Sunday, June 19, 2011

I can count on one hand the things I know about Torchwood. The second post in a series, the first being about Ryan Adams. I'm always inspired to ponder how little I know about a pop-cultural phenomenon when it's something that other people tend to get really excited and obsessive about. Hence, Torchwood. Here are the things I know about it.

1. It is a TV spin-off of Doctor Who.
2. It is set in Cardiff.
3. There is a motley crew of people involved, led by someone called Captain Jack (but not Captain Jack Sparrow).
4. Captain Jack is handsome and wears a dark-coloured military-style overcoat.
5. He sleeps with men and hence is a queer icon.

And there you have it: the sum total of my knowledge of Torchwood. If I stretched my synapses to their limits, I could come up with a bit more:

6. There is something supernatural and/or extraterrestrial about the nature of the motley crew's activities.
7. I think Torchwood is an 'Institute', which implies some kind of official status and/or funding.

Okay: now for the fun part: seeing if I was right! Yes – the Torchwood Institute "deals mainly with incidents involving extraterrestrials". Its authority seems to come straight from the top, having been established by Queen Victoria but yet enjoying a status "beyond the UN".

There is a branch office in Cardiff because there is a space/time rift there. Okay. BUT WHAAA – Wikipedia describes Captain Jack Harkness as "an immortal ex-con man from the distant future who has lived on Earth since the 19th century". So far, it seems to be a bit like Men in Black, but more steampunky.

Here is Captain Jack in his dark-coloured military-style overcoat, with members of his motley crew. He's pretty handsome, all right.

Oh but UGHHH – it was intended to be in the spirit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, that inane, self-important show that everyone else likes but me. I think this both explains its popularity among a certain segment of people I know, and also reassures me that it is quite all right to leave my knowledge of Torchwood right there.

You're not alone in your dislike of Buffy. I once had a pretty full-on argument with a total stranger at a party about how much Buffy sucks. And I can't stand Whedon's other stuff either. The Firefly spin-off Serenity is one of the most insufferable things I have ever seen.

I think a lot of Doctor Who fans are pretty lukewarm about Torchwood. In as much as I am a DW fan - I watch the show, but I'm a recent convert and not immersed in it - I can't say it does much for me. Captain Jack was so annoying when he appeared on DW, and it had less to do with the deficiencies of the writing than with John Barrowman's general annoyingness. (Many of our mutual friends and acquaintances would demand pistols at dawn over that statement.)
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Site Meter