Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Anyone living in the UK would have done really well to miss all the adverts for the BBC's new SciFi spectacular Torchwood. This is the post watershed spin off from the family oriented Doctor Who (Torchwood is an anagram of Doctor Who). So is it any good? Well the first episode was really establishing that the Torchwood organisation was a maverick group of investigators who covertly look out for aliens and their technology under the leadership of the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness who is an immortal alien himself. In concept it has shades of Men in Black or even Buffy. Certainly there are a glut of references to Dr Who but any young fan of the good Doctor would have rather a shock if they were to watch this. It is on after the watershed for a reason. For example the second episode is about an alien that survives by taking over a female human host and shagging men until they disappear in an orgasmic cloud of gas, kind of like when the immortals kill each other in Highlander but with more carnal knowledge. Even two episodes into the series we get load of swearing, blood guts and gore, nudity, sexual innuendo (lots of innuendo), "self pleasuring" as well as a great thriller with SciFi overtones. I guess we will have to see how it evolves, it is a bit harsh to compare two episodes to a series like Dr Who that has been going for 40 years, but what is clear is that Torchwood is not a children's program. In terms of Russell T Davis's work this is closer to Queer as Folk or Casanova than Dr Who.