"I think if my eight-year-old self could see me at the Royal Albert Hall winning a prize for playing the doctor on telly, he would need a stiff shot of Irn-Bru." - David Tennant.
"I told you if one of us has a car accident we would win this." - Jeremy Clarkson
Meanwhile, it's not every day I wake up blue in the face. Or rather, with a face of blue. Yes, bad enough that my face should crack and peel like old house paint. That should be enough misery for any mortal but noooo, the universe decides to go that little bit further. Turns out the aloe vera mists I've been spritzing on it were dyed blue by the chemical company for its own arcane reasons, so the skin that was peeling off was doing so in delicate powder blue coloured flakes. Which made a lovely sight, first thing, I can tell you.
So I had to scrub all my peeling skin off (ow, and again, ow) this morning, lest I catch the bus looking like Torchwood bait.
Ah, yes, Torchwood.
It was good, but. There is a but. I'd been told in the press that it was dark and adult, so I was expecting, you know, dark and adult. And here we come to my misunderstanding. I took adult to mean complex plot, flawed and layered characters and deep emotional resonance. Instead I get a kid's show with a bit of video game splat and sex thrown in. Grown up, it is not.
It's very Buffy/Angel, actually. I was hoping for Ultraviolet or something Kudosy (wham, bam, thank you, ma'am), but instead I get a Brit version of Angel. Not that there's too much wrong with that, it was just well, not the show I was expecting.
Not that I mind too much having the sixth season of Angel rebooted in Cardiff. We've got the dark, mysterious leader, a Hellmouth, a Mary Sue and dweeb sidekicks. Not too keen on the sidekicks, though. They have none of the warmth that Xander and Willow engendered. Very two dimensional characters. It's like Trek or something: the nerdy sex mad guy, brainy Asian chick. Did they buy these characters off the shelf? The only one who shows promise is Ianto, and that's probably only because he's one of the few 'characters' not be to be wearing a badge that says "Hi, I'm the sex mad geek guy/brainy Asian chick/insert trope".
Actually, unlike Buffy, the Torchwood guys seem very shallow and mean (especially the hard up nerdy guy). Even Jack, who quit the Time Agents in a fury over two lost years, has no problems giving GwennieSue the old Forget-Me-Knot for shits and giggles. And is that stuff even FDA approved?
Which brings me to GwennieSue, her Charlie's Angel hair and her quest to teach the Torchwood gang to hug puppies. I'm not quite sure what Jack sees in her, other than a new, easily impressed person to flirt at, but I know where that comes from.
One word: Buffy. I could never work it out how the baddest vamp of them all lost it over a blonde cheerleader, and it's the exact same set up here. In fact the whole bloody thing is shoe-horned into an Angel template, which is possibly why it feels so jarring and out of kilter, because it's been rammed into a sqaure hole instead of being allowed to grow organically.
Or maybe Jack's just having some sort of immortal midlife crisis - comes a time when they just give it all up for the fluff. As if a woman could ever really tame a bad boy, no matter how pure her heart (something at least aired in one of my fave Buffy episodes, the 'Call of The Wild' one).
Perhaps Gwenny Sue can teach him to love his fellow man and woman, as she moves through the series in a saintly glow, bestowing compassion and understanding wherever she alights. It's funny these days how male SF writers are the worst of the worst when it comes to blatant Mary Sues (and worse, Jack rates even more highly on the Mary Sue Litmus Test: Mary Sue Score: 149).
Jack would have been so much better off hiring Veronica Mars. Mad snoopy skillz and snark (under which bubbles a fountain of angst) - what more could he want?
Meanwhile Jack seems to have lost a few IQ points since the Rose coloured Resurrection. I know they're trying for a darker, meaner Jack, but he seems to have lost a lot of his charm, alas. Still down with the pretty, though.
And what's with the indestructible Captain thing ("They crash him, and his body may burn...." - my fave kiddie tv show theme song)? How come Jack who is now Immortal, a time traveller and quite possibly part alien if Cassandra's xenophobic rants are to be taken at face value (and speaking of Cassanda: "Moisturise me!"), does not any of the alien detecting gizmos in Torchwood HQ (more Get Smart than UNCLE - heh) go PING! when Jack swoops past?
