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Day 30: Why You Love Torchwood

I'm two days late, I know. But I was busy being unenthusiastic about figure skating, and besides, this is the last question and somehow I keep thinking I have to post some kind of profound Why I Love Torchwood (capital letters and all) manifesto—which of course I don't, but that's the thing my brain does all the time. Putting pressure on me for no reason at all.

Actually, a lot of what I wrote in my first ever 'torchwood'-tagged entry (Feb. 2007, skip=100, and that's without this meme, because I tagged only the first post) is still true. Strikingly effective images, a pterodactyl, humour, big drama, plenty of utter heartbreak moments, hard moral decisions, and interestingly flawed, very human characters that I fell in love with immediately. There really isn't much to add to that, except, with CoE, 'epic scale tragedy'. Most importantly, it worked for me emotionally from the start. Why do these things happen? What does make one show click with you, while another, perhaps objectively better one, doesn't?

I like my shows to have a serious, borderline philosophic element, life and death, meaning of life, good and evil and the shades of grey in between, and for me Torchwood, especially with Jack and his immortality, always had this, although this is an approach that sometimes put me in a bit of an odd position in a fandom where at least half the fans didn't even take canon seriously. There are the obvious ways in which TW is indebted to Angel and Buffy, but I think on a less obvious level TW's premise has always been Buffy's, 'The hardest thing in this world is to live in it', from the end of S5.

TW has kept me thinking and writing for almost four years now, and it's the first and only show where I consider myself part of fandom, even if it's still mostly in a hovering-on-the-edges sort of way. So, not a polished manifesto, but in the end I think there's little I can say here that I haven't said better and more convincingly the meta posts I've written over all that time...

List of Questions )

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Day 29: Best Torchwood on Doctor Who Moment

I'm not sure if that really counts as a Torchwood moment, and it isn't even a single moment, rather a conjunction of moments, but I'll go with it anyway, because I love it so completely:

The fact that Jack's story already has an ending on Doctor Who.

Because if you really think about it, Utopia/LotTL is terrible for Jack, especially after all the immortality angst he already went through over the last century. And he knows it, too. Standing there, a hundred trillion years in the future, looking down into the abandoned conglomeration, the Doctor telling them that this isn't just night, but an ever-lasting darkness at the very end of the universe, Jack already does realise what that means for him, unless the Doctor can fix him. It's very understandable that he thinks it's fantastic that humanity made it so far and is still surviving, because this way at least he won't be all alone. And if this prospect weren't already terrifying enough, LotTL makes it so much worse: Utopia is just that, a place that doesn't exist, the sky isn't made of diamonds, there are no promises, only darkness and despair, and 'You may be out there somewhere.'

The implications of this aren't really addressed after Utopia, but it's the kind of thing that... lingers. And then, right at the end, we learn that it won't be like that, after all. That Jack's story already has an ending, no matter what might happen to him in the meantime. And it's a good one. It's the heroic ending Jack wanted for so long. Jack, in the end, is at peace. He even has the Doctor there, begging him not to die.

Maybe it was a completely impromptu last minute retcon; I don't care. it's a stroke of genius. It changes the dynamic between Jack and the Doctor, it fixes the lingering uneasiness about Jack's eventual fate and gives his character a new gravitas; it fits just perfectly in every way and intentionally or unintentionally adds layers of meaning and depth to the story. There's something Jack says at the very beginning of TW, in Ghost Machine, 'The problem with seeing the future is you can't just sit and look at it. You got to try and change things. Make it happen differently', and when I'm watching Gridlock now, I keep thinking, he's still trying. Of course he also knows he can't really stop things from happening and probably shouldn't, but wrapped in all this deliberate mysteriousness he still gives Ten the key phrase that might have changed so much for him if only he'd been willing and able to read it differently, instead of insisting that only another Time Lord would make him less alone.

List of Questions )

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Day 28: Where You Think The Series Should Continue To

Sadly, my brain is strictly analytical, and not at all creative. No idea whatsoever. I'm more of a wait-and-see kind of person, if only out of necessity. But seeing as RTD has yet to write a story that doesn't on some level resonate with me, I'm not particularly worried, although I'd prefer to maybe not have my heart torn out completely every time. Generally speaking, the direction the show took with CoE is fine with me; I really liked the new format with one overreaching story-arc instead of monster-of-the-week stories.

List of Questions )

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Day 27: Favourite Location Or Set

[Day 27? I've been doing this meme for almost four weeks now? Where did that time go?!?! *is baffled* *also a bit freaked out*]

Generally speaking, I'm definitely going to miss the Hub and Cardiff.

More specifically, the derelict pool from From out of the Rain is gorgeous. Someone paid a lot of attention to the visuals in that episode; a pity that the plot didn't quite live up to that.

