OK, that was actually quite good. This is the first one so far where I’ve been fully engrossed in watching the episode, without being regularly distracted by something stupid and/or annoying to take me out of the story. The team were a lot nicer to each other than usual, more relatable, and a hell of a lot more competent, despite ending up getting locked in their own base. It was like a proper detective show, where the peril is caused by the machinations of the guest villain, rather than by the heroes being a bunch of clowns.
The villain in question was of course the former decoy team member, and it was great fun to see her getting progressively more evil as her ridiculously complicated plan unfolded. I can just about get on board with the explanation of how she pulled it all off, but I wasn’t convinced by how suddenly Torchwood figured it out – it’s a hell of a leap that Jack makes from Warden Knot reciting a poem to “Suzie spent two years training this man to unwittingly lock the Hub down”.
It’s another leap when they’re trying to override the lockdown, and Tosh suddenly suggests typing in the ISBN of a poetry book on a keyboard that’s not connected to anything. And a hell of a leap takes place when we’re told that Gwen has “minutes” to live when they’re driving in the middle of the night, and then we cut to the car pulling up in broad daylight. But hey, this is Torchwood – compared to any previous episode, these are just minor niggles.
This was the show finally doing what it promised to do – presenting an exciting sci-fi adventure that’s written for adults, tackling heavy issues like the nature of life and death, with some degree of intelligence. That’s new. Plus, it’s always good to see The Shend, playing a character I have much sympathy with – I usually react like that when I hear the word “Torchwood”. Yasmin Bannerman, who is now no longer a tree, was also on hand for the mini Red Dwarf VIII reunion.
I’ve still got no bloody idea what the hell Jack and Ianto are getting up to with that stopwatch, though.
A short pause now, as I’m busy all weekend. I’m not just putting off watching more Torchwood, honest.