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UK FANS: Is Torchwood too American now?

  • Avatar of Heather_H

    Heather_H

    [1]Jul 15, 2011
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    What do you reckon?

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  • Avatar of KaiRea

    KaiRea

    [2]Jul 15, 2011
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    Hard to tell from just one episode how the rest will pan out. For this single ep though, I personally felt that the stamp of hollywood was on the show.


    Too much gloss, too many explosions overshadowing what were actually quite important plot points - and then not enough explanation on others. Rex's character being 'innocent' would have been the perfect way to give a brief explanation as to why Jack having cut and bruised himself and not healing was a problem and odd. Instead they just had him (Jack) and Gwen worried.


    Too much exposition that really shouldn't be needed considering this got made because the series was already popular (Why is it being listed as a separate series on here anyway? It's not series one of a new show, it's series four of a continuing one!). Plus, a lot of what was explained about Torchwood wasn't actually correct as explained in the Who-verse and Torchwood itself as a show.


    It may get more Torchwoody later on, but although it's entertaining enough, it does seem to have lost its way a little. I'm also wondering if they can really sustain one story for so long.

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    thribs

    [3]Jul 16, 2011
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    Not really.
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    Chaos-Melly

    [4]Jul 16, 2011
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    Ahhhh, I could definitely feel changes but so far nothing has been a particularly bad change.
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    Finxy

    [5]Jul 16, 2011
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    It was thought provoking, clever and unique. Now it is just popcorn.
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    Nordan123

    [6]Jul 18, 2011
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    Heather_H wrote:


    What do you reckon?



    I wouldn't say that,the difference from the first seasons is it's been 2 eps and we don't know who/what the culprit is/are. The UK series was mostly stand alone eps or double eps where we knew who was causing trouble fairly early.


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    RyanHughes3

    [7]Jul 18, 2011
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    Yes
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  • Avatar of terabaSe

    terabaSe

    [8]Jul 19, 2011
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    It's not the American'ness that's the problem. It's just generally awful and not very Torchwood as we know it...
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  • Avatar of jekyll

    jekyll

    [9]Jul 19, 2011
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    Well, I'm American, and yes, it's too American. Just seeing Newman from Seinfeld in the last episode officially sealed the deal on that. No one here in the US can see him and think of any other character. Why did Russell T. Davies let us get our grubby hands on it? He had a fantastic show and just seems hell bent on destroying it. "Well, gee, killing 60% of the cast in the span of five episodes didn't do it. Let's hand it off to the worst of the three American premium cable channels and let them do it." Honestly, I'm amazed Gwen was allowed to retain her Welsh accent.


    Honestly, you could take Gwen and Jack, replace them with Sci-Fi Heroine and Hero A & B and 99.5% of America would be none the wiser. This isn't Torchwood: there's no Hub, no Cardiff, no Welsh police cars. I just don't understand why the great little show with cool cats cruising around Cardiff in their spiffy Range Rover and tracking down alien life needed any change, or why the BBC needed a partner. It's just such a shame, and this version live in this weird void where it remains better than most America shows, it's clearly nowhere near as great as it was.

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    markdevlin1012

    [10]Jul 20, 2011
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    First ep was sooooo dull. Second, despite being mostly on a plane, much better... we'll see
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  • Avatar of jekyll

    jekyll

    [11]Jul 23, 2011
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    All the proof you need that the show is too American is in the promo picture at the top of the guide main page. Everyone's pointing a gun; what's more American than that?

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    zzbeach

    [12]Jul 31, 2011
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    I'm an American and I say it's yes and no.


    Yes Torchwood is too Americanized because all references to the Doctor Who universe have been erased. In the old forum I wrote some time ago that if Torchwood became an American show that this would happen and I was right. Now Jack and Gwen characters have no foundation. They seem a bit like cut out characters.


    No because a murdering child molester would never get hired for being a spokesman for anything unless it was for the electric chair. That's like Casey Anthony becoming a spokesperson for baby food or a toddler clothing line. If this is what British people think Americans are like then you need to stop watching the BBC.


