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rabid1st

TORCHWOOD: CoE Part 3...Spoilers

And I've caught up with my f-list for the nonce.

Under the cut for the Episode Three spoilers...

Okay...one bullet dodged...another makes a direct hit. Jack is definitely involved. That was more a foreshadowing though, than a guess. The 456 not your cuddly sort of misunderstood aliens. So, we will not be disappointed in the final 10 minutes by somone finally getting the translators working properly, at least. Never to be daunted...I have another theory...we will be saved by the Hitchikers. Don't ask me how...but I figure they aren't just giving people happy endorphins. I think Clem is talking to his own hitchiker...one that told him to run all those years ago.

I liked that Ianto addresses the issue of the pony with his, "Better not waste any time then."

There it is. I mean, if your beloved has a finite lifespan...why the hell aren't you spending every spare minute gazing into her eyes. Yes, I'm looking right at you, Doctor! Oh...yeah...I get it. Your job is very important and the world is ending somewhere. But then, again...the world is always ending somewhere, isn't it? And, if this is any indication, you aren't ALWAYS there~! Also, there is the whole alternative universe + Time Lord part of the equation. Even if you go to Rose, you can be home in time for tea, yeah?

Anyway, nice that Ianto put things in their proper perspective for us. Also, loved the daughter and grandson getting busy with cutting boards and carving knives. Again, Rose can certainly defend herself...and I'm betting her children as well...so the whole "danger" argument takes a walloping.

And frankly...while I know that Torchwood and Doctor Who almost operate in separate universes...in RTD's hands they don't...because most of the grand alien sightings have been in Doctor Who stories. The Life Sucking Demon was in Cardiff...and the earth shaking stuff last season also seemed Cardiff centered. When it comes to big events...like Dalek invasions...it's the Doctor's turf. And Jack...well...he says it...he's there as a fixed point in time...like the Doctor told him...and Rose Tyler did that to him. More over...Jack would never have become Jack...if Rose hadn't wanted to get back to the Doctor so desperately. So, yeah...while I don't expect the Doctor to show up for any of this...the fact that he doesn't show...and Jack and Company handle things...proves they can handle things without the Doctor.

What I'm saying is Jack is an excellent foil for the Doctor. On the one hand, he's human. But his culture in the distant future was quite a bit different from 20th Century culture. He's technologically and socially advanced...and immortal. And yet, he's not afraid to go on living. Jack's a fine hero figure...and so...he can play this anti-hero part he takes on here. Why did he give them children?

It was a gift.

Yes...like a cultural exchange. Orphan children...children nobody would miss them, as I said. Hard to imagine Jack following those orders. So, probably he had no choice. Reading between the lines, it seems it was a price paid to keep the 456 from returning. This leads me to think Jack had a very good reason for NOT wanting them to return. And that would lead me to believe the 456 are what took Jack's brother. That's what I would do anyway...to make this more logical.

Overall another excellent episode. There were definite boring bits...I didn't really think the rubbery alien and goo were alarming. But...Go Team Torchwood! Go Andy for getting Gwen into the police station and also for asking her to explain herself. Go Ianto for suggesting sex at inappropriate times. And for remembering crucial supplies...like coffee, t.p. and Jack's kit. Go Lois for putting in the contact lenses and spelling things out in shorthand. Go Alice for the Torchwood training at home course for extended family. And those steely Jack-esque eyes she has, too. Go Rhys for cooking beans. Go Jack for getting that cell phone. Go Gwen for driving on the pavement.

Go RTD for keeping me interested even with a rubbery monster in a cloudy room spitting pea soup at the windows.

Rae
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Oooh, I hadn't even thought about the 456 possibly being connected with the creatures that attacked Jack's home. That makes a lot of sense!

Yes, I also thought about the Doctor and his little argument with Rose in School Reunion when Jack & Ianto talked about immortals being in love with mortals...
"Better not waste any time then."
But then, that's what makes Jack very different from the Doctor. He dares falling in love while the Doctor tries to protect himself.

Well, I was right about the nature of Jack's dark secret. I see it as a "lesser of two evils" choice. The kind of thing the Doctor has to do all the time which is why those two idiots (well, one idiot) need to be spending more time together.

