Danger Jim Robinson!

 

Torchwood: Reset

Martha Jones is back but this is not the same Martha Jones who we last saw leaving the TARDIS at the end of Last of the Timelords, this is a Martha who is now a fully qualified Doctor and is also a medical officer for U.N.I.T. Very little of this back story is not expanded upon but I suspect that may be something to do with the appearance of Martha in the fourth series of Doctor and this may well be set after the events of The Sontaran Stratagem and that will all come to light in that story which is probably what will happen. It was nice to hear Martha’s theme again in this episode also.

Once again they didn’t assume that you had seen Doctor Who series 3 and they introduced Martha with the minimum of fuss and vague references to her past with Jack. Of course for those of us that watch both, there were some nice references to the final three episodes of the last series of Doctor Who.

Reset may even be after the series four finale, or it may not be, as since the end of series 3 she has finished her exams and got herself a reputation good enough to be courted by U.N.I.T. so it seems to me that it may have been quite a while after the events of LOTL. She certainly hasn’t seen Jack since then so it would seem unlikely that this was set after the series 4 finale which we know Martha appears in, as might Captain Jack.

It still stands, however, that this could be after the event of the first three episodes of series 4 that Martha appears in but that is an argument for later. Martha fits into the Torchwood team surprisingly well and by the mid point of the episode one the rest of team has got over Jack bringing someone else from his mysterious past to meet them it is almost as if she has always been part of the team.

It was nice that she seemed to have got over her massive crush on the Doctor and I hope that when she sees him again she doesn’t revert to her previous character trait as this is a new improved Martha who probably fits in better in Torchwood than she probably will in the fourth series of Doctor Who.

It was mainly Tosh and Gwen who were giving Martha bitchy stares when she first appeared with Owen probably thinking ‘ding dong’. Gwen seemed to warm more to Martha when she found out that she hadn’t been sleeping with Jack but when Martha asked her if she and Jack were ‘together’ in that sense methinks she doth protest a little too much. If they haven’t already then they sure want too. It’s Rhys I feel sorry for!

The little subplot starting earlier on this series finally comes to a head as Tosh actually asks Owen out on a date and he actually accepts. Go Tosh! There is a definite attraction between them on both sides but only Tosh actually admits to it, and Owen being the kind of bloke he is, just can’t bring himself to admit and would rather flirt with anyone in a skirt rather than admit his true feelings that he is actually in love with his beautiful Asian colleague. Tosh did seem to be a little jealous of the attention that Owen was paying Martha but once they had agreed to go out on a date then she changed her tune pretty quick.

Jim Robinson, sorry, Alan Dale was very good as the amoral Professor Aaron Copley and it is still unusual to hear him speaking in an American accent rather than his native Kiwi accent that we were used to in Neighbours and Young Doctors. To me, however, no matter how many baddies he plays in American television series’, or Romulan’s in Star Trek films, he will always be Jim Robinson from Neighbours to me, the only man who had an entire episode for his death scene!

I had already read a rumour on a Torchwood website that said that Owen would effectively die at the end of Reset, but even I was shocked when Jim Robinson shot him at the end of the episode. It was certainly an effective cliffhanger and it worked much better that when Suzie was killed at the end of Everything Changes because we had invested more time in the character of Owen. We might not have actually liked him, and wondered what in the hell Tosh saw in him, but it was still shocking to see a character that we had come to know quite well be shot and killed like that.

It was also very frustrating that the moment Tosh had managed to get Owen to agree to go out on a date with her, that he goes and gets himself shot and killed. You have to feel for Toshiko don’t you. Of course this is par for the course for any horror films that you care to mention when two characters decide to get together you just know what one of them will end up dead, but that totally passed me by until a few days ago, when it seemed virtually signposted by that scene, if you watch horror films that is.

Of course the big question is will Owen stay dead because, as we know, in science fiction death is not always the end for characters. We will have to wait and see if they have killed him off for good until the next episode.

The best moment of the whole episode, for Doctor Who fans that only watch Torchwood because they feel they have too and feel dirty afterwards for watching something other than Doctor Who, was the moment when Ianto gave Martha the alias Samantha Jones. Now to a lot of people this will mean bugger all but it would have really excited the members of the audience who had read and followed the 8th Doctor’s adventures by BBC books where a certain Samantha Jones was his companion for a couple of years.