    As for the guns...really? The original Torchwood was full of guns as well as dangerous alien technology.

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    kanniballl

    [13]Aug 1, 2011
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    I'll give my opinions in a later post...


    But to the people saying "there weren't sex scenes in the old series...


    Umm... yes there were. They just didn't show as much skin.


    Toshiko got it on with some people, one of which was a female-looking alien.


    Ianto did too I believe


    Heck the second episode dealt with an alien-possessed chick that killed her mates. It included some steamy (yet clothed) scenes and had some one liners like "he came and then he went."


    Though since STARZ is a premium show we see a lot more skin and such.



    There were still gun scenes, though perhaps not as much as now.



    Edited on 08/01/2011 8:35am
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    Rootsie_basic

    [14]Aug 2, 2011
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    It wasn't very good. Firing guns and blowing up helicopters made it resemble CSI Miami more than Torchwood. And Mekhi Phifer overacts terribly. Really didn't care for it at all. Seems our favorite show has jumped the shark.
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  • Avatar of tanargue

    tanargue

    [15]Aug 4, 2011
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    Sadly this is not Torchwood as we knew it. Gwen is still our fiesty little Welsh girl but I'm afraid Captain Jack is past his use by date. Over the hill and showing it. As for the plot, well, the premise might have been good but the way it is being worked out - well we've stuck with it for three episodes but we're going to throw in the towel and watch something else. Maybe even a DVD of earlier Torchwood episodes.
    All-American shows are better than this as are all-British shows.
    It is like oil and water - they don't mix.
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  • Avatar of Veshta

    Veshta

    [16]Aug 7, 2011
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    Characters have lost some of their edge, that's for sure.

    Old Gwen would never tolerate being "told" what things are called (the whole chips/crisps, Cell/mobile scene), much less ask for more know-it-all by saying "never leave my side".

    Also awfully slow paced, hasn't had any kind of momentum until the fifth episode .. until then it is one little thing 'solved' per episode with a ton of fluff.
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    SabrinaNM

    [17]Aug 11, 2011
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    Has deviated way too much from the UK version. It's really hard to watch now, what was once exciting is now slow and boring. Personally I think they only brought Torchwood back to end the series. I don't know if anyone else has watched all the episodes so far, but it seems as if they are killing every new member off....

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  • Avatar of StephenTowns

    StephenTowns

    [18]Aug 12, 2011
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    You can't really criticise Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner for wanting to expand the Torchwood universe. As well as being a TV programme it is also their creation and they had ambition for the programme. As a Brit I liked the idea of an all British sci-fi programme being pretty good. British sci-fi has to rely a little more on character and the quirky because there isn't usually the budgets that US shows have. The other side of that is being funded by the BBC ratings are not as important - if the drama is good and fits in with the BBC mission to inform, educate and entertain the programme can be justified on it's own merits.


    Big budget US shows can be cut immediately that the executives dont see a return. The disappearance of Flash Forward, The Event and Stargate Universe were all to do with cash and ratings rather than artistic merit or a mission to tell stories or produce sci fi drama.


    I guess Starz brought money to the table. The quid pro quo of money is American actors that can sell the series in the USA. Would I like Torchwood to be funded by Starz and have a core of British actors with British accents. Yes. Would that attract an audience above the core sci fit community in the USA - maybe not.


    For the regular viewer the question "what is Torchwood?" arises. How does it establish itself as an entity? In the UK version the "hub", the vehicle, the awe of the regular police, the leadership of Jack, it's relationship to it's British origin all established "Torchwood" as an entity. With so many of the cast dying Torchwood lacks a cohesive centre to the organisation. All the characters appear to be heading in different directions and not as one organisation. To that end "Torchwood" seems very American as a "brand" that can be anything the writer wants.


    I can see how the joint leadership of Rex/Jack works from a dramatic perspective but how are all these characters "Torchwood"? How are they picking up the mission and parameters set for Torchwood as an organisation? It's hard to believe these people are working together.


