First reactions to Torchwood
Yesterday our review discs of Torchwood turned up – how exciting! So, we all huddled round a PC and watched together. Well… most of us anyway (Nick’s waiting for the proper, posh press screening in Cardiff tonight! The man’s self-control is amazing) Anyhoo, enough blabbing: here’s what we thought of episode one, “Everything Changes” by Russell T Davies.
“Absolutely bloody loved it. New Who has made sci-fi socially acceptable but I can see this making it positively hip – I’m certain it’s gonna be a hit and I think BBC One will be fighting tooth and claw to get this show off BBC Three. They’ve done a great job of making Cardiff look glamorous, a bit like LA in Angel. Spurts of blood and the word “twat” mean that Torchwood’s not for little kids, but while it’s grown-up it’s not too grim or gritty – Russell T Davies’s cheeky sense of humour is still very much present (much to the chagrin of the people who moan about his “gay agenda”, no doubt…). The first episode neatly does everything a pilot needs to in terms of introductions, which is all you can really expect, but there are a couple of great twists, too, which I didn’t see coming, including a gobsmacking revelation about Jack. He’s even more charismatic a character than ever and I think I’ve got a bit of a crush on Eve Myles.”
“Well, I liked it a lot better than New Who, but since I’m still not completely convinced about New Who that’s maybe not saying much. I was really looking forward to Torchwood and I think it shows a lot of potential, but I was a tad disappointed by the first episode, and the preview for the second episode just made me think of that dodgy Outer Limits episode with Alyssa Milano in it… But I will stick with it, since everything I’ve heard about later episodes makes me think it’ll get a whole lot better. And I’ll try not to be too distracted by that huge gap in Eve Myles’s teeth.” (hey – I thought that was sexy! – Ian)
STEVE O’BRIEN (Freelance scum)
“Aside from it being amazing, I didn’t expect it to have such a different feel to Who. This really did feel like a warped urban 9.00pm drama. And they’ve managed to rhapsodise Cardiff without compromising the realism. I also liked the fact that Captain Jack’s involvement in Torchwood is being drip-fed to us. He was brilliant, obviously, but it’s Eve Myles’s show as much as his, and she was the revelation”
“Wow! I loved the first episode of Torchwood; it totally lived up to my expectations. Cardiff looked great in all the overhead helicopter shots – it made me want to visit. Good for the Welsh tourist board! Am liking the dark look of the show and the way the Torchwood base, The Hub, has been designed – so much detail in one set. The characters of Gwen and Jack are very believable, they have great chemistry together. I’m a fan of Jack Harkness’s braces – here begins the fashion revival! Can’t wait for episode two!”
“Torchwood’s Cardiff looked dark, dirty and dangerous… and very, very wet! In fact, there were moments where this felt more like Se7en than a spin-off from Doctor Who. Barrowman looked very cool in his WW2 trenchcoat, and he and Eve Myles were an entertaining double act. I wanted to go and live in the Hub set! It looked so gorgeous, and with so many layers of detail, it felt like it had been there for decades. Their resident pet was a nice touch too… The special effects were less shouty than in Who and as a result, were far more believable; the alien Weevil was particularly impressive. Sign me up for episode two!”
Episodes one and two of Torchwood air on BBC Three on Sunday 22 October, from 9.00pm. They’re repeated on BBC Two on Wednesday 25 October.