Torchwood 2:5 (Spoilers)

Adam

I said at the outset that the series was threatening to come into its own. It now has. Writing and acting are now at the same standard, in this excellent character piece, which opens up many more questions about Jack and his missing brother. Adam inveigles himself into the team – an energy being who can manipulate memory. In changing remembered history piecemeal within the team he forces new looks at the key relationships – Jack and Gwen, Gwen and Rhys, Owen and Tosh, Jack and Ianto, and we see whether the real and fake relationships were based on chance or through something more primal. In cutting away the issues which at the end confound them all still, we could see their true potential and were left wondering where, under normal situations, things could really go.

The acting by the regular cast didn’t have a weak moment. The dynamic between Gwen and Rhys in particular is now driving the show, after being dreadfully written last series, and even Gwen’s feelings for Jack were given room to breathe and make sense. Despite Adam’s painfully 90s hair, he also enabled Jack to access lost memories about his family. The disappearance of his brother Gray was now given a context, leaving Captain John’s enigmatic closing line in episode 1 even more poignant. How did he find Gray, and who has he become? What implications will there be for Jack? Will the team move on after this, despite not remembering what happened (‘Eternal Happiness’), or will their personal lives continue to stagnate and be conflicted?

I was ready to give up on Torchwood at the end of series 1, but this week in particular we really had a chance to care for these characters, and the failings of series 1 really seem lost for good.

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5 responses to “Torchwood 2:5 (Spoilers)

  1. torchwood groupie

    omg confusing episode!!!!!

    owen and tosh are hilarous

  2. I agree, this was a very well-written and well-acted episode. This show is moving from being so-ridiculous-it’s-entertaining, which was what kept me coming back during series one, to something cloer to quality sci-fi.

  3. Seeing Burn Gorman actually act was a revelation. Owen was a good, if inconsistent character last season. Seeing what he could be was actually fun. And Tosh has proven a better actor than any of the rest of them. I never saw that coming. The dynamic setting up with them could yet be more enjoyable than the other ones in play.

    And yes, it was an unconventional episode. Having to work at getting the story is always more enjoyable. And getting John Barrowman to act quite as well as he did, when he spends far too often these days standing around looking enigmatic, is quite a feat. This series really is under control. Hurrah!

  4. I really enjoyed this episode too. The season has been light years ahead of the last one and I really feel like the programme is finally finding its own niche without having to try and bee to clever or adult for the sake of it. The whole Adam thing was very well played although it did go a little bit ‘touchy feely’ at the end.

  5. That for me is the real point here. Last series tried so hard to be clever and adult for the sake of it, and it simply isn’t doing that this time, making for a much more comfortable watch. I suspect their greater referencing of DW is partly to blame, as is their increasing reliance on their pre-watershed edition – the better the storytelling, the less will need to be edited. You can have adult ideas and situations before the watershed without any problem, after all – you’re dealing with adults.

    Gray seems to be the underlying theme of the series here. I’m looking forward to finding out why and what the impact will be on Jack. Speaking of Jack, he’s finally taking on Wolverine-type status, and not before time. Last series suffered through ignoring his past, pretending almost that DW didn’t exist. Now we get confused snippits and enigmatic, part-revelations, which work very well indeed and make him the interesting character he started out as.

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