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Time lord's X-rated flop

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2006-10-26 Daily Express.jpg


WHILE watching BBC2's TORCHWOOD, the long-awaited, heavily-publicised Doctor Who spin-off series, I was reminded of St Paul's letter to the Corinthians: "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things."

An unearthly mixture of The X Files and "'Allo 'Allo!"- plus a dash of the Pontypridd Players' Christmas 1977 production of Aladdin - this show is definitely not for kids. But it's hard to know quite who it is meant for at this stage, since so much of last night's debut double bill was taken up with the ponderous business of introducing the characters and the situation.

There's the charismatic Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), a time lord in disguise, who heads up a top secret unit based deep beneath the pavements of Cardiff.

Like some sci-fi version of the immigration service, Harkness and his team of intrepid geeks hunt down unwelcome alien life forms and neutralise them. And they've just been joined by plucky, sensible local copper Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), mainly because every team of wiseguys needs its straight man.

There's some kind of boring chemistry between the earthbound Gwen and the interstellar Captain Jack - boring because it feels like the writers just slapped it in at the last minute because someone told them they had to.

The same could be said of the sex and the swearing - which felt like gratuitous add-ons to justify the late-night time slot, rather than being vital to the series.

Lacking the playful cheekiness of its mother-show, this first taste of Torchwood felt as if a team of BBC accountants had tried to work out a way of making the Doctor Who format appeal to a new section of the audience.

Sadly, they overlooked the point that tales of time travel, aliens and top secret hit-squads are basically for kids and you can't magically turn them into adult entertainment with the mere touch of a sonic screwdriver - or a few sex scenes.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Baylis, Matt (2006-10-26). Time lord's X-rated flop. Daily Express p. 49.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Baylis, Matt. "Time lord's X-rated flop." Daily Express [add city] 2006-10-26, 49. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Baylis, Matt. "Time lord's X-rated flop." Daily Express, edition, sec., 2006-10-26
  • Turabian: Baylis, Matt. "Time lord's X-rated flop." Daily Express, 2006-10-26, section, 49 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Time lord's X-rated flop | url= | work=Daily Express | pages=49 | date=2006-10-26 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 August 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Time lord's X-rated flop | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=4 August 2020}}</ref>