Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Why Torchwood Is Bloody Brilliant

I watched the second episode of the Torchwood mini-series "Children of Earth" tonight. I've been a fan for a long time, but got to really thinking about the show itself, and the characters. What struck me in this episode (minor spoiler alert) is that you wind up with Gwen and Rhys and Jack and Ianto working together. Essentially, the quintessential straight couple and a gay couple working together to expose government corruption and save the world from aliens!! Brilliant!

I've seen interviews with Russell T. Davies and he's obviously an ego-maniac, but he's also a terrific writer. "Children of Earth" makes the point that, before the aliens even arrive, there are forces in the government that want to cover their own asses and deny all responsibility even as they are conspiring with the aliens. I know this is the same theme that Chris Carter explored in the X-Files, but here it's even more sinister, if that's possible. Davies has made the government the real enemy, not the aliens - they're almost incidental.

And as a gay man, I love Capt. Jack Harkness. Gay kids haven't had any role models, and Jack is long overdue. He's dashing, he's gorgeous, he comes in guns blazing and saves the day; oh, and he's shagging the coffee boy. LOVE IT!

Even more I love the idea of the four of them (Gwen & Rhys and Jack & Ianto) working together without squabbling, calling each other names, etc. They don't care what the other ones are "into," they've got more pressing problems at the moment, thanks very much. That's an attitude that a lot more people need to see and adopt.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the series, it looks like a hell of a good ride!