List of Questions )

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Day 26: A Torchwood Geek Moment You’ve Had

Sitting in a pub almost exactly a year ago, half-drunk, very earnestly explaining slash and the post-CoE state of Torchwood fandom to G. (male, straight, not really interested in Torchwood, knows nothing about fandom). He said I should write about this. I said I can't, I'm part of it. And spent the next six months writing epic meta, in what I suspect was at least partly an ongoing effort to come to terms with a story that wouldn't let me go.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 25: Shag/Cliff/Marry?

I'd have replaced this question, too, if I'd found a good one to replace it with. I'm just too asexual for this game.

Cliff: Jack (because he'd volunteer anyway), or, better still, the pterodactyl.
Shag: Gwen (very hypothetically)
Marry: Impossible to say, even hypothetically. I'm really not into this constant-danger-and-death thing. And the minor characters are too little flashed out to decide. Right, clearly I am neurotically overthinking this. Alice, if I have to pick anyone. Before the events of CoE.

List of Questions )

In related news, while I'm trying to avoid spoilers for S4 as much as possible and am not reading anything, just scanning the newsletters and seeing the links to news about the filming makes me kind of giddy. After all this time it's hard to believe it's finally happening. And I think the timing is good, too. I'm very ready for new canon and for the story to go on.

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 24: Favourite Toshiko Moment

I think this meme has already proven that I'm totally incapable of making a single, simple decision. *sigh*

Episode: To the Last Man, definitely. Lots of lovely moments.

What I'd also like to add, though: Countycide, when she and Ianto are imprisoned in that cellar, and Ianto freaks out and accuses her of getting a high from the danger, and she shoots back, 'You want me to apologize for that?' And then tries to protect him from seeing the contents of the fridge.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 23: Favourite Owen Moment

Not so much moment, as episode: A Day in the Death was definitely one of the highlights, if not the highlight of S2.

If I have to pick a single scene, then it's Exit Wounds, when Owen realises he's going to die, and Toshiko begs him to stay calm, and he yells at her, why should he, and she says, 'Because you're breaking my heart'. And Owen shuts up and apologises. (Also, the rest of the scene.)

List of Questions )

(Aww, Gridlock is on TV. ♥ so much!)

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 22: Favourite Jack Moment

*sigh* There are a couple of moments from CoE I could probably pick, but most of them are just too painful to fit the 'favourite' category. The conversation with Alice in Day One is brilliant and heartbreaking, though. Family is something that RTD always writes really well.

After some deliberation, the scene between Jack and Adam at the end of Adam. I'm still not sure the thing with Jack's memories makes complete sense, but it's one of my favourite episodes regardless and I've always loved that scene. Jack's wariness, then giving in to the temptation, the brief moment of happiness, the raw, undisguised grief and longing changing into outrage when he realises what Adam had done, and then you suddenly see the other, older, colder, Jack coming through as he holds up the pill again, and Adam tells him if he takes it now, he'll lose everything, and Jack just looks at him, still with tears in his eyes and on his face, and rolls the pill between his fingers just a bit, his face hardening by the moment. And then swallows it, and slides down the wall, still struggling to hold on to the memories as they turn into dust. You see a lot of Jack in those four and a half minutes.

I don't really care if it's objectively good acting or bad acting; I'm not a judge of that. But it works for me completely and breaks my heart every time.

(And here's another moment I really like, but that somehow never fit into any of the CoE meta: Jack's last line at the end of Day Three: When he tells Gwen that in 1965 he gave the 456 the twelve children there's nothing but regret and shame and horror at what he'd done in his voice. But then Gwen asks, 'What for?', and Jack says, 'As a gift', and his voice... changes. His face changes. All the emotion disappears again. And suddenly you see the man who did that, who was able to do that. Once again, a lot of Jack in just three lines.)

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 21: Favourite Ianto Moment

Should have been easy, but somehow isn't. Especially as I wanted to find a moment that isn't about Jack. I'm actually, genuinely, at a loss here. Adam, because there's a lot of meaning in a single 'you'? The beginning of Ianto's story in Fragments? The end of Cyberwoman, when Ianto finally tries to shoot Lisa, but can't? Close, I guess. And not about Jack. What I'm also leaning towards is the 'the world is always ending' conversation in CoE, because if I cheered Gwen on in Meat, that was the moment where I was cheering Ianto on. Those questions should have been asked (and, more importantly, answered) a long time ago.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 20: Favourite Gwen Moment

What I really like about this meme is that it doesn't ask for best moments, so I don't feel obliged to find something that holds up to some sort of lofty quality standards. Well, comparatively speaking, obviously.

As far as episodes go, I absolutely love Gwen in Everything Changes, Adrift was a very good episode for her, and Something Borrowed was a lot of fun. I could probably find a good moment in any of these, as well as in CoE.

