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Torchweek

Well, I really think that was one of the best things I have ever seen on television. The twists, the turns, the tension, the emotional impact. Every single person in it was brilliant, every character fully fleshed out, every development of the plot meaningful and logical. Seriously - WOW. I am genuinely sorry that I will never be able to have the experience of watching it fresh, and gasping and squealing with each new discovery, ever again.

The one worry tonight was that RTD would bring out the Total Bollocks Overdrive. Yes, the solution was arrived at surprisingly rapidly, and it was also extremely neat, as it rather has to be if the conventions of the Whoniverse (viz, that at the end of the story it could still conceivably be our universe) are to be left intact. But the Earth wasn't dragged halfway across the universe; gruelling experiences which the characters had been through were not totally wiped out; there was no deus ex machina, no magic fairy dust and no need to resort to a parallel universe in order to have things both ways. In short, someone was obviously exercising a restraining hand on the greater excesses of Rusty's imagination - and good for them.

The only other thing I'll pause to note is how much Jack's decision about Steven (his grandson) reminded me of Agamemnon's decision about Iphigeneia in the mythology of the Trojan War (and especially Euripides' Iphigeneia at Aulis. Agamemnon must choose between public duty and private affection when the gods ask him to sacrifice his daughter, Iphigeneia, in order to placate Artemis and allow the Greek army to set sail on their war against Troy. Jack doesn't take long to make the decision once it is forced upon him, but the same agony is clearly there, and I found it extremely compelling.

As for the future - the door is still open, I suppose, at the very least for Jack to turn up on Doctor Who at some time. Given the enormous success this mini-series has had in terms of audience ratings, there have got to be pressures in favour of a repeat. But tonight felt to me a very great deal like a final act of closure. And although I'm sad about that - WHAT a closure.

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Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
big_daz
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
It seems a shame that it should end on such a high note, but I suppose its better than dragging on for a couple of years and then getting cancelled because its run out of steam.

Another possibility would be a reboot and have a series featuring the Victorian Torchwood that has already been glimpsed- I would imagine the period settings woudl bump production costs up a bit though.
strange_complex
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Ooh, now there's an idea! I'd enjoy that.
(Deleted comment)
strange_complex
Jul. 10th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
It was like living two weeks in parallel: my own, and Torchwood's. Absolutely brilliant.
myfirstkitchen
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:23 pm (UTC)
Sigh. Yes. Though I thought Steven would be sacrificed and that they'd reverse the signal somehow. The sense of tragedy (as in proper dramatic tragedy) was immense. Peter bloody Capaldi, with his red-rimmed eyes throughout. Brilliant.

Jack's coming back for the end of Ten, I believe, so I wonder where that fits in his travels/angst? Glad they left all the real acting to those who could, though.

I think Lois leaves things open, too. She's not going to let it lie forever. Especially if she ever meets Martha...
myfirstkitchen
Jul. 10th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the whole Goebbels bit, which has haunted me since childhood.
strange_complex
Jul. 11th, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
Peter bloody Capaldi, with his red-rimmed eyes throughout.

Gods, yes. His death scene was absolutely masterful. And it's for the sake of scenes like that that I really don't mind about the slightly unrealistically quick'n'easy resolution to the actual Alien Threat. If more time had been spent working out detailed and clever resolutions to that, it would have left less time for all the wonderful character development and, as you say, proper dramatic tragedy that we actually got. And I'm all for the tragedy.
rich_r
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:14 am (UTC)
As you say, all the characters had superb scripts. Even Rhys played a much fuller part. Gwen's character had moved back to being the central role, as in the first series - and she had some fantastic lines.

I think it's still open enough for a revival in a couple of years. Once Gwen's had her baby, Lois will almost certainly feature, and obviously Martha's still available. Andy the policeman knows too much about Torchwood to be left out completely too. Given that Jack's pretty much guaranteed to pop up in the next series of Dr. Who, he can keep the link alive.

ladyguinevere83
Jul. 11th, 2009 08:56 am (UTC)
Overall, I really enjoyed the series. I loved it being a five-parter; it was like a return to the old Doctor Who serials, which is something I've been wanting for DW for a while. I love multi-episode arcs.

Throughout it, particularly after Ianto died, I was expecting there to be a reset button of some kind, or some hitherto unknown way out of it, but I was kind of glad there wasn't. The last episode was dark in a way that I hadn't expected, and though it gives me a perculiar feeling, I'm glad they did that.

Jack has a lot of redemption to go to make up for it though, a lot of soul searching to do before he can come to terms with it. If they bring him back in either series without addressing that, I will be mightily annoyed.
rosaguestlist
Jul. 14th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Yes, I thought it was like having the old style of Doctor Who story back, rather than the current ADD generation approach. I also liked the fact that virtually no special effects were really required - this script could easily have been filmed fifty years ago (bar some of the content). Using the smoke filled chamber relied on suggestion to an extent that I didn't think anyone would ever do anymore.

I thought Capaldi's was probably the best piece of acting since Doctor Who returned.

- K
strange_complex
Jul. 14th, 2009 07:25 pm (UTC)
Yes, that's a good point about the use of suggestion. I certainly noticed it and was impressed by it, but hadn't got as far as thinking how unusual it is these days - more's the pity.

And indeed - Capaldi was absolutely masterful.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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