Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Carryin' a Torch

I wish I could say nothings been going on that’s got me excited, but the reality is a lot has been going on, I’ve just been too:
A) Lazy
B) Busy
C) Lazy again
to post anything.

See, I usually do this during lunch or after work. Since I normally eat at my desk, it gives me a reason to distance myself from the job for awhile, and staying a half hour late is preferable to chaining myself to another desk once I get home.

So what’s got me so worked up that it’s broken my burst of inactivity?

One word…..Torchwood.

For those of you not in the know Torchwood is the brain child of Russell T Davies, who I am starting to think of as the Brit Joss Whedon, the man who gave a much needed shot in the arm to the long in the tooth Doctor Who series in 2005.
Torchwood the title is actually an anagram for Doctor Who and was used to keep the new Doctor Who series scripts a secret.
Torchwood the institute gained mention throughout the first two seasons of the new Doctors run as a covert group that monitors and investigates all things alien and supernatural on Earth.
Turns out they're a pretty busy bunch since they're located right over a rift in time and space. Think of it as the place Fox Mulder would want to work though they would laugh at his little grey men and I Believe poster.

Torchwood is a group of five operatives.
Gwen Cooper: (Eve Myles) Former policewoman and team newbie.
Dr. Owen Harper: (Burn Gorman) Doc tough guy and resident man ho.
Toshiko Sato: (Naoko Mori) Repressed computer specialist
Ianto Jones: (Gareth David-Lloyd) Team support and maker of tea.
Their leader brilliantly portrayed by John Barrowman is Captain Jack Harkness.

Captain Jack first made an appearance as a time traveling con man from the 51st century in the 2005 Doctor Who series. He hung around, slowly transforming from rogue to hero till the seasons end when he is killed fighting the Daleks in the year 200,100 and resurrected by the Doctors companion Rose Tyler who was briefly omnipotent thanks to the power of the time vortex. (you just have to see it) The now future stranded Jack eventually escapes and ends up on earth in 1869 where he learns that his resurrection had a little side effect, he’s immortal. Jack lives through the 20th century and reappears in the Doctor Who universe in 2006’ Torchwood premier.

Torchwood is an adult science fiction show. They swear, they sleep around, they bleed. If Torchwood were produced here it would probably be on Showtime. Even the lighthearted episodes have a bit of darkness to them. The Torchwood team operates almost entirely on mutual respect since you get the impression that nobody really likes anyone else, even if they’re screwing. If that respect wavers, even for an instant, you can expect consequences. So why do I care so much for this generally unlikable bunch? It’s simple, the best sci-fi happens when seen through the eyes of real people, and Torchwood is great sci-fi and the characters are written to be very real and very human.

The first season of Torchwood is now available on DVD, or on BBC America In Demand. I’m sure you can also find episodes online. If you want to view Captain Jacks timeline in order watch the new Doctor Who season one (he’s in four of the last five episodes) followed by Torchwood season one then back to Doctor Who season 3 (the last 3 episodes)

Torchwood the 2nd season starts here on BBC America, Jan 26th. Jack is back after some time tripping to find the team has moved on without him. That’s about all I know so far. The extended trailer features Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) the Doctors season 3 companion, and Captain Jack in a John Woo style stand off with James Marsters. (Spike of Buffy/Angel fame) It’s curious how the BBC America trailer doesn’t show Jack in a liplock with Ianto, but if you want to catch it check out all the trailers on YouTube.


Mim said...

Thanks for posting this. I love Torchwood, though I've only seen the first 3 episodes. I MUST get the DVD and see the rest. It is so excellent.

Tere @ My Precious Studio said...

I LOVE me some Captain Jack! My favorite episode thus far is "Captain Jack Harkness"- wait til the end of the episode and you'll see why...