Lost in the Ashes of Torchwood

Wednesday, March 26, 2008 by

The general mood surrounding telefantasy fans has been a little down of late.

 Ashes to Ashes has consistently mystified, with episodes regularly grinding to a halt halfway through for some oddly unrevealing moments of characterisation (the end of last Thursday’s ep where Gene Hunt offers an apology seemed particularly pointless). Meanwhile, Torchwood infuriatingly continues to miss the mark. The whole thing seems compromised by a kids’ show premise sitting in an adult drama. You get the sense the production team is so confused by the series, they’ve lost any sense of what a good episode of Torchwood should look like. Series two hasn’t been completely crap, but it’s continued to underperform.

It’s Lost then, that I am turning to for my telefantasy kicks at the moment. This fourth series has been taut and adrenalized. The key moment for me occurred some weeks back when Jack asked Faraday to explain why he was running strange experiments on the island. The traditional prevarication then ensued, and I was left assuming that the answers Jack was looking for would be withheld for weeks on end. But just five minutes later, Faraday was outlining the whole theory regarding the island being caught up in some kind of time vortex thingy. What a relief to get some answers.

I’m not sure if the 60-odd hour investment in watching the first three series to start getting these kind of pay offs is entirely worth it, but the episode in which Desmond started jumping through time, was quite simply the best slice of telefantasy I’ve seen since ‘Blink’, and remarkably complex and high-concept for a mainstream TV series.

Completely unrelated, but a quick nod of appreciation too for Virgin 1′s American Inventor.


Comments are closed.