    The next problem I have is that Jack is an alien. He seems reluctant to tell Rex that he has been around for a while and he is from the 51st century (according to his Dr Who appearances). He has only suggested his connection with time travel. Of course he is mortal in this series so he wont step into the firing line but he seems to have lost is cavalier attitude to solving the mystery.


    What seemed to me to be different in the Uk Torchwood team is that they were outside law enforcement, beyond government and for them normal everyday work was what the rest of the world would regard as extraordinary or shocking. Rex and Ester need to embrace Torchwood and stop living like the average American. They need to expand their mind and accept they are now part of something that means they have to be a team heading in one direction. Perversely when Torchwood was confined to Cardiff it appeared that it was not limited to vastness of time and space to develop the drama. The canvass was vast despite the location being small. Now the location is the USA the canvas seems almost limited to being a version of the X-Files.


    I am not sure that Torchwood is too American. The drama has moved on. What I worry about is lack of definition in the core values of Torchwood. According to Jack Torchwood was set up by the British Royal Family to investigate the alien and the strange. In series one he said Torchwood would prepare humanity for the changes that were going to happen in the 21st century - suggesting more alien encounters. Rex and Ester have not bought in to the Torchwood mission and that is what disturbs me as watcher of previous series. They seem to be just hitch hikers travelling with Jack and Gwen because they dont know how to respond to Miracle Day.


    So lets have more extraordinary, lets see jack be the alien and demonstrate to Rex he isn't 100% bullshit - which is what Rex seems to think, let's see Rex and Ester commit to the Torchwood mission and opt out of the US centred concerns of the CIA. They can only save humanity by being un-american.


    Whereas the drama has come to Starz to get US money and the scale that is in US productions the strange thing is that I believe audiences will only be attracted to the concept if it is not defined by being filmed in the USA.



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  • Avatar of MaximusPrimal

    MaximusPrimal

    [19]Aug 13, 2011
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    Sadly yes I think it has and in fairness when I realised it was being made in part with American money I expected nothing else.


    Children of the Earth was an amazing mini-series. It did Torchwood proud and left my on the edge of my seat. But then in comes this and in (and I mean no disrespect) American style it is all "okay we are in charge we can do this, we can do that" and hey ho off to America we go. Some how the Americans now have the right toextraditeteams and people without warning, paperwork or notice and take them away to their sunny shores. This to me seems less likely than aliens returning to steal our children (which as a grown man of 38, had me wondering and freaked out a bit as it was THAT good).


    While thesubstanceof the new plot is okay - no one is dying, how do we deal with the population increase and burden on resources - the plot is also slow. One thing I liked about Children Of The Earth is that it got up and running very fast and hooked you in. This new series is way more sedate and being 10 episodes long is more fitting with American show lengths. So it seems they have padded the story out to make it last as long as they need.


    Jack and Gwen are fine. They are what I remember and came to like in the original Torchwood, but the two new characters... Sorry you could lift them out of any US Crime programme. One gun ho, bullish American and a female smart-ass who gets on and helps out from behind (a reworking of Tosh's character but more suited to American audiences). They are something and nothing.



    My only real issue is where this is going. They seemed to pack Gwen back off to Wales very fast and leave Jack behind. I wonder if the writers and Starz are hoping they can get another series off the back of this - less Gwen as I am sure her accent confuses some Americans. I hope I am wrong, but just a feeling.


    I will watch to the end but already I am loosing interest in this. It just pales when compared to Children of the Earth which was mind blowing in my opinion and put seasons 1 & 2 of Torchwood to shame.



    Max

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    MrShotShot

    [20]Aug 19, 2011
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    jekyll wrote:

    All the proof you need that the show is too American is in the promo picture at the top of the guide main page. Everyone's pointing a gun; what's more American than that?



    Well in all fairness, if you Google Torchwood and look at the images, most of the promo pictures from the BBC seasons have firearms in them.
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