A Torchwood review? On a Tuesday? Well, if the BBC are going to spontaneously reschedule one of BBC Two’s most heavily-promoted programme and cancel the BBC Three showings without telling anyone, then I guess we can all do that, can’t we?
It takes a real numb nuts to plonk the programme on Friday without telling anyone. I didn’t know and was out (yes, BBC, Torchwood viewers go out on Fridays too); iPlayer wasn’t working at the weekend, so I hadn’t seen it until yesterday. And what’s more, it was a really very good episode.
What would have made it better is if the programme was scheduled were it should have been – namely, the end of series one. Introducing us to the main cast’s routes feels like something that should have been done a long time ago.
After going to investigate some “strange energy signatures” (read as bombs; always, always read as bombs) the team get stuck under rubble and have a trip down a rather deep, dark memory lane to when they joined the famous five.
Jack was recruited by two near-vampires – kudos to Torchwood for resisting the urge to make two women working together lesbians; they evidently can manage to have two characters work together without making them shag each other senseless. Over the years he works for the institute, so we get nice flashbacks over its history (although no explanation as to why he didn’t know the Torchwood folk from the 1940s earlier this series). The nineties bunch in particular look like a fun crowd. A Friends for Cardiff.
Tosh, by contrast, was pulled into the institute after being labelled a terrorist, and ending up in legal black hole with no representation or chairs. Being Tosh, losing the will to live and being locked in a dank basement just wasn’t enough. She also had to have her mother taken away from her. Ha ha! Misery for you.
Of course, she wasn’t alone in the misery stakes, because Owen’s beloved fiancée appeared to be dying of early on-set Alzheimers. But at least his story perked up; she’s not dying of Alzheimers at all! Everything’s fine, she hasn’t got a…ah. Oh. She’s got an alien in the head instead.
At least Ianto had a bit more cheery fun, stalking Jack for a job and then trying to capture a pterodactyl, which I’ve incredibly managed to spell right first time. He wrestles with dinosaurs, Jack, and then his own feelings for him (lucky Jack didn’t keep his 19th century sideburns for Ianto, really). In the absence of anyone dying, or being held as some sort of ‘combatant without charge’ kind of thing, this is an absolute rainbow. Hurray for Ianto.
And at least we know have the excellent pantomime villain James Marsters back. That, in combination with the knowledge that someone is quite probably going to leave next week, means that I will be watching the final. Although being the BBC, Lord knows when it will be.