Created by Russell T. Davies/Starring John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoko Mori, Gareth David-Lloyd, Kai Owen, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, & Bill Pullman/Music by Ben Foster & Murray Gold
Spin-off of Doctor Who
My rating: 3.5 of 5
Warning: Mature Audience
Police officer Gwen Cooper finds herself intrigued when she stumbles upon a small group of individuals calling themselves “Torchwood”–individuals who seems to be a special ops team above the law and who, when she first encounters them, temporarily raise the dead. Unable to let her fascination with Torchwood go, Gwen manages to get herself entangled and then recruited as their newest member. Under the leadership of Capt. Jack Harkness, she finds herself working with a brilliant but troubled team to do something she’d never imagined doing before: protect the earth from aliens! Gwen encounters impossible things and endures unimaginable challenges . . . but the hardest thing of all may be maintaining a normal relationship with her boyfriend Rhys outside of work, especially when she won’t even tell him what she’s really doing.
As much as I have enjoyed Doctor Who and the role of Capt. Jack Harkness in that story, it seemed natural to try Torchwood, Russell Davies’ spinoff series. And I did enjoy watching it, although not nearly as much as I did the original. I would say that the relationship between the two is something similar to the relationship between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel. The first is more innocent, more original, while the spinoff (in both instances) creeps into the realm of the adult police series (think CSI) with a paranormal tendency. Not necessarily a bad thing in either instance; just I’m personally less drawn to police sorts of shows. Also, Torchwood is definitely more adult in content–nudity, sex, language, etc. are definitely present, but it’s more than that. There’s a darkness, an existential depression to the story that can tend to make it, well, depressing. But I must say that, while the series doesn’t offer warm happiness all the time, it does inspire a feisty, determined spirit. And the choice of actors for those sorts of roles works very well, I have to admit. (Bonus points to the series for guest starring James Marsters in a very fitting role on more than one occasion.) I guess in the end, while I wouldn’t necessarily recommend watching Torchwood, I wouldn’t say “don’t watch it” either, as long as you’re over 18 and mentally stable (if you struggle with depression, don’t do it to yourself, really!); it really just depends on the individual whether you would like it or not.
Note: This TV series has 4 seasons. The first two are full seasons with the original cast. The third season, Children of Earth, is more like a long (very depressing) movie that’s been split into parts, and the fourth season, Miracle Day, is similar only longer and with a distinct American influence (which I didn’t really like). I would probably recommend the first two seasons much more than the latter two.