5 Things I'd Like to See on the Next Torchwood

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Well guys, the word is in. We'll be reviewing the season past in an upcoming podcast, but Australian television has given us the news that "Jack will be back in 2012." Not sure what this means, as Jack was barely there in 2011. Ahem. We don't want to predict a total disaster, as Torchwood has wildly varied in quality in the past, so it's very possible that in 2011, we'll catch Torchwood on an upswing.

Here are a few things we'd like to see in any future series of Torchwood:

1. More Jack, lighter Jack, omnisexual Jack

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One thing that significantly ruined my enjoyment of this series was the complete lack of Jack. I wasn't counting, but it felt like he was given about 5 minutes per episode, apart from the flashback with Angelo.

People watch this show for Jack, and to a lesser extent Gwen. Not Mekhi Phifer, though he seems to think he's the star of the show.

Also, I'm not wholly sure why this last series made Jack out to be explicitly gay instead of his usual, fun-loving, anything goes self. If children can handle it on a family show (Doctor Who), then I'm pretty sure American viewers of Starz can handle it. I mean really. Have you seen Spartacus? Or Camelot? If Starz audiences can handle incest, they can definitely handle Jack kissing boys and girls. And aliens.

2. They begin anew

There was so much filler this season that I don't see how the writers could justify a cliffhanger. Sure, they wanna keep some mystery alive for the next season, but I kinda hope they forget this entire storyline and start anew.

When you make a crisis so large-scale, it becomes difficult to care about the fate of any one side character, like Esther's sister, Gwen's dad, and so on. Even though the threat was very horrible, the threat never quite felt real. I never felt that our heroes were in danger. I hope that if the series continues, the challenge is much more intimate.

3. Stop dropping the interesting plotlines

There was so much time spent on plotlines that ultimately went nowhere, like Esther's family troubles and the increasingly pointless CIA shenanigans, and of course the ultimate wasted plotline: Oswald Danes. I think the show would have been much stronger if they'd limited those stories to short scenes and given us more time with Mare Winningham's tea party lady, C. Thomas Howell's mysterious assassin and the actual workings of Jilly Kitzinger's job.

I'm going to make this really simple for the writers: If you have an actress who's been nominated for an Oscar on your show, don't kill her off in one episode.

4. Maybe if we have more American characters, they don't all have to be completely vile/useless?

Perhaps the writers feel that since Jack's American, there's the representative positive American character. But come on guys. He has the accent, but we know he's an alien.

Everyone was tolerable by the end, but that's kind of a terrible journey to make. "From dumb and useless to slightly less useless! Get your tickets here!" From rapey asshole to immortal being! Yikes.

This was exacerbated by the show's inexplicable need to keep killing off all the interesting/likeable characters, like Vera Juarez or Kira Nerys.

5. Please do not leave behind the Rex subplot

I have ranted and railed against Rex Matheson, but the twist in the finale genuinely makes me want to see what happens to him. Is he as immortal as Jack or will he be something...different?

I still don't think he can carry off being the lead of the show, though. It would be great to stick him in a coma while Jack and Gwen investigate what effect his existence has on the world.

What would you guys like to see from a future Torchwood series?

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37 Responses to “ 5 Things I'd Like to See on the Next Torchwood ”

  1. Mike Stop Continues15 September 2011 05:52

    I would have loved it if Torchwood leaped down into the Blessing at the end of the season. That, I think, would have been a much more exciting cliffhanger.

    If the show does get another season, by all means, give us more Jack! (And more omnisexual Jack!) Give us a plot that needs every episode to tell!

    You might my review of the finale:
    http://tvgeekarmy.com/post/viewPost/torchwood_miracle_day_the_blood_line_to_have_loved_and_lost/6c89c6fd652cfd9f2e44dc0bfcd28138

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  2. "And thusly they all leapt into the giant vagina in the center of the earth."

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  3. Absolutely agree with all your points and loved this line: "Not sure what this means, as Jack was barely there in 2011."  I actually really disliked Nana Visitor's character (Olivia Colasanto) so I was quite glad to see her go but yes, could have done with a bit more of Vera Juarez.

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  4. I'd just like to see less of Russell T. Davies. Miracle Day put all his worst attributes to the fore and despite having watched all sorts of rubbish on TV - for God's sake, I watched Heroes through to the end! - I have never felt like my time was being so thoroughly wasted as when everything being developed in episodes two through seven was revealed to be a huge red herring. (Not literally, though that would have been more fun).

