Wednesday, September 14, 2011

TV I Love: Torchwood, Season 3

At some point this summer when I got really into Doctor Who (somewhere near the end of Series 1), I decided to take the plunge and watch Torchwood too. All I knew about it was that it was a Doctor Who spinoff, created by Russell T Davies and starring Captain Jack Harkness (a.k.a. John Barrowman).

This is John Barrowman. You should know that he also spends most of the show in suspenders and a 1940s-era long army coat.

My boyfriend once pointed out that he looks like the exact combo of Tom Cruise and Mark Harmon. Which led me to creating this genius mathematical formula: handsome x handsome = HANDSOME

I'm probably going to spend a couple of years in Minsk proving it.

Anyhoo, so. Yes, Torchwood.  I liked it. I will admit that I didn't love it right off the bat. For one thing, Doctor Who is very much a family show and Torchwood is, er, not. So that was a bit jarring. The character of Captain Jack Harkness (which is introduced in Season 1 of Doctor Who) is a little different in this iteration, and that took some getting used to. I also found the first season pretty uneven. There were episodes I liked, but there were also a few I couldn't get into.

But I valiantly carried on. In case you're wondering why, here's another photo of John Barrowman.

Season 2 was better than Season 1. And I thought all the episodes were pretty strong.

And then came Season 3. Holy awesome television, Batman.

Being a BBC series, Seasons 1 and 2 of Torchwood had the standard 13 episodes each. But Season 3 was a 5-episode miniseries. And let me tell you, that sort of taut storytelling worked really well for this show.

It's also a great story arc to look at as a writer. The stakes keep getting higher and higher. The plot goes in a lot of unexpected places but it all ultimately makes sense. And there is a lot of beautiful character work with the leads who are within the whole series and also some new characters that are introduced just for Season 3. It's excellent television drama.

I don't have Starz so I haven't yet seen the new season of Torchwood, which is now being co-produced in the U.S. and partially takes place in America (Seasons 1-3 take place in Cardiff, Wales). I have to admit, I have some qualms about moving such a British show to the states but I've hear murmurings of good things. Has anyone seen it?

Oh, and I'll just leave you with this. Because John Barrowman...also sings. (And, hey, suspenders in action!)


Okay, and sometimes he does easy listening.

This video makes me giggle.


  1. Ok I've tried watching Torchwood and just couldn't get into it! And like you, I was jarred by the more adult nature of it! Not what I was expecting at all. I've only tried to watch Season 1 episodes 1 and 2 so maybe I'll push through like you did.

  2. I'd say see if you can push through, Taylor. I liked Season 2 a lot better!