Monday, January 23, 2012

Torchwood: season 1

A little back story: I was on my first Doctor Who marathon, fell in love with David Tennant, and was heartbroken when the tenth Doctor regenerated. I couldn't get myself to start watching post-Tennant Doctor Who, so I decided to re-watch it from season 1; and maybe, this time, if I didn't stop to mourn the loss of Tennant, I can just continue watching to season 5 and beyond. So, I thought, while I'm at it, why not watch Torchwood too? I have to say, the first time I watched Who, I missed so many mentions and references of Torchwood throughout season 2, just like I missed "Bad Wolf" in season 1.

Following the order of when they were aired, I watched season 1 of Torchwood after season 2 of Doctor Who (which made me cry again, bee tee dubs). Being sick in bed enables me to finish the whole season this past weekend. I fell asleep towards the end of the first episode; I can't tell if it was because I took NyQuil or because the episode was boring.

As per usual, the first episode was about establishing characters. I expected the show to heavily center around Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) being the leader of The Torchwood Institute; instead, it was an ensemble show about the Torchwood team: Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), Owen Harper (Burn Gorman), Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori), and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd). However, it did leave me with the impression that they want to focus on Gwen. Or at least they tried to make Gwen the audience surrogate. She was on the outside, wondering what Torchwood is and what they do.

The problem is, these characters aren't interesting enough. I've liked Captain Jack from when he was on Who, but other than him, the team seems like a group of cliches. Except for maybe Ianto; we rarely see him so he's still a mystery. I'm actually not quite sure what he does at Torchwood.

I wasn't expecting character development in the first season, but they just seem flat. I find their personalities boring, especially Gwen. To me, she seems to be the typical "heroine" who's strong, has high morale, driven, etc. But I couldn't find anything special about her character; anything that would make her somewhat appealing.

After only a few episodes, I was already able to predict what the characters were about to say or do, and most of their dialogue/action is very cliched.

But the whole show itself doesn't seem too bad; this isn't a complaint post. The predictability annoys me, but the plot for the show is strong (especially with ties to Doctor Who), some of the cases and stories are engaging, and, hopefully, the characters evolve to something more interesting in the next seasons.