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Torchwood Mini-Series

I’m a big Torchwood fan because John Barrowman is hot.  Yes, I know, he’s really, really gay, but he’s also really, really hot.  The show is much darker than Dr. Who and I’ve found that hard to take at times, but I was excited to watch the five hour plus mini-series.

I tivoed the entire thing, and then Ian and settled down to get our fix.  The first three hours were terrific.  Increasing tension, paranoia, a heroic rescue, and at the end of the third hour our heroes were at their nadir.  Uncertain where to turn, but nonetheless determined to prevail.

And then it went right off the rails.  I watched with growing concern, and then with down right annoyance because this would have been easy to fix.  First, make it four hours because clearly there wasn’t enough story to support five hours.

Next, remember that protagonists are supposed to protag.  Instead our heroes looked helpless, blundered into danger, died, and finally had the solution pointed out to them by the insane killer bitch working for the British government.

Remember that committee meetings are boring.  Much of the final two hours was given over to listening to politicians behaving badly, and showing their small, crabbed, evil souls in endless meeting room scenes.  And as for politicians being soulless — sorry, but that target is too easy and is becoming quite humdrum.

And please don’t pull the solution out of your butt in the final twenty minutes because a third tier character points out something that our clever heroes should have noticed.  At least give me hints and suggest the solution in those first three hours so I think you might have actually plotted this series.
The aliens were nicely creepy, but I think it would have been better if they had never explained what the human children were for.  There was a really disturbing visual of this kid hooked up to the alien.  By explaining the McGuffin it became less scary.

Don’t take my brash wonderful heroine, and turn her into babysitter.  Gwen kicks ass in the first three hours, and then she becomes completely passive except when she’s hugging children, and ineffectually trying to protect them.

And finally, if you are going to take a hero to a really dark place you need to show me the journey.  You can’t just take the leading man, and have him do a really terrible thing, and expect me to buy this turn.  There are some sins from which characters don’t recover, and I’m rather afraid they’ve done that to Captain Jack.  I get that he’s lived a long, long time and he’s seen a lot of people die, but he acquiesces too easily to the grim solution.

I think this was a case where Russel T. Davies delivering a polemic won out over good story telling.  Note to self:  Don’t get so wrapped up in the message that you lose sight of the ride.

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