I'm intrigued by the idea that this scenario will feed into the next DW specials somehow. Because the same old question rears its head - how much alien contact can the human race stand before "everything changes" as Jack promised? And does something so terrible happen at the end of Day Five that the Doctor is later tempted to mess with the timelines and undo it? Or maybe there's just be a big red RESET buttom pressed, but that would piss me somewhat because it's lazy plotting and it's happened before.

I kept thinking about the RESET button

rabid1st

2009-07-09 02:10 pm (UTC)

...myself...and like you, I cringed.

It does not appear, given the spoiler photos we have seen that the Earth is going to suffer that much for the Doctor Who part of it all. But if RTD means to reset everything for Moffat...as many people have suggested...I wondered if he was planning to reset the Earth back to it's customary innocence.

One thing that has been supported throughout the RTD run is that the Earth we see on Doctor Who isn't really OUR Earth. Which leads me to the "jail cell" theory...that both the Doctor and the Master are serving some sort of Time Lord imposed sentence of exile to a Hellish Universe. This does fit in with the concept of Eight being sucked into an alternative universe with Charley in book canon. Maybe that actually happened...but in a skewed fashion...like all book canon RTD borrows.

I complete agree that a reset is lazy...but it could work with the idea of the pony and to clear the slate for Moffat. Then, all that need happen is for the Doctor to notice something that allows him to see his world as illusionary...or inconsistent in some fundamental way. Once he works out that he's living the dream...he might escape it. Still...yeah, it smacks of "It was all a dream", too. And if you go there...you lose a chunk of your audience forever.

Still...having the universe we've been watching be an alternative universe is better, in my opinion, than doing a magic reset like they did in Last of the Time Lords. On the other hand...should RTD be willing to go with a magic reset on Children of Earth...he does have the rift. It could reset randomly now that all of it's protective monitors and containments have been ripped apart.

As for the current series folding into Doctor Who...I didn't actually mean it was going to follow a narrative line straight to the other show. Though, it certainly could do that...and that might make some sense. I meant, that the things RTD is exploring in Torchwood are the same things he explores in Doctor Who...and, yet, for some reason...he's far more willing to have Jack behave logically. Maybe because he feels Jack is human at some level and so will react with more human understanding. I only wish that he'd then allowed 10.5 to exhibit human understanding.

That's really what goes so horribly wrong in JE...10.5 exhibits less human emotion than 10 shows in that beach scene...and far, far less than 10 shows earlier with Rose. So, I, at least, don't feel comforted by Rose's exile with him. If only he'd truly hugged her...or initiated a kiss...or said, "What, all she's done and you're just going to abandon her?"

I don't know...he just seem to me to care more about Donna than Rose. Even more about Jackie than Rose. And certainly, 10.5 seemed to show the most emotion in relation to himself...and to 10 abandoning him. His "You Made Me" line seems to be very much an angry challenge to his lot in life as designated by 10.

Anyway...yeah...it will be interesting to see how Torchwood goes forward. And it does seem that they might do another season...from the ratings and Gwen and Rhys seem to be ready for a future, new house and a baby on the way.

Rae

Re: I kept thinking about the RESET button

sensiblecat

2009-07-09 06:16 pm (UTC)

I had a horrible thought earlier today - that by making The Doctor the way he is RTD may believe he is showing that there is something wonderful and unique about humanity. That he truly believes it would be impossible for a non-human character to open up and have the happiness we want the Doctor to have.

That would make sense from the point of view that Jack, though immortal and non-contemporaneous, is still human.

What's got me worried is DT saying something in a recent interview along the lines of how "a character like that can't be expected to be happy."

I guess if this is what happens we'd just have to accept that 10.5 was the Doctor made human, and therefore able to love Rose and find peace in doing so. The thing which continues to give me hope for the Pony is that JE was such a mess and, if RTD was intending to convey his Big Message, he could have done it so much better.

I should never type when I'm tired...

rabid1st

2009-07-09 08:54 pm (UTC)

...but then...I am ALWAYS tired. :grin:

What I meant to say in that post above yours...is that it seems as if the Earth ISN'T effected as a whole when the Doctor returns to it. We have seen spoiler photos that make it appear like business as usual. So...whatever we do from Torchwood...it probably will not result in a permanently devastated London.

As to this quote...from DT...What's got me worried is DT saying something in a recent interview along the lines of how "a character like that can't be expected to be happy."

