By Noah Michelson
On the other hand, there's something lacking: the spirit of the original series which seems to have been spruced up for its BBC1 debut with a dose of seriousness and accessibility. There's no room for silliness in this Torchwood universe where the worst culprits are not the aliens, but the governments of the world, ruled by fear and a sense of self-preservation. Torchwood, no matter its agenda, never struck us as a realistic portrayal of human life, no matter the fantastic situations and creatures and the campy fun has been all but drained from the three lone survivors of Torchwood 3 -- Jack, Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd), Gwen (Eve Myles) and Rhys (Kai Owen) -- Gwen's hubby don't even stick around Cardiff long as all the action is in London. Death and destruction are the order of the week as children are used as 456 mouthpieces and other, more sinister, purposes, Jack gets tortured physically and emotionally to the breaking point, and the team takes another casualty and romance is supplanted by angst.
Before the airing of the last part, most were hoping for a reset button to be pushed without worrying about the potentially ridiculous way it would manifest itself and wished last minutes of the previous part to have been nothing more than a very lucid nightmare. Alas, instead of a reset, there were a few more emotional blows and fandom collectively sobbed, then took some retcon to forget the whole thing ever happened. To add insult to injury, it's been announced that Uncle Rusty is moving to the US to try his luck in Hollywood, so this bleak ending is akin to a toddler breaking his toys so that no one else can play with them. How juvenile.
If you're a casual viewer, do watch the mini-series. If you're in for the characters, you may want to give this one a wide berth. If you're undecided, give it a try with the first three parts, but watch the last two at your own risk. Don't say we didn't warn you.
-- OLGA BAS
Previously > The 2009 Emmy Nominations are in!