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Torchwood: The Arse Spreads Across the Atlantic


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#21841

swansong

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 4:12 AM

 

 

I just feel like the other characters and the plot are a bunch of chess pieces in play to affect and effect Jack and Gwen. I guess that's how Doctor Who is too but it's a bit more well rounded and so far the growth as actually carried forward in a consistent matter.

I'd deviate and say that Owen and Gwen were the only characters I felt the writers took an interest in developing.I mean I never warmed to Owen, but the episodes that weren't focused on Gwen were usually focused on him and even in the ones that didn't he was fairly prominent and I felt by the time he was killed off I knew him fairly well. Jack was obviously a main character because of John Barrowman, but even he kind of stagnated for me considering the things he supposedly went through. He always felt like a character that was there mostly for Gwen to react off, to be the ying to her yang, sometimes absurdly so, and I never really felt much growth or after effect from him. Even his story lines started to feel like they were stuck in a pattern. I feel like Tosh and Ianto were the least fleshed out of all the characters, including guest characters, but even they I felt I understood better than Jack. I always felt, barring a couple of episodes that the guest characters of the episodes were better developed and fleshed out than the main characters tended to be.

 

It does seem like they wanted Torchwood to have the same character structure as Doctor Who with the main focus on the Doctor-like Jack and his companion Gwen with recurring others. But I think that worked on Doctor Who because the Doctor and his companion(s) move from place to place and really are the only characters that appeared regularly. Whereas Torchwood involved a 'team' we supposedly got to know week after week. That creates a different dynamic, but I don't think the show ever really came to terms with that. Might explain why they killed off all the other characters in quick succession and went back to the drawing board. S3 and S4 seem to work more like Doctor Who now where Jack and Gwen are the only real consistent and the new characters aren't really designed to stay for longer than a few episodes at most.

 

 

 

Watching TW straight through was kind of a head spin having the characters fall back into their place with not a lot of growth. Each episode was almost stand lone and most of the character movement reset at the start of a new episode.

I think that's what ultimately turned me off the show. They'd go through these big emotional upheavals or events or characters would be killed off, but by the next episode/ season it would be forgotten/ not amount to much unless it happened to be directly connected to the new plot. Even stuff like injuries never carried over either. Gwen is shot in Countrycide and Ianto is beaten to within an inch of his life, but you wouldn't know it in Greeks Bearing Gifts even though it's clear not much time has passed between the two episodes. I think Burn made an effort at the beginning of EOD to remember that Owen had been shot by Ianto in the previous episode, but that was pretty much it. Or they would show some growth only to have it retconned by successive episodes. It just became harder and harder to care about all their drama because it was almost always about the immediate dramatic moment and not much else.


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#21842

soulkissage

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 9:59 AM

Oh yeah Owen was developed but he was so yuck as a character. Imo. It's hard for me to think of such an unlikable character as someone the writers cared about. Until right before he died. Then they did noting with it but I liked the episodes. 

 

And Yeah Jack is only development when they show that he does have emotions beside his pheromones :p I always think of Jack like a cat in heat to the people he project his attention too. 

 

And I can see how the contained in the episode nature could be a huge turn off. It's almost like Torchwood is a paid for DollHouse adventure. 


Edited by soulkissage, Mar 30, 2014 @ 10:05 AM.

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#21843

Luckylyn

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 10:34 AM

I feel like Torchwood was The Gwen Show.  She's the character who got the most attention and development.  Sometimes I think the characters with the most attention suffered from it.   The lack of attention to Tosh and Ianto let them remain more likeable to me.   COE is an example of the writers taking an interest in Ianto, and his story was a mess.


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#21844

swansong

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

 

Oh yeah Owen was developed but he was so yuck as a character. Imo. It's hard for me to think of such an unlikable character as someone the writers cared about. Until right before he died. Then they did noting with it but I liked the episodes. 

 

RTD seems to have a thing for those  kinds of unlikable characters. I think Rex is a variation on Owen just without the side order of rape. He just talks about how glad he is some colleague's wife has cancer. I think the writers cared about him and more importantly I think they wanted us to care about him. I do think episodes like Ghost Machine and his affair with Diane, not to mention his character reset in s2 were all geared towards that aim.  As absurd as it seems I don't think they intended the pheromones scene to come off as badly as it did for some.

 

 

And I can see how the contained in the episode nature could be a huge turn off. It's almost like Torchwood is a paid for DollHouse adventure. 

 

I think it's possible to have mostly self-contained episodes and still have character continuity and growth, but I think you do need to have a certain amount of investment in your core characters as characters with their own respective motives and character traits and as more than just set pieces to move any given plot around. But even with the longer arc storylines like Miracle Day the continuity can be kind of hit and miss. I just think RTD has a really short attention span which seems particularly bad when it comes to Torchwood for some reason and that translated down. Maybe because he wasn't as invested in that show, maybe? I do think maybe if I thought of Torchwood as a collection of stories revolving around a particular guest character each week with the main team as props used to facilitate those stories maybe I'd enjoy it more. Because then you don't need to really worry about growth or continuity. 

 

 

 

COE is an example of the writers taking an interest in Ianto, and his story was a mess.

