Torchwood 1×6 – Countrycide

Okay. I surrender. I’ve had enough. It’s just too bad. I need to listen to the Carusometer more often. Last night’s episode was truly awful and I’m just going to give up on the show. If I need to know any crossover info between Torchwood and Doctor Who, I’ll look it up in Wikipedia from now on.

Now there were some good points. Let’s try to give praise where praise is due, lest all three of the MSN Torchwood fans start to throw a hissy fit again.

There were some actual, near-adult conversations, although most of the characters seem to have the same emotional maturity as the average, slightly nerdy 16 year-old (no offence intended to any sophisticated 16-year-olds):

“When was the last time you had a snog?”

Possible adult answers:

“F— off like it’s any of your business”

“Last week. When was the last time you ——…”

And so on.

Torchwood answer: “Last Christmas with Owen.” Long, deep, awkward teenager pause from woman in her mid-20s.

Anyone want to tell her why she’s not getting any?

We also finally got to scratch Ianto’s surface again to expose the still-raw dead girlfriend issue which no one wanted to talk about last episode.

But for every good bit, there were ten legions of bad bits to match, marching towards us to crush our souls beneath their feet like so many Imperial Stormtroopers. For example, the really poor attempted adult dialogue later on, when Owen’s appalling chat-up line to Gwen revealed exactly why’s he been needing to use alien date-rape pheromones to pull*.

So for the rest of the show, which dragged as though someone had tied a comedy cartoon anchor to it and thrown it out the back of the Torchwood Range Rover, I sat there wondering if I was watching possibly the STUPIDEST HUMAN BEINGS WHO EVER LIVED. I couldn’t even begin to list all the stupid things they do. But here’s a quick question, car owners: when have you ever left your keys in the ignition when in a strange part of town or the countryside? Could you ever imagine a situation in which you would?

Or how about Captain Jack’s action scene (those who watched it will know what I mean)? Seriously, that was your plan, my friend? Did you get your military training in “complete jesse” camp? “Hang on, evil bastards, while I reload my antiquated six-shooter. It’ll take a couple of minutes because my speed-loader’s in my other replica Second World War RAF long-coat, but you all can hang on looking mildly disconcerted for a while, can’t you? Please don’t limp and attack me all at once while I’m doing it. Okay?”

Couple that with every other piece of complete incompetence by the Torchwood team and I’m now wondering if Torchwood 4 is really missing. I reckon they’re actually tooling up to take out Torchwood Cardiff before the useless bunch leave the gas on back at HQ and blow up the rift (Who’s guarding the place while Ianto and co go camping? The pterodactyl? What happens if the intruders aren’t covered in barbecue sauce? Will the pterodactyl know what to do then?).

So no more Torchwood for me. I’d have loved to have loved it. But I can’t. I just can’t. Maybe they’ll have fixed it by next series. Let me know below if you really want me to keep reviewing it, but I’d rather not, if it’s all the same to you.

Incidentally, do you think the producers knew this was going to be the episode where everyone decided enough was enough, so deliberately made the next one the rampant lesbos** episode?

* Actually, it’d probably work on Wind Street in Swansea of a Saturday night and Gwen sounds more a Swansea girl than a Cardiff girl***, so maybe that explains it. They actually get pre-pissed before a night on the town: I’ve seen people throwing up in the taxi on the way there. At 7pm.

** I use the term advisedly, because you know and I know they’re going to be titillating lesbos™, written for the pleasure of FHM readers, rather than actual lesbians.

*** Ystradgynlais girl if we’re going to get picky, then.

BTW, there’s a brief clip on the Torchwood web site of RTD praising PJ Hammond. At least he recognises the greatness of one of Britain’s best ever television writers.

  • Ah, the Llareggub Chain Saw Massacre. ‘Twas bollocks.
    I thought the script was actually much better then Cyberwoman, but seeing as that was the worst 45min of British TV ever, it’s still firmly in the awful category. What the hell was Ianto doing there? Has Chris Chibnall ever actually heard people speaking? And it was a recycled Hammer House of Horror plot, anyway.
    And oh God, the direction. None of the characters look like they know how to hold a gun, let alone use one. Fred and Rose West of the Valleys were doing the worst sort of fictional-country-retard gurning (and Owen Teale is much better than that). There was no tension in any of the armed standoff scenes.
    And Owen’s a rapist again. There is no way Gwen would not have kneed him in the balls during that excruciating bit in the woods.
    A friend of mine who’s worked in British and American TV is fond of saying that there are no British TV directors who can handle tension and action. I’m beginning to think he’s right.

  • Mark H Wilkinson

    You know, I actually really liked this one.* But then, I liked the character work here, and though the ‘You townies don’t unnerstan’ our country cannibal ways’-scenario churned out a lot of horror cliches — the ineptness of the team being but one — for me, they pulled it off.
    * Which bollocks up my theory that they were alternating between rubbish and not too bad.

  • Craig

    Oddly enough, I totally forgot this was on during Sunday evening, and ended up watching some of our West Wing 7 DVD set. I suspect I probably got the better end of the deal.

  • Sulamite Tepfers

    “Countrycide” – fantastic! The review, not the episode!
    I only wish I’d said that instead of just sitting in despair with disappointment stamped on my forhead. It was nothing but gratuitous violence of no purpose that I could see.

  • Sulamite Tepfers

    P.S.: pleae do not give up writing about Torchwood = your’s is a sane voice in the wilderness.

  • I’m just glad I gave up before CYBERWOMAN!

  • I have to say I thought it was dire… whoever thought that Owen and Gwen getting it on was a good character move: shotgun please!
    And was anyone else as disappointed as I was in a ‘sci-fi’ programme (term used in loosest sense) that offered up such a pathetic ending to the ‘climax’? I mean, even the dorky trio from Buffy season 6 attempted to use magic/superpowers etc…

  • I s’pose Torchwood can be horror as well as sci-fi if it wants. Of course, they might aspire to good horror, rather than utterly illogical, stupid, predictable horror.
    As for who thought Owen and Glen should have an affair, that would be RTD, I think, judging from that Times interview he gave.

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  • shannon

    i LOVE torchwood and i realy LOVE captain jack harkness!!!

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