David Hines (hradzka) wrote,
David Hines

TORCHWOOD: Season One (quick thoughts)

neonhummingbird had this to say about the first season of TORCHWOOD, which she liked better than I did:

Everyone behaves stupidly on a regular basis except Jack, who behaves stupidly by continuing to allow stupid people to work for him.

That sums up my feelings about TORCHWOOD in a nutshell.

I like watching shows about people who are good at their jobs. This is not that show. TORCHWOOD is a show about people who suck at their jobs, which is bad because their job is *protecting the human race.* Watching them screw up their jobs and their lives and mope about does not make me want to cuddle them; it makes me want to ship them off to Antarctica and install competent people in their positions, except there are people trying to get work done in Antarctica and I wouldn't want to interrupt their busy schedules for rescue missions because the Torchwood crew are too stupid not to wander off across the ice looking for something new to snog or fuck.

(How much action do they get? They get so much action, they're up for partnership in the law firm of "Torchwood, Snoggit, and Shaggit!" I'm not saying they have a lot of sex, but James T. Kirk dropped them a line recently to let 'em know he was envious! I mean, there's so much sex in this show, I wondered if Marti Noxon was producing! I'm tellin' ya, they have some *sex...*)

Anyway. There were some good bits here and there. "Countrycide" had very good creep factor until the reveal, upon which it went submoronic. Even the best episodes had some deeply stupid bits; "They Keep Killing Susie," for example, was terrific -- except for the bit in the lockdown where Jack's on the phone *with the frigging cops* during a time-sensitive situation and he doesn't tell them to put an APB on Gwen's goddamn car?!!? "Random Shoes" was a good episode, but I think "Random Shoes" was the one episode of the season that wasn't an Idiot Plot. ("Idiot Plot," coined by James Blish: "a plot that can only function if the characters involved are idiots.") That episode had the least to do with the Torchwood personnel of any of them. The connection is left as an exercise for the reader. "Out of Time" had some fine character work and guest performances, so it wasn't a terrible show except for the fact that *absolutely nothing happened.* "Captain Jack Harkness" also fell into that category, and the last bit was particularly unbelievable given the period, but Barrowman was so good in it and it was so beautifully shot that I didn't mind too much. "End of Days" marked a return to colossal stupidity, but the bad guy was terrific.

I can't like TORCHWOOD, or the characters. They are too incompetent, too stupid, and too dangerous to be entrusted with the safety of humanity. In his classic short story "Day of the Moron," H. Beam Piper pointed out that an interconnected society is extraordinarily vulnerable to idiots who manage to make it into positions of power. Not just in management, but in lower positions, because their stupidity can have drastic consequences on many peoples' lives. Piper's example (and it was a corker) was nuclear power. The rift is even more of a tiger. Torchwood's personnel should not be allowed anywhere *near* it. Jack is a wonderful adventurer, but he's a lousy boss and a worse administrator, and he's completely incapable of vetting personnel.

This is Earth's line of defense? Forget about it, gang. We're fucked.
Tags: reviews, torchwood

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