Monday, June 7, 2010

Torchwood update

Just finished the next disc and since one ep ("Random Shoes") is narrated by a ghost I think the show can pretty firmly be considered only partially SF. I'm not especially concerned one way or the other exactly how this or any show might be classified but do think it's interesting how this is marketed. The creators of FlashFoward for instance went way out of their way to claim the show isn't SF but they had two options - either the blackout event was technical in orgin which would make it SF or it was not technical which means supernatural and it's fantasy. But while the FlashForward folk are scared of losing viewers if the show is labelled SF the Torchwood people seem to be latching onto the SF status of Dr. Who as a way to get viewers who might have ignored a Brit version of Supernatural.

In any case, "Random Shoes" is one of those eps where the show goes outside the usual routine - other examples being the documentary on MASH and E.R., the ep told from the viewpoint of two maintenance guys in Babylon 5, the VH1 "where are they now" Simpsons. (Too bad there was no way for 24 to have done an ep about an investigative journalist trying to piece together Jack's career.) In this case it's not just the ghost but that the person was a UFO buff who observed Torchwood only from far away (and which had been set up in an earlier ep). It's mostly well done though a tad too much towards the maudlin carpe diem, life's little things approach.

The other ep on the disc was "They Keep Killing Suzie" which except for a quasi-scientific explanation would have been another resurrected life vampire story with also a positive "appreciate the moments" theme. Well that theme and the genius of bored evil since it does have a clever and pretty unbelievable twist. (And I know I've been in the book business too long when the characters read out an ISBN--the first use of that I can remember in any movie or show--for a Faber edition of Dickinson but when they start with "019" I immediately think that's actually an Oxford number. Turns out I was correct too - why didn't they use the actual ISBN?)