Thursday, February 28, 2008

Torchwood S02E08-A Day in the Death

Dr. Owen Harper has been having one hell of a week. He's died, been ressurected, faced death, lost all feeling and his job. Plus, he's officially a walking, talking undead. Unable to cope with his new perdicament, Owen contemplates ending everything once and for all. Will he ever be human again and can he still do his job and save a life? Will anything be normal for him ever again?

A Day in the Death stands as one of the best shows I have ever seen for this series. Owen, like most of the cast this season, has undergone a drastic reboot from season 1. And now that he is in a similar boat as Jack, the unable to die aspect, this episode gave us more of an insight into one of the shows deepest themes, the fine line between human and unhuman, life and death etc. Owen has now become one of my favorite characters in this show. He's no longer the arrogant ass that he was in Season 1, he's funny, more social, more open, more human (pun intended).

This episode is also the finale for Martha Jones's tenure on Torchwood. Oddly enough, this episode features Martha the least, giving the episode focus to Owen rather than her. This being said, her departure wasn't played very well. I mean, even though Owen decides to remain with the team in the end, it would have been nice for them to keep Martha on. Was she called back to UNIT or what? I mean, she just leaves all of a sudden with no explination. This was my only real gripe about the episode.

I'm sure we'll see Martha again eventually as a main cast member. But for now, we will just have to wait for Doctor Who Series 4 to see her in action with UNIT.

And major props to Christine Bottomley, who played the suicidal Maggie who is listening to Owen's story. She was a great foil to Owen and it was nice to see her evolve along with Owen as his story went on. Well done indeed.


Monday, February 25, 2008

Heads Up

Good news everyone,
I'm going home for break this Friday and am so pumped. Now all i have to do is survive three merciless midterms and equally merciless professors. The point is, Spring Break is on the horizon.

However, this does include a small downside. I will be cut off from a good internet signal for that whole week which means that in one week from this Wednesday, there will be no update for the blog. There will be a normal post this Wednesday with the new episode (the conclusion to the Martha Jones Trilogy). Don't worry, I will obtain the episode afterwards as soon as I return and hopefully there will be a double posting later that week.

Just a heads up, later.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Torchwood S02E07-Dead Man Walking

It is a time for greiving for Torchwood. Owen is dead, shot at the end of "Reset". But just before his autopsy can be performed, Jack departs abrutly and returns with another Resurrection Glove. His plan to bring Owen back to life backfires in the worst possible way. Yes, Owen is brought back, but something else has come with him. An ancient creature equivalent of the Grim Reaper is unleashed on an unsuspecting Cardiff using its energy and an army of Weevils to do its bidding. The team is in need of desperation, especially with Martha on deaths door. And it may take the power and faith of a dead man to defeat death itself.

Well yeah, if you haven't realized it by now, Owen was the one who bit the bullet. But come on, you can't keep these guys dead for long. This episode shares several similarities with last seasons "They Keep Killing Suzie", but the steaks have been raised considerably this time. I was hoping the second Resurrection Glove would make an appearence this season. And while I tend to agree with Jack on most of his calls, this was going a bit far and his decision to use the glove placed everyone, even all of Cardiff in danger. Not smart. However, the scene with Jack and Owen bonding in jail was pretty fun to watch (seeing Owen hurl upside down was so fracking funny).

Overall, this was an ok second act in this little trilogy. It was cool to see the interactions amongst the team in this time of greiving and uncertainty. And now that Owen is back and undead, it will be pretty interesting to see how his new perdicament works out, although judging from next weeks preview, he's not out of the woods yet. But Owen is a very cool character. Here's hoping he stays undead, or eventually becomes fully alive again for a while.

And yes, Tosh and Owen finally had an honest kiss (fan applause).


