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I suspect that had this episode had been produced by an English based production team there might well be rioting in the streets of Pontypandy by now, or at least a lot of complaints about racial stigmatisation of the Welsh.

In the latest episode of Torchwood we have something of a homage (perhaps parody is a better word) to the X Files. The isolated community (substitute Hillbilly with rural Welsh here) where the regulating force of civilisation has been absent for far too long and the Welshbillies have reverted to a more primitive and bestial form of behaviour. The X Files did it better.

The missing twist, the one we might be expecting, is that aliens are somehow behind it. The real twist is that it has nothing to do with aliens, just human nature reverting to type. Clever, or not depending on your point of view, for a series that’s meant to be dealing with a new alien threat each week. There is in fact a trend here. We’ve been sold a SF series, but the goalposts seem to be moving. Faeries last week, cannibals this week, and ghoulies and ghosties to come presumably?

Russell T. Davies has made no secret (certainly his writers have not) of his love for Buffy The Vampire Slayer, created by Joss Whedon, and his desire to create something like it. Like Doctor Who, Buffy had it’s spin-off called Angel. In this a former ally of Buffy, an immortal reformed vampire (having had his human soul restored) the Angel of the title, sets up his own demon-hunting organisation. Like Torchwood, it was darker than its parent series.

In Torchwood we have the immortal Captain Jack (former ally of the Doctor) with a team hunting (increasingly demon like) aliens. They are based in Cardiff at the site of a space-time rift through which pesky aliens migrate to Cardiff. In Buffy, of course, we had the Hellmouth through which those pesky demons enter our world

 

The real mystery of Torchwood is that great unanswered, unrecognised even, question. What happened to the population of Cardiff? Were they abducted by aliens on mass to be replaced by people from the valleys? I have yet to hear a genuine Cardiff accent in the series, or perhaps my attention slipped?

One plus point though, they don’t half make Cardiff look sexy!



5 comments


    Andrew

    November 22, 2006

    As boyd clack wrote in Sat. City, – “They eats heads in Cardiff”. See what happened was they ran out of ‘eads in cardiff, and moved out to rural area, the lack of culture emmibating from that stupid looking building in the bay ran out, turning them into hillbillies) problem solved. lol…

    I was dissapointed by the lack of Duelling Banjos (as in Deliverence).

    Sniz

    November 22, 2006

    Agree. This episode was a load of old trousers.
    I was waiting for an ‘alien’ explanation, but none came. This ‘harvest’ was also on a ten-year cycle – again no explanation, unless they knew they’d run out of ‘food’.
    I don’t know much about Captain Jack and I found myself thinking ‘what’s so good about this Jack fella then?’.
    Have only seen the faeries episode and ‘Countrycide’ so far and I think the scriptwriters are the real villains.

    Darren Mumford

    November 22, 2006

    I think a lot of the “geekier” Dr Who fans are disappointed with the lack tech speak and psychobabble in Torchwood. I think they need to get over it and enjoy it as it is. The Countrycide episode wasn’t the best and I thought it cut between scenes badly, but I think the production crew are stuck between a rock and a hard place as they are unsure what their target audience is. I think they need to make it sexier and more frightening – and, I must agree, get some more Kairdiff accents in there bra!

    Frank Sable

    November 22, 2006

    There certainly seems to be a lot of confusion about what sort of audience the programme is targeted at. Did the BBC do any research, or did they do some without understanding the difference between horror, science fiction (and science) and fantasy genres? Some might argue that such distinctions are out of date. But is this less about them being “cutting edge” and more about them being very confused? The BBC has never been comfortable with SF and gets very uncomfortable indeed when it gets a SF success on its hands. Doctor Who isn’t too bad because they can pretend that that’s a kid’s programme, and not to be taken too seriously. But Torchwood is meant to be adult, which is why there doesn’t seem to be any humour in it and a lot of “intense” acting. Perhaps it’s struggling to prove that it is serious drama, but is it in danger of throwing out the baby with the bathwater?

    robyn

    November 22, 2006

    i like torchwood =]

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