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.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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