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April 24, 2014

Torchwood: Everything Changes (series premiere)

by Martin Conaghan, posted Oct 23rd 2006 7:42PM
Torchwood(S01E01) It's really not surprising to discover that the BBC's Doctor Who spinoff Torchwood notched up the biggest audience for a non-sport program on a digital TV channel (in the UK, at least).

Having just watched the first episode of the opening two-parter, I can honestly predict with a degree of certainty that the BBC has found itself another sure-fire hit from the mind of Russell T. Davies.

And do you really want to know what happened in this innaugural episode?

Warning: spoilers after the jump.

I'll tell you what happened; nothing.

Well, that's not exactly true. Everything happened. And nothing.

To an outsider, this was nothing more than a standard introduction to relatively new characters and settings. It was basically a typical pilot.

In fact, it felt like I was watching the first hour or so of Hellboy; a mysterious paranormal-type government organization with a secret base hidden in a public building; weird aliens killing innocent people; unusual weapons and artifacts; a smart new recruitment (who also happens to be a cop) and a team of misfits guided by a charming leader.

But where Torchwood differed from the BBC's normal approach to science-fiction was in its edge.

This is a show which clearly has its sights on a mature audience; from the first F-word to the blatant multi-sexual overtones, and in the fairly graphic violence clearly designed to shock.

We had a guy being revived from the dead for questioning, an alien attacking an orderly in a hospital, and a tense stand-off near the end.

As I often say about the exceptional BBC shows which tend to make it big, this had everything a viewer would want -- including the viewers who don't really like science-fiction -- quality script writing, excellent production values, great acting and, above all, a terrific premise updated for a sophisticated audience.

The important thing to remember, is that first and foremost, this is a drama. The science-fiction is a secondary consideration, and it really shouldn't prevent any discerning viewer from enjoying every minute of it.

Do you want me to tell you anything about what actually happened in Everything Changes?

Sure you do, but it was technically a two-parter, so you'll just have to wait until I've watched the next one.

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dries

Loved the second episode
Loved the city cardiff (i'm never going on a city trip to london again, it's all cardiff for me)
Loved the subject op the second episode, hmm, and good dialogs (You travel halfway through the universe to have great sex, and you still end up dying alone)

the humour wasn't really my type, i will have to get used to that.

October 26 2006 at 8:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
The Jeremy

I enjoyed it. It does have an X-Files meets Angel vibe to it moreso than an Ultraviolet vibe.

I actually hope the series makes it to SciFi instead of BBC America because if it ends up on BBCA, nobody will watch it, it won't be presented in widescreen format (just as they butchered Hex and Life on Mars televising it in pan & scan badness), and there will still be 5 minutes cut from it to make way for commercials.

Then again, BBCA might accidentally not bleep out the occassional F-bomb like they've missed a couple of times with Mile High.

October 25 2006 at 7:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paul

Oh yeah, scifi has got to be insane not to be looking to grab this gem. I cant wait

October 25 2006 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

Snife... none of the actors are good at acting? Well, this aint Shakespere but I thought they pulled in a great performance for the world they created. By that admission you must have hated The Unquiet Dead, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, Boom Town, Bad Wolf and The Parting of the Ways.

Lets not also forget that Suzie (played by Indira Varma)has had a nice little career with some very memorable roles most recently rememberable in Rome. SPOILER: Too bad she aint a regular on the show anymore.

October 24 2006 at 11:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
agbguy

PErsonally ithought this was a really well done show, i kinda get the buffy/xfiles feel from it. Yes its a bbc show from The Dr Who universe so it doesnt take itself too seriously. If you want your broody serous sci fi look to Galactica, Lost or Heroes (all of which are excellent), this is funny, well written and intersting you should all give it a try, though i expect it wont be to the taste of a lot of people.

October 24 2006 at 10:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
snife

I have to disagree - this show is awful, I watched both episodes to give it a fair chance and, while I like the idea and premise of doctor who for a more mature audience , nobody in this show is any good at acting so i'm not convinced by the characters, I will not be watching any more

October 24 2006 at 9:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DarthPaul

I thought both eps were great, although the second was definitely ripped off from the film Lifeforce (without the naked alien) or an episode from the Outer Limits I remember from the '90s.

The problem when series' like The X Files, Outer Limits & Twilight Zone have already been made is that it's hard to be original in localised Sci-Fi, and I really wish RTD would get the Welsh crap out of his system & base it somewhere else in the UK.

October 24 2006 at 3:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mario

doctor who is cerebral. He keeps his own counsel. He's got a dark sense of humor. Jokes but never talks about anything personal. Only very slowly confides in ppl. Captain Jack is the Anti-Doctor Who.

The show doesnt work. Except to Captain Jack fans. The rest of the team is power rangery. The plots are..ugh. But I didnt enjoy the first season of Angel either. Here's hoping somefin' changes.

October 24 2006 at 1:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DrWho

The first ep was ok, as generally the establishing eps for a new series tend to be. Some funny bits, like the quip outside the pub when the officer comments to Gwen:

"CSI: Cardiff - I'd like to see that, they'll be measuring the velocity of a kebab!"

Speaking of Gwen, she's quite a cutie. :) So, I watched the second ep with some anticipation.

Holy crap, can a new series totally go down the toilet in only its second episode? Well, if anyone can pull it off, RTD can! Admittedly, he doesn't share the writing credits for this one, but it's got his fingerprints all over it.

We start with the lamest intro voiceover I've heard in recent times - pure tripe: "Outside the government (and the UN) and beyond the police" - sheesh! If that's so, what gives the organisation any authority or jurisdiction? And yet being so secretive and beyond the government, et al, the police still seem to know who they are and simply allow them to take over (without any attempt at offering ID of any kind).

And then we're treated to something we've never seen before. A gas-like alien inhaled by a girl which then takes over said girl. :rolleyes: And here's the kicker - it does so, so that it can feed on all that yummy sex 'energy'! Yup, that's why I'd develop interplanetary travel, in the hope of finding another lifeform with whom I can rub uglies!

Jesus, it's like Men In Black meets Queer As Folk! With a liberal sprinkling of Doctor Who (Gwen a.k.a. Rose, a normal everyday chick who finds herself in an extraordinary situation with a boring as stale bread boyfriend - whom she will likely lose interest in. It's already been mentioned in ep 1 how exciting the job is and how could you possibly do anything else afterwards?).

If this is the shape of things to come, then I won't be watching for long...

October 24 2006 at 12:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beatriz

Yes, the first part was slow, but then again the second part was way better. Altough I do have to say that Everything Changes felt alot like Rose, there was something about it, to tell you the truth when Gwen was well lurking about in an obviously seal off, do not enter, what the hell are you doing in there get the frak out, I was expecting her to go all "is there someone lurking about?" but thank god it wasn't done....

I'm enjoying this, but it's making me look forward to december, which I hate, just for the good doctor to return

October 23 2006 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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