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Doctor Who S04E00-Voyage of the Damned

Barely any time has passed since The Doctor's recent victory over The Master when the tip of a cruise ship breaches the Tardis's hull. Turns out, The Doctor has just slammed into a space ferring cruise vessel named the Titanic, which is visiting Earth to study the Christmas season. The Doctor stows away onto the ship and begins to have fun with the guests, in particular a beautiful waitress named Astrid. But as with any ship named the Titanic, gloom and doom are never far away. A mysterious attack from an unknown enemy sends the ship on a collision course with Earth. To make matters worse, a virus infects the Titanic's servant androids, The Host, and has sent them to eliminate the Titanic's remaining survivors. For Astrid and the dwindling group of survivors, the Christmas is proving to be quite the opposite of cheerful. Their only hope, the stowaway who happens to be a 903 year old Time Lord from Galifrey...with a horrible track record of harrowing and dangerous Christmas disasters.

When is comes to Christmas Specials, you can always expect Doctor Who to deliver slam bang action, humor and excitement. And this episode continues that trend, albiet taking the formula to the next level. David Tennant continues to shine as my favorite Doctor, keeping his cool even in the most unhopeful scenarios and even offering plenty of laugh out loud humor to keep the situation from seeming to grim. Joining him this time is one time companion Astrid, played by British pop sensation Kylie Minogue. She reminded me a little bit of Rose, whom I still miss to this day. Her intuition and resoucefulness, along with her cheerful personality, sheer humanity and good looks make her anything by the stereotypical dumb blonde, more than a match for our main man The Doctor. Every other character in this episode follows the stereotypical disaster ship survivors seen in Titanic and Posiedon. Cliche as it seemed, these characters were fresh and full of life, from the overweight couple to the tiny alien newcomer whose name I can't pernounce.

If I had to rank this episode with the other Christmas Specials, this would fall in second. It's way better than The Runaway Bride, but not quite as good as The Christmas Invasion. Still, Doctor Who continues to shine with these little side stories, giving us a nice little interlude between seasons, while wetting our thirts for more. Here's hoping all our future Christmas's are as exciting as this.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Torchwood S02E06-Reset

In order to combat a series of medical related killings, Jack calls in newly instated UNIT medical officer Martha Jones to assist in the investigation. As old friends reunite and new relationships begin to take shape between Martha and Torchwood, the case gets deadly and leads to a mysterious doctor who is willing to sacrifice everything and anything to find the ultimate cure for all disease. And before this fight is over, one member of Torchwood won't be making it out alive...

Well, Martha is here and with her comes a huge breath of fresh air to the series, especially after "Adam". It was fun to see her conversations with Jack and learn about what she's been up too since she left his and The Doctor's company. Her being with UNIT was a big surprise, but it does clear up how she will be reintroduced into Doctor Who. The dialogue between Martha and Jack is some of the biggest geek moments of the episode, featuring plenty of Doctor Who jargon, featuring allusions to The Master, The Doctor, and the events that closed out Doctor Who Series 3.

It was cool to see Martha quickly making nice with the rest of Torchwood. She didn't come off as arrogant or stuffy and meshed with everyone, especially Gwen and Owen nicely. What can I say, Martha was awsome in Doctor Who and is even better than ever (and hotter) in Torchwood. It almost sucks to realize that she will only be onboard for three episodes, but here's hoping that she will come back to the series after her next Doctor Who adventure (but more on that later).

As I said in my "Adam" post, if you have a strong emotional interest in these characters, that's both a good and bad thing. The end of this episode was the most shocking event, I never saw it coming and I was speechless. I won't spoil who bites the bullet. Hopefully you'll all see the episode and find out for yourselves. Have a tissue ready and be sure to keep your voice down if you decide to scream in horror. (I almost did).

See you next week for Part 2 of this exciting and shcoking new trilogy. Just how far will Jack and crew go to bring back their dead comrade? From the looks of next weeks preview, they might just bring about the end of the world to do so. (Why is Torchwood always being given the title of Hearld of the Apocalypse?)


Torchwood S02E05-Adam

Torchwood appears to be losing its mind. Gwen's can't remember Rhys; Toshiko is more promiscuous; Owen's acting like a shy nerd; Ianto thinks he's a psychopathic killer; and Jack is seeing a ghost from his buried past. No answers are in sight and the teams dellusions are getting worse. But there's one peice of the puzzle that may hold the answer to their dilemma, an answer that is sitting right in front of their noses. And that answer is a member of their team named Adam...who has been a member of their team for three long years.

