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On Torchwood

I haven't seen it yet, sadly, due to lacking BBC America. My friend Andrew has, though, and sent me his thoughts on it. He gave me permission to post the following:

I watched the final episode of Torchwood. It is very uneven. On theone hand, they avoid the most simple security procedures and commonsense approaches to problems, but at the same time have at least oneor two emotional breakdowns each show -- too much over-the-topmelodrama, no Whovian frenetic pace. So that rests the show on thescript and the acting. The scripts have been interesting for the mostpart but the writing seems more like an outline to hang the acting on.The acting has been uneven. The guy who plays Capt Jack is definitely the strongest actor followed by another very understated character whoserves at the butler/servant/mantoy???? Otherwise I think the cast isvery weak and overacts a lot. I don't blame them since the direction is weak.

The show is darker and more adult than Dr Who, but that only makes its flaws worse. If we are going to deal with gore and bisexual follies,why do we have to go through some inane personality or moral crisis bypeople who would not have passed the most basic psychologicalscreening. None of the sexual follies are interesting because we havehad the emotion drained out them because the previous several sceneshave had an over-the-top emotional and existential crisis. The kiss isjust a kiss here, and just another device that may or may not work ...much like the sound of a door closing or spooky music.

The only aspect of the over-done personality aspects of the show thatI like is their extreme and utter alienation. The fact that theTorchwood team knows that they are all alone in what they know andthey can't share it with the world. They are all going insane slowlywith the knowledge they possess. (Thank the gods they don't work for amedical archive or the FDA or Oxfam -- they would be enfeebled.)

However, even this is pretty weak, After the events established in DrWho and various episodes, there would seem to be a good number ofpeople who were au fait or at least open to extreme possibilities ....after all, large spaceships and cybermen are stated as part ofeveryone's reality cf Canary Warf, Daleks, etc.. So basically, theyfeel very alone in Cardiff -- a place where I am sure it is easy tofeel that you are over the edge of the world.

The series ends with the sound of the Tardis after an especiallydismal psycho-scientific excursion and turning the rules of the gameupside down again. Capt Jack is no where to be seen. I was happy forhim since he could get a chance to act in a world with better scriptand direction. Onward Captain Jack! Onward!!!

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