Now that I'm up to date with all of the recent episodes of Torchwood which seem to have piled up on my Sky+ box, I think I can safely say that I'm enjoying this show much more than I did a few weeks ago.
The most recent episode to air in the UK, 'Cyberwoman', set a new standard for this much-confused series, allowing the viewer to settle in and enjoy some traditional Doctor Who-style sci-fi with a bit more edge, gore and excitement than we would normally experience from our favorite time-traveling Gallifreyan.
One of the big differences in this episode was the setting; Captain Jack and his Torchwood team found themselves trapped inside their own underground base at the mercy of a left-over remnant from the Cybermen attack at the end of the last Doctor Who series, who also happened to be a girl called Lisa, the girlfriend of Torchwood's all-round handy man Ianto Jones.
Unfortunately for Lisa, her Cyber-person upgrade hadn't quite completed, and the services of a Japanese cybernetics expert called Dr Tanizaki only served to make matters worse; where Ianto wanted a cure for his much-beloved partner, Tanizaki merely managed to expedite the upgrade process.
So, the Cyberwoman decided to go on the rampage in the Torchwood base, killing Tanizaki and setting about trying to upgrade the whole team, starting with Gwen.
The whole affair was typically claustrophobic, and much more edgier than an average Doctor Who episode, but it also managed to span the emotional spectrum much further than before, with Ianto's loyalties horribly torn between saving his girlfriend's life and helping his colleagues avoid an apocalyptic nightmare.
It wasn't until the end that Ianto's decision was made for him, when Lisa was found dead in the Torchwood basement, having transplanted her brain into the body of the pizza delivery girl (who failed to look anything remotely resembling presentable with a huge lobotomy scar across her forehead). As Ianto deliberated over putting a bullet in Lisa's head, the Torchwood team intervened and executed her, firing squad style.
The action surrounding the plot was largely secondary to the other significant development in this episode, being the hint that Captain Jack is a bit more ruthless than we've previously given him credit for, along with some hints of his past love -- and slight sign of weakness in his 'immortality' streak we learned about in the fist few episodes.
I was probably over-harsh on Torchwood after the debacle of episode two, but I really should have known better than to assume that Russell T Davies wasn't smart enough to work his Doctor Who magic on an 'adult' spin-off series, but it seems to be gathering a bit of momentum as we approach the half-way mark, and if the series continues to improve like this, then my original assessment remains true: he's got another major hit on his hands.