Today the Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood is celebrating it’s ten year anniversary and its time to take a look back with our top 5 moments.
Ever since Torchwood debuted on the 22nd October 2006, fans of the show have been yearning for more. Despite lengthy hiatus’ between seasons, Torchwood has lived on in other media such as novels, comic books and audio dramas. The convention circuit still heralds Torchwood cast and crew as esteemed guests, with no signs of slowing down. Moreover, John Barrowman is often both seen and heard championing the show, holding high the Torchwood…torch.
However, despite having left our TV screens on the 9th September 2011, enthusiasm for Torchwood remains strong. Torchwood’s tenth anniversary will not go unnoticed, either. As Barrowman fights tooth and nail to get the show back on the air.
As many would agree this show has had some awesome episodes, some downright weird episodes and many heartbreaking moments. Here’s our top 5…..
5. Owen Back From the Dead!
In a gut-wrenching scene, audiences witness Captain Jack bring back Owen Harper from the dead. After waking up in confusion in the autopsy room, Owen has just moments to come to terms with his death and say his goodbyes. Needless to say, this is everyone’s worst nightmare.
More harrowing is the fact that Doctor Who companion Martha Jones, is present to witness the proceedings. After learning first-hand that there is nothing but darkness after death (again everyone’s worst nightmare), it is startling to know that this is true for The Doctor and his friends too. Amy, Rory, Clara and everybody else are all lost to the darkness. Depressing, I know.
However, in a twist of fate, Owen comes back properly without the use of the glove. The moment of levity is very much welcome, and things seem to get back on track from a moment of deep grimness. Not that we’ll ever forget…
4. A Bomb Inside Captain Jack’s Stomach
This scene is a particular mesh of bonkers and brilliance. After Gwen reveals she is pregnant, Jack holds her hand to, in typical Torchwood fashion, find out he has a bomb inside of him. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions with these picks.
Aside from this revelation only occurring because Gwen got pregnant three weeks ago, the nuance of the scene is to be appreciated. The editing meshes together the familiar chants of ‘We are coming’ with the panic in the Torchwood base. Testing Jack’s resurrection limits, there is doubt etched on the faces of both Jack and Ianto as to whether he really can survive anything.
The familiar Torchwood base we have all come to love goes up in flames with its leader. It’s hard to watch, and even harder to watch given Gwen and Ianto’s willingness to stay behind and help. There is a clear sense of frantic desperation, and though it is splintered with slapstick cliche, it is still spectacular.
3. Owen Shoots Jack!
This is another one of those moments to remind you how un-Doctor Who this show really is. The Torchwood team are not all knowing Time-Lords: they’re flawed humans like the rest of us.
It is shocking to see such a breaking in faith. Jack picks apart his team’s flaws effortlessly, reeling off his suppressed judgments. He trains a gun on them, they train a gun on him, and it all gets a bit dramatic. The team quite simply reaches boiling point. Ultimately, it’s only when they shoot Jack in the face that they seem to realise their choice is a bit controversial.
We all perhaps thought that immortality would be a super power. More like a curse, for Jack is still overpowered and tasked with keeping together a band of misfits for eternity. Best of luck, Jack!
2. Ianto and Jack Die
To date, there has never been a more brutal series of Torchwood than Children of the Earth. The hopelessness is all but confirmed beginning with a montage of desperately breaking glass over chilling music. Desperation, loss, inevitability – the triple threat is here.
Jack’s immortality is once again proven to be a curse. After Ianto begs Jack to not forget him, he passes away in his arms. Given the history these two characters share, it is painful to consider that it may be forgotten by Jack a few hundred years into his life. As Ianto and Jack die alongside one another, only one of them is doomed to wake up.
Like Toshiko and Owen, the Torchwood team loses another member. Unlike The Doctor, the team never seems to fully replace their members. The losses the Torchwood team suffer stay with them forever, like a real loss, and that feeling is certainly felt here. Whether destined to die or doomed to live, the Torchwood team are forever on the front line.
1. Jack Make’s the Ultimate Sacrifice (viewers may find disturbing)
It seems a bit grim to use all of Torchwood’s saddest moments as their best. After all, this is the ten year anniversary. All the same, this is what Torchwood does best.
There is no sight more heartbreaking than children in fear, especially from those supposed to protect them. The army chases them, wrestles with them, and tears them away from their parents. But nothing is more heartbreaking than what Jack must do to his grandchild, Steven. Steven is ultimately needed to transmit a signal to wipe out the 456. Whilst successful, the act costs the boy his life.
Whilst thoroughly difficult to watch, the moment encapsulates what Torchwood is. It’s hard hitting, and plan no.2 when The Doctor isn’t around. Jack is once again tasked with making a sacrifice that can never be his own. Jack has to live with himself with lifetimes of decisions similar to this one. All the more disturbing is the fact that this happened within the Whoniverse. The fact that The Doctor often treats his adventures with such lighthearted whimsy is almost enough to make one angry: how can he remain ignorant to moments like these?
Whilst Torchwood is riddled with cheesy, lighthearted moments, many might agree these are not the strongest points of the show. Whilst Doctor Who performs such moments admirably, Torchwood is about more than these scenes. It is darker, grittier, sexier and these are the points Torchwood is famous for.
What do you think of Blogtor’s pick? Do you agree or disagree? Do you wish there were lighter moments included? Let us know your top 5 in the comments below!