Well, see? This has sort of been MY point all along. The Doctor won't find happiness with Rose either...if happiness is defined as DT defines it in the rest of that quote. DT is saying the Doctor will always outlive his loved ones and friends...so we can't expect him to live happily ever after...as he's the last of his kind.

RTD may well be going with a good old lesson to Jack in Children of Earth...but I doubt that...since he starts off the miniseries with a separation and is moving the daughter and grandson closer to Jack. The point made about avoiding a lot of contact with his family is a valid one...given what we see here...and a lot of this is ground I was covering in Like Gum on Your Shoe...people are going to want to know what makes Jack tick...or the Doctor tick...and anyone with him will be in danger, Rose, their kids, their grandkids.

But...there are also ways to deal with that increased danger other than to never have contact with another creature. And...denying contact doesn't keep your loved ones safe. I would think Rose was in more danger than she's ever been in at this exact moment. She's got a unique creature with her...one with enough knowledge to reshape her universe...one she can't possibly be expected to control and there have to be people over in her universe signing off on all her dimension hopping trips...people who will want to talk to a real live...mostly defenseless, now, thank you so much...Time Lord.

Anyway, you and I are in some agreement now...about the revelation of themes. Not that RTD needs to say the same thing on both shows...he could have Jack make one decision and the Doctor make another. But if Jack has some obvious experiences for the audience to relate to...then we need less time and energy justifying those choices to the Doctor Who audience. What I mean is we need not have David stay on or Billie come back permanently if Jack and the Torchwood crew show us how this sort of relationship can work.

All we need THEN...is Jack to explain things to the Doctor with a few carefully chosen words. Anyone doubting Jack need only reference this miniseries. Also, anyone wanting to know what Rose's life might be like in Pete's World...need only watch Torchwood and think...what if Jack WASN'T immortal? Rose really does kick ass. She would have to...by the very fact that she was out there striding from dimension to dimension with her Dalek blasting gun.

And yes, I suppose we might just be forced in the end to think that 10.5 was that extra little bit of help she needed. And she was strong enough to keep him safe and make him better...while kicking alien ass and taking names. But...still...the Doctor should be her hero...and ours...it's a better ending. And Russell T. Davies KNOWS it.

Rae

Ooh, the 456 being Gray-takers - good theory!

You pulled some really intresting meta out of this (and the previous 2 nights) and if anything, made my viewing of the series richer as a result. Bless! Also, the 456 taking Gray? What an awesomely intuitive leap. I hope it pans out. But yeah, totally enjoying this excursion. Torchwood is so much better for being so directly in RTD's hands. As I've mentioned in other friends posts about this, Uncle Rusty has made me fall in love with characters about which I was previously apathetic or just in like with. That's no small feat, and in the end, RTD's strength isn't just one clever plot twist after another or witty dialogue, but giving us characters worthy of caring about even when the plot is tending toward swiss-cheese.

(edited to correct a grammatical boo-boo)

Edited at 2009-07-09 03:40 pm (UTC)

I'm exhausted so this is my brief thought

nightbeast

2009-07-09 04:52 pm (UTC)

This storyline might be like Pompeii - it's a fixed point that can't be interfered with.

Jack is a foil for the Doctor, but with an important difference. Jack started out mortal and lived that life. In Utopia, he wanted to be rid of his immortality. After his year with the Master, he seemed content with his longevity and to make the most of those around him while he could. He is motivated to defend the Earth, utilising his immortality to do so.

In contrast, the Doctor still wants to be mortal, something he's never truly been. He defends the Earth/Universe because he feels obligated to as the last of his kind. While Jack's gone from mortal to immortal and embraced it, the Doctor should be going the other way.

Lisa
Still recovering from my holiday

Right...it seems that RTD's Doctor...

rabid1st

2009-07-09 05:14 pm (UTC)

...wants that mortal life but feels obligated to go on defending the Earth...and other planets...because he's the last of his kind.

This dilemma can resolve itself in a few ways...which we have gone over repeatedly...

1) The Doctor leaves for a very brief relative time. This is the pop over to the alternative universe...home in time for tea...scenario. Canon seems to say that this scenario requires other Time Lords...but we don't really know WHY? And we do HAVE two other time lord-types in Jenny and 10.5.

2) The Doctor switches bodies with the human clone...part of him dies...part of him lives on...all we need to establish is that this is a normal part of Time Lord biology...switching bodies and that 10.5 and Rose are not living the happy life.

