Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Penultimate Torchwood, Displaced Doctor Who, & Their Disconnect

With one episode to go, Torchwood seemed to realize that it needed to jump ahead so we can get to the actual meat of the story. So that's exactly what they did as they two months ahead into the story. I was okay with this, but I just wished they had done this about an episode or two earlier. In any case, somehow the world still seems to be doing okay, at least if you were expecting the world to be some kind of dystopian hell. Instead we just have countries closing their borders, democracies slowly turning into dictatorships, and the world economy suffering a Great Depression. Is that all? Our heroes are laying low, hiding and planning covertly until their next move. Somehow though creep extraordinaire Daniel Oswald found them and bargains his knowledge of The Blessing (or at least a name of who might know of it). The big reveal of what it is was a bit anticlimactic since we're still not really sure WHAT it is. We do know that it stretches from one side of the world (Shanghai) to another (Buenos Aires) and it seems to be honed into Jack's blood. The what, the how, and the why is all left for the finale to somewhat tie altogether. Yeah, sure, good luck with that.

Many people may feel just a bit disappointed from this week's Doctor Who especially if they were expecting some answers or developments from not only last week's River-centric episode, but the revelations from the latter episodes of the first half of the season. The thing is, this episode was supposed to air as the fourth episode of the season and therefore the characters, especially Amy and Rory, are still clueless about big events to come. In essence, this was just a purely stand-alone episode that was postponed and thus should just be enjoyed on its own. With that said, while I found it to be ridiculously creepy, there was something off about it. I think, for me, what bothered me the most was the Deus Ex Machina ending where "love solves all." Still big-headed dolls... scary. If this did air where it was suppose to air, then some nice bit of foreshadowing with the Doctor's "in the flesh" line in the end and also the episode being about a child not really being one's child.

With those thoughts out of the way, just wanted to address the seemingly disconnected worlds of Torchwood and Doctor Who, at least during the past couple of seasons. We KNOW they exist in the same universe with Captain Jack making appearances in Doctor Who and Martha Jones going to Torchwood in the past. When Steven Moffat took over Doctor Who though it seemed like suddenly this isn't the case anymore. This disconnect became even more salient this season due to the overarching storylines of the two shows, which MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher nicely summarized with her observation that the Doctor cannot die in Utah because of Miracle Day. The thing is, this could easily be answered by stating that Miracle Day only affected humans and not Time Lords. Fine, but it has always bothered me that the two shows don't have many more crossovers. In fact in this latest Doctor Who episode, the Doctor can make "house calls" to a little boy who is having nightmares, but he couldn't help all of the little boys and girls in real danger during Torchwood's "Children of Earth?" And what about the underground Silurians who appeared in Doctor Who? Do they have nothing to say about the Blessing that apparently stretches from one side of the world to the other? Couldn't Captain Jack use the help of Martha Jones and Mickey especially since there's so few people he can actually trust at the moment? I know the real answer is that these are two different shows with actors and contracts and licensing rights and blah blah blah, but as a fan of both, I think this is all still worth asking.

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