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Torchwood: The Arse Spreads Across the Atlantic


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#1

BristolBoy

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 10:21 AM

Bayliss has ok'd this thread now that Torchwood is spreading across the pond.

I'm hoping it's ok to make it a few days early in order to draw peoples attention to it, start general discussion etc. If not I expect Bayliss will mod-slap us (well...me).

For those that don't know Torchwood was the name used on the tapes during the UK run of Doctor Who Season 1, in an attempt to stop people nicking them for leaking onto the web.

Torchwood made its first on-screen showing during Season 2, where it was a UK government agency designed to capture and research alien technology. It was last seen at the heart of a battle between the Cyber-men and the Daleks. After the Doctor banished the Cyber-men and the Daleks back to void, the fate of Torchwood is unknown (although all the staff were pretty much dead/cyberised).

Torchwood starts on BBC America 9pm et/pt on Saturday 8th September.

Episode 1: Everything Changes

When police officer, Gwen Cooper witnesses the resurrection of a murder victim, it signals the start her journey into a dangerous underworld of savage monsters and alien hunters. Her chance encounter with the enigmatic Captain Jack Harkness and the Torchwood team change her life forever.


Episode talk only here please. No spoilers.

(Also looking for ideas for the thread title!)

Edited by BristolBoy, Sep 5, 2007 @ 10:23 AM.

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#2

Promethea

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 11:19 AM

Hee - the title makes it sound like John Barrowman has put on weight and his arse is spreading ... although I suppose you could (and he certainly would) take it a different way.
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#3

Flaregun

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 12:44 PM

First of all, I don't speak for TWOP, but I'm pretty sure it's entirely appropriate to start this thread a few days early. Even a couple of weeks early would have probably been fine, as besides the individual episodes themselves these "UK/US" pace threads also tend to talk about the show in general, and given the truly impressive amount of promotion BBCA has been giving the show, this thread is a good place to help build up some of the buzz BBCA is trying so hard to generate. (I don't know if this is true for everyone, but at least on my satellite service, ads for Torchwood are popping up all over the place, not just on BBCA. Some of these seem to be done by my satellite company as the voice over actually tells me which channel to turn to to get BBCA, but most of them seem like standard BBCA promos that BBCA itself bought time on other cable channels to air).

BTW, while Torchwood may have had it's first "on screen" appearance in Dr. Who S2 when PM Harriet Jones uses Torchwood alien tech to destroy the Scyroax (sp?) space ship in The Christmas Invasion, the first on screen mention of it was in the S1 episode Bad Wolf, when one of the questions in the Weakest Link parody is "The Great Colbalt Pyramid is built on top of the remains of what Old Earth institute?" and the correct answer was "Torchwood". I just happened to catch that the other day when I saw that episode again on BBCA (I think they were doing a Labor Day Who Marathon), and it surprised me as I don't remember ever seeing anyone here pointing it out as an early example of S2's recurring refference, or meme, or whatever.

Oh, and the thread title is fine, at least it makes more sense than the UK paced thread title, which seems to be a reference to a joke that was forgotten a long time ago. Some might suggest that since its the US thread we should use the US variant "ass", but I think I'd rather that people in the US all just start using the UK term "arse" in their daily conversations instead, as that's always somehow sounded a bit cooler to me anyway.

Edited by Flaregun, Sep 5, 2007 @ 2:53 PM.

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#4

Ransom

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 1:05 PM

Ooh, thread titles:
Torchwood: On What The Ass Represents
Torchwood: The Transatlantic Arse
Torchwood: The Cop, The Captain, The Nerd, The Asshole and The Other One
Torchwood: A Dark and Gritty Reimagining of Scooby-Doo

I wonder why BBC:A's so gung-ho about Torchwood anyway. I mean, it's a fun show and all that, but I can't see it as reaching anything more than a niche audience in the States. Still, it'll be nice if it does well- we might have the amusing scenario of Torchwood getting higher ratings than Doctor Who.
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#5

Fosca

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 1:11 PM

I'm not sure that will happen, given that many more cable systems have SciFi than BBC-America (to get BBC-A, I'd have to get hella expensive digital cable). Which means I'll have to, um, creatively acquire it.
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#6

HeadCase

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 2:00 PM

I wonder why BBC:A's so gung-ho about Torchwood anyway. I mean, it's a fun show and all that, but I can't see it as reaching anything more than a niche audience in the States.


