Torchwood‘s False Advertising

bq. “The fascinating thing about Torchwood is that they’ve skipped the messy business of making the original show, and jumped straight to the slash fiction.” — Someone on a message board

A follow-up on my Torchwood review. I’m increasingly of the opinion, now that I’ve watched through episode 6, that the show was sold under false pretenses. Instead of being an edgy drama about an alien investigative force anchored by time traveler Jack Harkness, it is a cheap thrill show about the meandering moral journies of crappy cop Gwen Cooper.

The most recent episode, “Countrycide,” really turned me off to the show. Jack, lacking in all leadership skills, can’t control his team, most notably young upstart Gwen, who, between retching every time she sees another dead body, goes running off without full posession of the facts after an enemy that she knows nothing about. In the end the twist is that there aren’t any aliens involved at all — merely a crazy cannibal family — and, her worldview shaken, Gwen takes refuge, not in her loving boyfriend of several years, but in her jackass teammate.

After being completely unlikable throughout the entire episode, Gwen goes and cheats on her boyfriend because she feels that she can’t confide in him all of the terrible things she sees, even though there is *no evidence of this*. I mean, you say you’re “special ops,” this is clearly a “special op,” there were no aliens involved and so no need to fudge the story, so what’s the problem with telling Rhys about your crappy day? I won’t even get into the ridiculous plot, ridiculous cannibals, ridiculous interrogation scene, ridiculous behavior by Jack, ridiculous behavior by Owen…good grief. Not the show’s shining hour, I’ll tell you that.