Saturday, July 11, 2009

I Almost Hid Behind the Sofa

After the other day stating that I don't blog about Doctor Who or Torchwood because of the fear of being shown up by a fluffy pachyderm, today I can't resist a little bit.

Torchwood has just finished its brief, short, yet intense debut run on BBC1. Five days, five one hours slots full of plot, action and suspense that kept the real fans yearning for the 23 hours to pass quickly after the titles rolled to get unto the next part.

One thing that some of us for whom Doctor Who existed before Christopher Ecclestone and the oddly named series one complain about is the lack of serialisation in the reincarnation. Sure there is one overlaying theme that tends to go through the stories but they tend to be one offs the occasional two parter or to end a series you may get a three parter. Of course we were used to 3 or 4 parters being the regular run of things, of the Trial of the Timelord storyline, featuring Colin Baker, going through the whole series. Torchwood this week has returned to that Doctor Who tradition with more oomph than previously. That may be down to it being compressed in one week of weeknights allowing water cooler moments, plus of course that new global water cooler t'internet.

One thing that my elder nephew has done with the new Doctor Who has been the reminder of the hide behind the sofa moments. Well Days Four and Five especially of Children of Earth certainly had this grown man if not quite hiding behind the sofa at least watching through his fingers at times. It has proven to be a carefully crafted story line with the 456, the alien villain of the piece, only arriving on Earth midway through Wednesday's middle episode. Thus giving a symmetry of half of the series a build up through suspense and half a resolution following the arrival.

The acting of the regulars and guests was excellent. Many of my political friends found it most scary that they could see just a small step between the current Government and its desire to control and the fictitious government. New Labour seems to be prepared to discard those it has already failed rather like the storyline of the last 5 days. The original 1965 visit and the UK Government giving in over a pandemic threat has echoes with today's swine flu (yesterday my work was even using Survey Monkey to prepare a contingency plan).

Of course I guess I wasn't the only person shouting at Captain Jack on Thursday to do something, or on Friday to do something else. We always knew there was a dark side to Jack Harkness and that was most prevalent in this 5 part storyline. But in the end he used his Time Bracelet on what looked like Parliament Hill but may have been Cardiff to go off who know where, my suspicions are to help out the Doctor at some point. Will he and will Torchwood be back? The latter definitely the BBC would be foolish not to. The former we wait and see.

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