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3.9 out of 5 stars66
3.9 out of 5 stars
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I have viewed this series as an independent entity rather than "from the makers of Doctor Who". After all, this has a different target audience and is on a good few hours later on in the day that Doctor Who.

Bearing that in mind, this was an enjoyable Sci-Fi series, and being a Doctor Who fan - the links between the series added to the enjoyment.

Yes, there is sex and bad language (and sometimes it does feel as though it has been included just for the sake of it) but this doesn't take away from the series. This is a gritty and dark Sci-Fi series which doesn't always have a happy ending. It'll be interesting to see how this will do in the US if it gets aired there. I expect they'll cut out a lot of sex and tone down the old 'Anglo-Saxon', but it seems such an integral part of the series that it would ruin it to do so.

The characters take a while to develop, with the exception of Gwen and Captain Jack. Jack (played by the fantastic John Barrowman) is a deeply mysterious character who cannot die. The more we find out about him, the less we seem to know! In the first few episodes he seems a bit of an enigma.

Gwen is a great character and well acted. She adds the 'reality' element to the first few episodes as we see how her new job affects her home life. In the first few episodes her partner seems very supportive and encouraging. This does change later on in the series though!

The other character are slow burners, they are in the background and start to become better used as the series progresses. Ianto Jones gets his episode in episode 4 where we see the biggest link to Doctor Who since 'the hand' earlier on.

Overall I liked this series. It isn't one I can watch over and over again, but it is one I can enjoy from time to time. Some of the concepts are very interesting. It does have some flaws though. The "secret" Torchwood organisation doesn't seem that secret, as a quick flash of Torchwood ID badge and everyone understands who they are!

The series looks good, with the Torchwood hub looking as dark as you expect it to be. The music to the series accompanies the visuals well, and you don't watch it with one eye on the clock (unless you've got your soufflés in the oven, you wouldn't want to burn a soufflé)

I've given this 4 stars, with a bit more character development and more story arcs spanning episodes - this could be a corker of a series!
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VINE VOICEon 16 February 2007
Torchwood is the first spin-off series of Doctor Who and it was meant to be a more adult show than that of its parent, it is just unfortunate that it come across as more adolescent than adult. This fact does not really distract from the enjoyment of the series however and of the five episodes that this DVD set contains only one is truly bad.

The series starts with Everything Changes which is your basic introductory episode, explaining who everyone is and setting things up for the remainder of the series.

Episode two is about a sex crazed alien, which is something of a Sci-fi cliché these days and has been done better by both the Outer Limits and The X Files but is entertaining none the less.

Ghost Machine, the third episode on the DVD is far better than the previous two and shows a lot of promise for what the series could achieve in the future.

Episode four, Cyberwoman, is unfortunately a terrible episode and is the one most critics of the show point too as an example of how bad it is. While it is true that the episode is quite dire and could have been a hell of a lot better, it has been my experience that many Sci-fi shows have their share of equally bad episodes during their first run and you need to look beyond these to see the true worth of the show.

The final episode in this set is Small Worlds which is my personal favourite of the entire series. This episode is great, with a nice mixture of suspense and tenderness, and has a good twist to the end.

Generally this first Torchwood set does not show the series at its best and there are some much better episodes further down the line. I feel this is an okay start but it could have been so much better if it had some consistent writing and slightly better CGI.
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on 25 November 2006
I had pretty low expectations of this and have only got into it gradually. I'm struggling with Dr Who and all the sentimentality with Rose. This is fun though, completely over the top, and its hilarious the way all the characters try and get off with each other and any one else! It doesn't take itself too seriously and the special effects do their best not to show the cracks. You can see the crew and cast were having a good time making this and it feels exuberrant. If you like sci fi and are sick of earnest American sci fi programmes this is quite sexy, eccentric and a laugh. I'm asking father Christmas for a copy. Just don't take it too seriously!
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on 2 January 2007
Doctor Who returned in a blaze of publicity and stormed weekend family viewing, mind you with only Ant & Dec or Celebrity Wrestling to go up against it was easily done. Then not happy with that RTD decided to go spin-off crazy with Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures (A spin-off about Rose Tyler was funded but never made). So here is Torchwood. We were promised an Angel to Who's Buffy, a bit X-files, british sci-fi TV for adults. What did we get? Cheap sex and morally reprehensible characters as heroes. I don't mind a good dose of grey morality but these characters are just evil. Ianto is all too happy to help his dead girldfriend bump people off while Owen happily uses an alien date-rape drug. It is badly written and acted. The FX are at times pretty decent and better than Who but this show is all style and no substance. A secret organsiation that every police officer in Wales is aware of? A pterodactyl in the base and not one injury? The only thing that makes this adult is a bit of swearing and bit of nookie, hardly quality writing. Every plot is a rip-off, even nicking plots from star trek voyager (and changin the year she went missing so we wouldn't notice it was a rip of the epsiode the 37s). There is no excuse for such drivel. Do not waste your time or money.
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on 16 November 2006
My review is not based solely on my personal and family likes and dislikes, working in a busy office quite a few of my colleagues have also been watching Torchwood, offering up their opinions on the following morning to a new episode (we have seen 5 so far). The majority agree that as a spin off series it is successfully developing it's own identity and likable characters, with the mystery behind Captain Jack's character still to be revealed. We all tend to agree that in the first couple of episodes we were looking for the Dr Who thing, but now accept it as having it's own style. The main area that we all agree on is you don't always get a happy ending or a full explanation to the episode, so you will have to use your own imagination at times.

