Sunday, August 22, 2010

Letting go of everything you know

A lot of news has been doing the rounds regarding the new season of Torchwood lately, none of it particularly awe-inspiring. Call me superficial, but it being on Starz is hardly promising, the channel is responsible for the infamous Spartacus: Blood and Sand. Combine this with all the talk and, well, let’s just say I’m not holding my breath.

For one thing, I loathe that it’s being pushed as a reboot. It still calls upon what has gone before, so technically it isn’t a reboot, but it’s like the previous fanbase is being completely disregarded. It’s very much a new show, for a new audience. Which kinda sorta sucks to be honest. I’m not saying you should pay fan service at all, but it’s a little harsh to completely blow them off when, without them, you’d never have made it as far as you had in the first place. But hey, c’est la guerre.

It seems like the trend of completely negating things that should have impacted significantly on a character’s psyche is set to continue. It also seems to channel the X-Files a whole lot, but maybe that’s just me. Blastr have an article on it here, and Gallifrey News Base also has a run down of the network character profiles here.

Here’s the thing though – on one hand you’ve got RTD saying he loves the Gwen/Rhys power couple (who doesn’t, Gwen’s character improves infinitely when she’s teamed with Rhys) and on the other the UST between Jack and Gwen seems set to continue:
Rhys is now ahead of the game, as it were. There are no secrets. They're a team. It's a really lovely thing to write in a storyline is a husband-and-wife team who love each other.

And yet...
The only thing that could call Jack Harkness back is his unstated love for Gwen Cooper.

She loves her man, she loves her child, she loves this mad old world, and maybe she loves Captain Jack Harkness just a little too much.

Gag. No I’m sorry, it’s just...yeah. It’s never worked for me. I like Rhys too much, he doesn’t deserve this shit. Also, I think it’s absolutely hilarious that this is the exact description that’s come out –
Gun in both hands, baby strapped to her chest, she'll run and fight and never give up.
I’ll direct your attention to the comments on this post, where the lovely Abbi called it pretty much word for word. I still think Rhys will probably die though. Unless of course the fact that we’re now expecting everyone to die means no one dies cause the inverse is now subverting audience expectations...convoluted and therefore apt. In the Gallifrey post there’s also mention of Torchwood being destroyed yadda yadda and the keys being held by the only two survivors – so, what exactly happened to Torchwood Two then? It was just a strange old man in Scotland, but still.

Oh yeah and then this –
Jack finds himself back at the center of events, fighting not just for his own life, but for everyone on Earth. But this time, are the stakes too high?

This time? Really? I kinda thought that after killing your own grandchild and destroying your daughter, the stakes sort of don’t matter anymore.

The thing that really, really irritates me though is this sort of thing that I’ve quoted before:

Davies says this story, which "had been ticking away in my mind for a long while," had not been planned as a Torchwood story at all. "And suddenly I thought, there's a popular show, there's a great story, let's put them together...It felt like it definitely could move forward and become new again."

"I think it's a brilliant idea, and when you hear it, it will make sense and you'll see how big it is. It could have filled 20 hours. It's a big 10-hour story."

Well, of course you think it’s a brilliant idea, you came up with it. I firmly believe that it is incredibly difficult to write existing characters into an existing story in a believable, engaging way as both have their own mythology that has nothing to do with the other. That’s why crossovers so very rarely work. He might pull it off better this time seeing as he only has three existing characters he needs to shoehorn in, but I really wish he’d stop long enough to consider existing mythology and work within the parameters of it. He never does, for all his painstaking attention to detail and crafting continuity throughout a season of his Who run, he really gives no thought to things outside his sphere of creation. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s just my humble opinion that when you’re working inside an existing franchise, you’re kind of obliged to. And then you have someone like Steven Moffat writing in time agents, vortex manipulators and weevils. Just saying.

Anyway, I don’t really want to even know about new developments anymore because I’m just so over it. Every new bit of info disappoints me. It sounds derivative, it sounds like it’s been done before (and by RTD himself, to top it all) and the new characters just don’t sound interesting. I’ll watch it, of course, but somehow I don’t think I’ll ever be able to care as much as when it was just a cheesy show about five semi-competent alien catchers zipping about in their “secret” SUV – not just another sci-fi show with American production values. I’ve got Fringe and Warehouse 13 for that, it’s not what I needed Torchwood for.

Plus it’s called The New World and that just reminds me of the second Pocahontas Disney movie. Yeah. I’m taking it seriously, promise. You can’t see it, but this is my seriouz face...

Music: Helter Skelter - The Beatles
Mood: Relaxed

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