spock: logic is sexy

Torchwood is the enemy of sleep

I was supposed to be in bed an hour and a half ago. Instead I watched the cyberwoman episode of Torchwood. Every episode I watch, I squee a little more at how much it reminds me of my always and forever favorite fandom, Buffy. What I loved about Buffy was the emotional integrity of the story telling. It wasn't really a show about the monsters of the week; it was about how those monsters affected the humans who had to deal with them -- and how humans sometimes took on those monstrous qualities themselves. I see a lot of that in Torchwood too. When I saw the preview for the cyberwoman episode, I rolled my eyes. This, I thought, was where the series would descend to the level of cheesy science fiction about babes in metal bikinis. But it didn't -- at least not completely. I wished they could have capitalized more on the terror of being trapped in a building with a bloodthirsty cyborg, and setting the pterodactyl on her was rather wtf. Yet, these things didn't matter to me because that wasn't the real story -- the real story was that an unexplored, unnoticed character had saved the cyborg because he loved her, and in loving her, he had become corrupt. How that story played out raised questions not only about Ianto, but about the rest of the characters as well. Jack's anger was terrifying, and I think he really meant it when he said he would kill Ianto -- not necessarily because to protect Torchwood, but because he really, really wanted to kill him. I liked the way the ending set clear limitations for Ianto's character. He's not the guy who can get the job done, even when he knows he has to. That stands in contrast to Gwen and Toshiko, who will put their emotions aside if ordered to, and Owen, who doesn't need much prompting to focus on self-protection. Ultimately, I think this show is about the ways that each of the characters is vulnerable to corruption. Gwen's weakness is her relentless curiosity, Ianto's is love, and Jack, who seemed incorruptible, is vulnerable to his anger. And everyone risks losing sight of the humanity they are ostensibly fighting to protect. I loved that the episode reminded us of this at the beginning, when the doctor is looking at a thing and Ianto is looking at a person. It takes some real attention and effort to keep developing themes like that in every episode, and I admire it. Tomorrow I'll watch more. Tonight I'm going to bed.
Torchwood is the enemy of sleep
I hadn't considered it in the context of Buffy, but I agree; I was thinking more or less the same thing as I watched Season two.