This episode poured on the drama and the emotion. I was close to tears at time from the sheer sadness. All around, you could see the cast giving their all, in particular Ianto and Jack. Jack's past was one of the biggest surprises of the episode and something we've been wanting to know about for a long time. For a guy so heroic and macho, his past is one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. As it turns out, the mysterious Grey is his younger brother that he lost in a battle on his homeworld years ago. The possibility of him being alive is going to be quite the shocker when that time comes.

And what of everyone else? Under Adam's mind warping powers we got to see hidden sides of them never before seen, including the already known revelation of Gwen's love for Jack and Owen's confession of love for Tosh. Granted, those of us who watch the show and know these characters knew these little truths already, but it was still good to finally get some actual confirmation from their scenes. And if you really felt sypathetic for Adam at the end, then you've got some serious issues.

This was one of Torchwood's most depressing episodes, but it was also one of their greatest yet. From opening to closing, you couldn't take your eyes off of it. And if you found yourself as close to tears as Jack and crew were, then you know you've found a strong connection with these characters. Which is all the more important especially considering what happened in the following episode.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Interlude-Future Plans

Well, I'm kinda bored right now. I'll probably be reading some more English stuff in a sec, but I wanted to post a quick update with future plans for this blog.

First are my plans to review the first thirteen episodes from Season 1 of Torchwood. Mind you since I'm working on Season 2 right now, this won't happen till after the current season is done. but if your curious about how things came to be, I can eventually give you a more in depth look than the quick one paragraph summary from way back.

Next, Doctor Who is almost back. And seeing how this blog is dedicated to all things Doctor Who and Torchwood (and possibly The Sarah Jane Adventures, no promises) expect to see summaries and reviews of the upcoming Series 4 of Doctor Who. If I have time between writing long as hell papers, I will attempt to post a review of last Xmas's "Voyage of the Damned" which is the unofficial intro to the next season of Doctor Who.

And finally, before I bow out, a quick heads up. Thanks to (a really cool blog site, check it out if you haven't yet) and Wikipedia, I've learned of the Torchwood double feature coming up tomorrow. Torchwood will air episode 5 "Adam" at it's usual time on BBC 2, then on BBC 3 (i think) right afterwards, we'll be able to see episode 6, which marks the long awaited introduction of Martha Jones to the Torchwood team.

Hope everyone's as excited as I am....later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Torchwood S02E04-Meat

An average car accident on the highway turns out to be much more when mysterious meat products are uncovered. Someone is smuggling alien meat into the population and Torchwood's determined to bring them to justice. But things get complicated when Rhys gets involved with the meat smugglers. Against his will, he is placed into a complex infiltration op with Gwen and the others. Love and duty collide when the op goes wrong. Will Gwen sacrifice Rhys to save the largest alien this world has ever seen? And when all is said and done, will Jack force Gwen to do the unthinkable to Rhys?

Well, it was inevitable that Rhys would somehow get dragged into Gwen's other life. And he acted exactly the way we all thought he would. Kai Owen, who plays Rhys, should get special props for accepting the challenge of, if you'll forgive the pun, putting meat on Rhys's bones and bringing the character into a more exposed light than ever.

And what about everyone else? Well, Gwen had to handle her at war feelings for Rhys and her job; Jack had to keep himself in check while he watched the woman he loves worry over her fiancee; Toshiko flirted with Owen; Owen had to play vet; and Ianto, probably the biggest surprise of the episode, showed off some bad ass assassin skills as the one man army taking on a group of thugs.

All in all, this was a fun episode giving everyone a bit of time in the spotlight. Gwen and Rhys's relationship is no longer in doubt after the situation they survived. And the final scene where Jack confesses he would miss Gwen if she left Torchwood was heartbreaking and sweet.

So far, it's been an amazing second season and in two weeks, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) joins the cast before her return to Doctor Who. But first, next week, which may end up being the best episode of the season so far with the much anticipated revelation of the mysterious Gray and other memories the team has felt to best keep under lock and key.