Rat Jam

Torchwood: Day One

For an episode about a sex obsessed alien I actually though that there wasn’t that much sex in the episode. Hang on, let me rephrase that. Ok, there was an awful lot of sex taking place over the course of the episode, but we only actually saw one of those acts and that was a very short (talk about a quickie!) scene near the beginning of the episode (albeit one that was repeated a few times).

There isn’t even any nudity in the episode (not even a stray nipple anywhere in sight. Not one!)

For the rest of them we only saw the aftermath with the piles of dust littering the fertility clinic and, at the most, the girl straddling the bloke she was about to shag. It was hardly hard-core porn and I have seen far worse than that broadcast at a similar time (Rome to name but one) and it isn’t even particularly sexy, unless shagging someone in a nightclub toilet can be called sexy. You even got a scene of the bouncer of the nightclub relieving himself over the CCTV footage which was more funny than anything else.

There isn’t even any nudity in the episode (not even a stray nipple anywhere in sight. Not one!), which you might have expected in an episode with a premise like this one. Well, I did anyway. If you take the Species similarities then this one was very tame indeed, even the Outer Limits episode (titled Caught In The Act and featuring Alyssa Milano) had nudity in it for Christ sakes!

I would also say that the episode is basically saying that promiscuous sex is not good for you and always leaves you left unfulfilled. You cannot say the any of the sex in this episode had a happy ending (at least not for the blokes, well not when they vanished in a puff of orgasmic energy) and even the poor girl was getting sick of it by the end.

I don’t think it was even meant to be sexy. That is what makes the episode suitable for adults, not for the sex content but for the underlying meaning behind the episode. But if you read some of the comments on some forums you would have thought the episode was full of wall to wall shagging with no plot, but this is not an episode of Footballer’s Wives.

Even the lesbian scene involving Gwen and Carys wasn’t superfluous to the plot and was in there for a reason and not just for simple titillation. If that there the case then they would have been ripping each others clothes off and the most you saw was a quick shot of Gwen’s bra clad cleavage, which is no worse than what you see on Hollyoaks most day’s. It was even explained in the dialogue with there being powerful pheromones in the air in the cell due to the presence of the alien. And, after the two blokes kissing in the last episode why should the Gay audience have all the fun!

This scene also showed Owen’s true colours with his exclamation of “Happy birthday me” at the sight of the two girls kissing and then he went and recorded it (well you would wouldn’t you?)! Even Jack and Tosh seemed quite interested in it too. I also think that Gwen had done that sort of thing before. I mean did you see the way she went to kiss Carys again even after she had turned her away. There was no way she hadn’t thought about doing that sort of thing before in my opinion. The same goes for Tosh, she seemed quite disappointed to find out that Gwen had a boyfriend in the first episode didn’t she? Or was it just me, and my filthy mind? They are both bi, mark my words, or just not bothered who they get off with.

Eve Myles shines in this episode and she is most definitely one of the best things about Torchwood, her character is most definitely the “heart” of the team, her insistence on treating Carys as a troubled girl rather than just an alien shagging machine being a perfect point. She is also very ballsy and stamps her authority on the place particularly when she had Owen by the throat up against the wall. The problem is I reckon he enjoyed it. The swine!

Perhaps when Jack finally meets up with the Doctor he is going to bitch slap his smug face with his severed hand

John Barrowman is also good as Jack and, is it me, or is he morphing into the Ninth Doctor? I always thought that Jack was more than just human after watching the last few episodes of series one and after these couple of episodes I am pretty sure that Jack isn’t human at all. Well not entirely human. Just as in How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? Barrowman snogs a girl and she swoons. How on Earth does he do it?

Naoki Mori and Gareth David Jones are both good in their (at the moment rather limited) roles of Toshiko and Ianto as neither of them really had that much to do and Owen was just Owen. He is a bit of, to quote Gwen, a cock, but he does have some funny lines and is a typical jack-the-lad of that sort of age.

Apart from Eve Myles, the girl playing Carys, also shone in this episode going from a sex hungry alien to a frightened girl in the blink of an eyelid often in the same scene. She played the part really well and is one to watch out for in the future I think.

I really do like the design of the hub. It is great and the more I see of it the more TARDISlike it seems. I also like the Silence of the Lambs style detention cells that they have there. A lot of though has been put into the design of the hub and that really shows on screen. Thumbs up to the production designers on that one for definite.

I want to know why the Doctor’s severed hand is so important to Jack. Perhaps when Jack finally meets up with the Doctor he is going to bitch slap his smug face with his severed hand. I really cannot imagine what else Jack would want to do with it.

Chris Chibnall did a great job on this script and it was peppered with some great lines such as “He came and went”; “Put your trousers on and get out! Always breaks my heart saying that”; “I wish you were dead! … Call me back”; and “Put out an APB. Girl going round town nobbing fellows to death!”. I, for one, can’t wait to see what his series three episode will be like, unlike a lot of other people who are already pencilling in their diaries to dislike the episode when it is broadcast next year.

So, I really enjoyed this episode and thought it was just as good as Everything Changes, if not better for the fact that this was able to jump straight into the story from the get go, rather than having to introduce all the characters and the premise of the show, often a problem with premiere episodes. As with the first episode it was dark, edgy and very funny. This could be one very good series if it keeps this us.

I would give this episode 8 out of 10. More of the same please.

Originally posted on Behind the Sofa Volume One on Oct 27, 2006

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