Friday, April 11, 2008

TORCHWOOD Episode 2.11 "Adrift"

Eve Myles and John Barrowman

Episode 2.11

**WARNING - This Episode Review contains SPOILERS!**

This episode was a middle excitement level episode. This one concentrated on yet another mystery within the bowels of Torchwood. Gwen (Eve Myles) learns of the mysterious disappearance of a teenager she soon learns that it is just one of many unexplained disappearances. During her investigation, which she starts unofficially but with help from her former Police partner, she discovers that the disappearances are related to negative power spikes to the Cardiff Rift. Instead of aliens coming to Earth, people from Earth are going somewhere else. She asks Jack (John Barrowman) to launch an official Torchwood investigation into it, but he refuses on the grounds that it is too big a problem in scope for them to do anything about it without exposing publicly all of what Torchwood is. She also learns a Torchwood secret, some of the victims have returned and Torchwood is keeping them in a secret location for many obvious reasons.

As usual I enjoyed this episode, even though as I said it was a middle of the road episode. There was a homo erotic Eww moment between Jack and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) when Gwen catches them naked together. Moving on. The way this plot was there was no real conclusion, just knew knowledge of a problem that can't be fixed but needs to be dealt with in some way.

Viewed on 07April2008 at 20:00 on BBC America (On Demand)
Promo Picture by BCC - ***

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Recent Read Number 10

"Just because it's not ours doesn't mean it it's the wrong one! We could be from the 'wrong reality'!"


Doctor Who: Reckless Engineering by Nick Walters Wow another mind-boggling Doctor Who story. This Doctor Who story takes place during the Eighth Doctor's Incarnation. The Doctor is traveling with his novel only companions Fitz and Anji. I'm not sure which story they started with, but since they are from different times, Fitz from the 1960s and Anji from the 1990s or early 2000s they joined at separate times. Any who in this story the Doctor and his companions find themselves dealing with an alternate reality. It is 2003 to them, but in this reality a temporal disturbance called "The Cleansing" occurred in 1843 and to the people in this reality it is the year 160. The industrial revolution never happened in this reality of year 160 and it is against the law to speak of the The Cleansing. Nobody knows what caused the Cleansing, many think it was an act of God so they don't question it. The truth of the matter is that under the influence of an alien from the distant future a young engineer creates a machine called the Utopian Engine he is told will save the alien's race from dying by bringing them back to the past and in return they will help man with all sorts of technical and medical advancements. Well of course it was a lie (in part) true the alien race was dying, but they didn't care about mankind at all typical. The Utopian machine was flawed and instead of bringing the aliens back, it created a temporal jump of forty years to occur within a minute. Children suddenly found themselves in grown up bodies with long hair and fingernails and all the adults and animals were suddenly rotting corpses. The Doctor is faced with trying to figure out what this Cleansing thing is, which he doesn't like from the very beginning, and then finding a way to corrected the damage it has done. The problem is more complicated than it appears and it appears to be impossible to solve.

I'm not a huge fan of Doc number eight so this story dragged for me in some areas. Also the companions Anji and Fitz get boring fast. Fitz is a typical cocky fight first companion who tends to act without thinking things through first, and Anji (who I think is of middle eastern origins from India I think) has to deal with racism and sexism. Even though these characters have appeared in many other Doctor Who books, I think it is only the second one that I have read with them in it. I should try to track down the books where they first appear to get a better grasp of who these characters are. In the meantime I find them sort of dull. By the way this particular book I didn't initially pick up by choice, it was packaged with an issue of a Doctor Who magazine as a "Freebie" but with the price of the magazine and the added cost of it being an import from the UK I don't really think I got much of a bargain with the combo.

Doctor Who: Reckless Engineering by Nick Walters 2003 BBC Worldwide LTD 270 pages - ***

A Recent Read Number 9

"When I woke up that morning, it didn't take me long to realize there were dogs in my nose."

Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin. Before becoming a big box office movie star Steve Martin rose to the top of the stand-up comic ranks. He was a frequent guest host for the original cast Saturday Night Live, often he would be the first host of a new season, which is why some people mistakenly think he was the first to ever host SNL. That honor my friends goes to George Carlin. Anyway it was during this time (late 1970s) that Steve wrote this book, which is just a hodge podge collection of strange, weird and often funny stories and ideas. Some of them are quick one-liners while others run a page or two very few are more than two pages long. Some of the bits, all of which have titles and are listed under the table of contents, get to the point of the joke right away, while some take sometime and make you scratch your head and wonder what the point is. Then there are the totally absurd bits like "How To Fold Soup".

It is a quick and easy read as there are only 120 some pages with many of those having black and white photos from Steve on stage doing his stand up. The humor ranges from slightly humorous and only worth a slight smile to outrageously hilarious. I took about a week to read this as I would read one or two bits and then put it down, but it can be read in a very short period of time depending on your reading speed and length of laugh breaks. Fun and very silly book.

Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin 1977 G.P. Putnam's Sons 128 pages - ****.5

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

TORCHWOOD Episode 2.10 "From Out Of The Rain"

Pearl (Camilla Power) and The Ghostmaker ( Julian Bleach)

Episode 2.10
"From Out Of The Rain"

This episode started sort of slow, but was quite enjoyable. It wasn't as action packed as last weeks episode but it still held it's own. There was one bit that made me scratch my head thinking they will explain it later on in the episode but they didn't really, I guess I'll have to watch it again to try and find the answer I am seeking. Since I've procrastinated on this review, I peaked at a couple of other reviews of this episode, and found that others seem to be disappointed by this episode. Some call it the worst written episode of the entire series. They seem to do what many do with films and DVDs they take it too seriously. I'm not saying to turn your brain off, all I am saying is don't over-analyze it. I mean come on the whole concept of the series takes a major suspension of disbelief to begin with. The Torchwood team's headquarters is in an abandoned subway excuse me tube station that sits above a major rift in the "time/Space" continuum, and their leader is from some unknown future and is apparently immortal.

Without giving too much away this episode dealt with some beings of unknown origins, maybe alien, that literally take your breath away. They steal the last breath of their victims and keep them contained in a metal flask. Known as the "Night Travelers" from legends, these creatures came from out of an old film of a traveling side-show. A part of Capt. Jack's (John Barrowman) past was partly reviled, but not fully explained. Even thought the Night Travelers threat was stopped, the door was left wide open for them to return someday.

I found it interesting that Gwen (Eve Myles) was in this episode as she is supposed to be on her honeymoon. I guess the Gwen/Rhys homeymoon episodes come later in the series? OK so the series continity is slightly off, since Gwen appears prominently in next weeks episode.

Viewed on 29Mar2008 at 21:00 BBC America ***.5
Image by BBC via The Institute website