ed_rex: (ace)

Where have you gone, Russell T, Russell T?

 

One of the most shockingly bad television series in recent memory crawled to a bloody close on Friday night.

The end of Torchwood: Miracle Day was not quite as obscenely amusing as some had predicted, but its climax prompted laughter in this reviewer, not tears.

No dangling plot-lines were tied up, no extraneous characters rescued from irrelevancy. The program is over — and so too, probably, is the franchise — but not even the most generous critic could with a straight face say that it was concluded.

Snark? Oh yes. For snark and bullet points and a reviewer's exhausted post-mortem, visit, Where have you gone, Russell T, Russell T?

ed_rex: (ace)

 

Torchwood: The 19th Century is when everything changes

The sex columnist Dan Savage has recently been fronting a campaign to reassure isolated and often depressed queer kids that "it gets better."

I'm very sad to say that there's no getting better in Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Not for the people living in that world, not for the viewers in this one and certainly not for any attempt to offer us even a semblance of respectful story-telling.

As the saying goes, Fool me once, shame on you; fool me nine times, shame on me.

More fool, I.

Clearly determined to never give the suckers an even break, the penultimate entry in the Torchwood: Miracle Day demolition derby thumbs its nose at even the most modest expectations of its viewers.

Snark, sighs and spoilers galore but, I hope, not too much of a synopsis, all at Torchwood: 62 Days Later.

ed_rex: (1980)

Vote for Geoffrey and Raven!

Nahanni National Park, Virginia Falls
Nahanni National Park, Virginia Falls. Image from Wikipedia.

All right, silly as it sounds, I'm asking for your help. At least the help of all of you who (a) live in Canada and (b) have a Facebook account.

ETA: Actually, it seems all you need is a Facebook account, so all of you, please just in and send us on our way!

My sweetie has never been camping, and neither of us have ever been to the Far North (or white-water rafting, for that matter). With your help, we just might win a trip to the Nahanni National Park.

Click here to vote for my perfect 50-word wish, okay? Many thanks in advance.

Onwards.

(Almost) almost famous

People are talkin' 'bout me! )

ed_rex: (ace)

 

Torchwood's End of the Road hints at on-ramps passed by

Handsome Jack Harkness

August 28, 2011, OTTAWA — What in the world is going on with Torchwood: Miracle Day? For a wonder and, admitedly, grading on a steep incline, the latest installment, End of the Road, was actually kind of entertaining, and left this viewer mildly interested in finding out what happens next.

Yes, there was too much techno-babble, but the story actually moved, at least in comparison to what's come before.

If there was still too much filler in End of the Road, for a starving fan, tinned ham beats rice cakes any day.

No skin, a little less snark, but just as many spoilers and structural analysis as ever, all at Torchwood: Mediocre Day.

ed_rex: (ace)

Sins of the Show-Runner?

A commentator at the Tor.com discussion of The Middle Men passed along a "strong rumour" that Torchwood: Miracle Day was originally meant to be a five-episode series, but was expanded to ten, "so that Starz could get subscribers for longer".

'Bring us Jack.'

Like any rumour, I take this one with the proverbial kilo of salt, but it does offer a credible, if not fully explanatory, hypothesis for the remarkably slow and inept story-telling to which we have been subject lo! these past seven weeks.

Less subtle than an average episode of South Park, the seventh episode is the best outing of the series so far. Or perhaps I should say, the least bad.

Immortal Sins at least boasts some action, some humour, some sex and even some romance.

On the other hand, the sex and romance is at best only as good as the merely competent fan-fic it will no doubt inspire, the action was counter-balanced by long, gruesome minutes of torture that would delight Mel Gibson and — of course! — a secondary plot and characterization that make no sense and which are in any case mostly negated by episode's end.

For skin, spoilers, stereotypes, structural analysis (and, yes, snark) see Mel Gibson comes to Torchwood or, The Passion of the Jack. Probably not safe for work.

ed_rex: (ace)

As snarky and impatient and critical as it can be, creators also get an awful lot of slack from fandom. We've invested time and energy in characters and situations, almost as if they are real people, and so we can forgive a lousy episode or even a lousy series, if we can hope that, as with a beloved but losing sports franchise, "There's always next year."

The subtleties of Russell T Davies

So I found myself silently cheering The Middle Men, just a little. A scene here, another there. Watching Gwen burn pointless rubber on a motorcycle was kind of fun; Jack's Batman-like disappearance before the arrival of the constabulary was cute as well. Cliched and kinda goofy, they nevertheless had an element of fun this series has been sorely lacking.

Even a brief scene of intense and cringe-inducing, brutal violence was strangely welcome.

But even for a fan, a character moment here, a well-blocked scene there, is pretty thin soup if the back-story makes even less sense than it did last week, and the plot is still driven by your favourite characters acting, well, stupidly.

The Middle Men isn't quite as awful as the previous installment, but still ... the stupid, it burns! As usual, spoilers, snark and analysis behind the link.

ed_rex: (Default)

 

As you might know, I've been serially reviewing the latest Torchwood series, a work that (I presume) is as much the product of Russell T Davies' personal vision as is possible in an inherently collaborative medium.

So it is rather difficult to ignore the irony, that there is more credible social commentary, more humour and more excitement in Peter Watts' 300 page adaptation of a first-person-shooter video game, which (again, I presume) was written strictly for the money, than there has been in the first five hours of Davies' brain-child.

Watts' story, about a an accidental cybernetic soldier's brief campaign on a ruined island of Manhattan a scant 12 years in our future is also fairly rigorous science fiction, as one might expect from the "reformed marine biologist", but probably not from a novel about a super-soldier and his mysterious battle-armour.

If Crysis: Legion is not quite the follow-up to his 2006 hard-SF masterpiece, Blindsight one might have wished for, it's a better book than one has any reason to expect of a media tie-in.

Click here for "Strange bed-fellows". Some spoilers may occur.

ed_rex: (ace)

 

That's right folks, it's summer and, this year, that means another series of Torchwood. Ten episodes over ten weeks this year, as compared to five over five days in 2009.

And yes, I'm watching it, hoping that Russell T Davies can return to form and wash the disappointing memories of this year's Doctor Who from my mind.

The first two series of the show ranged from campy delight to nearly pornographic awfulness (sometimes in the same episode) and the third came within a last-minute intellectual cop-out of being a masterpiece of sociological science fiction, so it's anybody's guess how Davies' fourth kick at the Torchwood can will turn out.

One episode in, the results are still up in the air.

My review of the episode is posted here and my overview of the series to date is over here.

July 2017

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