Geek Girls Rule #18
I freaking love this series. I’ve actually seen the entire first season and WOW! It’s everything I always wanted from shows like “The X-Files” or “Special Unit Two” (both of which I like a lot). The writing is good, the acting’s good, the production values are good.
The series is a spin-off from the new “Dr. Who,” involving Captain Jack Harkness. Torchwood is a secret government body that is involved in policing a “rift” through which come aliens and extradimensional beings, as well as alien technology. In the course of the first season they combat the creatures we know as the Fae, murderous aliens, a “demon,” and some plain old cannibals. They answer only to the Prime Minister. There is a brief mention of Torchwood in the final episode of the second season of Dr. Who.
Unlike “The X-Files” where, with the exception of a few episodes*, Scully’s skepticism and Mulder’s fanatic belief in UFOs, the characters’ foibles were not really that well-explored, “Torchwood” is largely character-driven. Several episodes center around how the human condition reacts to the near god-like powers some of these alien technologies can bestow. From the mind-reading device given to Tosh in one episode, to the Glove that can restore life for a few moments, to one of the characters keeping his old girlfriend who’d been partially turned into a Cyberman alive, many of the plots point out that we aren’t just in danger from what’s out there, but also from what’s inside.
It also explores the relationships between the people working in such close quarters, who can’t tell anyone, not even loved ones, what they do.
While “Dr. Who” is aimed at a largely teen fanbase, “Torchwood” is definitely more adult in both subject matter and style.
I highly recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of the grittier “Dr. Who” episodes, “The X-Files,” or supernatural- or alien-themed sci-fi/fantasy.
*Okay, maybe they were in late episodes, but by the time we got to the alien assassin storyline I was so utterly burnt out on the show that I didn’t really watch it much.