    Here's my dissection of everything that went wrong with the season:

    http://xandermarkham.blogspot.com/2011/09/jack-of-all-trades-torchwood-miracle.html

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  5. So true. I would be happy if they got rid of him and brought in someone new. I was telling someone earlier in the series that the show committed the cardinal sin of BEING BORING.

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  6. I really liked Vera! Fair enough on Colasanto, I think I mostly enjoyed having two Star Trek stars in one episode.

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  7. plot holes the size of continental land masses, superfluous characters galore, and while I don't have an issue with suspending belief for the sake of a good premise the thought that there's channel going thru the planet undetected for generations, only to be exploited by our erstwhile villains struck me as just a tad unlikely. Concepts had some merit, casting was mixed and the writing and use of the main characters was abysmal  Now if you wanted to have the blessing exposed, say by the planet being cored as the start of the Miracle Day phenomenon, that would have been okay.  Then the nefarious three families using their invisible guiding hand to exploit said channel to "reverse" The Blessing from within the local governments themselves, that would have been more plausible.  Although how you see three families working together in the 1920's on and one of them being Black is a bit of a stretch, still all that being said, bad Torchwood is still better than no Torchwood.

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  8. Those are all good points! However, in this case, I'm not sure that bad Torchwood is better than no Torchwood. They didn't even give us light, humorous moments to latch onto.

    I wasn't so bothered by one of the crime bosses being black. There were a number of black bootleggers during Prohibition.

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  9. The problem is that, Children Of Earth apart, it has all mostly been bad Torchwood!

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  10. Torchwood 5 or maybe they could find TW 4 - it would allow the bring back some features from s1 and 2
    A new Hub!
    Torchwood back in the UK as it is a British series and was better with a British format.
    More humour - innuendos and Gwen's welsh humour
    Less pointless characters and better writing skillls

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  11. Lol. I think that as RTD is the real problem, it doesn't matter where you set it. Need to get rid of him!
    And yes, I regret not putting more humor on my list.

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  12. Since when has Jack been an alien?

    I thought he was a human, from the future, who has been altered by exposure to pure tardis time energy or something like that, and is now immortal. 
     

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  13. derperpwhatthederp16 September 2011 09:51

    oh wait. unless you mean alien as in a foreigner... 

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  14. They definitely state what planet he's from in one of the Doctor Who episodes, I can't remember which one.
    He's from the Boeshane peninsula in Planet ____

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  15. You make some good points.  Thanks for commenting on my review.  I find it refreshing to read all opinions positive or negative.  But you have to agree that Miracle Day was a neat idea at least.

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  16. I think that what could have been a really good 6-7 episode series got dragged out to a harder to manage 10. Stretching it out left many plot holes and unanswered questions.

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  17. Good blog. I agree with your comments. I personally think that Starz have spoiled a good british science fiction show.And I think It should have been 5 episodes and not dragged out into the 10 episodes. 

    If you want to know what else I thought, then please read my review:-

    http://sfhdominion.wordpress.com/2011/09/16/torchwood-miracle-day-the-final-episode-my-review/ 

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  18. I think you kind of missed the point of the "blessing"  I saw it as the metaphor of the unification of the human race that is the truth, even though we keep separating ourselves from each other.   It was cleverly concealed and probably most missed the point so don't blame yourself for being one of them.  We are all human, we are tied together, we are one voice.  Here was the answer to that connection but it was buried so deeply we didn't recognize it. We have inherited this from the planet from which we arose even though we refuse to accept its gift of union.  It is god.  It gives us life and joy and fear and despair.  We search the heavens while it dwells beneath our feet.  It cares not about us as individuals but as a whole.   The things glimpsed from the corner of the eye.  Not ghosts as the Chinese lady feared but the rest of humanity attached to us. When people came close they could feel it and it gave them insight into their own soul. Some could not bear to come up against themselves like that, they died as did the Chinese agent sent to check out what was going on.   Pragmatic, Welsh, Gwen:  She could handle her guilt,  just as Oswald could handle his sin.  It hurt for a minute but something they had both become used to living with.  Jack found that his lives had been worthwhile. He has done some terrible things but for noble reasons.  He as always tried to be a good man.  As for red herrings. I did not see any red herrings.  There are story lines left open for possible other series to complete.  Life, after all continues after any story is wound up.  Are we so used to neat and happy endings that we cannot embrace the idea of things left swinging in the wind to come upon later.  Stephen Moffat does it with Dr. Who all the time.  Inexplicable things happen that are never explained and the story line projects from one series to the next.  As it was said by Matt Smith :   Stephen will ask a question in episode 2 of series 3 and answer it in episode 10 of series 6.  It is just the way things are in the Whoniverse of which, we should never forget, Torchwood is part.  Jack is not an alien.  He is a future human.  I will vote for more Jack.  There was not enough of him and he got outheroed by Gwen way too often, but I have thought that throughout the entire Torchwood story.  The other characters that were described as being useless were there to tell us the story of our everyday selves.  The selfish, arrogant, incompetent, cruel human beings that we are but also the fine, selfless, humanity loving, human beings we are.  All in HD full screen living color.   

