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Torchwood is getting even better

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Torchwood, the finest Friday night supernatural sci-fi/fantasy hour you're not watching, is winding down the end of its first season. Tonight's episode of the Doctor Who spinoff about a secretive government agency that investigates claims of paranormal phenomena — it's not as dull or derivative as it sounds — has already aired in Australia, Israel, Mexico, Sweden, the U.S. and the U.K., where Torchwood originated.

The episode, whose title I won't name here as it gives away a key plot twist, scored the highest opinion rating of any Torchwood episode on the fan TV Web site Five episodes remain in the first season of a series that, based on its somewhat disappointing pilot episode, looked as if it would have a short shelf life. instead, viewers willing to give Torchwood a chance have slowly warmed to the antics of dashing Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and his idealistic colleagues-in-ghostbusting, Gwen (Eve Myles), Owen (Burn Gorman), and Toshiko (Naoko Mori).

Torchwood owes its origins to the newly resurrected, revitalized Doctor Who, but it's a far darker, more adult and, in tonight's outing, more violent a program than its forebear. Torchwood lacks the star sizzle of a David Tennant or Christopher Eccleston, but its stories in recent weeks have packed a heavy emotional punch, from last week's outing about a mysterious pendant that allows the wearer to read other people's thoughts — not as much fun as it sounds, it turned out — to an episode two weeks earlier that mixed elements of a traditional fairy tale with a modern parable about extreme weather patterns.

In tonight's episode the Torchwood team revives a number of murder victims using an otherworldly "resurrection gauntlet," — a metal glove with regenerative powers — in a bid to track down their killer. The bringing-the-dead-back-to-life gambit is similar to Pushing Daisies, but Torchwood is dark, moody and grim where Pushing Daisies is whimsical.

Torchwood has already (lone something most new series fail to do, and that is improve with age. Each new episode, it seems, has more snap and vigour than the one before, and tonight's sets a new benchmark. (As one viewer who's already seen tonight's episode posted on, "Oookay, that's one thing you will never see on Heroes.")

Torchwood is a much bloodier series than Doctor Who, and more sexy — it's decidedly not for the kiddies. It lacks the silliness of Moonlight and the weepy sentimentality of Ghost Whisperer, Friday's other spook shows, and it has a remarkably eclectic taste in music (Gorecki by Lamb, and Funeral for a Friend's Red is the New Black are featured in tonight's episode).

Torchwood will probably never match Ghost Whisperer and Moonlight in the ratings, even though it airs on the widely available CBC (Ghost Whisperer and Moonlight air on CTV). Told wood warrants a look, though — especially if you like your murder mysteries with a twist and a dash of the unexpected.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Strachan, Alex (2007-11-23). Torchwood is getting even better. Regina Leader-Post p. D12.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Strachan, Alex. "Torchwood is getting even better." Regina Leader-Post [add city] 2007-11-23, D12. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Strachan, Alex. "Torchwood is getting even better." Regina Leader-Post, edition, sec., 2007-11-23
  • Turabian: Strachan, Alex. "Torchwood is getting even better." Regina Leader-Post, 2007-11-23, section, D12 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Torchwood is getting even better | url= | work=Regina Leader-Post | pages=D12 | date=2007-11-23 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 June 2020 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Torchwood is getting even better | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=2 June 2020}}</ref>