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April 23, 2014

Torchwood: Cyberwoman

by Martin Conaghan, posted Nov 7th 2006 8:01PM
Toshiko Sato(S01E04) Who would be a pizza delivery girl in Cardiff?

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.

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Janez

I for some reason enjoy Torchwood. Besides, one can rarely come across a BBC show that sucks. It almost doesn't happen. J.

November 17 2006 at 2:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

lp... Ianto mentioned that the cyber conversion unit was built with available tech in the shows world so that is why I would see the anatomically correct cyber parts being present.

November 09 2006 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dries

I though the action was a little bit too much. And the story was quite predictable. Maybe the show is a hit, and i'm watching every week. But it's definetly not my favorite or the serie i would oblige other people to watch (unlike BSG for example)

November 09 2006 at 7:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DrWho

I was ready to give up on this show, but then I read this review and I thought, what the heck, I'll give it another chance - maybe it really is getting better. Well, I feel cheated - it really is cobblers!

Let's see, we have the butler, unbeknownst to everyone else, secretly transfer a cyberchick plus life-support system to a secret chamber. A Japanese 'expert' comes over, revives said cyberchick and gets killed for his troubles. Cyberchick runs amok. Cyberchick transplants her brain (by her self!) into pizza delivery girl (why???) in about two seconds flat. Butler (boyfriend of cyberchick) forced at gunpoint by Jack to kill his ex (huh? Why didn't Jack do it?). Pizza girl buys the farm. Butler tidies up and all is well. Oh, and there was the now obligatory homo/lesbian kiss and a dick joke. What tripe!

November 09 2006 at 6:10 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Gene

I just can't believe that Ianto is still employed there -- perhaps that "kiss" from Jack had something to do with that?

November 08 2006 at 7:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DarthPaul

Why would the cybermen go to the trouble of creating a neat & rather sexy but ultimately complicated bra/knicker ensemble for any humans they upgraded if they were desperate for reinforcements?

I don't think viewing figures matter so much at the BBC, they just put out whatever they feel like. Thankfully, most of it is of a reasonable quality but I think they're letting RTD do his thing in apology for Anne Robinson's vocal opinions of Wales.

November 08 2006 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Akbar Fazil

I am glad you are seeing the show a little more positive. The rebirth of Doctor Who was rare imo of show starts. It came out of the gate running and was good from the get go (The Long Game excluded... ewww)

Torchwood suffered from what many new shows all have. Trouble finding their feet at first. I think last nights episode showed us that you can have a fine mix of scifi, adult situations and deep meaningful stories and do it well. I welcome more Torchwood to come.

Anyone know how its doing numbers wise? (or how ever that works over there)

November 07 2006 at 9:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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