Just how many “cinematic” shots of Cardiff can one BBC Three drama sustain? Just how many night shoots? From the looks of Torchwood, a lot of them.
Some of the shots did manage to make Cardiff look glorious and cinematic, particularly the sweeping helicopter shot of Captain Jack – so good they kept using it over and over again. Apart from anything else, what on earth *would* he be doing on the roof?
The production team also managed the neat trick of making me look at certain less salubrious parts of Cardiff and go “oooh, that looks pretty” in a way I never thought when walking back at midnight. Must walk around Cardiff more often the next time I pop down there.
The plot itself was fairly formulaic and dull – as inevitably any first episoder would be – but the story actually went in a different way to the way I thought, and had me almost at the edge of my seat by the end.
But oh dear, oh dear, oh dear … spoilers ahead
Now, I’m hardly a prude but did there have to be so many references to humans driven beyond rational thinking by sex?
If an alien device did exist that drove humans horny to the point of distraction, you couldn’t use it in a bar because you’d be shagging away on the bar before you got a chance to do anything. And making your proper first episode (ie all introductions done) a remake of Species makes it more like adolescent sci-fi drama than adult sci-fi drama. Although I suppose it gets the viewers, and not even Star Trek has been immune from this particular temptation.
Also, I hate to be uber-sensitive towards Oriental stereotypes but in a progressive show which has a bisexual leading man, a bisexual assistant and a Welsh policewoman with freckles, did the sole Japanese cast member have to take home the one geeky alien device? Forget the resurrection glove or the horny spray, she’ll take home the speed-reading device. That’s original.
But kudos to the script for not having Gwen blunder into Torchwood, and for the surprising ending. It does warrant further watching…