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Eight Ways To Fix Torchwood

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.
The series two cast, including special guest star Freema Agyeman as Martha JonesImage via Wikipedia

  1. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
Eoghann Irving is amongst other things the creator and Editor of Solar Flare. He has a life long interest in all forms of science fiction and fantasy and a pressing need to share this interest with anyone who will listen. Find out more at his his website eoghann.com.

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3 Comments, Comment or Ping

  1. Great post. I agree with all of it, except I don’t mind that Torchwood is a bit isolated from Dr. Who. I watched the original Who, but can’t seem to get into the new version, so isolating them has enabled me to sometimes enjoy Torchwood.
    The show’s concept is definitely intriguing, but the writing in general needs to be stronger. I liked seeing Gwen’s investigating skills in “Adrift,” and would like to see more of that too.

    It’s a little superficial to say so, but I also think Barrowman would actually look a lot better if he stopped the botox around his eyes. After watching a few episodes, I was trying to figure out what didn’t seem right about his face, and then I saw a quote from him that said male actors should stay away from botoxing their foreheads, but his eyes don’t crinkle when he smiles. It’s a little creepy.

    Lisas last blog post..Thirteen Hints We Know About The Final Cylon

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  2. no imageLoren (Profile)

    What about Gwen crying every episode? THAT is the most annoying thing ever–sometimes more than once per show! Plus, FAR to much exposition. LESS CRYING MORE SEX! (and action, and bad-ass-ness, and weapons).

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  3. Gwen does cry an awful lot, you’re right it’s really annoying.

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