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Torchwood: The Arse Spreads Across the Atlantic


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#13411

swansong

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 12:34 PM

Ugh, okay you guys, I'll give you day 2 and day 3. I still feel like all that was just eyewash. But, okay.


I agree the 'dumb' does seem confined to episode one and the moment when he decides its time to go kill himself off. I can't decide if it's just an RTD thing or if they really are trying to tell us that Ianto's smarts are directly correlated to his proximity to Jack.

Edited by swansong, May 3, 2012 @ 12:34 PM.

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#13412

SDcat2009

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 12:58 PM

I agree the 'dumb' does seem confined to episode one and the moment when he decides its time to go kill himself off.



Yeah but even in that episode neither thought they were going to die, IMO. So I don't think that made Ianto dumb at all. I think they absolutely thought they would win. They were ignorant but not dumb.
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#13413

captanne

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 1:03 PM

twisted sister, the story is so short it's really a series of drabbles. Jack's motivation is left up to the reader. Because, contrary to RTD's beliefs, Torchwood fans are damn smart people.

ETA: If you want to go read the story (it will take the slowest of readers about 3 minutes total) you have to first deal with the old "frames" style website. Here is the linkie link. Go there. In the upper left hand corner is the word "fic". Click it. Then you want: "Salt the Earth: Five Drabbles on a Theme."

Darkness reigns.

And I love it.

(In case it isn't obvious, it's set post CoE.)

Edited by captanne, May 3, 2012 @ 7:46 PM.

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#13414

swansong

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

I think they absolutely thought they would win. They were ignorant but not dumb.


Considering they rushed in with no real plan except alot of hot air and flowery words, had no idea what they might be dealing with, didn't even pause long enough to find out whether the glass they decided to shoot out might be bullet proof or not I think dumb works too. Especially if they honestly didn't think their plan (and I use that term generously) was anything other than a very, very longshot. Even if Ianto hadn't died it would still have been a pretty dumb plan, but just regular dumb instead of tragically dumb. The Ianto of Day 2 seemed to get that it pays to try and be as prepared as possible before you rush into a situation. Pity the Ianto of Day 4 seemed to forget all that.

Edited by swansong, May 3, 2012 @ 1:45 PM.

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#13415

SDcat2009

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 1:48 PM

They were ignorant of the situation. They didn't do more research. But this does not make them dumb people. They rushed headlong into a bad situation....

but again I guess I bristle at the application of the word "dumb" to people who aren't. Even the smartest people can make bad decisions.
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#13416

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:06 PM

SDcat2009

They didn't do more research. But this does not make them dumb people. They rushed headlong into a bad situation....


I must politely agree to disagree on the level of profound stupidity and "dumb".

I think it makes them colossally dumb and way out of character. Especially for Jack who is nigh on unforgivable in this moment. He is the adult supervision for a lot of painfully obvious reasons. Ianto is not devoid of guilt but it is to a much lesser degree.

And Ianto died because of it.

I blame RTD squarely, roundly and in pretzel formation.
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#13417

swansong

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:16 PM

They were ignorant of the situation. They didn't do more research. But this does not make them dumb people. They rushed headlong into a bad situation....

but again I guess I bristle at the application of the word "dumb" to people who aren't. Even the smartest people can make bad decisions.


I'm sorry, but for me dumb aptly describes their actions in that episode. As for Ianto in episode one. Not sure what's going on with him there. Apparently the all important question of whether they're a couple or not seems to take it out of him so much he apparently can't even seem to manage the basics of his job on his own anymore.

Edited by swansong, May 3, 2012 @ 2:17 PM.

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#13418

SDcat2009

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:37 PM

I know I'm being pedantic here, but I think "dumb" is too much. It was smart people doing stupid things. But even then, I can't say that it was totally stupid. They acted rashly because time was running out and it's not as though they've never acted rashly before.......
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#13419

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:43 PM

I will make this one point and then bow out.

Jack has been a galactic adventurer all of his very, very long life. He's a Companion.

He has no business blundering anywhere remotely like the circumstances presented by Thames House with any mortal.

He was way out of line, out of character, stupid and with soul-crushing results. (Even in one of the Who episodes he made a command plan before he, Rose, Mickey and The Doctor went cavalierly into danger. And he knew he had the Doctor with him. In Thames House he had no one but a young guy in shirtsleeves.)

Edited by captanne, May 3, 2012 @ 2:44 PM.

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#13420

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:49 PM

It was smart people doing stupid things. But even then, I can't say that it was totally stupid. They acted rashly because time was running out and it's not as though they've never acted rashly before.......

