Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Torchwood: Season 3

I watched the entire season 3 of Torchwood in about 2 days.

The season, titled "Children of Earth", was reduced to a 5-episode mini series instead of a full 13-episode season, I believe due to budget cuts. The episodes were aired every weeknight for one week on BBC One and the story was also set to be in the span of five days (each episode is one day). The concept seems interesting. I've heard good things about season 3 so I expected it to be better than the first two seasons.

I have to say, I found the first episode to be rather thrilling; with the mystery of the alien and their use of children. From the start, the story seemed stronger than the previous seasons. Now that the Torchwood team is down to only three members, this season has a few supporting characters with significant story-lines. I am fairly disappointed to learn that they planned on getting Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) and Mickey Smith (Noel Clarke) back, but scheduling issues prevented them from featuring in the episodes. And this required writer Russell T. Davies to do major re-writes on the plot.

If I remember correctly, we weren't told what species the alien is, except that the humans called it the 456, after the wavelength they communicate on. John Frobisher (Peter Capaldi), Home Office Permanent Secretary, was appointed to deal with the 456, and was seen to be keeping a secret that he's had previously dealt with the aliens in 1965. Cush Jumbo plays the character Lois Habiba, which is a substitute for the Martha character, but with innocence of who/what Torchwood is.

Halfway through the season, I found myself wondering where The Doctor was. There is an alien, in London, requesting 10% of the whole world's children or they would wipe the entire human race, and The Doctor is nowhere to be seen. I find that highly unlikely; especially with his attachment to Earth and London in particular. I know there's the whole of time and space, but I thought that he would be there for something this big; at least the TARDIS would drag him back to Earth.

This issue is addressed by Gwen (Eve Myles) at the beginning of episode five. She questioned, after hearing Jack's (John Barrowman) stories about The Doctor, why he's not always there when Earth is in trouble. Again, with the whole of time and space, I guess he has other things to do instead of having to keep on bailing out Earth.

The one thing that really annoyed me throughout the season is the parents; I understand that they're worried and freaked out since it's their kids, but after the first (or second) time, they must know that yelling at them to stop (while "possessed" by the alien) does not work! Yet they still do it anyway. Yes, from Doctor Who's "Midnight" we can see that people can't help themselves doing infinitely stupid things when they're faced with things they don't understand, but it still highly annoys me.

I do agree that season three is much better than the first two. I definitely did not expect Frobisher to kill his family. After being used to the predictability of the characters in Torchwood so far, this season has somewhat surprised me, in a good way. However, I couldn't understand how they ignored the fact that Frobisher shot and killed his entire family, and then himself, for the rest of the season. He was a significant part of the whole story; he was the one appointed to communicate with the 456, as Earth's ambassador; yet, no one seemed to mention him and what he did the next day. Sure, the alien threatening the entire human race is a bigger issue, but he was someone who was very integral in the whole process!

I also have a hard time believing that Jack did what he did. How can he sacrifice his own grandson?! I know it's for a greater good - one child or millions - but how?!

Another thing that I couldn't believe: THEY KILLED IANTO JONES (Gareth David-Lloyd)!! The one character that I was getting attached to, and they killed him off. Apparently, the character that I don't care for, Gwen, is the one they like the most, since she's the only one sticking around.

The season ended in such a grim note; Jack having "killed" his own grandson decided to travel around the world. Gwen, now 6-7 months pregnant, is left alone (with Rhys), without a Torchwood base or a team. This could have been a series finale; it's quite interesting how they start season 4.

Now I'm off to watch the last of David Tennant's tenure on Doctor Who with "The Waters of Mars" and "The End of Time". More tears to be shed.

[Side note: I really wish they'd do a Doctor Who/Torchwood crossover. Better yet, the half-human Doctor (Tennant) with his Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) from the parallel universe's Torchwood to work together with the Torchwood on the show. I'm sure the writers can find a way to justify breaking the walls between the universes (again) if they wanted to.]