Torchwood: Everything Changes

First Broadcast October 22nd 2006 @ 9.00pm on BBC3 (2.52m viewers)

Today marks TEN years since Torchwood first burst onto our screens. Although set in the universe of Doctor Who, it remains an original series in its own right. Deliberately adult, it is not merely ‘Doctor Who with blood and swearing’. Grounded in Cardiff, capital city of Wales, the show embraced its surroundings. Arguably what made it successful and so refreshing was that it was not only British science fiction but Welsh. Characters such as the hospital porter or the couple encountered by Owen Harper in the club gave a flavour for the setting. It is not derogatory but honest and therefore real. This makes it all the more plausible when alien intelligence turns up.

PC Andy and Gwen Cooper - Torchwood (c) BBC
PC Andy and Gwen Cooper – Torchwood (c) BBC

‘Everything Changes’ still remains one of the best openings to a television series ever. It neatly introduces the team and gives an indication of their personalities without dwelling or lingering on background material. From the very start, it is full of humour, drama and intrigue. The episode sets it’s stall out early too. Within the first 3-minutes the ‘F’ bomb is dropped. This was a deliberate move from Russell T Davies to make it absolutely clear what this show was and the audience it was intended for. To emphasise these points further there would later be a bloody death and a bullet to the skull of a lead character…

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
Torchwood - Indira Varma (c) BBC
Torchwood – Indira Varma (c) BBC

Like any good drama, the first episode delivers a surprising twist at the end when the murderer’s identity is revealed. Whilst the viewer has not become emotionally engaged with the characters as they would later be nobody was expecting Suzie Costello to bite the bullet at the end of the episode. Suzie was presented as part of the Torchwood team knowing that she wouldn’t survive the opening 45 minutes. An even sharper intake of breath was taken when Capt. Jack was shot too. But he just stands back up. It’s the effervescent John Barrowman after all. All of this is witnessed by Gwen Cooper, the latest addition to Team Torchwood.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles - Torchwood (c) BBC
John Barrowman and Eve Myles – Torchwood (c) BBC

Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper is of course wonderfully Welsh. The viewer learns of the secret organisation along with police officer Cooper. Her character would add a heart to the previously sterile and functional team recognising the human life stories behind the alien nonsense. No more so than in the very next episode ‘Day One’ which fortunately was screened immediately after this stellar debut…

Cast:

Captain Jack Harkness – John Barrowman
Gwen Cooper – Eve Myles
Owen Harper – Burn Gorman
Tosh – Naoko Mori
Ianto –  Gareth David-Lloyd
Rhys Williams – Kai Owen
Suzie Costello – Indira Varma
PC Andy – Tom Price

Crew:

Writer – Russell T Davies
Director – Brian Kelly
Producer – Richard Stokes

Also First Aired On This Day…

  • The Tenth Planet: Episode 3
  • The Invisible Enemy: Part Four
  • Torchwood: Day One
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: Warriors of Kudlak
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Mad Woman in the Attic

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