Archive for the “Torchwood” Category


It’s an interesting time to be a Torchwood fan. First of all, you have to be able to watch the show past that Cyberwoman episode. Which means you have to spend some time defending the show from the people who couldn’t watch past that episode. You also have to find some way to talk about how you’re glad that the show found a way to put a gay relationship in the foreground of a sci-fi action drama without sounding like an obsessive shipper who only watches the show as fodder for slash-fic stories.

Which all made the meltdown over the third series, broadcast over five nights as a mini-series, so interesting. Given it’s biggest audience and biggest venue yet, the show performed very well and attracted critical acclaim.
And fans raged.

As for the praise, it was well deserved. “Children of Earth” was a fantastically plotted, amazingly acted television event. A frequent point of criticism for the series is that, while it aspires to mature story-telling and was presented as a more “adult” take on Doctor Who, producers and writers seemed to think that all you needed to make a sci-fi series mature was add in lots of swearing, violence and sex. It’s a partly valid complaint, and the unevenness of the first season is testament to that. But by the second series most of the tonal problems had worked themselves out and the show was able to balance a sophistication in story and character with a self-deprecating sense of humor. That frequently focused on sex. This third series continued that evolution even more, and it’s probably telling that shortening the series to one story told over multiple episodes allowed for a more carefully crafted and thoughtful approach to the series than the need to get out thirteen weeks worth of episodes out the door.

The regular cast do a remarkable job, with Gareth David-Lloyd in particular turning in a excellent performance, and Eve Myles stepping up and showing us a Gwen that wasn’t quite always there in previous seasons but comes to the fore remarkably as well. The supporting cast, particularly Peter Capaldi as ill-fated civil servant John Frobisher, do excellent jobs as well. It’s a terribly well-acted show, and writers Russell T. Davies, James Moran and John Fay should be congratulated for giving such meaty roles for strong actors. If there is a fault to be found with the show, it’s in the rather laggy pacing, particularly in “Day Five”, which frequently felt like a thirty-minute story padded out to sixty.

There are some nice nods to the wider universe the show appears in as well, with Gwen making a fairly convincing case as to why, in certain times of deep crisis, the Doctor doesn’t appear on Earth. It’s a telling indictment, since for those who have been watching the new series of Doctor Who, a significant part of the problem faced here can be traced back to the Doctor upsetting history by removing Harriet Jones from power. And, of course, even if it is slightly selfish praise, it is nice to see a big, mainstream, action sci-fi show headlined by an openly gay man that places one of its heroic leads in a same-sex relationship.

And now, for those of you wishing to avoid spoilers, don’t read past the uncomfortable looking gentleman…

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Context

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The “get the cast, have them stare at the camera, looking bored” trend that is.

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Harvey Comics Classics Vol. 5: The Harvey Girls: I know the truism when it comes to comics is that someone, somewhere, is masturbating to it, but oh, God, please no…let it not be true this time…


Magicman is quite possibly the gayest super-hero ever. And I’m finding it really hard to believe there’s enough perceived demand for a $60 hard-cover collection of his adventures. Unless I’m really misjudging the demand for flamingly effeminate super-heroes in tacky drag.


It’s cute how publishers like to pretend that celebrities have more involvement in the creation of the comics bearing their name than having their assistants sign off on the likeness rights…

So, now that IDW has the licenses for G.I. Joe, Transformers, Angel, Star Trek, Galaxy Quest, Ghostbusters and Doctor Who, is “mega-crossover” too much to expect? ‘Cause, you know, I would pay top dollar for a comic in which Davros, Cobra Commander and Megatron team-up to take over the world.

Sterling Publishing has been putting out these nice omnibus editions of Asterix, and I love them to bits, as they’re much nicer and better value than the individual volumes, but the way they’re going about publishing them drives me batty. They released volumes one and eleven first, and this month they solicit volumes two and ten.
Seriously, guys, putting them out in numerical order is just as good, if not better.

Last month Tokyopop solicited forty-four titles, and it was a light month for them. This month they solicit sixteen. It’s not hard to see the writing on the wall at this point. And yes, I’ve already got a draft version of my “I come to bury Tokyopop, not to praise it” post saved. I’m thinking of titling it “Lessons the Comics Industry Should Learn from the Manga Bubble Bursting, But Won’t.”


I’m curious to know how much space, if any, will be devoted to the fact that Leyendecker was gay and that his work is, well, teeming with homoeroticism. I like Leyendecker’s work, but in most of the things I’ve read about him, his sexuality is either ignored or used as an excuse to claim his work is inferior. Because gay men can’t draw women, apparently.

So there are five different L. Ron Hubbard books for sale in Previews, at $10 each. I wonder how many credits for cleared Thetans you get if you buy them all?


I know of a spoiler for the Tropic Thunder film that makes this piece of merchandise hilariously ironic. And it’s the kind of irony that that film’s target audience, I suspect, will not appreciate.


Huh. I, uh, I may want a twelve inch tall “Indy disguised as ‘German'” action figure…


GOD-FUCKING-DAMMIT, JAPAN!
It’s that she’s covered in pink slime more than anything else, this time.

Speaking of Japan, I’m not the only one really skeeved out by the popularity of “bandaged Rei Ayanami” figures, right?

Out of the four Torchwood cups for sale, two of them feature Gwen and Jack. None of them feature Jack and Ianto. Do the marketing people not watch the show?

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I know some of you are busy arguing over how badly a comic you haven’t read yet sucks, or complaining that the resurrection of a character messes up your fan-fiction, but I figured a few of you might like to know that the latest issue of the Torchwood magazine features the first part of a comic by Simon Furman and Paul Grist…

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