After a first episode that was universally acclaimed as alrightish, Torchwood resumes with a poisoning, a TV appearance and a clunky melodrama moment at the end. And believe it or not, only one of those features Captain Jack Harkness.
So does this constitute an hour of excitement? You’d think so, wouldn’t you?
Torchwood Vs Documentary Realism
Whenever TV characters travel across the Atlantic, they always do it in seconds, rather than the many hours it really takes, while time barely moves elsewhere. The dearly departed show 24 never let Jack Bauer take any long journeys because their real-time gimmick would have entailed multiple episodes sitting on a plane.
Well, Torchwood defies convention with an air travel sequence that is every bit as interminable as the real thing. They try to liven it up with Cap’n Jack getting poisoned, allowing a brush with his newfound mortality, but it doesn’t entirely stop the episode dragging. Considering we spent all of last week reaching “Torchwood reunited and renditioned to America”, this one seems to be running on the treadmill.
Torchwood Vs Reincarnation
The American cast keep busy while the Welshies are airborne, which won’t quell those complaints about the old guard being sidelined. But when the newcomers include Six Feet Under’s Lauren Ambrose, I’m okay with it. She’s delightfully slimy and faux-friendly here.
I still really like Rex Matheson, for some reason. Yes, he’s an “asshole”, but he’s so damn cheerful about it. And Esther Drummond… well, at least I finally worked out her name. Based on the final scene, it appears those two are being drafted into Torchwood as American reincarnations of the deceased Owen (Arrogant Male) and Tosh (Sappy Female With Crush On Him).
Now all we need is American Ianto; maybe that’ll be the Bill Pullman character? Would it be sufficiently edgy and Torchwood to have a paedophile butler?
Anyway, let’s wrap this up before I come up with something more unpleasant. The episode itself remains slick, with a few enjoyably silly ideas and scenes, especially the closing neck-breaking, but it feels a bit like we’re spinning our wheels; plot progress remains stuck at Torchwood being forced to the states and Americans telling us how scary the consequences of the “miracle” are. Can something happen next time please?
The episode is up on iPlayer for your watching pleasure, and chime in below to let us know whether you are loving or hating this new Torchwood experience.