Reset was another superb episode. Torchwood is getting better week-by-week and, even though I really liked the first series, this new series is a lot better.

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Adam Adamant

Torchwood: Adam

Showing your regular characters in a totally different light is very commonplace in science fiction shows, so it seems no surprise that Torchwood has decided to plough that particular furrow, and it is to their credit that they did it brilliantly and produced what was one of the best episodes of the series to date bettering Tregenna’s own Out of Time.

Catherine Tregenna’s script is up to the standards of her two series one episodes and there are some great character moments in this episode even though the characters are not the same as you would normally expect them to be. For instance Tosh has become a sluttish vamp; Owen has become a geek; Jack has become rather subdued and weak willed and Gwen appeared to totally forget Rhys. There isn’t much in the way of plot, but who needs plot when you get an episode like this one?

I mean poor Rhys. They go away for what one can only assume was a dirty weekend and when Gwen comes back from work that evening she pulls a gun on him and threatens to kill him and doesn’t appear to know who he is. That is one of the more disturbing bits in the episode, as is when Ianto is made to believe he is a monster and has killed two girls and could do the same again any moment.

Gareth David-Lloyd gave an excellent performance in this episode and you could almost believe that he did what he had committed the crimes that he thought he had done. You do have to feel sorry for Rhys and Kai Williams continued to give an impressive performance as Rhys here trying to keep it all together when his fiancee doesn’t recognise him. I mean how horrible would that be? In my opinion, that is one of the scariest things that I have ever seen on Torchwood to date because I know exactly how I would feel if my wife came home from work and didn’t know who I was. Also was it just me or did Rhys seem to know who Jack was? Perhaps Gwen didn’t Retcon him at the end of Meat or perhaps there is another explanation. Rhys didn’t seem to be that bothered about Adam but as he knows very little about Gwen’s life in Torchwood then he wouldn’t think twice about it. He also had other things on his mind at the time, like why did his fiancée not know who the hell he was.

Adam was an interesting character and the actor who played him did a good job but he didn’t really do a great deal did he? Well apart from mess about with the memories of all of the team that is. I mean when the episode started it was as though he had always been a member of Torchwood (and for the rest of the characters except for Gwen he had been) and he was even cleverly inserted into the clips in the pre-title sequence something that Buffy did for the episode Superstar when a minor character took centre stage. Then it started to get very frustrating as nobody seemed to notice that there was something wrong. Gwen did at the beginning when she came in from her weekend away and didn’t know who Adam was but that was soon put right when Adam did his shtick and in doing so removed her memories of her fiancée. Nice!

I don’t know if you can actually say that what Adam was doing was actually evil, because he was only doing what he needed to survive, which is essentially what all life forms do, but it certainly wasn’t very pleasant for a few of them, particularly Ianto and Gwen, so Jack had no choice but to give them all Retcon to make them forget the last few days because if they didn’t remember Adam, then he would just simply cease to exist and it would be like it never happened to the rest of them.

Owen and Tosh seemed to have swapped personalities in this episode with Owen becoming the nerdy one chasing his true love, rather than the otherway round, which we are used to. It just didn’t feel right really even though it was nice to see a very confident Tosh exuding a raw, sexuality that she has never done before and boy does she do it well. I am sure she was even wearing a tighter top that she might otherwise do but that might just be me being a bit pervy as Tosh is my favourite female character in Torchwood and how good was it that she ended up with a character with same name as myself in the episode? Probably not for anyone else to be honest but I liked it! It also seemed a bit strange feeling sorry for Owen as he was knocked back by Tosh when he was obviously fawning and totally, head over heels in love with her. God, that bought back memories of myself when I was about 13 but that isn’t important and I am digressing.

