I had planned on writing a review of the Torchwood season 2 finale earlier this week. Unfortunately I came away from the episode with really mixed feelings. In many ways this final episode epitomized my feelings on the season as a whole.
On the one hand, it was far and away superior to the first season which was a huge disappointment to me. But for every bit that hit the mark, there were other things that just didn't feel right. I see huge potential in Torchwood, but somehow it continues to miss.
So instead of writing a review, I decided to come up with a list of eight ways to fix Torchwood for season 3.
Image via Wikipedia
- Decide What You Wants To Be
Torchwood seems to have multiple personalities. It needs to pick a style and stick to it most of the time. Is it an X-File style show? A supernatural show? An all out action show? Pick one!
- Less Is More
The last episode threw lots of cool ideas and scenes at us, but failed to properly build them up and connect them together. The end result was a episode that wasn't nearly as epic as it should have been. Instead of wasting all those ideas, each episode should focus on a couple of ideas at most and properly explore them.
- Characters Can Be Likeable
I know its intended to be a more adult show than Doctor Who, but that doesn't mean that all of the characters have to be quite so easy to dislike. Give us reasons to like even then most unpleasant of the group.
- World Building
Torchwood is a Doctor Who spinoff, so why not make use of that. How does Torchwood interact with UNIT and the rest of the Doctor Who universe. It doesn't want to become to reliant on the Doctor Who elements, but Torchwood seems terribly isolated to me. I want to see them interact.
- Use What Works
Perhaps the strongest episode in season 2 was written by P J Hammond (of Sapphire & Steel fame). So take that template and go with it. Look at the strongest episodes of this season and focus on those elements for season 3.
- Show Don't Tell
Gwen is supposed to be this great detective. So could we see some of that occasionally? And what does Ianto actually do? His role is painfully badly defined even after two seasons. Let us see what they're good at.
- Don't Be Scared of Science
Science was never really what Doctor Who was about, but Torchwood treats every alien gadget as though it was a magic wand. If you don't want to use real science, at least define your own, instead of avoiding the issues completely.
- The Illusion of Depth
There are some interwoven elements in the show, but few and far between. Captain John was barely referenced in between the opening episode and the concluding episode. Would it have hurt to build up his significance at least a little bit so his return would have had more meaning? I don't expect real depth from a TV show, but the illusion of depth would help a lot.