Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Torchwood farewell

It’s probably obvious to all my dedicated readers (who will now be sending me recommendations for a universal emoticon of sarcasm) that my enthusiasm for recapping Torchwood has waned significantly in the last year. While 2007 was characterised by a freezing Canberra winter and a number of dedicated Torchwood watchers (and recap readers) in my immediate vicinity, 2008 in the tropical North was nothing but blue skies, balmy days and barely a science fiction fan to be seen. I’m also studying full-time and have dedicated a considerable amount of time to my research.

Ultimately though, it’s the show’s lack of improvement that is most dispiriting. Torchwood is everything I dislike about the new Doctor Who bundled up into its own flawed and incoherent mess: an entire series of “Daleks in Manhattan, “New Earth”, “Gridlock”, “The Runaway Bride” and “Journey’s End” with never an “Empty Child”, “Doctor Dances”, ”Blink” or “Human Nature” to spare us from the interminable grind of monotony.

In a way, the sheer unapologetic awfulness of last season made recapping the show very easy. This season, the writers have welcomingly taken away the histrionic absurdity that made Countrycide so painful to watch and such a joy to recap but, instead of re-focusing that exuberance into the quality off-beat sci-fi dramedy Torchwood should be, the writers have replaced it with pure mediocrity. Season 1 was a clichéd jumble of sexual innuendo and cheap voyeurism designed to titillate rather than stimulate. Season 2 is just dull.

Plots are still contrived, relationships forced, characterisations confused and wooden, dialogue painful, and continuity poor. Watching John Barrowman hammily clunking his way through inconsistent drivel is bad enough. Being forced to see quality actors such as Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori marginalised in favour of the writers’ inexplicable love affair with the persistently-unlikeable Gwen is akin to a root canal without anaesthetic: a root canal with a manic dentist explaining how the procedure is all for our own good.

I’ve long maintained that a truly enjoyable recap can only come from a writer who either loves, or loves to hate, a show. At this point, I am neither and I think my delays and the quality of my work reflect this.

While I may decide to continue my recaps in the future for the simple fact that I hate to leave any work undone, I will be in no hurry to do so. The lack of commentary or feedback from my readers is certainly a factor in my decision. If you really do enjoy my recaps and want to read more, please let me know. Otherwise I can only assume you’re as bored with it all as I am.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No! Torchwood Season 2 was awesome! Don;t give up on it yet. It;s just hitting it's stride.