It was nice to finally see what the Boeshane peninsular looks like and to get a bit of background on Captain Jack even though by the end of the episode we know little more about his background than we did before. We now know who Gray is and we know what his parents looked like but that is about it. We still don’t know what his real name is which I think is still a good thing, as we don’t need to know much about him and what we know is quite enough for the time being. It also allows for them to give away bits and pieces over the course of time making his character even more fascinating. Well for me anyway. I mean do we even need to know Jack’s real name? Would it really make any difference if we did? I don’t think that it would.

Ok it wasn’t completely original and was like a mixture of Star Trek: TNG episode and a couple of Red Dwarf episodes but it was very well written, sympathetically directed, superbly acted and bought a lump to my throat on a number of occasions.

I would highly recommend this episode and hope that one day Catherine Tregenna will get a crack at Doctor Who.

Coming Soon

Here is a list of titles for the latter half of the second series of Torchwood. As always these titles are subject to change.

7: Dead Man Walking by Matt Jones
8: A Day In The Death by Joseph Lidster
9: Something Borrowed by Phil Ford
10: From Out Of The Rain by PJ Hammond
11: Adrift by Chris Chibnall
12: Fragments by Chris Chibnall
13: Exit Wounds by Chris Chibnall

Meat is Murder

Torchwood: Meat

It was only a matter of time before the character of Rhys, Gwen’s long suffering fiancé, got an episode to himself, because after all the shit that she has put him through he deserves it and he is virtually a regular with the amount of episodes he has been in to date, and he got quite a good episode to himself at that.

I do have to admit that it did take a bit of time to get going but once it got going it was another excellent episode was from the pen of Catherine Tregenna. It was quite a bit different to the Catherine Tregenna scripts of the past series in that it was more action packed that her other episodes whereas the previous episode, which was a more Tregennaish episode (at least when compared to this episode), was actually penned by Helen Raynor.

I am not sure if the point of this episode was to say that you shouldn’t eat meat, if it is badly treated (Morrissey would have been proud) or not, but that is the impression that you might have got from this episode. Would all the vegetarian viewers be sitting there all smug and everything saying I told you so to their meat eating friends?

Probably not as there was no part of the episode where it says that you shouldn’t kill animals for meat, rather that it this case the animal was obviously alive and in pain while it was being sliced apart. I think that may have been the point of the episode because there is really no moralising about the reasons why you shouldn’t eat meat at all or no diatribes on the benefits of eating vegetables present in the episode. If anything it might make you may not want to eat at any fast food establishment (in the Merthyr area or in any area quite frankly) for a while after watching either (though having said that you might not have wanted to before and definitely will never consider doing so), but it certainly won’t put you off meat, it just might make you wonder exactly what it is that you are eating at times.

There was plenty of humour in the episode with the best line coming from Ianto, after Tosh said that they could feed the world with the meat after realising that it appears to be constantly growing despite the best efforts of the bad guys to kill it, when he proclaims ‘we could release a single”.

There was some good banter going on between Rhys and Jack in the episodes, with Rhys asking Jack if he might be gay, or that it was a shame that he wasn’t a bit uglier. Tosh in this episode returns to her more supporting role and for this episode is back fancying the pants of Owen without him even being aware of it. I mean she made him his favourite sandwiches and everything, what more does she need to do?

There was some interesting direction in this episode with the quick camera pans back and forth during the scene when Rhys confronts Gwen about what he saw, and the bizarre angle he employed when the meat guys locked the team in and it looked for all the world as if the guy was lying down on the door rather than standing next to it which he was actually doing.

The ending was pretty much the correct thing to do for the alien itself. I mean it was in pain and there was no way that Torchwood could have actually nursed it back to health and then released it back into the rift, not at the size that it had grown to at that point, and also as Ianto put it where would they store it? I mean I know that the hub is rather large but is it really large enough to hold a massive alien whale cow creature. It was almost as large as the warehouse it was being stored it when Torchwood came across it in the first place so god knows how large it could have grown.

I am not sure if at the end of the episode Gwen had given Rhys a retcon pill because she stormed back into the hub at the end saying that she couldn’t bring herself to do it and then stormed back out again. Unless she gave it to Rhys when she kissed him at the end it might be possible that he was not retconned, but would they possibly allow that to happen as the only other people who see the hub who aren’t members of the team seem to end up dead.

Another good episode. 7 out of 10