Have you ever looked back on a series you used to love and finally see all the problems it had? Well, recently this happened to me with a little BBC program called Torchwood.
When I was in my teens, this show was my jam. It was dark, gritty, and way more mature than Doctor Who. Or…so I thought.
Here are some of the things I discovered upon revisiting this show from my teenage years:
Everyone is incompetent. You would think earth’s last line of defense from alien menaces would be…I don’t know…not completely useless. Nonetheless, the Torchwood gang feel that the best strategy is no strategy whatsoever. There is no protocol, no planned course of action. They simply rush into the situation half-cocked and lose their every-loving minds when something goes wrong.
Seriously, freaking Paw Patrol is better organized than Torchwood.
That’s not how you shoot a gun…that’s not even close to how you shoot a gun. I get that the UK is more ignorant when it comes to firearms because they aren’t used as often, but would it have killed the BBC to google?
An adult wrote this? I don’t mean to offend teenagers with this, but it’s an inevitability. The truth is, nobody in Torchwood acts like an adult. They act how teenagers think adults act. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if this series was ghost written by a moody adolescent.
It would explain everything: why the characters have sex all the time, why everyone is a complete jerk for no reason, why there’s such a grim outlook on life, why nobody ever plans out anything in advance and completely falls apart when the slightest thing goes wrong.
Wow. It all makes sense now. Maybe Torchwood was originally meant to star teenagers and the casting director didn’t get the memo.
That probably would have made this show infinitely better. If for no other reason than to justify the agents’ juvenile behavior.
Overuse of nihilism. Okay, I like a heathy dose of grim and angst. However, Torchwood takes it…well…not a step too far, more like a 4K and a walk home too far.
In every episode we must be reminded there is no God, or afterlife, and everything is pointless. Well, actually, the narrative is a bit inconsistent on this point. See They Keep Killing Suzie.
There is virtually no break from the overblown angst. It’s constant pain and suffering to the point of being a self-parody.
I remember one episode where Gwen tried to reunite a mother with a son she lost and she actually wound up making things worse by doing so. The mother actually told her she would rather believe her son is dead than have him as the broken shell she was presented with.
What’s the message of this episode? Don’t bother? If so that leads me to my next point:
What is the incentive to work for Torchwood? I’ve rattled my brain for an explanation, but nothing comes to mind.
Why would you constantly dangle yourself in harm’s way if everything is pointless? Especially when there’s a drug you could take that would make you forget all the horrible things that have happened to you while on the job, no strings attached.
It’s like when Gwen started sleeping with Owen because what she saw at work was just too horrible to comprehend and she couldn’t tell Rhys. The whole time I just thought, Woman…just quit! They aren’t holding you hostage. You can leave anytime you want to. Why are you still there?!
Suzie blathered on about how much she loved this job, yet we haven’t seen a convincing reason why.
It would make sense if most of them felt a strong duty towards the rest of the humanity, but for the most part, they’re narcissistic jerkwads that don’t seem to care about anyone else. Only Gwen gives a crap about people, and even she is a terrible person for running around on her fiancé.
Thanks for the memories, Torchwood, but I don’t think I’ll be buying any of your Bluerays anytime soon.
4 thoughts on “Nostalgia Goggles: Torchwood”
Now you have spoiled Torchwood a little for me. Best I don’t watch it again and just keep it as a happy memory.
I’m sorry, Kathryn I think the reason I feel so harshly is because I used to really enjoy it. Now that I can see the man behind the curtain, it feels like I’ve been betrayed as a viewer. Oh, well. At least I have the memories of when I first watched and enjoyed it as a teenager 🙂
You are so right about this. I have tried to rewatch, and i just can’t. Mainly because I hate Gwen and she makes me want to upchuck every time she’s on screen, but basically because it is just stupid. Jack is the worst leader anyone could possibly imagine. Everyone else is just running around hanging on his coattails, with, as you said, absolutely no idea of what they are or should be doing. It was sci-fi, after sci-fi Friday had been decimated by the absolutely stupid scyfy channel, or whatever they call themselves now. COE was an amazing show, really made me feel that whoever wrote it absolutely hated their government, but it was NOT Torchwood. RTD kept the characters names, and the actors who portrayed them, but they had personality transplants and were nothing like in the first two series. He had a good show that couldn’t get made without the Torchwood name attached, I think. But he ruined Torchwood forever by killing off first Tosh and Owen, and then the devastation that was Ianto’s stupidly unnecessary death. All in favor of moving to America and hitting it big over here. Which didn’t actually happen, thank goodness. I didn’t watch Mayo Day, but it sounds utterly ridiculous, even for bad sci-fi. What could have been great and long-lasting, was turned into a mish-mash of stupid plot lines and very badly written characters RTD should be ashamed.
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Yeah, he tried to add new characters after killing Tosh and Owen and they were so bland I literally remember nothing about them XD
This show just needs to sink into the bog of Wasted Potential forever, never to be seen again lol