-fi growing from a thread of Dr Who. So coming into it with that in mind I must confess to being slightly confused and bewildered by the whole thing because it seems to be the material that makes it "adult" (ie swearing, sex, violence) but none of the substance that would make it more of a series for adult viewers (dark themes, character development, genuine conspiracy etc). It is hard to describe but it is like the writers have felt that to make a family sci-fi into a grown up one all they need to do is add scenes of girls kissing, blood and swearing.
Of course if the series proves anything it is that they are wrong because, no matter how many aerial sweeping shots of Cardiff we have, the series doesn't convince as a grown up matter of interest. This isn't to say it is rubbish because it isn't, it just seems to be very mixed and uncertain of its aims or target audience. So in one episode we have a cyberwoman in a sexy outfit and high-heels doing battle with the team's pterodactyl contrasting with the emotional content that you can just about see under the surface. It is maybe the most laughable low point of the series but it is one of the better examples of what a very confused and badly targeted affair it all is. Elements of Russell Davies' scripts have potential but it seems like he doesn't know how to deliver this potential. Drama becomes melodrama, character development is lost in clunky dialogue, excitement means overhead camera shots and depth means everyone talking in hushed tones with dramatic music in the background. On the sort of level of Dr Who adventure this works to the degree that children might appreciate but, as discussed, this is not aimed at children and is certainly not suitable for them. Instead Davies just lets it all get a bit silly with the slightest of nudges and misses obvious opportunities to do things of interest with some of his stories the most glaring being the lack of commentary about the sexualisation of society in the episode that is a mini-rip off of Species. I could do on to complain about the silly, over-designed vehicle they drive, the fact that they plaster "Torchwood" everywhere, the daft pavement entrance to their silly HQ (a place so impractical that even Adam West would see it as gaudy and unnecessary) and the occasionally lazy writing (stuck for an episode? Then remake Fight Club...but with aliens...).
The cast are trapped with this material but, in fairness none of them were ever going to be able to lift it with their performances. Barrowman was a great addition to Dr Who because his pantomime Captain Jack was camp fun. Unsurprisingly trying to turn him into a dark, hunted man full of mystery and hurt doesn't really work. The script does give him the chance to do it but then conversely it doesn't help to have him striding round like some matinée cross between Indiana Jones and Batman. Barrowman doesn't have the range to do this but he can stand with his hands on his hips staring into the distance with a "determined" look; or look at the floor with a "hurt" look or shout difficult decisions with a "conflicted" look on his face which is all well and good if you are looking to deliver for a preteen audience but not if your aim to hit deeper. Myles is OK as our way into this world but she is asked to do things that take away from her performance (kissing everyone etc).Gorman is a basic joker who doesn't add much, while David-Lloyd is handed a confused character and just decides to play it eternally glum. Mori is pretty cool and certainly miles better than the last time I saw her (although that was playing an offensive Chinese "Madam" character on "gameshow" "Hot Tub Ranking" so it isn't difficult).
Overall then a very strange series. At times utterly childish but then at others an enjoyable sci-fi. Adult in terms of swearing, violence and sexual content but mostly childish in depth and development. Some episodes are so absurd that they are almost unwatchable but yet some others are good. It is mostly poor and infuriatingly inconsistent stuff though and the makers seem to have no feel of who the target audience actually is. Not as bad as some say it is but not as good as others say, it is a mess albeit a reasonably watchable mess.
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