Here at Talk To Rex, we don’t have any of those newfangled things that technology has brought us recently. Okay, so we’ve got a blog. But we don’t have digital telly – in fact, the other James doesn’t have a telly at all. As a result, I didn’t get to see Torchwood on Sunday, when it showed on BBC 3, but instead had to record it off BBC 2 on Wednesday night.
Just in case you were wondering why we hadn’t commented on it yet.
Anyway. I sat down with a very nice lamb dinner to watch the opening two episodes, and my main impression at this point is pretty good. The dark mood doesn’t feel forced, the two main characters feel real (the others are a bit more cardboard, but there is scope for them to develop and round out), I quite liked the music (which means it wasn’t too annoying or foreground), and although the design was sometimes a bit chunky (the Torchwood vehicle could be more cool, frankly) they’ve got the cool gadgets and they battle aliens.
But … but, but, but. There were a couple of bits that reminded me too much of the parts of Doctor Who where the writers can’t find an explanation for what needs to happen, so just come up with a magical explanation for it; that Russell T Davies turned Doctor Who from sci-fi into fantasy was grating, but for him to set up Torchwood as fantasy not sci-fi as well just suggests that he’s in completely the wrong job. And, although they manage to do more per episode than Doctor Who, it’s still a bit slow for my taste.
That’s pretty minor, though – but I do have to wonder whether we really need a low budget X-Files set in Cardiff.