Last call for Torchwood © BBC
Last call for Torchwood © BBC
Last call for Torchwood © BBC

The penultimate episode and I’m losing interest. Considering this story lasts 5 hours, there’s really not that much been happening, and tonight’s episode slowed down by another notch…

As I suspected, Clem’s point of being in the drama was simply to let everyone know that Jack had handed over the children in 1965, other than that, he was just padding. Then we had the ridiculous, but not unexpected, over-reaction by everyone that Jack had done such a thing. Ianto had the classic line, “But I tell you everything”. So Ianto expects an immortal man to sit down and tell him everything? Ianto would have died from old age if Jack had started his back story…

That is quite typical of writer Davies. He goes for the emotional scenes, but has little ability in placing them in a decent dramatic flow, so we get a sequence of disconnected scenes.

Things really slowed tonight with the moralizing about which children to chose. It was a nice idea, but it went on and on, while the aliens did nothing interesting at all. It did make me think somewhat of the Wizard of Oz, that the aliens are putting on a theatrical show for the Humans, and aren’t really strange at all. I hope we find out the answer next episode. Well, I hope we find something out.

So why did Ianto come along? © BBC
So why did Ianto come along? © BBC

The most bizarre scene was Jack and Ianto marching in to tell the aliens that they were at war. Er, how? Would you go up to a Dalek and declare war? No! So in what way did Jack think he had the upper hand with the aliens? And while Jack is immortal, why on Earth did he take Ianto in with him into the lion’s den? Doh…! So what hgappened to Ianto wasn’t a surprise at all, except to the Torchwood.

Daft in another way was the stange over-reaction by the people racing down stairs and trying to escape the building. They worked there, so surely they knew it was escape-proof? And why were there just 10 of them rushing up and down corridors, and why were they screaming? An alarm went off, but I didn’t hear any announcements about something deadly. It was all a bit Keystone Kops. Oops…

Two good scenes though, Gwen being really confident when the secret service (or whoever they were) turned up at the warehouse, and Lois Habiba turning the tables on COBRA.

A wasted opportunity was the unknown cameraman who went into the alien’s tank. Usually we’d have an establishing scene with this character beforehand – after all there were plenty of dull points in the plot to place this. Then when he enetered the tank we’d have felt a lot more empathy with him, and hence his terror. It is a shame that few characters in this story are fleshed out. It’s a bit sloppy.

So tomorrow it all comes to an end. It’s taken long enough to get here – and I think we could easily have lost an episode from this epic. And the trail for tomorrow doesn’t look very interesting. No shots of the aliens, so is the whole episode about how nasty Humans are? But then that’s a favourite theme of Davies; he just doesn’t like Humans. They’re always the villains in his work the trail seems to centre on society/civilization breaking down.

I hope it’s something more than that…

[Rating: 2]


Jan Vincent-Rudzki

UK editor of Film Review Online