Robin Hood received the highest ratings BBC America has ever had. I'm guessing they hope to recreate that response with Torchwood.
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#7

Caffeine Junkie

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 2:03 PM

Ooh, thread titles:

Torchwood: A Dark and Gritty Reimagining of Scooby-Doo


Wins!
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#8

Adararose

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 2:48 PM

I applaud BBCA for promoting the hell out of it. AND ON OTHER CHANNELS. If SciFi had made any sort of similar effort to promote DW, I wouldn't have missed the beginning of each and every season of New Who.

And while it has been demonstrated that people can watch (and appreciate) Torchwood if they HAVEN'T watched DW, watching TW on BBCA while they simultaneously air S2 of DW could make your average American viewer's head explode.

I mean, I was considering writing up a "Torchwood Primer" for them what haven't seen Doctor Who. And it would go something like, "Actually, a very good introduction to Torchwood's backstory can be found if you watch "Christmas Invasion," which will conveniently be aired by BBCA immediately following Torchwood's premiere. Er, and I think they mention a battle which BBCA won't be airing until after the end of Torchwood's first season, although it actually took place before Torchwood starts. Uh, just go with it."

Thread titles:
"Torchwood: Is America ready for Welsh accents?"
"Torchwood: An Anagram for 'Cow Hotrod.'"
"Torchwood: Melrose Place -- with aliens!"
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#9

Nuallain

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 3:08 PM

Ooh, thread titles:

Torchwood: A Dark and Gritty Reimagining of Scooby-Doo



Wins!


Yeah, I like that one too.
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#10

Kaffyr

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 3:26 PM

After the first epi shows on BBCA, I'll be here with bells on. Truly interested in the reactions of Left Side of the Atlantic viewers to the show.
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#11

arizonamyrie

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 4:10 PM

Hee - the title makes it sound like John Barrowman has put on weight and his arse is spreading ... although I suppose you could (and he certainly would) take it a different way.

Hee! Actually, I heard he did gain some weight during the filming of it, so you're probably correct (a bit) Prom.

I don't know if this is true for everyone, but at least on my satellite service, ads for Torchwood are popping up all over the place, not just on BBCA.

I've noticed it too - and some seems to be "viral" and "subliminal" advertising similar to what they had done with Lost for awhile.

I wonder why BBC:A's so gung-ho about Torchwood anyway.

Also, they don't have the rights to air DW first in the US - that goes to SciFi. So, they suddenly have the ability to air a DW spin-off first, and it's something reserved more for the later-evening audience in the UK. So I can see where they would be interested in pushing it for those sole reasons. Plus, John Barrowman does have dual citizenship between the US and the UK.
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#12

Sharpie66

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 4:42 PM

If you have Comcast digital cable, go to the BBCA OnDemand page and you'll find some background footage, a wrap-up of Captain Jack on Doctor Who, and the first 35 minutes of the first episode of Torchwood.
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#13

Flaregun

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 5:41 PM

Ransom
I wonder why BBC:A's so gung-ho about Torchwood anyway. I mean, it's a fun show and all that, but I can't see it as reaching anything more than a niche audience in the States. Still, it'll be nice if it does well- we might have the amusing scenario of Torchwood getting higher ratings than Doctor Who.


That would be... bizarre. And yet, it almost seems plausible. If it happens, it will be entirely the fault of the Sci-Fi Channel, which seems to be treating Who almost as shabbily as TWOP is.

HeadCase
Robin Hood received the highest ratings BBC America has ever had. I'm guessing they hope to recreate that response with Torchwood.


That is *really* surprising, given the low regard Robin Hood seems to be held in by the UKers in this forum. In fact, that would only make sense if 1) BBC-A actually has managed to vastly increase it's availability since the days of their first cult smash hit, the original UK version of The Office, and 2) It's largely a question of familiarity & recognition for US viewers: MI-5? What's that, some kind of British highway? Top Gear? Wasn't that a British Pop Music show from the 60's? But at least everyone knows what "Robin Hood" is supposed to be about.

Adararose
"Torchwood: An Anagram for 'Cow Hotrod.'"


