The Cosmic Hobo

Thoughts & reviews about the science fiction series Doctor Who.

Torchwood Episode Review: Day One

“Day One”
Written by Chris Chibnall, dir. by Brian Kelly
Torchwood – Series 1 – Episode 2

Rating: B

The idea of a story in which the alien menace quite literally fucks people to death seems like something straight out of the dark and scary world of adult fan fiction. When I read the synopsis of this episode before seeing it, I had to do a double take. As it turns out, though, that is exactly what it is: a parasitic alien species lands on Earth, takes over the body of a young woman, and is only able to sustain itself by getting the girl to sleep with men and feeding off the energy of the orgasm.

As strange as it sounds, I really liked this episode. It had a lot of good humor, and was certainly better than the second episode of New Who (the absolutely garbage “The End of the World.”) By this point, I have already decided that I like every character on the show except Owen Harper, who I eagerly await the death of. Captain Jack is an outstanding frontman for the show, and I think Torchwood has had a stronger start than the new series of Doctor Who did, which I think took until “Dalek” to get me interested and until “Father’s Day” to convince me it was capable of being excellent.

The overall directorial style that has been embraced by the creators of Torchwood is a breath of fresh air, and shows a much more grounded and mature approach. It is very cinematic in a way, and feels less like sci-fi show of the week and more like a noir-ish drama. As much as I adore Doctor Who overall (and occasionally New Who), I think this style is more my wheelhouse in terms of visuals and feel. I look forward to delving more deeply into Torchwood.


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3 thoughts on “Torchwood Episode Review: Day One

  1. We’re really of two minds on Torchwood, but it’s a good thing for your to revisit the series.

    The main problem I have with Torchwood in general is how juvenile it all is (date’ rape drugs, a super secret SUV covered in bright blue neons, getting killed by an orgasm in the toilets, the Cyber girlfriend, a massive monster that ‘eats life’). It rarely stretches from this, with the exception of the PJ Hammond episode and Out of Time. I do very much like From Out of the Rain as well (another Hammond story). But in the end it’s trash TV, really. One early reviewer put it best by saying that watching Torchwood was like dropping acid and staring at your washing: “There are all these bright colors and shapes but it’s actually a load of dirty pants.’

    The only redeeming character was Owen who showed the most potential out of the cardboard cutouts that RTD provided (I mean, what is the point of Suzy or Toshiko?). As it went on it lost its ‘edge’ and got incredibly campy and far dumber as well. But at least Davies was ruining his own creation rather than Doctor Who.

  2. Rofl. Alien menace invades woman who fucks people to death and lives off their orgasm.

    That sounds a lot like… Liquid Sky!

  3. Yes it does… because it is.

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