The scene I was really cheering her on, though? The end of Meat, when she decided not to retcon Rhys; not the least because part of me expected her to do it. Rules? Oh, please. Everyone in that scene insisting she follow the rules already broke them in major ways. There are probably also rules against bringing your half-cyber-girlfriend into Torchwood, bringing your alien not-quite girlfriend into Torchwood, opening the rift to get the girlfriend who left you back, shooting your boss (actually, there are laws against that kind of thing), or against keeping people who do any of the above employed. There certainly were rules against taking alien stuff home, and everyone did that in the first episode. Do we even want to know how many rules Jack broke over the last century? And that's not even touching on the fact that Torchwood violates laws and basic human rights on a regular basis. When random old ladies know about Torchwood there's absolutely no reason Gwen should have to ruin her relationship to keep a secret barely is a secret any longer.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 19: Favourite Outfit

This clearly needs pictures. Also, I decided to pick one favourite outfit for every character. Well, except Owen. (Once again, sorry, Owen!) But the only outfit I even remembered is the lab coat with the buttons, and I can't really say it was a favourite.

Jack )

Gwen )

Ianto )

Toshiko )

List of Questions )

solitary_summer: (diana)
30 Days of Torchwood: Day 18: Character You Relate To The Most

For some reason, Jack. It's ridiculous, really, because I'm as unlike him as it's possible to be, and my life is completely lacking in danger, death and sex. No aliens either, so far. But there it is. I've stopped trying to make sense of it.

List of Questions )

solitary_summer: (schnecke)
30 Days of Torchwood: Day 17: Something You’d Like To Re-write

Oh dear. This is really a brain vs. heart decision.

Brain: Exit Wounds and the whole arc with Gray and Jack's childhood.
Heart: The Jack/Ianto arc in the second half of S2.

Heart wins. )

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 16: Favourite Piece of Music

This is another easy one, because I very rarely consciously notice music in movies or TV shows; so there aren't a lot of pieces to pick from. The music in A Day in the Death was beautiful, though; even I noticed that. The funny (or, actually, sad) thing is, I even bought the TW CD on iTunes because I liked it so much, and on its own, removed from the context of the episode and its images, it doesn't do a lot for me. (Except remind me of one of the quieter instrumental pieces by NIN, which is irritating, because I can't figure out which. Probably none.)

List of Questions )

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[No post yesterday because 1) I was simply too tired after Tai Chi class, and 2) the answer is not exactly news to anyone on my friendslist, so an extra post seemed unnecessarily spammy.]

[Also, made a sincere attempt today to buy something new to wear for my sister's wedding, but seriously, every time I think fashion can't get any more hideous, somehow it still does. H&M was an unmitigated nightmare of ruffles and pastels. Pastel ruffles, even. *sigh*]

30 Days of Torchwood: Day 14: Favourite Couple

Do I even have to answer that?

30 Days of Torchwood: Day 15: Favourite Couple Scene

After some consideration, the end of Ianto's story in Fragments, from the moment the pterodactyl drops Jack into Ianto's arms, to the end of the scene, when Ianto finally gets what he wanted and breaks down quietly as he walks out.

Because some stories are just *right*. )

List of Questions )

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No more physiotherapy at 6:15 am, thank God.

30 Days of Torchwood: Day 13: Favourite Promo Picture

To be perfectly honest I don't like most of them, because they have this tendency to be over-photoshoped until the characters are barely recongiseable any longer.

If I have to pick one... )

List of Questions )

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Oh, *sigh*. It's 14:30 and I've done nothing but procrastinate today.

30 Days of Torchwood: Day 12: Favourite Quote

There isn't really one. What Owen says to Maggie at the end of A Day in the Death comes closest, though.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 11: A Scene That Made You Angry

Sleeper; see Day 05. Being concerned that someone doesn't get dehydrated or is strapped to the chair too tightly is a bit beside the point when they're about to be subjected to a potentially deadly and certainly painful procedure the dangers of which they've been lied to about, and you're doing nothing to stop that.

List of Questions )

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30 Days of Torchwood: Day 10: A Scene That Made You Smile

The thing is, I have such a hard time remembering scenes that make me smile, because they usually are overshadowed by the gloom and doom that almost inevitably follows. (Case in point, even CoE had quite a few genuinely funny scenes—how adorable is Gwen telling Rhys about her pregnancy lying on top of a crate of potatoes?—, but seeing how things turned out, mentioning them feels almost wrong, somehow.)

Something Borrowed. I think that might be the only genuinely funny, non-angsty episode over the course of the entire history of the show.

And KKBB, the scene in the office with an uncharacteristically uncertain Jack and an adorably flustered Ianto; that probably won't ever not make me smile.

List of Questions )


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