(S02E05) If you're one of those people who believes what I tell you then I apologize. As was corrected in the comments last week, this episode was not the one that featured the start of Freema Ageyman's run on Torchwood, reprising her Doctor Who role of Martha Jones. That one is next week. Instead we got a fantastic one-off episode that not only got into the inner workings of the personalities that make up the Torchwood team, but that also showed us some of Jack's mysterious past.
The Saturn Award nominations are in, and many popular sci-fi and fantasy shows made the cut. Returning favorites like Lost, Heroes, and Dexter were recognized by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films, as were newcomers Pushing Daisies and Journeyman.
With seven nominations, Lost is ahead of Dexter and Heroes, which received five and four nominations, respectively. Heroes was the big winner last year, taking home awards for Best Network Series as well as acting awards for Masi Oka and Hayden Panettiere. Both actors received nominations this year, along with co-star Greg Grunberg.
(S02E04) When Gwen first joined Torchwood, she brought with her an element that none of the other team-members had, namely a significant other in Rhys. Since that time she has struggled to keep those two worlds separate, insisting to Rhys that she was still working for the police department and keeping him in the dark as to the otherworldly doings of Torchwood. Seems that would be difficult to maintain, right? Well, Cardiff is only so big so inevitably it would become impossible.
(S02E03) The adventure starts in 1918, featuring the Torchwood of its era. We get to see the future from the perspective of the past and the end of the episode from the perspective of the beginning. Confusing? Good. It's time travel, you're supposed to be confused. Torchwood continue its string of excellent episodes this run with this Tosh-centric installment. The inner struggles between team members seem to be a thing of the past, resolved while Jack was away, and what we have now is a real solid force that I can believe is prepared for whatever is coming.
Did you really think Captain Jack wouldn't be back? Now in its second series/season in both the UK and the US, we're going to do things a little differently with our Torchwood reviews this year. The fine folks on both sides of the pond finally got things squared away so that new episodes air much closer in the US to their initial UK airing. The third episode airs this Saturday, February 9, on BBC America, which is a little more than a week after the UK airing. To minimize any "spoilery" concerns, the episode reviews will follow the US airings.
But before we can get to that, we need to play a little bit of catch up, so look for an overview of the first two episodes of Series/Season Two after the jump. And about that image up there spoiling the first episode? Hey, that might just be a flashback sequence. That's right, I got you there.
Sarah Jane is aided by a small group of children in her quest. And while the series has a lower budget than Who and is geared more towards a children's audience, I still found it to be tremendously fun. And any opportunity to see K-9 is worth it in my book!
...Four TV shows you should be watching
Let's not beat around the bush -- television is a humongous, bloated wasteland. Granted, it's a humongous, bloated wasteland that I adore and worship any chance I get, but it is a humongous, bloated wasteland nonetheless. Due to the copious amount of crap that is placed on the airwaves many good shows are pushed aside, waiting for an unknowing viewer to tune into them and get hooked. Sometimes, these shows grab a few people, develop a following, and become a hit. Other times, they disappear down the television toilet, never to be seen again.
So, in order to save them from the Great Flush, here are four (plus a few more) shows that you should be watching.
Just as happened with parent series Doctor Who, those of us stateside won't have to wait as long after the British airing of Torchwood's second season to see it here, though ironically it has yet to be announced when it will premiere on BBC Two in the UK. TVGuide.com tells us the second season of BBC America's biggest hit comes to us beginning January 26. And with James Marsters (Buffy/Angel) dropping in for a guest shot, and Doctor Who's Freema Agyeman (companion Martha) checking in for an extended stay mid-season, this second go round with Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen and the gang is shaping up to be more exciting than the first.
Marsters will play a time-agent criminal who "goes around in different times killing people with no remorse at all." His character Spike, remains one of the most popular in the Buffy-verse, so I expect Torchwood's ratings to see another "spike." (Boo! Boo! Hiss! Get off the stage!).
I mentioned earlier that BBC America was pushing out older series like Benny Hill to make way for newer fare. Well, that's exactly what's happening: Hill is out, and soon Torchwood and Hotel Babylon will be moving in, along with the second seasons of Life on Mars and Vincent.
You can expect to see Hotel Babylon in August, and Vincent and Torchwood sometime in September. There is no date set for Life on Mars just yet.
Torchwood, as most of you know, is a spinoff of Doctor Who. If you want a taste of what the series is like, check out Martin's reviews. Martin also wrote some great reviews of Life on Mars. You can search this site for those, as well. The series centers on a man who goes back in time to solve a crime. Its first season is currently airing on BBC America.
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.
So mainstream and straightforward was the theme of this episode, it could have easily slotted in to the schedule of Lost, Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica, with a few minor character adjustments and a lick of fresh paint on the set.
Despite this, it managed to set itself apart from last week's dreadful mess with some simple science-fiction of the time-traveling kind.
Chuck in some backflash references introducing our main characters; Captain Jack Harkness from the recent series Doctor Who, along with his team of Torchwood operatives, and our central character Gwen Cooper, the ex-cop who takes on the vacant position with a gang of supernatural alien hunters.
And we're done.
A two-hour special would probably have wrapped it all up nicely, but Russell T Davies decided to split things up, especially since this week's episode was more about setting up the adult theme of the entire series than giving viewers a decent run at the characters involved.
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.
Torchwood is written by Russell T Davies, who also wrote for Dr. Who, and stars John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness. Spun off of Dr. Who, the series follows a team of investigators as they solve crimes, both alien and human. There is more info at the show's website, and a good interview with Barrowman on the BBC's page.
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