Yep it was kind of a crap shoot. I did mostly like his scenes between him and his sister though


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#21845

Luckylyn

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 12:58 PM

I loved Ianto's conversations with his sister.  Those felt like the beginning of something that could lead to more with him.  So, of course after only getting to the tip of the iceberg, they kill him.  Then, make him into a liar when he can't defend himself even though the lie makes zero sense.  Jack did a background check after meeting Ianto which Ianto was aware of and so wouldn't bother lying about his father.


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#21846

itsmeyousee

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Posted Mar 30, 2014 @ 11:53 PM

Hi everyone and i guess bye everyone

 

I think TW had an excellent cast with writers who didn't know what they had to be honest. First off we knew Jack and Owen to a certain extent through Gwen and once there was no more Gwen and Owen, we sorta lost Owen. We only knew Tosh through Owen, so once we lost him we lost Tosh. And only knew Ianto through Jack but that depended on whether Gwen was number one or not.

 

Unfortunately they never let the characters stand on their own. I would have loved to have understood more about Ianto and Tosh cause they were my favs. But more than anything i would love that Jack supposedly the main character made sense. Jack flip flopped all over the place. he went from the DW fun loving but very smart guy to tortured TW guy to complete twit who needed Gwen to tell him how to do things.


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#21847

soulkissage

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 8:07 AM

Jack lived a long time between his original Doctor who days and when Torchwood started. And then at the end of season 2 he was buried forever before he was found by Early Torchwood. Would he have conscious or conscience under all that dirt and gravel? Probably only limited but It does make you reflect. I can't even imagine what it would be like for Jack.

 

I'm not sure how he will be in Miracle Day but Jack has lived a long long time and he knows so much it can be hard for him to know exactly what to do especially because he used to not care about people per say. So it was easy for him to look at the bigger picture. Until he really connected to his team at Torchwood and of course the events of The DW year that never was...And then with Miracle Day there is perhaps the inner Fallout of COE. Tough I doubt there is much because these characters stay grounded in their character stereotypes. 


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#21848

Dizzy76

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 7:17 PM

Wow!  I came here to check and see if the conversation had gotten started again only to find that the forum is closing.  Very sad.  So I too will add my goodbyes and say that I really enjoyed the conversations I got to share in here. 

 

As for the conversation that's going on now I must say again that I got very frustrated at how Jack was handled on Torchwood.  I mean, thinking of the Tosh and Ianto neglect still makes me want to weep into my pillow because I gravitated to them the most, but I came to the show to see an expansion of Jack's character but I most definitely agree with those who say that the show failed.  And although I understand why Jack would go from the Doctor Who Jack that we first met to the Torchwood Jack he turned into, the show did a horrible job of actually telling the story/stories behind the transformation.  We got bits and pieces of stories and small glimpses of history but for a show whose main character was suppose to be Jack, they never spent quality time working on developing and working through those bits and pieces.  As has been mentioned already, Jack became another tool used to showcase Gwen.  His Torchwood development revolved around reacting to Gwen - unless of course the drama for the week needed something that they could throw in from Jack's past but only to be forgotten the very next episode.

 

And the thing that was the worst for me was that whenever he would go back to Doctor Who, they seemed to just toss aside all the crap they threw at him on Torchwood and any progress made was belittled.  And THEN, when he returned back to Torchwood, all the stuff that happened to him on Doctor Who no longer matter either.  It was almost like watching 2 different Jacks, one for each show.  It was beyond frustrating.  I wanted actual development and consequences and character growth.  Well, I wanted that for all the characters but we know how that story goes.


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#21849

Luckylyn

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 7:56 PM

I hated the way the writers would pile on trauma after trauma at Jack.  It's like he was there either to support Gwen's story or to suffer horribly.


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#21850

itsmeyousee

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Posted Mar 31, 2014 @ 9:57 PM

 

It was almost like watching 2 different Jacks, one for each show.

Couldn't agree more except i would add another Jack, Jack the thickie depending on how Gwen was supposed to be the hero in the ep. I was quite amazed when we did the rewatch that included the Jack DW eps at how smart Jack was. When most of the time in  TW he is used as cannon fodder to be honest.

 

 

It's like he was there either to support Gwen's story or to suffer horribly.

Yep. I put Jack in the missed opportunities department with Ianto and Tosh, especially Season 2. If they made Meat and the creature be about Jack and how he saw himself especially after TYTNW and that would have lead up beautifully to Martha being there and we wouldn't have had such a token bit between them after everything they went through. We don't see any real impact on Jack until MD then it stopped half way through for me anyway


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#21851

Dizzy76

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Posted Apr 1, 2014 @ 6:15 AM

 

f they made Meat and the creature be about Jack and how he saw himself especially after TYTNW and that would have lead up beautifully to Martha being there and we wouldn't have had such a token bit between them after everything they went through.

 

OMG, the tragedy of having Martha on the show and doing nothing with her and Jack concerning TYTNW.  I actually hadn't thought of Meat being used as a lead in to her appearance but that would have been brilliant! 

 

And I stand corrected on the number of Jacks we saw.  You guys are correct, there were indeed 3 Jacks.

 

On a completely different note: can you guys tell me where to go to get to the new thread that was created at the other forum site?


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#21852

indeed

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Posted Apr 1, 2014 @ 8:11 AM

New Torchwood hangout -- hope to see you all there!

Edited by indeed, Apr 1, 2014 @ 8:12 AM.

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