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  19. Children of Earth was awesome.

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  20. Oh, I love the actress, don't get me wrong.  But Olivia Colasanto was meant to be disingenuous and duplicitous and Nana Visitor pulled that off really well, which is why I was glad to see the back of her.

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  21. Good point!

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  22. Agreed. I forgive the entire series for that story arc's existence.

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  23. I haven't watched the new season, yet, but your thoughts seem to jibe pretty well with the other reviewers I trust, and doesn't put me in a hurry to catch up on the season. I want a fun Jack, an inquisitive Gwen, with side characters to support/frustrate those qualities and a decent plot to watch them operate. It shouldn't be that hard. And I honestly don't know if the problem is too much Davies or not enough Davies. Series 3 was the best of the bunch according to just about everyone and that contained the most hands-on Davies writing, didn't it?

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  24. So, yeah, this post inspired a near two-thousand word ramble on whether DOCTOR WHO would be better off replacing the Ponds with Gwen Cooper. (Really "Gwen Cooper" more than Gwen Cooper, if you catch the meaning.) Thanks? :)

    http://atomicanxiety.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/doctor-who-is-it-time-to-have-gwen-cooper-replace-the-ponds/

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  25. oooh that sounds controversial and I can't wait to read it!

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  26. All of your points are excellent, especially #1 ;-)  I found MD to be guilty of the one unpardonable television sin: it was boring! I am a fan of Torchwood, but I have to confess to fast-forwarding through most of every episode except Immortal Sins (#7). MD's plot was so poorly executed that it just became stupid, but I still could have enjoyed the series if they hadn’t wasted the assets they did have:
    1) You have a character who is an incredibly charming, omnisexual, immortal space buccaneer from the future who has lived through hundreds of years of history on Earth, so what do you do? Apparently, the answer is to write him out of most of the series! That way not a single new viewer will have any clue as to why the opening credits have "John Barrowman" listed first.2) You have an Institute that has battled aliens for over a hundred years, has a fascinating and secret history of missions to save humanity and has scavenged all kinds of alien technology, so what do you do? Apparently, the answer is to wipe out all reference to it so that not a single new viewer will have any clue as to why the opening credits have "Torchwood" in the title.Without Captain Jack, Torchwood Institute continuity, or cool SF elements like aliens or advanced tech, there was nothing to distract us from the bloated "drama" populated by irritating new characters. This attempt to be topical while dangling pointless plot threads was not entertaining at all. Had RTD done more of the writing, we would at least have had some decent dialogue, but as Executive Producer he dropped the ball.I sincerely hope that Torchwood can redeem itself after this -- otherwise I will have to pretend that the series ended after CoE.
    1) You have a character who is an incredibly charming, omnisexual, immortal space buccaneer from the future who has lived through hundreds of years of history on Earth, so what do you do? Apparently, the answer is to write him out of most of the series! That way not a single new viewer will have any clue as to why the opening credits have "John Barrowman" listed first.

    2) You have an Institute that has battled aliens for over a hundred years, has a fascinating and secret history of missions to save humanity and has scavenged all kinds of alien technology, so what do you do? Apparently, the answer is to wipe out all reference to it so that not a single new viewer will have any clue as to why the opening credits have "Torchwood" in the title.

    Without Captain Jack, Torchwood Institute continuity, or cool SF elements like aliens or advanced tech, there was nothing to distract us from the bloated "drama" populated by irritating new characters. This attempt to be topical while dangling pointless plot threads was not entertaining at all. Had RTD done more of the writing, we would at least have had some decent dialogue, but as Executive Producer he dropped the ball.
    I sincerely hope that Torchwood can redeem itself after this -- otherwise I will have to pretend that the series ended after CoE.