Yes, they were smart people acting DUMB. Time wasn't running out that much that they had to be that desperate just yet. Plus, the boneheadedness of their plan (that the entire team agreed on, not just Jack and Ianto) got an ENTIRE building killed unnecessarily. It was a sucky plan. Team Torchwood finally got their foot in the door and instead of using their advantage wisely decided to play Doctor instead. So, I think "dumb" qualifies here.
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#13421

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 2:51 PM

He has no business blundering anywhere remotely like the circumstances presented by Thames House with any mortal.



Thames House already had a building full of mortals that no one thought needed to be removed...
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#13422

swansong

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 3:03 PM

I know I'm being pedantic here, but I think "dumb" is too much. It was smart people doing stupid things. But even then, I can't say that it was totally stupid. They acted rashly because time was running out and it's not as though they've never acted rashly before.......


I think it was more a case that the situation was urgent, but not exactly imminent. So they definitely could have taken a bit more time to get the lay of the land and chose, for whatever reason, not to take it even though it wouldn't really have hurt anything and might have helped. The only reason, besides getting Ianto killed off, to have them act this way, as far as I can see, was to prove how arrogant Jack was and have it come back to bite him in the arse so I have to assume even the writing wants us to see them as acting stupidly and irresponsibly. And yeah they have a tendency to act rashly and it never works out for them or the poor unfortunate characters who get caught up in their mess so maybe it was time to start rethinking that strategy.
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#13423

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 3:15 PM

Jack wasn't in charge of those mortals. The other people in Thames House, as Gilbert and Sullivan would have said, like the flowers in spring, have nothing to do with the case.

The 456 presented an unknown threat that might have just as easily had nothing to do with the other mortals in Thames House. But, man o man, did it affect the one in the same room who happened to be shooting at it.

(Obviously mileage varies widely.)

Edited by captanne, May 3, 2012 @ 3:18 PM.

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#13424

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 5:57 PM

Their plan was just to tell the 456 "no" and hope that would be the end of it. Even if you know nothing about an opponent it should be assumed they may react negatively to resistance. Jack and Ianto should have had some idea about what to do if the 456 retaliated. Why did they have only hand guns? I can't buy that someone with Jack's history couldn't have gotten access to some serious fire power. Frankly, Ianto's presence at Thames House was unnecessary. I don't know why RTD couldn't have given the team a less stupid plan that just went wrong.
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#13425

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 6:08 PM

Luckylyn, just take my word for it, please, that I typed out a response similar to yours and then deleted it. Because I'm never going to rewatch that series so I don't think I have a right to voice an opinion based on anything other than my first viewing in 2009.

But I feel exactly the same way.

PS: I have it on blu ray DVD so I'm supporting the team. But nothing will ever make me take the shrink wrap off of it.

ETA: Maybe Jack couldn't find big guns because a) he was all out of character anyway so why change now? and b) Gwen didn't tell him how?
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#13426

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Posted May 3, 2012 @ 11:39 PM

I can't buy that someone with Jack's history couldn't have gotten access to some serious fire power.

Considering the Hub had been blown up, the SUV stolen, along with Jack being shot twice, blown up (literally), encased in cement and then on the run from government hit persons, when would he have found the time in basically 48 hours to get his hands on said fire power?

Edited by SDcat2009, May 3, 2012 @ 11:40 PM.

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#13427

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 2:45 AM

Sorry, for just popping into the convo, i think the problem with Jack & Ianto in COE is that is was a convo for Season 2 but for whatever reasons the PTB would not let go of Gwack, they didn't have it and having in COE is only there becasue they are going to kill off Ianto, so the audience knows why Jack is sad. The bit i did like while Jack narks at Ianto when he asks where he is going when Jack goes to visit his daughter, Jack does the exact same thing to Ianto, when Ianto arrives back later than the others from their stealing spree and to me that showed them more as a couple that have been for some time

I do have a problem with the way Ianto died only because the plan was to go and yell at the Alien who was in a bullet proof tank and had threatened to release virus's before, it didn't seem very Ianto to think that was a good plan, it was a very Jack and Gwen plan normally, with Ianto staying behind and figuring out how to rescue them, but that couldn't happen cause RTD will not kill off Gwen,and you had to have a reason for her not going with Jack hence pregant but it was written the same way and Gwen doesn't come to the rescue that not what she does . Jack, Gwen and Owen are very much first through the door deal with things later, where Ianto and Tosh were what's the backup plan

Day 2 to me is pure Ianto, Gwen finds things out through luck by reaching Lois, cause she she still trying for the front door and Ianto is already at the back door not waiting or even trying to go through the front
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#13428

swansong

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 5:30 AM

Considering the Hub had been blown up, the SUV stolen, along with Jack being shot twice, blown up (literally), encased in cement and then on the run from government hit persons, when would he have found the time in basically 48 hours to get his hands on said fire power?


