Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Torchwood & Battlestar Galactica (bad sci-fi, meet great sci-fi)

While I think about it - here's what Louise and I thought about Torchwood.....

(I know it's finished a while back, this has been sat in a to post file for ages)

After the incredible success of Doctor Who, I suppose our hopes were just too high. But it's been a glorious failure as far as we're concerned here in Bruton Mansions.

The first mistake was always making the series an adult series. Doctor Who was hugely successful and managed to appeal to all ages, yet still contained interesting plots, characterisation and storylines. Someone needs to point out to the Torchwood writers that adult content is not a sex scene or two and the odd bit of swearing. I think the problem came in the first two episodes really. Molly was really looking forward to it, having seen it advertised all over the place, but we soon read that it was going out at 9 as an adult show. First episode was fine apart from a gratuitous bit of swearing and episode 2 had the alien sex monster story.
How dumb was this? After proving with Doctor Who that it's possible to write hugely popular, critically acclaimed, entertaining sci-fi with an all ages appeal - who in the BBC decided that Torchwood would work better as an adult series?

It promised so very much, this modern sci-fi series, in fact a lot of the ideas seem to have come direct from comics and sci-fi. In fact Ellis or Moore could have written it. And obviously done so much better with it.
Purely from an ideas and plot point of view it was a sure fire hit. Packed with ideas (sure, they weren't new ideas, but what the heck) and building on the mystery of Captain Jack, what could go wrong?

Well, they could create hideous scripts and then get the actors to deliver them incredibly badly. They could take those great plot ideas and completely fail to capitalise on them and they could further manage to fail to see the ideas through to any logical or exciting conclusion, instead preferring to come up with some of the simplest cop out endings I think I've ever seen.

So, no. Just in case you were still wondering, we didn't reckon it was that good.
Strangely enough, we still watched every episode though. It appears I have become some bizarre kind of Mary Whitehouse type thing, forcing myself to watch it out of perverse interest at how badly they could fluff the great idea this week.

Oh well, new Doctor Who soon.
In the meantime I had to almost physically restrain myself from watching the season 3 opener for Battlestar Galactica earlier tonight (or last night if you really want to get picky).
We watched episodes 1-4 over the weekend and thought they were really good. Certainly good enough to make me want to watch the start of episode 3 but crucially great enough to make me restrain myself and not spoil the fun of the rest of season 1 and the whole of season 2 on dvd.

Which, thanks to Amazon, I should be able to catch up with within a month or so.
God bless dvd rental services.
No more waiting for TV to provide. I want the whole series now dammit!

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