A million shadows of human emotion. We've just got to learn to live with them.
...and then, in a shocking turn of events, a genuinely good episode of Torchwood!
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
What a relief. After two episodes of "look at us, we're so adult and edgy!!", along comes an episode written by Helen Raynor (the first female script editor in Doctor Who history). Granted, she is also responsible for writing the execrable Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks, but that came a year later. This story is rock solid, and finally settles down and presents a genuinely good hour of drama.
The gist of the plot surrounds an alien device that reads residual emotional energy and broadcasts it to the person holding it. Thus Gwen Cooper sees a little boy lost in a Cardiff railway station, having been evacuated from the 1941 London Blitz and left all alone in a strange city. Later Owen Harper witnesses a brutal rape and murder that happened under a bridge in the 60's. Surprisingly, given the previous two episodes, this event is presented with a great deal of subtlety and dread that implies much more violence than it shows. Ms Raynor clearly understands that less is more.
In the final act the device's other half is discovered, which shows future events instead of past ones, and that leads to the story's climax. Multiple plot threads come together, leading to Owen threatening to kill the murdering rapist he has tracked down, followed by said murdering rapist deliberately throwing himself on the blade of a knife held by Gwen Cooper. She is left to deal with the emotional aftermath of, essentially, Suicide By Cop.
See, this is the show that I want Torchwood to be. Smartly written and acted, with adult content that fits the story instead of just being explicit for its own sake, and featuring relatable characters. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.
Unfortunately, you know how I keep saying "it gets better after Cyberwoman?" Well, tomorrow is the absolute nadir of Torchwood. Ugh.
Featuring: Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Ianto Jones
Episode(s): Ghost Machine
Steps Walked: 7,597 today, 3,733,498 total
Distance Walked: 4.07 miles today, 1,951.71 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 6,944 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 1,029 total
Weight: 254.62 lbs (five day moving average), net change -52.68 lbs