They could have tried consulting UNIT, I suppose.

Sorry, for just popping into the convo, i think the problem with Jack & Ianto in COE is that is was a convo for Season 2 but for whatever reasons the PTB would not let go of Gwack, they didn't have it and having in COE is only there becasue they are going to kill off Ianto, so the audience knows why Jack is sad.


I do have a problem with the way Ianto died only because the plan was to go and yell at the Alien who was in a bullet proof tank and had threatened to release virus's before, it didn't seem very Ianto to think that was a good plan, it was a very Jack and Gwen plan normally, with Ianto staying behind and figuring out how to rescue them, but that couldn't happen cause RTD will not kill off Gwen,and you had to have a reason for her not going with Jack hence pregant but it was written the same way and Gwen doesn't come to the rescue that not what she does . Jack, Gwen and Owen are very much first through the door deal with things later, where Ianto and Tosh were what's the backup plan


Pretty much agree with both these comments.
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#13429

captanne

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 5:56 AM

I especially like the way itsmeyousee, you blend the fiction with the meta. I know that's not for everyone (BFF can't stand it) but I think in order to constructively criticize something, you have to have the big picture. Without it, you're an ostrich intentionally sticking your head in the sand and ignoring a big part of the explanation.

I think I get that from being an historian but mainly from being a lawyer. Part of legal analysis is the "legislative history". You go outside the law itself and look at the who's, whats, whens, whys and hows. You place the forming and passing (or not) of the law in historical (external) perspective.

:-)

You given me food for thought.

As for Jack finding guns? I don't think Gwen told him how.


ETA: As I was dropping the sick dog off on the way to work, he and I had a chance to be alone together and have a conversation. We concluded that my newest feeling about CoE is one of disgust. The idea that the bolloxed up plot and holes in character continuity are all there even in part as a vehicle to facilitate killing Ianto disgusts me more than CoE did before -- those feelings were sadness, anger and frutration.

Writer One: "We need something to torture Jack with because we get great ratings when we torture him. I know, let's make him sacrifice a grandchild in front of his daughter who are plot devices because we've never, ever heard of them before. In order to get him to do that in the most graphic, angsty way popular (JB is a great crier! The ratings will soar!) Let's shivershake the kid until he bleeds out of his eyes, ears and nose and then dies, crying, in a pool of his own urine -- but, get this, we'll have Jack do it and the whole thing be done while the mother is screaming through the door window!! Awesome!! We'll sell so many Swiffer Wet Jets and Hob Nobs, BBC-1 will love us!!"

thinkie thoughts

Writer Two: "But, wait. What would get Jack to that point? Hmm. I know. Rusty's been bitching about Ianto "domesticating" Jack and, plus, GDL is getting married and you know what that means. He won't blow anybody. I think we could easily get a go-ahead to kill the character off. Actually, I'm surprised he's lived this long. He was supposed to die in Series One, doncha know."

Writer One: "But what about plot? How do we get Ianto into a room where we can kill him? He's not that stupid, is he? We've blown the whole budget on helicopters and huge exterior shots. We can't even afford to have an ambulatory villain. He gets a box covered in vomit and some smoke to hide the fact that he's really a muppet."

Writer Two: "Easy. We'll make a plot line that is full of devices. We'll make Jack be all weird about Ianto and Ianto be all needy and bimbo-y dumb so he won't even be missed. Right before he dies, though, we'll give him a chance to be surprisingly noble and brave. That will ratchet up the angst. No one will notice the lack of sense or character. Seriously, all we have to do is make Gwen the Hero and it will all fall in place. Rusty will love it."

And Captanne is disgusted.

Edited by captanne, May 4, 2012 @ 7:57 AM.

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#13430

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 8:31 AM

We'll sell so many Swiffer Wet Jets and Hob Nobs, BBC-1 will love us!!"


