“You’re not a journalist, so fuck off”

Thursday, October 19, 2006 by

Dateline: 18 October, 2006, The St David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff. Russell T Davies and Chris Chibnall are hosting a Q&A session, following a press screening of episode one of Torchwood

IAN LEVINE: Russell, if Captain Jack is coming back to the last three episodes of season three of Doctor Who, what happens when…

RUSSELL T DAVIES: [Cutting him off] This is a Doctor Who question.

IAN LEVINE: It’s not about Doctor Who! It’s a Torchwood question! What happens if you go to Torchwood series two – which I hope you will – and he’s in Doctor Who?

RUSSELL T DAVIES: I can’t tell you that now! [Laughs] You’d wouldn’t ask Agatha fucking Christie whodunnit! Next question!

IAN LEVINE: But in Torchwood series two…

RUSSELL T DAVIES: Ian, no offence, you’re not a journalist, so fuck off.

Anyway, the news is, Torchwood is ace. And there was I expecting not to be wowed by the notion of a Cardiff-based killing-aliens division – assuming a homogenous line-up of square-jawed heroes would leave me cold (too macho, too clinical, too goal-orientated). But not a bit of it. The team of characters just feel right. Aside from there being a finely judged mixture of archetypes, we’re also shown insights into their personal lives pretty much from the off. And that’s maybe where the This Life references have sprung from. This is an ensemble show, populated with interesting people the viewer wants to be with.

If I had one reservation – and, contractually, I must – I’d say it’s a shame the show hasn’t been pitched at a family audience. Why? Simply because some of the concepts (a particular “magic” paving stone outside Cardiff’s Millenium Centre, for one) are exactly the right mix of the mundane and fantastic to excite a child’s imagination. The eight-year-old me would have gone nuts over some of the ideas here.

But then, the thirtysomething me is going nuts too, but that’s because of the news Chris Chibnall reads OTT. Not just that, he actually looks in on this blog. Regulary. Quick, everyone, look busy! Truthfully, though, I dunno what’s more gob-smacking – the fact he was kind enough to tell me so at the post-screening shindig (and secure his mention here today), or that I was actually standing in a room with two people who read this thing!* To me, that’s science-fiction.

* Nick Setchfield from SFX magazine, your continued patronage is also greatly appreciated.


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