With much of the business world cutting out early last week, I made a short day of it Friday and knocked off two of the remaining episodes of Torchwood:Children of Earth
that BBCA had marathoned a few weeks earlier. The other two got screened early and late yesterday. Taken as aired, it about met my expectations, from watching the first ep and remembering the Miracle Day
arc that followed it.
- It would lay out a near-impossible, world-ending scenario and then take way too long to resolve it;
- But they would, because, you know, Jack;
- And there would be sex because, ibid.
Even though this series was cut to "only" five installments on account of budget cuts at Broadcasting House, it still seemed that it could have been done in as few as three while still maintaining the tension, the character development, and, yes, even the Jack sex (which there wasn't that much of). Instead, we got about two extra hours of "vox pop" style fake news broadcasts to reinforce the storyline's worldwide impact; we got lots of soldiers marching about and rooms full of Ugly American scrambled-egg wearing generals (played, of course, by proper British actors) getting mad at Britain for being Britain;
and we got rooms full of kids that were just about as annoying when they weren't
channeling the aliens as they were when they were.
The original House of Cards
pulled its powerful punches in four commercial-free hours. RTD probably could have done the same with this tale, and could have used some of that screentime to explain things I haven't quite figured out, such as:
* If Johnson is smart enough to think to encase Jack in cement after a death to prevent him from being trouble after coming back to life, why wasn't she smart enough to remove the tomb and dump it at the bottom of the Channel, rather than leaving it in place for some improbable rescuer with access to both earth-moving equipment and
a convenient cliff to save him with?
* I get the bit about Jack's grandson needing to be the one to die in the end- but why did any
kid need to die? These guys have all types of alien technology- couldn't SOMETHING have been used to spoof a child's brain waves?
* And speaking of Jack (as one must), if you're the most wanted man in the UK and trying Not To Be Seen, is it REALLY a good idea to be tooling around in a Porsche while wearing the last Army-surplus full-length overcoat on the entire isle?
Ah, but all of those can wait for another day. Because most of what I watched, with special mindfulness, was the character of John Frobisher, seeing as his actor is now destined to become the Twelfth Doctor.
Capaldi's got quite a bit of gravitas
going, that's for certain. How much is his and how much was this role, remains to be seen. It's going to be odd hearing him pull off his first "wibbly-wobbly-timey-wimey" line. But as far as his potential for range, for empathy, for getting in and out of impossible situations? I think we're good to go:)
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