I think they'd be more perplexed.
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#13431

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 8:53 AM

The whole idea that Ianto domesticated Jack is ridiculous because we never really saw much of them as a couple. We got flirting, smoking hot chemistry, and a bit of sexy times. We never saw them on a dates or just being a couple. With Gwen and Rhys, we saw their playfulness in the morning, their heated discussions of their relationship, and Rhys holding Gwen at the end of a rough day. We've seen the full range of their relationship and what the dynamics are. We got so little with Jack and Ianto that there's still tons of debate over what exactly was going on between them. Plus, if the writers didn't like Jack in a relationship they could have had Ianto and him end their relationship rather than kill Ianto. The thing is Jack the flirt who gets around is something we've seen. Jack in a serious relationship is something we still haven't really seen. Plus, being in a relationship doesn't mean they have to be monogamous depending on what the couple involved have decided.

I had a weird dream. I don't really remember much of it beyond it involving Ianto and Suzie having lunch together. I wish we knew the whole of Suzie's story. I wonder what the dynamics were between her and various team members. I assume she and Jack were close because she was his second in command. She and Owen had a fling. I don't know how Tosh or Ianto felt about her. Was Suzie always corrupt or was it something that happened over time being exposed to so much power through alien tech. I feel like Suzie's fate is something that should have had a bigger impact on the team throughout season 1. The theme of how Torchwood could corrupt should have been something they kept going back to, but instead they shifted to Torchwood being all about death. They were betrayed by one of their own. Shouldn't that have lead to trust issues and a little paranoia especially when they discovered that Ianto also was keeping huge secrets? Pushing that could have better explained the mutiny in End of Days. Having the team fall apart and then find their way back to cohesiveness might have been interesting. The build up to the mutiny and the reconciliation was so rushed. I'm still shocked that the team expressed no guilt for the innocent people who got murdered as a result of opening the rift, but then Torchwood doesn't do consequences.
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#13432

swansong

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 9:39 AM

I feel like Suzie's fate is something that should have had a bigger impact on the team throughout season 1.


So true. I hated how they killed her off and then never mentioned her again or the team's reaction to losing a teammate in that way and even when they finally do deal with the effect on the team it's pretty all about her relationship with Gwen, a woman she met all of two minutes before being killed off. Granted it was a significant two minutes for Gwen, but it seemed to be forgotten that Suzie had presumably spent years and months side by side with Owen, Tosh, Jack and even Ianto so you'd think they'd have feelings on her death and return. Even her relationship with Owen is only mentioned in relation to Gwen.

The whole idea that Ianto domesticated Jack is ridiculous because we never really saw much of them as a couple.


Yeah I never got that either. I didn't realise the occasional on-screen innuendo and grope signified domestication. Maybe the writers have the same trouble of mixing fanon and canon like the fans do.

I also never really got the complaint that Ianto was somehow responsible for the lack of 'shags anything Jack' considering it's not as if we ever saw or even got a hint of Jack shagging around on screen in the episodes before he hooked up with Ianto. In fact all his making out with others happened during his period with Ianto not before and I think we got to see more of those relationships intimately on screen than we ever got of Ianto and Jack together despite supposedly lasting three seasons .

They were betrayed by one of their own. Shouldn't that have lead to trust issues and a little paranoia especially when they discovered that Ianto also was keeping huge secrets? Pushing that could have better explained the mutiny in End of Days. Having the team fall apart and then find their way back to cohesiveness might have been interesting. The build up to the mutiny and the reconciliation was so rushed. I'm still shocked that the team expressed no guilt for the innocent people who got murdered as a result of opening the rift, but then Torchwood doesn't do consequences.


Yeah it would have been nice if they'd done more with this.

Edited by swansong, May 4, 2012 @ 9:57 AM.

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#13433

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:04 AM

They could have tried consulting UNIT, I suppose

.

They didn't know who was trying to kill them. Jack did make a call to UNIT in Day One when everything started to blow up. And he did call the Home Office. Then he was blown up...at that point I don't think they had any idea who as trying to kill Jack, so why would he try to call UNIT again?
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#13434

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:10 AM

Jack has lived over a hundred years, has traveled to other planets, and had met with a variety of aliens. He should have contacts to get weapons from if only from his con man days. Plus, he could have called Martha Jones or Sarah Jane Smith. The whole Martha Jones is on her honeymoon was a terrible way to excuse not contacting her. Jack will kill his grandson but won't disturb Martha on her honeymoon to save children. I don't buy that Martha would have found out what was going on and used her government contacts for help while shielding the Torchwood team from whoever was attacking them.
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#13435

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:17 AM

They didn't know who was trying to kill them. Jack did make a call to UNIT in Day One when everything started to blow up. And he did call the Home Office. Then he was blown up...at that point I don't think they had any idea who as trying to kill Jack, so why would he try to call UNIT again?


