Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling

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2006-11-09 Evening Herald.jpg

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TORCHWOOD (BBC2)

I WONDER if the BBC is beginning to regret scheduling the excellent Torchwood in the relatively rarefied setting of BBC2 (with a prior screening on digital channel BBC3 on Sundays).

The first two episodes drew a healthy combined audience of almost five million from the two channels. Surely logic dictates that if it were shown on BBC1 it should automatically attract a much bigger audience?

But presumably old-fashioned television thinking decrees that a bit of gore, a whiff of bisexuality and the use of the occasional F-word might prove a turn-off for squeamish BBC1 viewers more used to the plastic Cockneys, social misery and cod-lesbianism of EastEnders.

Still, it seems a shame that so many people might be unwittingly missing out on so much fun. Four weeks into its run, Doctor Who's anagrammatic baby has skipped the crawling and walking stages altogether and is up and ferociously running as an entity in its own right.

For those non-Whovians (Torchwood-ians?) among you not in the know, Torchwood follows the adventures of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and his band of alien hunters, who operate out of an underground HQ in Cardiff.

Well, if the sleepy village of Midsomer can have so many murderers, why can't cosmopolitan Cardiff be an entry point for extraterrestrials? It makes perfect sense.

Still embittered at being stranded on earth at the end of the first series of Who, the Captain Jack of Torchwood is a much harder, more cynical character — though rubbing up, literally and figuratively, against the team's newest recruit, former cop Gwen, has begun to bring out his human side.

Like its progenitor, Torchwood — created and executive produced by the brilliant Russell T Davies — reveals its secrets gradually, and last night's was an absolute zinger, especially for crossover Who fans.

Dune Jones, the nervy, jerky, neglected member of the team, who's usually left back at base to make coffee and order pizza while the others dash off to do all the daring stuff, has been hiding his girlfriend, a half-converted Cyberwoman hooked up to a life-support unit, in the basement.

While the others were off investigating a UFO sighting, Ianto sneaked in a Japanese doctor in the hope of restoring her to normality.

Unfortunately, Ianto's girlfriend is suffering something of a woman-machine identity crisis and made a botched attempt to convert the doctor into a Cyberman, leaving Ianto with a very dead lump of meat and metal on his hands.

'This can't happen again!" Ianto wailed. A mysterious blanket-covered pile in the corner suggested it might have happened a few times before. Like Who, Torchwood manages to be daft, funny, thrilling and moving all at the one time. Exceptional stuff.

STACEY'S STARS ★★★★★

Caption: TORCHWOOD: Dr Who-like fantasy Is pulling in the viewers

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Stacey, Pat (2006-11-09). Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling. The Herald (Ireland) p. 42.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Stacey, Pat. "Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling." The Herald (Ireland) [add city] 2006-11-09, 42. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Stacey, Pat. "Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling." The Herald (Ireland), edition, sec., 2006-11-09
  • Turabian: Stacey, Pat. "Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling." The Herald (Ireland), 2006-11-09, section, 42 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Daft_and_funny_..._but_strangely_compelling | work=The Herald (Ireland) | pages=42 | date=2006-11-09 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 August 2019 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Daft and funny ... but strangely compelling | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Daft_and_funny_..._but_strangely_compelling | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=22 August 2019}}</ref>