One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

I am still alive. Tosh and Owen? Not so much...

Nov 03 2018
I am still alive. Tosh and Owen? Not so much...

So, umm... it's been a minute.  The last time I posted was three weeks ago. I did watch a couple more episodes of Torchwood in the week that followed, but never managed to sit down and write about it. Sorry. Then I moved my elderly mother to the opposite corner of the country. First I had to get her stuff shipped, then I flew with her cross-country and got her settled in, then I came back home and got her old apartment cleaned out. It took a bit of my time. I also had some other personal stuff going on. The upshot is, whereas I had just started turning my weight trend around last month, now I have rocketed back up a full five pounds. Oops. The good news is that I am back, and as of today I am on the treadmill and focused on getting that trend line bend downwards again. But I ain't gonna lie, that chart over on the right hand side of this page scares me. A lot.

But anyway, about Torchwood...

Adrift

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

AFter the disappointment of the previous episode (so much promise, so poorly executed), this one was a real joy to watch. The story opens with a teenage boy walking home at night, and texting his mom that he is almost home. Like, she is literally looking out the window of their apartment watching him walk across the bridge as he is texting her. Then a weird light appears, and the boy is just... gone.  Gwen's old partner on the police force asks for her help in the case because of the whole "alien lights" thing, and that sets Gwen off on a personal mission.

It turns out that, not only is the Rift dumping alien crap all over Cardiff, but that sometimes it also sucks random people through in the other direction. Tosh helps Gwen identify anti-spikes in Rift activity that correllates with the disappearances, but Jack seems oddly disinterested.


What he is interested in is Ianto, in the hydroponic lab. Why does the Torchwood Three Hub have a hydroponic lab?

Anyway, after much mystery and detective work, Gwen ultimately discovers that Jack knows full well about the Rift Kidnappings, and that he in fact has a secret hospital/prison hidden away on a small island in Carfiff Bay that houses the victims who have eventually returned. Unfortunatley, they return extremely damaged both physically and emotionally. The boy from the start of the episode? He spent decades of torture and slavery before finally getting back to Earth, and now he sits in his cell and screams for twenty three hours per day.

It's a crushing resolution, and exactly the kind of story that Torchwood should be doing more. This was easily my favorite episode of the season.

Fragments

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

Two years in, and one episode before cancellation, Torchwood finally gets an origin story. The setup has Jack, Ianto, Tosh, and Owen all nearly killed when a set of bombs are detonated inside an abandoned building. As each of them lie buried to some degree or another, and as Gwen searches and rescues each one, the rest of the episode consists of a series of four flashback origin stories for each character.

Jack gets forcibly recruited by the all-female Victorian Era Torchwood Three crew, and the proceeds to spend pretty much a full century working as an agent. Then on New Year's Eve of 1999 Jack's boss murders the rest of the then-current crew before killing himself, leaving Jack in charge to build a new team with a new mission.

Tosh becomes a Torchwood agent by way of being forced to steal Ministry of Defence blueprints and then build a Whatever Device. She is compelled to do so by an evil gang of Very Bad Men who have kidnapped her mother. UNIT winds up sort of saving the day, and then thows Tosh into a secret prison because she Knows Too Much. But then Jack comes along and springs her from jail because he was impressed with how she managed to actually build the Whatever Device even though the blueprints were deliberately flawed.

And then Ianto. Ooooh, Ianto. He wants the Torchwood Three job so bad, but Jack won't hire him. He asks and he asks (without ever mentioning that he wants to hide his crazy CyberWoman girlfriend in the basement), but Jack just keeps saying no. Right up until the point when Ianto helps Jack capture Myfanwy the Pterodactyl and bring her back to the Hub as their pet. 

Side note: Is it Ianto's job to clean up all of the pterodactyl poop? And how do they keep her from pooping on all of the exposed computer equipment? Just so many questions...

Finally Owen gets his origin story. Turns out that before he was a total dick, he was a skilled doctor whose fiancee at first seemed to have some kind of brain tumor but then turned out to just straight-up have an alien growing inside her head. During a surgery to remove the "tumor", the alien releases a toxic gas that kills everyone in the room. Jack shows up, but too late to do anything useful. Which is pretty par for the course for him. Owen is all sad, what with the whole "dead girlfriend" thing, but decides to join Torchwood and become a total dick. 

Meanwhile, back in the present, it turns out that the bombs were planted by Spike the Vampire Captain John Hart (the dude from the first episode this season), and apparently he has Jack's long-missing brother Gray as a prisoner.

Dun dun DUN!!!

Exit Wounds

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

So it turns out that Gray is actually the Big Bad. Much like the poor kid from Adrift, he spent years being tortured after he was kidnapped. Unfortunately, he blames Jack for everything and he has genetically grafted a bomb to Spike the Vampire Captain John Hart and forced him to blow up a couple dozen bombs all over Cardiff and then to teleport Jack back two thousand years and bury him alive.

Oops.

So bad stuff happens all over town, Gwen rises to the occasion and leads the police force in the wake of all the bombs, and Tosh and Owen set out to prevent the local nuclear powerplant from melting down. Which doesn't go so well.

Jack spends about 1,900 years buried alive before being uncovered by the two Victorian Era Torchwood Ladies, whom he convinces to place him in cold storage in the Hub for another century so he won't cross his own timeline. Then he wakes up, has his final confrontation with Gray, and the main crisis is averted.

Except for the bit where Tosh gets gut-shot and then slowly bleeds to death before anyone can find and save her, and Owen stops the nuclear meltdown but gets trapped inside the chamber where all of the radiation vents. 

So, you know, a happy ending except for the part were 2/5 of Torchwood Three wind up dead. Oops.

Thus marks the end of Torchwood as a regular series. Next up is the five-day event series of Torchwood: Children of Earth followed by the abysmal joint British and American production of Torchwood: Miracle Day. That's seventeen more episodes to get through and then I am done with Torchwood forever. Thank god.

STATS:

Featuring: Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Rhys Williams, Toshiko Sato, Owen Harper, Ianto Jones
Episode(s): Adrift, Fragments, Exit Wounds
Steps Walked: 7,583, 7,558, and 7,259 recently, 3,904,007 total
Distance Walked: 4.11, 4.02, and 3.64 miles recently, 2,043.33 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 69, 84, and 89 recently, 7,873 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 1,029 total
Weight: 261.14 lbs (five day moving average), net change -46.16 lbs


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