3) The Doctor is given some other opportunity to have the life he wants...many people simply figure that will happen some day and so we need not concern ourselves with it...this is the River Song will save us song. :smirk: But...it is also possible to have the Doctor given some out that is more relevant to our story so far.

For example...it is possible the Time Lords aren't gone...but have only changed. Or hidden themselves...or that the DOCTOR is the one that is truly missing...that this Earth he visits, that is so unlike ours...really isn't our Earth but one in a Time Lord prison (or alternative reality where the Doctor was tossed during the time war) where the Doctor and Master and perhaps others are locked away. All we need then...is for the Doctor to figure this out, stumble across some clue that he's in the wrong universe. I was thinking Mars might allow this...as a few big things happened on Mars in old school canon.

I don't like the idea of a universal reset for Moffat...but we could have one if it turns out that all of this suffering on the Doctor's part is simply a way to teach him a lesson about his constant meddling. He always tried to be a law unto himself in Old School...now he's all alone. Offered a reprieve, he could agree to abide by Time Lord laws...as long as he could live out a lifetime with Rose, first. He goes to Rose...the Time Lords take care of 10.5...blipping him out of existence...or wiping his memory or whatever.

Okay...I don't want to wear you out. But I do agree with what you've said about Jack. Jack is different than the Doctor because he's been a mortal human and so he has a better understanding of people. But then, doesn't that play into what we have been saying all along? That 10.5 would make a better Doctor for the long term...because he understands humanity?

Rae

Of course...when I say Eleven will agree to abide by Time Lord Law...

rabid1st

2009-07-09 05:17 pm (UTC)

...I mean only for the first half of episode one of Season 5...then, he will, of course, go all rebel again, escaping in his newly souped-up TARDIS!

:grin:

Rae

With the blatant romance between Jack and Ianto

nightbeast

2009-07-09 05:41 pm (UTC)

... in this series, part of me worries for Ianto's survival. Lines like, "Better not waste any time," are as bad as Donna saying she'd travel with the Doctor forever.

Then there's Jack's grandson, under 18, in a story where those people are being taken by aliens. Said grandson is probably physically closest to the alien out of all children now he's been captured.

Jack stands to lose an awful lot. It's okay when he dies because it's temporary. But to lose your lover and your descendants... very angsty. Very RTD. How he deals with that will help us understand the Doctor's viewpoint on outliving everything dear to you.

Lisa

I am a little worried about Ianto...

rabid1st

2009-07-09 09:18 pm (UTC)

...but I don't know that, having lost two cast members, Torchwood can survive many more changes. I think that it feels rather claustrophobic as it now stands...I would almost rather we were allowed to see a greater Torchwood network while Jack and Company scramble to survive. This would open up possiblities for future shows with or without the current cast.

And I've always said Jack should have some superiors to rebel against. Look how much better it is when he's working against the MAN!

BTW, I don't know that there is any canon reason to assume that Jack's offspring have super powers. They might have some genetic modifications from him being a future human, though. And, again, we must address the idea presented by Martha Jones being found to have altered DNA due to her traveling in the TARDIS. Since her blood contained super antioxidant properties...it seems to me she would live longer and stay in better health than the average human. This would explain Sarah Jane Smith's relative spryness. It would also mean that Rose probably won't age to infirmity, but will likely die suddenly of an accident or heart failure.

Hence, much of the Doctor's worries about her withering and dying seem baseless. And I can't help but notice something rather telling...the last two companions...are going to be old people. Maybe the Doctor, and the naysaying audience, need to see that it is perfectly possible for an older person to kick some alien bottom. And so...another objection...that the Doctor's lifestyle might be too much for an older Rose...will go right out the window.

Rae
thinking what Jack stands to lose is his team...in some fashion...maybe they will lose him. Though they have already had that experience a number of times now...and he always comes back.

On the other hand...it does occur to me...

rabid1st

2009-07-09 09:49 pm (UTC)

That if hitchikers are the answer. If they are some sort of super alien guardians, rather than just internal happy pills, then Ianto may transform in some fashion. Jack would lose him...but also...have him out there in space somewhere.

This sort of reeks of Bad Wolf Rose though...and the perpetual postponing of happiness that we have when the Doctor locks Rose and River away under glass so they never age for him.

Rae