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  27. that's so true! I mean, there wasn't that much continuity between seasons before, but this season they've abandoned even the basic premise.

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  28. Yeah, I pretty much agree with all of this. There was much potential wasted, especially with Danes/Kitzinger. Hopefully Davies will step aside and let a new team take over the show. He just doesn't seem to know what he's doing anymore.

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  29. You know, I noticed the Jack only going with men thing as well, but I also noticed that on several occasions he wanted to tell Gwen how he felt about her.  It's clear that he loves her (and not in the platonic sense, but true, deep love), so I think that because of that love, he just doesn't want other women.  Ever since she rejected him at the beginning of series two, and he fell back on Ianto (after that rejection), he just doesn't seem to want women anymore.

    Although to be honest, Jack in Torchwood is a lot darker and more serious than light-hearted jack on Doctor Who.  It's always been that way.  It's a noticeable change, but maybe it's something to do with the Doctor, and when he's away traveling through space and time with him, he can let go of all the serious things that he has to deal with leading Torchwood.

    Honestly, the dropped subplots weren't as much of an issue for me than the inconsistencies with the dead.  People don't die.  You literally see a woman whose neck is completely broken and her head is facing her back get up and chase them down the street.  You see a person who is burned to a crisp still moving (slightly) after you sever his spinal cord.   Last episode.  Oh, broken necks, now they're "category 1" and they're completely paralyzed and can't move.  What?  It's like all of a sudden dead people become paralyzed and unconscious when before they got up and walked away.  It was stupid.  The whole show was stupid.  Let's be honest.  There were entire episodes where nothing happened.  The whole two episode arc about Angelo was unnecessary except the two minutes where you learn about the family and see they took his blood.  That TWO hours could be boiled down to five minutes. 

    Also, apparently Esther became some sort of nurse in her past, as she's capable of drawing blood and giving ENTIRE BODY blood transfusions on couches.  Really?  On some dirty couch, they're going to replace all of Rex's blood with Jack's "mortal" blood and his body isn't going to go into "category one"?  Are they even the same blood type? 

    It reminds me of when they saved the Doctor by having the entire world think about him at once.  Really?  Is he Tinkerbell?  It's like the writers write themselves into these completely unresolvable situations and just make up some sort of crap which makes no sense in order to end things. 

    The thing about Miracle Day which annoyed me the most was I kept watching it and telling my parnter, "Oh it will get better, it has to."  And then it didn't.  Then it just kept getting more ridiculous, stupid, and pointless, and I wasted 10 hours of my life on a story and characters that I ended up not really caring about.

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  30. RTD wasn't in charge of MD he just kept a little eye on it, he was more prominant in TW Series 1+2 and everyone loved them two series. When he started releasing his influence on TW thats when it people started to complain that series 'wasn't as good'.

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  31. 1. Bring back Ianto. Seriously, it does not feel like Torchwood without his cheeky commentary and romance with Jack.
    2. Move back to the UK. Rebuild the Hub.
    3. If I can't have Ianto back, then continue with Gwyn/Rhys as the core romantic pairing of the show. Gwen and Jack work best as immeasurably close friends, but no more than that. Both Eve and John have said that Gwen and Jack don't have a romantic kind of chemistry. They
    4. No more Rex. Please.
    5. Bring back Ianto. It's sci-fi. Anything can happen.

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  32. All that said and done... I have some serious questions to ask.

    What the hell happened to the rift in Cardiff. The first two seasons, there was a new Alien life form everyday ( more than one many times). Did the rift just disappear? What happened to the weevils?

    I think Torchwood could really do better with some inspiration. A Doctor Who crossover maybe? Maybe I am just a hopeless optimist.Sigh.

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  33. Chris Mckenzie23 August 2012 20:44

    The rift was destroyed in the radio play Torchwood: The Lost Files- The House of the Dead. Ianto was brought back for a short time and then died again destroying the rift for good. So no more rift and no hope of bringing back Ianto.

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  34. RTD is NOT the problem. AT ALL. In fact, Russel put a lot of work into past seasons and VERY little into Miracle Day. So the opposite it true.

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  35. Chris Mckenzie23 August 2012 20:49

    Unfortunetly, brining back Ianto is impossible. Even for sci-fi. Read my other post above.

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  36. Ethan Finamore23 August 2012 20:53

    Russel BARELY had a part in Miracle Day! SO not his fault.

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  37. Earth. He lives on Earth.

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