“I can’t help but notice that this is not my bed.”
Sorry for the lack of an episode last week! We’re jumping right back in, though. Random Shoes! This is one of those “Love & Monsters”/”Blink” episodes of the Doctor Who universe where we bench the main team for most of the episode and let some random person take the reins. This time, it’s Eugene Jones (Paul Chequer), an adorable, hapless geek whose voice over we should get comfortable with for the next fifty minutes.
The Doctor, Captain Jack Harkness, and Martha Jones find the dying universe the perfect setting for a threesome.
The Doctor and Martha fuel-up rift-side in Cardiff. Last visit, he was “a different man” (oh, Nine!). Say, who’s that sexy beast of a man, sprinting and yelling “Doctor!”? HI, CAPTAIN JACK! In an epic blow-off, the Doctor starts the TARDIS, miscalculating how far Jack will go to avoid his shady brush-off. I’m talking end of the universe far! Continue reading
Torchwood: Decidedly not a period romance.
Welcome back to Torchwood! We begin in Cardiff, 1812, where a prostitute named Mary (Daniela Denby-Ashe) leads a British soldier out into the forest with every intention of happily deflowering him. She asks whether it’s his first time, and if the other boys in his regiment are making fun of him, and he slaps her once, and then again. Because Mary is a cool, self-respecting prostitute, she tells him that she isn’t his hound and hits him right back, leaving scratches in his cheek. He looks at her with murder in his eyes, so she runs. She only stops when she hears a terrible metallic sound, and sees a huge, pulsing light through the trees. She runs towards it, with him right on her tail. He stops, pulls his gun, and then follows her towards the light, which disappears when he gets closer. He finds her with her back to him, and when she turns around, he asks, “Do whores have prayers?” She smiles like she has a secret, and he pulls the trigger.
CCTV: helping police to capture dark blobs since whenever they installed it.
We open on a chase! Gwen and Owen are running through Cardiff, chasing a fleeing suspect through the streets and into a shopping center. Tosh is in the Hub, tracking the rift energy coming off of the suspect and directing Gwen, Owen, and Jack, who is in the SUV. Just as Tosh gets a good visual on the suspect – young, male, wearing a hoodie – Jack arrives and jumps out of the SUV to join the hunt. In the shopping center, someone is bringing the gate down on the exit, and the suspect slips through. Gwen only just manages to roll underneath of it and keep running, while Owen and Jack crash into it and yell for it to be raised again. The suspect jumps a gate and runs into a train station, and Gwen follows, and finally grabs the suspect’s jacket, but he slips out and gets away. Tosh is ecstatic. “You did it!” But Gwen says she didn’t; he got away. Tosh is sure that whatever the rift energy was, she is definitely holding it. Confused, Gwen looks through the pockets of the jacket she’s still holding. There is a little alien device, with its lights bright and flashing. As if she’s being willed to do so, Gwen thumbs the button at the top of the device.
Gwen and Rhys act as though things don’t constantly fall out of the sky over Cardiff when they’re out to dinner.
As the episode opens, Gwen and Rhys are out on a date. Bowling! Dinner! Discussions of how Gwen starts her new “special ops” job tomorrow! Gwen’s just said that they should “have an early night” (wink) when a giant flaming ball of something shoots across the sky and crashes outside of Cardiff. Her mobile goes off with a text. Torchwood. She turns to Rhys. “I’ve got to go to work!”
Torchwood is Doctor Who’s post-watershed younger sister. It goes out and parties at night while Doctor Who reads books about space adventures to orphans. It brings strange men and women home with it and has loud, awkward sex in the next room. It giggles during church services while Doctor Who tries halfheartedly to shush it. It’s camp, it’s racy, it’s hilarious, it’s ridiculous, and it’s occasionally heartbreaking. It’s the best. And we’re going to watch it.
As Janey’s recaps of Doctor Who would have you assume, Torchwood picks up after Season 2 of DW, after the Battle of Canary Wharf in “Doomsday.” There are definite spoilers for Doctor Who seasons 1 and 2 in this season of Torchwood, so be warned! It’s a very well-tied-in spinoff, so it helps to already be familiar with what’s happened in the first two seasons of Doctor Who, as well as the third season, with which it runs parallel. But it isn’t strictly necessary. Where Doctor Who’s sweet, childish themes might not appeal to some people, Torchwood picks up the slack and runs off into the sunset with massive explosions and a few scenes you do not want to experience while sitting next to your elderly aunt. Or maybe you do! Maybe you’re into that! What I’m saying is, there were lots of viewers who forewent Doctor Who and dove right into Torchwood for its Shakespearean levels of blood and death and its lack of kid-friendly moral fiber.
So with all of that in mind, why don’t we start this thing off?
Who was that pyjama-clad man?
In an echo of the Series 1 opening, we zoom in from a wide shot of the Earth until we’re inside the Tyler flat at the estate. This time the close-up is on Jackie, decorating a white fake Christmas tree. Nearby, Mickey tells his coworker at the garage to turn down the music; he’s heard the faint but unmistakable grindings of the TARDIS landing. He and Jackie both come running, and I sob out, “They both love Rose so mu-huh-huh-huh-huch!”
Oh Doctor, my Doctor!
When we last left our intrepid heroes, mankind faced danger of total eradication by alien forces. Again. But the Doctor, despite his precarious circumstances, vowed to save Rose from the Daleks. And the Doctor keeps his promises, yo!
Endure petty human drama *and* a comfy chair? *reels in horror*
The Doctor awakens somewhere unknown, falling into a flat that’s been hit with a Pop-Art stick. Three inhabitants regard him with varying degrees of welcome and suspicion. “They never said you were coming!” one exclaims. “What’s your name then, sweetheart?” “The Doctor. I think,” the Doctor replies (eep?). “You got chosen,” his guide informs him: he’s a new “Housemate” just in time for eviction. A robotic voice summons him to The Diary Room, explaining, “You are live on Channel 4400. Please do not swear.” The Doctor grips the sides of his funkadelic red chair and snaps, “You have got to be kidding!”