Saturday, 11 July 2009

destructobase or 2010 Torchwood competition?


We need a Torchwood read on...

Like many, I watched the Torchwood series this week, not as a fan exactly, but as one who expected some good plotline compressed over a few days. I thought the idea of aliens using children as drugs was sufficiently evil, if somewhat Matrix-like.

The original trade of 11 of children back 40 or so years ago and the later consequences was clever thinking although I had a bit of a problem with the step change from a dozen to millions as the next logical increment. They must have been passing the kouchie an awful lot back on that tentacular planet.

The stock film of London Town and Cardiff got a large airing though, for the location signposting. Perhaps a spot of Michael Mann/Spooks editing would have compressed some of this to good effect. I suppose the HD viewers could wonder why the streets were both traffic jammed and deserted at the same time.

And speaking of Spooks, in that series they are fairly cavalier with their lead actors, expending them whether or not the replacement character is already in view.

The difference with Torchwood is that it has a broad fan-base including many from the Doctor Who environs. So the snuffing of a lead like Ianto after a couple of others were erased in the last series leaves a conundrum if the series is expected to go anywhere further.

The gender politics of the series was also something of a vanguard and this has no doubt suffered a few setbacks if the plan is to keep Torchwood as a brand.

Slightly more into the storyline, there were some interesting ideas dealt with quite rapidly - I know many have been used elsewhere, but there was sufficient to keep one guessing:

- keeping the thunderbolt space alien landing in London almost secret
- handling the chanting kids as a kind of bemused news static
- self interests around deciding who to protect
- children being used as alien drugs
- the essence of the trade ‘just 12’ turning into ‘ten percent’
- resolving who gets selected (the epsilons, of course)
- the lack of challenge of the decisions
- the tiny coterie of involved individuals
- the obedience of the military
- the good ol’ “reverse the polarity of the standing wave” moment
- the final sacrifices to resolve it
- no ‘not really dead’ resolutions (except Jack)
- the blemished hero

Maybe Russell T Davies and co have decided to shut down Jack on earth. Perhaps he is about to go intergalactic?

So here’s my suggestion: I think the BBC could have a fantastic coup now to open a competition to rewrite the last episode of that series of Torchwood.

A different ending x 5. Public submissions and then professional scriptwriting.

Start the petition.

Parallel universes anyone?

Oh - and let's not forget the other space aliens with proper space ships that landed 27 years ago and have been holed up in District 9 in Southern Africa.
Click to explore the zone
district 9 (restricted)

And good prequel mini-doc here:

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