Did the whole whole Logan bullet in the head thing not end up on CCTV? (I could ponder more interesting questions like did Jack erase it? Is Jack really just using TW and have his own agenda, but I suspect the show just isn't going to be that interesting. Too bad. 'Cause if he got the dweeb killed in the line of duty, I'd be all broke up.) Do the TW gang ever look up from their consoles? You'd think they'd notice the whole surviving the odd mishap, never gets sick thing. Or is GwennieSue the only one to run a background check. What, they're so curious and high tech, yet they can't google Jack? Are US VA records so bad there isn't at least a matching description of the lad? And how come there are records of Jack when I thought the scallywag was chancing it with the old psychic paper macguffin?
BTW, been watching too much Rome lately, because the moment I saw Niobe (and her cheatin' heart), I knew she was a nogoodnik.
Then there's the Welsh accents. I thought I could handle every abuse of the English language, but that took some getting used to. Never have I missed my subtitles button more...
You know, I'd forgive RTD his huberis (and the guys over at LOM, which rated higher than DW, btw, are so much nicer) if I could be sure there was some Jack/Ianto in the offing (primed as I am to sit through almost anything for da slash) but he seems to be obssessing on the girl/girl action right now. Le sigh.
But other than that, my minor disappointment at expecting Ultraviolet and ending up with Angel Lite, it'll do. Hopefully there will be some character development and emotional depth, because so far, RTD, despite your insistence that nobody can write tv like you do, I find TW a little cold. None of the characters made me really care the way the Scoobies did. Damn if they didn't have me in tears at times, those Scoobs.
If nothing else, I have new respect for a dumb teen show about vampires. But I still want to see more Torchwood. The only way is up, right? It was very pretty to look at. Lots of sleek CSI helicopter shots.
I also treated myself to the first episode of Robin Hood (the first Robin of the 21stC?). First off, I ponder whether it was entirely necessary to caption the first scene a show called Robin Hood, with the first frames featuring a man in green with bow and arrows, standing amongst trees, as "Nottinghamshire, England".
"Depends on what sort of audience you're targeting," deadpans Peanut Gallery. "If they're between Canada and Mexico, you do." Heh.
Okay, this really is a kiddie show. Keith Allen valiantly tries to outcamp Alan Rickman and Nikolas Grace (a tall order, but he's getting there), the merry men are preternaturally pretty amongst all the other Fellini cast peasants (it was hard not to go to the Monty Python dirt eating place, I gotta say) and the sword fights were beyond cheesy - more Samurai than Sherwood. In fact, very Samurai, with a bit of Looney Tunes thrown in for good measure. My darling Errol must be turning in his grave. Beyond cheese, them fights.
Never mind. Robin is v.pretty, and his special friend Much is comedy relief boy, with brief moments of PTSD angst to really redeem himself (also, fantastic linaege from the actor so I'm inclined to be generous anyway, but he kinda sold me on the character despite the character, which is no small feat), and a slash buddy of the first order (according to Wiki, in the second episode of the series, Robin tells Much that he loves him.)
It also has Richard Armitage as a dark, scowly and evil just because he is (no great character development there) a Snidely Whiplash of a villain. Hee! Slash potentional: very high.
Me likee. Me likee lots. I actually liked both shows, but it's one of those things, Torchwood didn't quite justify the hype, whereas Robin Hood wasn't quite as bad as they said it was. All a matter of perception. Just wait till TW delivers a zinger and RH a turd, and I'll swap over.
I also wouldn't be savaging RTD for his Mary Sues if he hadn't been trumpeting how he's God's gift to television all over the place of late. I don't think anyone who writes Suzie, the never really explained murderess, should shit all over my beloved Randall & Hopkirk. That big old Welsh pot should have a look in the mirror, sometime, before he disses my fave ITC shows (which, by the way, are the main influences on the far nicer chaps at Kudos, and behold my deep and abiding love for their product).
My friend also gave me an interview of Ray Winstone on Parky, which was fun, though it took me forever to work out why I was associating Ray with Robin Hood. All I can say was it was late, after a long, cruddy day.
Picked up when I got home, though. The Empire had just discovered the rebels on Hoth as I walked through the door, and it looked damn fine on the Really Big Telly (which I never get to watch). So I had my rubbery re-heated chicken on my knees while space battles whizzed before my eyes. Then it was the BBC-a-thon. Then I had some more togas (Mr Pertwee this time, and apparently I'm only watching tv with Doctor Who connections, however tenuous, this week - grin) to watch, but, alas, it was closer to getting up time than bedtime by then, so that'll have to wait for another day.
Other than that, work be sucky. But at least it's helping me get into the despairing mindset I need to re-write those scenes. Always an upside, yes?
Mary-Sue Litmus Test
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