I know this show ended up on my Netflix list because it is listed as a spin-off from Dr. Who; but by the time I got around to watching it, I had forgotten that. In fact, I never remembered it. I just got reminded by looking at Wikipedia.
This show is just so bizarre and awful and silly that it comes all the way back to being “exquisite” (fans of Hollywood Babble-on know what I mean).
The premise and the special effects are not too horrible – rubber masked “aliens” notwithstanding.
The main premise is that Torchwood is a special ops group (“separate from government, outside of the police, and beyond the United Nations”) that investigates alien incidents and takes the technology for further study and use.
Pretty cool, right?
So if they are so cool, why is Torchwood headquarters (full of all kinds of electrical wires and technology) in what appears to be part of a sewer system of Cardiff? Everything is dank and crumbling, with pools of water on the floor. They have all this security, special sliding / locking doors and special cells to hold aliens – but everything is filthy and wet? Oh, and the electricity goes out periodically and nobody thought to put in a back-up generator. Makes little to no sense to me.
Maybe it’s because Torchwood is secret? Nope. Try again.
People may not know where Torchwood operates from, but they certainly know about Torchwood. They operate without a whole lot of secrecy – basically, they are like the FBI – they show up and shoo the police away and then do their own stuff. So of course, the police hate Torchwood, as does the military.
And then there are the Torchwood agents.
We have a doctor – that makes sense; a doctor is a kind of specialist – except he has a real problem keeping his dick in his pants and has the emotional maturity of a two-year-old.
We have a computer goddess – again, that makes sense – and of course, she’s the uptight, looking for love-in-all-the-wrong-places type – she keeps a lot of necessary information on her personal laptop instead of on the computers at Torchwood headquarters (and what could possibly go wrong?).
We have a guy who can’t die – that’s pretty specialized – he’s the one loved by all and had by none, at least had by none of his contemporaries – he’s our mysterious hero with a past that keeps coming back to bite him (and the team) on the ass; and he also refuses to share important information with his team and then can’t understand why nobody quite trusts him.
We have a guy that I don’t know what he does except be a gentleman’s gentleman and general gofer for the others.
And then you have the ex-cop who stumbled onto Torchwood by accident just when Torchwood loses an agent, so of course, Ms. Low-level cop with no skills is recruited on the spot. Yup. She has no special training. She’s not a specialist in anything. But, sure, come join the special ops group who investigate aliens. It’ll be fun.
Oh, the ex-cop is also kind of a fuck up; but then so are all of the other agents. Not just fuck ups in quirky funny ways or because they are so special they can’t function in normal ways. Nope. They are just fuck ups. General, all around fuck ups. They break computer equipment playing with a ball indoors (not running an experiment, mind you, just playing with a ball). They scream and cry all the time. They are all as dramatic and unstable as teenagers in the throes of love – and their love is the greatest love of all and nobody can understand how they feel – which is the standard plot device used throughout the show.
Clearly Torchwood needs to revisit their hiring protocols.
And they have all this security. Except one guy stows his not-quite-dead girlfriend in the cellar along with a big alien cyber-human making machine, that nobody notices until too late – oh, and that’s the gofer guy who up to that point has not evinced any special skills, but he has figured out this alien technology and gotten his not-quite-dead girlfriend to the point where she is almost (but not quite) alive; one agent blows her own head off because the team figures out she’s murdering people so she can test a piece of technology; they get locked in at one point by their own security; and then a few episodes later, they get locked in again. D’oh. They are constantly bringing boyfriends and girlfriends into their “secret” headquarters; even the pizza delivery people can wander in. And when the power goes out – all the security is for shit.
Okay, I have to admit, one thing I really love is that the characters are pretty much pan-sexual. They are snogging on everybody and every gender. That is refreshing. They don’t make a big deal out of it either. It just is. And that is pretty cool.
So I don’t know if they meant this show to come across as tongue-and-cheek as it comes across; but not an episode goes by that you’re not telling the screen, “Oh for fuck’s sake.” Or “What could go wrong with that?” It’s just so fucking silly. And I like it, quite a bit.