Torchwood: Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang
Broadcast on January 16th 2008 @ 9.00pm on BBC2 (4.22 viewers)
Torchwood would establish itself as the first series to successfully spin off from Doctor Who, series 1 having debuted in 2007. It was initially broadcast on BBC3, achieving record viewing figures for the channel, but with a second series commissioned it was promoted to the schedules of BBC2. The programme remains far more than simply ‘Doctor Who for adults’ but is a science fiction series unlike any other, although granted it is littered with sex and violence unsuitable for Doctor Who’s teatime family audience. Based in 21st Century Cardiff the series follows the Torchwood team who investigate extraterrestrial goings-on but the depth of the show is often found in the very human interactions between the team members themselves. As is customary a new television series would open with a bang!
The opening of the episode is excellent, humorous and effectively reintroduces Capt. Jack Harkness to the fold after his brief departure to appear in the conclusion of Doctor Who’s third series. The blowfish is a brilliant creation visually, perfect for the brief cameo and also succeeds in neatly introducing the quartet and their roles to potential new viewers. Whilst it appears the team are coping admirably in the absence of Jack, they still have a need for his skills but fortunately, he still knows how to make an entrance and he’s not the only one.
Well, there is only one really. Filmed in the Tiger Tiger nightclub/bar in Cardiff location fans, the scene is fairly self-explanatory and needs no description. James Marsters was a huge piece of casting, made famous for his appearance in the popular cult series ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ and its spinoff ‘Angel’. This was a deliberate decision as the programme looked to appeal to fans of those popular US hits and grow the audience, particularly in America, much in the same way as Maisie Williams’ casting looked to catch the attention of ‘Game of Thrones’ fans. Marsters is having a hell of a time, thriving in this role, taking the character relatively seriously, with a tongue firmly in his cheek, oozing with wit and dynamism. His costume is almost as eye-catching as his performance with a customed Hussar jacket mirroring the image created by Jack’s RAF coat, suitably military but distressed and weathered. Capt. John Hart is certainly a unique and entertaining addition to the Torchwood universe.
Following the bar scene, the story meanders a little as the real reason for Capt. John Hart’s appearance is revealed. The episode ultimately serves to demonstrate to Jack that he made the right choice in returning to Cardiff, the temptations of the universe are less appealing than the camaraderie with his Torchwood team. As a result, the opening to the second series delivers a memorable episode which would cement Torchwood’s popularity with a fan base that remains loyal to this day.
Also first aired On This Day…
- The Romans: The Slave Traders
- Terror of the Autons: Episode 3