To sum up our view after an acceptable start the series is getting better and better, and episode 5 was the best yet (bet you look at fairies different from now on).
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on 26 December 2006
It's very hard to to find a remake of classic TV from years ago and make it as or more successful than the original that spawned it. Battlestar Galactica did it oh so very very well, Dr Who didn't IMHO, it's interesting but lacks the edge that allowed Dr Who to run for so many years.

I almost ignored Torchwood because of the Dr Who spin off status, thank god I didn't, it's original funny, dark and everything I wanted the "New" Dr Who to be. Every story so far has a new angle and the characters are wonderful to follow.

Need the DVDs, NEED season 2 .... 3, 4, 5 and 6 if they manage it
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on 5 January 2007
Good quality full screen presentation and it's well SUBTITLED (a fact not listed anywhere much!)

First five episodes in this set - with two more parts to be released in February & March
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on 26 November 2006
I'm biased, I've been a whovian some 10 years or so, however I have spoken to numerous people who think Torchwood is the best thing on telly, none of them watch Dr Who! It's Dr Who without the kiddie appeal, or X-files without worrying about censors. If you're suspicious, at least rent these 2 discs, guaranteed you'll be hooked by the end. Unless you wear an anorak, and still think David tennant is the 11th Doctor.
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on 9 November 2006
I think the first few episodes of Torchwood have been brill - I think it's great for those older fans of doctor who to have a sexy sci-fi spin off (like the alliteration? hehe). Captain Jack is such an enigmatic character, which makes you want to watch it to the end. It's very different from doctor who, which has shocked some people, but to be honest I think it's nice to have a gory, sexy spin-off of something that has been shown for more than nearly half a decade!

Love it!
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on 22 December 2006
First of all, the people proclaiming this to the best sci-fi show ever should really start expanding their library. Try starting with the likes of Farscape, Firefly and Battlestar Galactica(the re-imagined series).

It's not that Torchwood is particularly unwatchable, but it does suffer from juvenile scripts and a feeling that it was written by schoolboys getting a taste of smut for the first time. A move to a post-watershed timeslot should mean darker, edgier, more complex themes, not the chance to make sex references every 5 minutes.

Most of the character development focuses around Gwen Cooper and Owen Harper. Now they're decent enough characters but unfortunately, the secondary characters are sorely underused. Even Captain Jack seems to have been relegated. He was a fantastic character in Doctor Who. The chemistry he had with the Ninth Doctor and Rose was remarkable. In Torchwood, he barely gets a word in over Gwen, and when it is, it's usually just to mope about something.

Ianto Jones shows a lot of potential as a character who's somewhat different from the mold. Alas, he got his screentime during Cyberwoman and has barely been seen since. Similarly with Tosh who was given an episode but has never really been integrated with the main action of the show.

The plots vary wildly from somewhat decent to dull as hell. I prefer the more humorous episodes as Torchwood does have a good sense of humour if nothing else.

Next week's episode in the TV run is titled "Captain Jack Harkness" so hopefully the show will finally live up to its promise of giving us more to the mysterious character than first appeared in Doctor Who. A shame it won't appear on this DVD though.

Don't buy this DVD set until you've sampled the show first.
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