Torchwood – Out of Time


Grumpy Old Men who can’t cope with the modern world should top themselves. That seems to be one of the messages to come from this episode of Torchwood. Presumably there were other messages, but the whole episode was so saturated with sickly sentimentality, amplified by some awful, and overly used, violin and piano incidental music that, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, I was contemplating gnawing my own foot off to escape. The obligatory sex scenes were also accompanied by this music and anyone switching on at that point might have been forgiven for thinking that they stumbled across an advert for some naff porn channel.

The story started interestingly enough, with the arrival at some unspecified airfield of a vintage aircraft (probably a De Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide, by far the best thing in this episode) that had taken off and then disappeared in 1953. Its occupants, hardly surprisingly, are a little bit put out by this revelation and it seems that Torchwood (God knows why?) has been assigned the job of helping them adjust to what passes for normal life today. That’s a little like asking the gang from DIY SOS to teach a ballet class.

Presumably the American Captain Jack ended up in the RAF during the war by volunteering for one of the RAF Eagle Squadrons, yet I see no sign of a pilot’s qualification amongst his many (sometimes dubious) skills. The rank insignia he wears on the epaulettes of his great coat is that of a Group Captain in the RAF, which would in fact be equivalent Colonel in the army and Captain in the Royal Navy. Yet every one calls him Captain, even when they step out of aircraft from the 1950s they’ve just piloted and should know what a Group Captain’s insignia looks like. My God! I’m turning into a grumpy old man. Better go and top myself.  




    December 22, 2006

    I did like the episode, but that has to be one of the best posted reviews ever! Well done and Merry Christmas!!


    December 22, 2006

    I agree. A great posting. The episode was both miserable and naff, and the sex not good enough for a porn channel. Er, I imagine . . .

    Kevin McDonald

    December 22, 2006

    I may be wrong, but when the final “Blakes 7” was broadcast, in which Blake was killed, were there not complaints about having such a depressing programme on at Christmas? That episode was broadcast 21 December 1981. If so, it’s nice to see the tradition of broadcasting depressing sci-fi programmes being maintained 25 years later.

    Sue Burnett

    December 22, 2006

    Depressing storyline at Christmas? Does it think it’s Eastenders?

    This is the first in the series that I haven’t enjoyed.

    “We have to integrate an 18-y-o girl from 1951 into 2006” – “I know, let’s put her in a flat-share with a couple of chavs!”

    And let’s not forget “I’ve got a job with a top London fashion house with no interview, no qualifications and no experience – because my coat is back in style!” Bah, humbug!

    Rob Arndt

    December 22, 2006

    Torchwood was assigned b/c the aircraft came through the rift. That’s why there is the reference, “At least it’s not aliens” at the beginning…

    Matthew muir

    December 22, 2006

    Errr… actually I felt this was an excellent and quite a sensible episode really. Many of those points mentioned seem pretty obvious.
    Torchwood were assigned to dealing with the occupants of the DH86 because it was a ‘Rift’
    (ie timeslip) episode. That’s what they do for a living, so to speak.
    Jack’s apparent rank is Group Captain. Really, to most civillians (and that includes the Torchwood team and Diane the Rapide pilot) thats effectively, in real life the same as ‘Captain’. Honestly, given that most of Jack’s past may never have happened- (for instance there is no evidence he ever flew in the RAF at any stage in history)- it seems a bit pedantic to gripe about something so minor as his supposed rank. And really, the ‘grumpy old man’ who tops himself does so because he has just lost his son, his wife, his livelihood and his entire past, which I suspect would be a bit of a blow to most human beings…
    Actually I think this was one of the more subtle episodes, that faced up to the reality of what would actually happen if people from half a century ago were thrown suddenly into the present.

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