Wednesday, February 27, 2008
It's no secret that I'm a bit of a nerd. I love my sci-fi. After being pleasantly surprised by the resurrection of Doctor Who (pun intended for all those geeks out there who know the show well enough to groan at how cheesy that line was, masquerading pathetically as a "joke"), I was excited to hear that Russell T. Davies was also responsible for a spin-off series entitled Torchwood. (An anagram of "Doctor Who"). Ho obviously loves the whole Doctor Who universe and is bringing a lot of excitement, humor, and darkness to an already fine dynasty.
The Torchwood team consists of the remaining members of an elite organization originally set up in Victorian England to protect Earth from extra-terrestrial invaders. They are each very "broken" in their own way and seek to fill their days with the excitement of racing around Cardiff in search of aliens who frequently slip through a tear in space located in the city.
As the organizations roots lie in a Gothic Victorian beginning (detailed in an episode of Doctor Who), the show is pretty dark, bloody, and brooding. Innocent by-standers constantly get killed in horrific ways and the good guys don't always win. That's one reason I really enjoy the show. Despite it's obviously far fetched plot, it's a lot more realistic than most shows of its kind.
Another thing I really enjoy about the show is how very realistically the actors portray their pain. Watch any episode of CSI, or any other murder-investigation show, and the family members of the victim sniffle a little into a tissue as though it was their pet parrot that shuffled off this mortal coil and not their baby or wife or whatever. In Torchwood, even the lesser roles express their grief so much more convincingly, with primal howls, clumsy movements, etc. and more than once it's brought tears to my eyes. The lead actress, Eve Myles did such a phenomenal job in one episode that I had to clutch my husband's hand and fight back the tears and keep the sob from welling up in my chest any further than it already had.
The leading man, played by John Barrowman, is overtly bi-sexual, though he tends to lean more towards chaps than ladies. That may stem from the fact that the show's writer is gay, as is Mr. Barrowman, perhaps. Anyway, he's an interestingly complex character who has much to hide and is far more than just a pretty face and he does have a VERY pretty face. At first, his homosexual tendencies don't really play much of a part in his role, which was refreshing... To finally see a gay character not come across as gay above all else, shrinking the rest of his personalities traits into irrelevance. But... For those who shrink at the thought of seeing two grown men kiss, you may want to find something else to watch because it happens in more than a couple episodes.
The sad thing is that I can see how all of these "positive" traits in my eyes would be the very same reasons many of you may choose not to watch it. Obviously, that's down to personal tastes and interests, but for those of you who aren't turned off, I strongly suggest you try it out! Heck, for all you red-blooded males, there are a few lesbian kisses thrown in too!