spock: logic is sexy

Thoughts on remix and Torchwood

I can't believe I was seriously considering defaulting this afternoon and now I have 2300 words! I ended up scrapping the character I originally wanted to write about, which was disappointing, but I feel much less lost now. In fact, the introductory scenes are totally finished, and the big pivotal scene is at least 75% done. I actually know what I want to happen, I just don't have the words tonight. I've even started on the conclusion, which is going to be pretty tricky, but I think I can get it done in the next two days. Of course, now two of the characters want to have sex, but I am determined to prevent that from happening. I have no time to write that, and that's what sequels are for.

I wonder if it will be very easy to guess what I have written. I feel like some aspects of the story are very much my usual fare, while others are a little further out of my comfort zone. I've also been eying My Guests, trying to decipher who might have me, but no one seems to be LJ stalking me right now. (For the record, that's how I figured out that rubynye wrote my ladies_1st story this Christmas.)

Anyway, Torchwood! I finished season one this afternoon, and organizing my thoughts into anything more than incoherent squee is proving difficult. I love this show so much! Now it's like having both Buffy and Angel back. The creature of the week format reminds me a lot of Buffy, but the characters' brokenness and fucked-upness reminds me of Angel. As I was telling rubynye this evening, I love Gwen because not everything about her is lovable. She's so real, and I feel like *real* female characters are even harder to come by than *awesome* female characters. So many shows pick up this "strong woman" archetype, and that's great, but I feel like there are lots of different kinds of strong women who aren't explored in our media. Thinking about her makes me want to compile a list of my very favorite female characters, but then I would also need to write about why they are my favorites, and that is a whole separate post.


Back to the main topic, I really like how Torchwood handles its female characters. Not only does is the cast pretty evenly balanced, the show often inverts gender stereotypes. Their secretary is a man, which is a nice change of pace. Also, I feel like a lot of movies depict a male character trying to balance his milquetoast wife/girlfriend with his exciting job, but this show does it the other way around -- Gwen is the one with the steady, reliable partner who sits at home while she risks her life. And Diane! She was just like Number One, except from the 1950s. I was really hoping they would keep her because I thought she would have been a perfect member of Torchwood, but if she had to go, I'm glad it was to fly off into the sunset while leaving a broken-hearted man behind.

Of course, on the subject of gender, I do feel that I have to mention the extensive Not Cool of making Owen a date rapist in the first episode. Actually, it doesn't bother me so much that he was depicted that way; what really upsets me is that the writers treated it as this blip on the radar, like it wasn't a big deal at all. Yet, I don't feel that spraying yourself with something to make your sexually irresistable is substantially different from slipping roofies in a stranger's drink, and that needed to be dealt with. Because of that, I feel like I have to make a stand against liking Owen even though they are making him an interesting character.

Sometimes I'm not sure whether the writers know it when they're making the characters creepy. That comes up with Rhys too. I know that Gwen is flawed, but I didn't buy her as so messed up that she'd slip amnesia pills to her boyfriend or lock him up in a jail cell rather than explain what's going on. On the whole, I don't like how any of their story arc has been handled. It was good in the beginning; obviously, a job like that is going to pull you away from your partner, and cheating on him seems like a plausible result. But I don't like the whole non-resolution of it. Whether she leaves him or not, Gwen needs to admit that she doesn't love him the way she thinks she does. And also, I think she should just tell him some stuff. I get that Torchwood is classified, but I think most people would just break down and tell at least part of the truth.

On the positive side, I really love how Jack's character has been handled. I love how slowly they spun out the back story, and how perfectly it flows into the person he is now. While I feel like some of the other characters' emotions are a little overdone, I like how subtle and understated his are. The actor who plays him is extremely good at crying. Right now, I am reading him as gay but sometimes has affairs with women, possibly because he grew up in a time where that was a necessary cover. The episode with the original Jack Harkness was beautiful, and even though my feelings about slash are complicated, I really love seeing a male character canonically portrayed as loving other men. Especially because (a) he is not stereotypically gay (b) is allowed to have physical and sexual relationships with those men.


Hm. I was going to try to save season two for later, but I'm not tired, so I think I will watch the first episode now...
I want to comment with my thoughts on Torchwood, but I don't remember what happened in which season and I don't want to spoil you, so I'll keep quiet!

If I remember correctly, though, some of Jack's origins are revealed in episodes of Doctor Who, and then aren't discussed - or are only alluded to - on Torchwood. Where he comes from, for instance. I could tell you, or I could point you toward those DW episodes, or I could keep my mouth shut. Whichever you prefer. :)
I'd like to know which DW episodes. I was actually going to post and ask how the two series related anyway.

I so wish I didn't have to work tomorrow. All I want to do is drink wine and think about Torchwood.
From the season with Christopher Eccleston: "The Empty Child" and "The Doctor Dances". Two of my all-time favorite episodes, incidentally. Jack is introduced and a little of his background is given. The tone of DW is quite a bit less adult than Torchwood, so Jack sometimes comes across a little differently. Actually, he sticks around for the rest of the season.

The next time we see him, it's like two years later. I think those DW episodes are set immediately after the end of S1 of Torchwood. "Utopia" is the first one, and IMO, the only good episode in the arc (there are two more).
To clarify: The Empty Child and the rest of the episodes in that season take place before Torchwood begins. Utopia and the episodes that follow take place between seasons one and two of Torchwood.
Hm. I wonder if I would like Dr. Who. Everyone keeps telling me that it's less adult than Torchwood, and most of what I like about Torchwood is its adultness. I suspect that's where the emotional resonance comes from. Maybe I will save these episodes for when I run out of Torchwood and need supplementary material. It would be good to find out where he was between seasons 1 and 2.
"Less adult" might not be the best phrase, now that I think about it. There are some heavy themes. Lots of people die. But there's less on-screen violence, no swearing, and no sex. It's not childish. Personally, by Torchwood's second season, I was liking it a bit more than DW, partly for its grit, partly because I was falling out of love pretty rapidly with David Tennant's Doctor. (Though I love Christopher Eccleston's version of the character.)
Ah, less rated R. That makes more sense! I think I will save these episodes until I am out of other Torchwood canon, but I am much more interested in them now!
I'm so spoiled by my little feminist corner of ST fandom. I'm always so shocked to hear about people maligning female characters for no good reason.

Maybe if Torchwood fandom is still active and I get to a point of wanting to be involved with it, I will have to make a where_no_woman style comm for the TW ladies.
I loved Countrycide! It was so creepy!

I think I will come around to DW eventually; I'm just a kind of monofannish girl, so I'll probably save it after my initial Torchwood craze has died down.
Won't My Guests only work if the other person also has My Guests turned on?