I'm pretty sure he knew that Frobisher and co. were responsible for that by that point and that didn't stop him wanting to deal with them in Day 4 so why should it have stopped him with UNIT?
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#13436

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:24 AM

I don't believe it was a UNIT holding facility or soldiers that went after Torchwood. If anybody talked to anybody at all they would know that. Besides, Jack didn't really need big guns to threaten the alien; just working knowledge and schematics of that big old glass case it was hanging out in...and maybe a little bit of thought about how threats would be received by the alien. Seriously, they had no legs to stand on with that thing...they may not have been able to predict that it would release a deadly virus in Thames House (the first thing you usually do, though, in a crisis situation is evacuate a building--or at least in television shows and movies ;) ), but they knew it had control of the world's children and didn't know how strong that hold really was (it could've just been a bluff like with the Sycorax and the A+ blood type humans, but who knows?).

ETA: Back on the guns again...it's hard to believe that Torchwood didn't have stashes of weapons and other equipment; just a warehouse. Right, whatever makes the plot work. (Could've sworn Torchwood still had "holdings" in what was then recent Doctor Who episodes.)

Edited by indeed, May 4, 2012 @ 11:30 AM.

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#13437

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 11:47 AM

AFAIK, we never saw Jack shagging anything in canon other than Ianto*. Did we? Even in the Doctor Who crossovers. He talks a good game and we have John Hart who is willing to make sexy comments about Jack but.........

We have a wedding photo. We have Jack dancing with and kissing the Doctor. We have him immodest with the Gamestation Fashion Girls. We have his sad story with Estelle -- whom he clearly loved.

In MD we have Angelo -- which seems to have been a monogamous relationship with Jack getting all schmoopy.

*I think, all told, we have a single hook up and that was with Bartender Brad in order to shake out his memories of Ianto and his FlirtyFlirty with Gwen (at least that's how I read it. God forbid it should have been canon. And I take that impression from his drunk-dial convo with Gwen.)

And I have to give a nod to his seeming acceptance of the hookup with Rentboy Alonso Frame, prostituted by his personal pimp, the Doctor. (For purposes of this image and this image only, the character of Jack Harkness will be played by someone named "The John".)

So, honestly, I could be wrong and please correct me, the only "relationship" we have in canon is with Ianto. Such as it was.

Luckylyn I lurve your ideas about Suzie and how they could have threaded the theme of "betrayal from within" throughout the series.

Except, I have to give them credit in that I think that's what they were trying to do. They, like Torchwood, just didn't execute well.

ETA: indeed Not only "holdings" but what about calling Torchwood 2? And, do we mean to say that Torchwood One didn't have holdings elsewhere? And what about that entire network that included The Hagen-Daz Key? (Tasty!) Had those folks just disappeared? I know the actual story reset time but that didn't get rid of the existence of that groovy Citadel. What about the dude in Nevada with the entire Alien Museum? Doesn't he have some working tech?

Ah, fuck it. Torchwood 3, as goofy and bumbling as they were, would have had a stash of armaments and Ianto would have made sure of it. That kid, if nothing else, was super efficient at hiding powerful technology in undisclosed locations and keeping it in pretty good working order. Enough to do some damage.

Edited by captanne, May 4, 2012 @ 11:48 AM.

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#13438

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

That kid, if nothing else, was super efficient at hiding powerful technology in undisclosed locations and keeping it in pretty good working order. Enough to do some damage.

I'd argue Jack was the king of hiding powerful technology in undisclosed locations himself (see Doctor Who 1X12: Bad Wolf). ;) Too bad he wasn't packing for COE. *ahem*

Edited by indeed, May 4, 2012 @ 12:14 PM.

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#13439

SDcat2009

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:27 PM

Too bad he wasn't packing for COE. *ahem*


Well he might have been but it was blown out along with the Hub....



Regarding Jack's relationships. I just take it as canon that the mentions of relationships with Estelle and Lucia make it canon that those relationships existed along with his marriage to whomever that was. We didn't need to see all of those things happening on screen IMO for it to be canon that those relationships happened.
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#13440

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Posted May 4, 2012 @ 12:35 PM

Regarding Jack's relationships. I just take it as canon that the mentions of relationships with Estelle and Lucia make it canon that those relationships existed along with his marriage to whomever that was. We didn't need to see all of those things happening on screen IMO for it to be canon that those relationships happened.


I think the point was less about his old relationships being canon, but more Jack's reputation as someone who'd shag anything. There were complaints that being with Ianto stopped him being that on screen even though he wasn't exactly that before his sudden hook up with Ianto.
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