Thursday, June 14, 2007

The British TV Thing

Wil asks what British TV show was not, in fact, cancelled.

Torchwood.

It's a Doctor Who spinoff that I'd swear I journalled about before, but seeing as nothing come up when I used that handy "search this journal" feature, I have to assume I didn't.

OK, here's the thing about Torchwood.  It takes place in the Doctor Who universe but (since it airs an hour later) is for more mature audiences.  (This means the characters have lots of sex.  Oh, and the violence is more violent.)  If you think of it as the Angel to Doctor Who's Buffy, you wouldn't be too far off.

Here's the other thing about Torchwood.  I bought the first Torchwood DVD sight unseen.  I mean, I'd heard about it; read a bit about it; and ... when I saw the DVD in London, thought "why the heck not?" so I bought the first few episodes of season one.  And, because I am ... whatever it is that I am (a sucker?) I bought the second part of season one from the Duty Free shop in Heathrow on the way home.  Because, y'know, if I actually liked the series (which I figured I would), I'd probably want to see the rest of the first season.

Here's the third thing about Torchwood.  The first season actually came out in three DVDs.  This would have been good to know.  When I got back from London, I watched me my seven or so episodes from my DVDs, and at the end I thought, "Wow, that's a really odd way to end the season."  Further research indicated that they had not, in fact, ended the season on that particular note.  Seeing as there were, like, three more episodes which were now available on yet another DVD.

Here's the fourth thing about Torchwood.  It's going to be on BBC America.  And, ever since I found that out, I've been trying to decide whether to buy that third Season One DVD.  Because, y'know, sooner or later, I'd be able to watch it for free on BBC America.  And the DVD of the third part of the first season of Torchwood is not, y'know, free.  And I like free.  Free has the advantage of not costing anything.

So, the other day (just to link this allup), I was poking around Amazon.co.uk wondering just how not free that DVD was -- planning to also hunt down the start date of Torchwood on BBC America, and then work out via the complex "Time is Money" formula whether it would be worth the price to get the lead time.  And when I saw the user reviews on said DVD, that's where people had talked about the final episode being the "series finale," and I nearly had kittens.  But all is well, Torchwood is doing fine in the ratings and they've renewed it for a second "series," so now I can go back to deciding whether to buy that DVD.

.... here's the other thing about Torchwood.  I mean, if it was drop dead amazingly good right out of the box, I'd be all over that last DVD.  Hell, I'd have ordered it months ago.  Thing is, it wasn't drop dead amazingly good.  It was good enough to keep watching, in the hopes that it would get, y'know, better.  And then I hit this one episode of it that was just ... I'm having a really hard time finishing this sentence because I don't want to spoil it for those of you who might someday want to watch it when it comes to a cable system near you.  But the episode was the sort of thing I'd wanted to discuss with all my friends at work the next day in a "holy crap, did you see that?" sort of way -- although, quite obviously, none of them had.  It was just scary good (and good scary) from beginning to end.  And I was amazed they'd managed an episode like this during their very first season -- because I'd seen other series take way longer to hit their stride and be able to accomplish something like this. 

And then the rest of the episodes were fairly standard fare.

So, yeah, the show isn't the greatest thing ever, but it's certainly watchable, and it has demonstrated a capacity for brilliance surprisingly early on -- so I'm just curious to see if they nailed it again.  (But am I $35-plus-international-shipping curious?  That is the question.)

1 comment:

hewasolddog299 said...

I see, said the blind man, as he picked up his hammer and saw.

(say it out loud to yourself. It is a non sequitur. Ignore the fat man with the beard and pony tail behind the curtain.)