Posted September 17, 2008 in The Small Screen

Torchwood, the Doctor Who spin-off from Russell T. Davies (the British answer to Joss Whedon), is ridiculous, illogical and thoroughly fun. Set in modern day Cardiff, where a Rift in the space-time continuum allows all sorts of alien weirdness through, Torchwood is an agency “outside the government, beyond the police . . .” who sets to rights the wrongs the Rift creates all the while making sure the mugglish general public is none the wiser. The Rift acts as a sort of anti magic wand, creating problems that the crew has to solve, and therefore is also a giant plot device for letting the writers set up whatever scenarios they want. But Torchwood wisely never lets the Rift-born MacGuffins take center stage from the human problems they create, using these alien artifacts and life forms to help the team answer questions about their own morality and existence. So you forgive Torchwood for the occasional muddled plot hole you could drive a spaceship through. And you forgive John Barrowman as team leader Captain Jack Harkness for his occasional James T. Kirk-ian over-emoting. And you forgive FX company The Mill for the often cheesy special effects, because . . . in the end, Torchwood’s a place where characters who are not necessarily hot by Hollywood’s standards get to have plenty of sex, where lead characters make serious mistakes and then deal with the consequences, and—most importantly—the underlying code is that people aren’t moral-less bastards one short step away from murder (as C.S.I. might have you believe). The underlying message is that we’re sometimes lonely, sometimes foolish humans with pretty good hearts. (Red Vaughn) 



Release date: September 16






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