Hee..., kind of makes you wonder what form this show would have taken if RTD had chosen *that* phrase to label early Doctor Who film cans. It so happens there is a high-tech vehicle the Torchwood team tools around in while on official business, and while "Torchmobile" would seem to be the obvious unoffical nickname for it, that's a tad predictable. I think I like "Cow Hotrod" better, if only for the "Huh?" factor.
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#14

BristolBoy

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 6:21 PM

"Torchwood: A Dark and Gritty Reimagining of Scooby-Doo"

Is winning for now...needs to fit "with more sex" in there somehow.

I'm afraid with can't get the "Something's moving in the dark" quote in, it's a bit spoilerish.
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#15

TWoP Bayliss

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 6:22 PM

I think my favorite is "What The Ass Represents," but let's take the thread title change talk to the title suggestion thread, in Whimsy. If there isn't one, we need one. Either way, less board talk, more show talk please.
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#16

Flipote

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Posted Sep 5, 2007 @ 7:16 PM

I watched the 35-minute excerpt, and I was surprised when it turned out not to be the whole episode. ("Torchwood Preview" really should have been a clue, though). I don't want to talk about the episode itself until it airs in full, but I just want to say that BBCA chose a very nice, logical cut-off spot.

Edited by Flipote, Sep 5, 2007 @ 7:17 PM.

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#17

Sumik

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 9:01 AM

They did -- and the preview went on for so long that I was almost convinced that it was going to be the whole episode. (Because my digital cable has "counting issues" and for weeks was telling me that they only had 24 minutes of Monk when they had the entire episode - other people may not have this issue.)
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#18

CyberIstari

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 9:34 AM

I'm not sure that will happen, given that many more cable systems have SciFi than BBC-America (to get BBC-A, I'd have to get hella expensive digital cable).


FWIW, it's on the most basic (aside from Family) DirecTV package, as well as the others. We're so far out in the boonies, cable isn't an option at all. ;) It's also about the same as the non-digital package around here. (You have to go up to Dish 200 to find it on Dish Network, though.)
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#19

nojarama

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 3:08 PM

I quite like the title you've given it thus far myslef. It made me giggle. I was lucky enough to see the entire series as it aired in the UK, and I can';t tell you how giddy I am to be able to see it finally on US Televison. I will definitely be purchasing the DVD set when it arrives for sale early next year. I get why it was passed on by Sci-Fi here in the US- they seem to be cancelling or passing on all the good shows & keeping those horrible d-list films instead. I was afraid we'd never get it, so yippee & hurrah for BBC America!
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#20

Queen Gwenyvere

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 4:27 PM

TimeWarner Cable has BBCA OnDemand as well, and I toured through all the Torchwood previews last night. I agree that the episode preview was well done, and had a logical (are you listening, Skiffy?) cut off point--of course, once I see it with commercials, I might be raging about the American butchering of UK-imported shows again. There's also the first Torchwood Confidential on there, but I don't know if it's a cutdown (a la the Doctor Who DVDs) or the full-length version. In addition, there's a "Who Is Captain Jack?" featurette that's basically an edit of all his relevant scenes from this entire DW S1 arc, mainly TEC/TDD and BW/TPotW, but it's a good way to catch people up.
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#21

musichick

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Posted Sep 6, 2007 @ 5:37 PM

Well, the DeClassifieds ran about 10 minutes (sometimes less, sometimes more) in the UK, so if that's how long it is, it's not cut. I don't have BBCA OnDemand (stupid Charter) so I can't check.
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#22

cutecouple

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 12:26 PM

Nice review, from the Chicago Tribune.
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#23

MatthewMcIntyre

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 6:53 PM

Seven reviews so far on Metacritic:

http://www.metacriti...shows/torchwood

Only the Newark Star-Ledger didn't like it.
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#24

cyberducks

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 10:59 PM

another lovely review here.
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#25

KSFan

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 11:19 PM

There's so much to agree with, with the Newark Star-Ledger review:

Not to get all philosophical here, but I ask because I've just finished watching the first four episodes of "Torchwood" (Saturday at 9 p.m. on BBC America), the so-called "adult" spin-off of the new "Doctor Who" series, and I'm having a hard time figuring out why the new show gets tagged with the mature label and the original doesn't.

and this:

In the pilot episode, a Torchwood agent helps himself to an alien cologne that makes the wearer sexually irresistible to anyone who smells it, and when the attractive woman he picks up is followed by her angry boyfriend, he sprays him self again and invites the boyfriend to join them. (That this is UFO-assisted date rape never really comes up; it's just a cheap joke.)

and this:

Another episode features a variation on classic "Doctor Who" villains the Cybermen, this time featuring a beautiful woman who was only partially Cyber-ized -- the cyborg parts conveniently making it look like she's wearing a metal bikini and stiletto boots.

and this:

But despite having booty on the brain, "Torchwood" seems a much simpler, more juvenile piece of work than "Doctor Who." There are lots of ways to write in telligent, grown-up material about sex ... but "Torchwood" seems too pleased with its own daring for that. It's the kind of show that sniggers at itself as it moves along.

and this:

[Captain Jack] the character fit better as the third banana in the more cleaned-up universe of the original show. There he was a square-jawed hero type who was good at everything and yet completely likable for all his perfection (perhaps because he never apologized for it), a novel spin on a familiar archetype.

and this:

Outside of Jack and designated wet blanket Gwen, the other team members are largely cyphers through four episodes


There is much truth in this review! But I still find it very watchable. I'm surprised that there have been so many positive reviews for it in the States but I'm glad there have been.

Wonder how the Canadian press will react to it in October?

Edited by KSFan, Sep 7, 2007 @ 11:28 PM.

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#26

cyberducks

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Posted Sep 7, 2007 @ 11:34 PM

I wonder if the Star-Ledger reviewer is a regular poster on OG - his anti-TW sentiments are almost verbatim the same as the anti-TW brigade's over there.

All the other press is very positive though, and combined with the promotional push by BBCA will get TW at least noticed and hopefully help not get totally lost among the glut of network Fall TV shows coming up.
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#27

KSFan

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 12:35 AM

No idea, cyberducks, but the bits I pulled out are stuff we've complained about in the pinned TW thread.

I am glad that there are so many positive reviews, though. I hope it'll be a huge hit on BBCA, and on CBC in October. Won't be at all surprised, though, if us Canadians get screwed over again, with a long wait in December/January because of Christmas programming, etc.
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#28

Flaregun

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 1:08 AM

cyberducks
I wonder if the Star-Ledger reviewer is a regular poster on OG - his anti-TW sentiments are almost verbatim the same as the anti-TW brigade's over there.


I was going to suggest he's been reading the UK version of this thread, as he seems to pretty much directly quote some of the very same complaints about the show that some over there have latched onto. (and I was kind of hoping to see whether or not the great Owen "Date Rape" question would even come up here naturally of it's own accord and become a bone of contention).

I'm also surprised that all of the other reviews have been so positive; the show really doesn't seem to have a very American sort of mindset (despite being pretty blatantly influenced by American shows like Buffy/Angel & The X Files), I was expecting more critics to not quite know what to make of it.

You know, I have to say, I also noticed a certain similarity to most of these reviews, even though they were often written in very different styles. They all seemed to hit many of the same points, even include many of the same quotes from the show. I know that BBC-A has had a pretty extensive promotional campaign going for Torchwood, and unlike certian other channels that have been known to air RTD produced British Sci-Fi shows, BBC-A seems to know what the hell they're doing. I'm assuming all these critics probably got a press kit that highlights the points BBC-A is hoping they'll cover, I'm a little surprised at how closely it feels like some of them seem to be following it.
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#29

musichick

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 1:15 AM

Yes, BBC-A gave out press kits that has a synopsis of the show with short summaries of each episode, bits of trivia, character descriptions, excerpts from British reviews, and an interview with John Barrowman along with a DVD of the first four episodes. Many of the reviewers are using this information in their reviews. The press kit has the photo with all six members of the Torchwood team, by the way, not the four that is on all the ads now (how can they leave out Ianto?).
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#30

orchidea

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Posted Sep 8, 2007 @ 6:06 PM

Torchwood: "Everything Changes" Advance Review (pilot spoilers).

f Doctor Who's family-friendly goofy side kept you away from that series, this one might be more your cup of tea and it's unlikely you'll be disappointed.


This is true. I've never got into Dr Who but Torchwood totally works for me.
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