I've been watching this week by week. I'm really enjoying it, but it isn't quite what I had hoped or expected. You have to know - I haven't seen the series of Doctor Who with Christopher Eccleston (this will be rectified eventually!) - So, I'm one of the few people who don't actually know Jack's history. I just read about Torchwood being more mature, saw it had Burn Gorman, who was amazing as Guppy in Bleak House and thought 'why not'.
Except - Torchwood isn't more mature, really, is it? It's the same level of maturity as Doctor Who with added swearing and sex. This was only amplified with PTERODACTYL VERSUS CYBERMAN - which, okay, was absolutely hilarious, but not what I'd call quality television. And I don't really mind, it's not like my maturity is all that great, I just get itchy when I see something which I think has a lot of potential and doesn't always match up to it. I have high expectations.
I really liked Ianto up until this episode. I'd have said he was my favourite character. He might still be, but I was disappointed. Burn Gorman continues to be an excellent actor, and is therefore excellent in making his character Owen really quite unlikeable. I thought he was brilliant in last week's episode, and that is what I would call a convincing portrayal of complex emotion. This week, Gareth David-Lloyd had the same kind of task with Ianto, and I'd say he didn't quite make it. Now, I don't think it was entirely him - it's not easy crying for an almost full half-hour, I should know, I've done it often enough. He completely reminded me of a very drunk Bernard Black when he was crying over wanting to save his girlfriend, and I get the feeling he wasn't supposed to.
I think John Barrowman as Captain Jack is great. I've seen some flashes of what I think is seriously cool. He's always travelling that fine line between extraordinarily cheesy and believeably powerful and I like him for that. Eve Myles annoys me a little bit. I don't know if it's her or Gwen as a character. I think it's a combination of them both. She's always a little too wide eyed for me. I think she's going to really grow as a character, though, and I look forward to that. I absolutely adore Gwen's boyfriend Rhys, and I think we're supposed to. That was something else that I thought was done really well in last week's episode - we got to actually see why we should like Rhys, instead of just being told that he's a sweetheart. I really like Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and I am hoping to see more of her character coming through in episodes to come.
This episode was written by Chris Chibnall, who not only wrote what I think is one of the most powerful Life on Mars episodes in many respects, but also wrote for Born and Bred, which is a show I enjoyed immensely. Chibnall has proved to be a very good writer, so I do find myself at a bit of a loss as to how a lot of the dialogue and action in this episode of Torchwood felt extremely clunky and melodramatic. (To that end - Matthew Graham, who is also a very good writer and co-creator of Life on Mars wrote what was arguably the worst episode of the last Tennant series of Doctor Who - "Fear Her".) The best moment of "Cyberwoman" was the romantic story of the last time Ianto told Lisa he didn't just love her for her body, which was a nice bit of absurdist comedy and very true-to-life. Nothing says love like a dog pissing on your tent.
As I said, I didn't really think much of the plot of the episode. It had some cool 'locked down horror movie' style elements, but it was mostly something ridiculous trying to emotionally resonate and I might be a cold-hearted bitch, but it didn't exactly do that with me. I can take silly and then heartbreaking within the space of forty-seconds. I am a due South fan. But it didn't do that. It tried.
There was the gratuitous snogging which - OI, GWEN YOU HAVE RHYS, OKAY? - amused me quite a bit. Jack's methods of resuscitation were... interesting, to say the least. And I liked seeing the team playing basketball.
I did enjoy the episode. I think last week's, "Ghost Machine", was probably my favourite so far (and I could still go on at length about what I'd change about it, because I am picky.) The first episode was all shiny new, the second was really very boring, last week's had a lot of excellent moments, and this week's was fun but could have done with tighter script-editing.
And I'm still really looking forward to next week's, so you know, I'm entertained!