The second installment of episodes of the popular Doctor Who spin-off series set in Cardiff. Captain Jack, from Doctor Who, is in charge of Torchwood - a disparate crew of investigators, each an expert in his chosen field, searching desperately for alien debris that has fallen to earth. They're beyond the rule of law - hired by the UK government and in a race to find the technology before the UN does so that they might use it to fight crime here on earth. Episodes included are: 'Countrycide', 'Greeks Bearing Gifts', 'They Keep Killing Suzie' and 'Random Shoes'.
There are many reasons why Torchwood
is unlikely to ever match the appeal of its parent show, Doctor Who
, and this collection of episodes from its maiden series ably demonstrates why.
Firstly, the show is blatantly aimed at an older demographic, both through crude and clever means, and thats already lost it as many fans as its won. Secondly, theres a real sense of risk-taking to some of the writing, and thats why those who wrote the show off after just a couple of episodes should perhaps give it another whirl.
On this disc are four more shows from the first series, the highlight of which is the first: Countrycide. The following three arent too shabby either, although Greeks Bearing Gifts, They Keep Killing Susie and Random Shoes arent as consistent or engaging.
But heres the thing about Torchwood. Even on an off day, its still interesting. Sure, its a muddled sci-fi programme, with plenty of peaks and troughs, but its also a grower, a programme thatll gradually win you over should you give it a reasonable chance to do so. This particular DVD release is worth it for the one episode alone. Treat the others as an added bonus, and youll have little quarrel over the value you get from the disc. --Jon Foster