Thursday, October 4, 2007

Torchwood? That Some Kind of Flashlight Factory?

I declare here and now that I am now and will forever be a dedicated Torchwood fan. After four episodes (four!), all five main characters moved into my head and have been settled there since. Torchwood is a sci fi show, a spin-off of Doctor Who (where the character Jack Harkness originated).
One of the many good things about this show is that an openly (very openly) gay man is the heroic lead. Not only is the actor gay, but Jack is "omnisexual" (read: he'll fuck anything and probably has) and in the first season, all five characters have a same-sex kiss. Two same-sex couples are canon. Tosh/Mary, but that only lasts for an episode as Mary is an alien and wants to eat Tosh's heart. Poor Tosh. Also Jack/Ianto. Ianto is the receptionist/archivist/coffee king and gets two kisses with Jack. Though he's unconscious for the first. It is suggested that in the next season, Jack and Ianto will have a relationship. Go Britain!
Now, the basic premise is that there's this secret organization called Torchwood in Cardiff, Wales that investigates alien activity and scavenges the stuff left behind by aliens to make them usable by mankind. On to the characters:

Captain Jack Harkness: a man with a past that he won't share with his team (although we can watch Doctor Who), Jack is sexy, brash, a little crude and a bit aloof, with a smile that would charm the clothes off your back (and probably has). But he loves his team and does everything to protect them and he saves the world pretty much on a weekly basis. Jack is also immortal. In the first episode he is shot in the head, falls, then gets back up a minute later. He gets killed a lot, but he always comes back to life. That's the tricky thing about him.

Gwen Cooper: A police officer who saw Jack and his team use alien technology to revive a murder victim. She tracks them down, is able to counter-act the memory erase drug Jack gives her, she goes to find them again. After she witnesses the suicide of a team member, Suzie, she is given a job at Torchwood. She has a boyfriend, Rhys, who is incredibly supportive of her job, even if he doesn't know exactly what it is.

Owen Harper is the team doctor. He is sex-crazed (in the first episode he uses an alien aphrodiasic to make a beautiful woman at a bar want him, then does the same with her angry boyfriend a few scenes later), rude and crude, but hurt one of his teammates (especially Gwen, who he will later have an affair with) and he will kick some serious ass. Owen is very snarky and clashes with Ianto occasionally. Despite all that, he is a very good doctor and when he's not goofing off quite good at his job.

Toshiko Sato, called Tosh, is a beautiful (though she doesn't know it) technology geek. She hides in her work and doesn't have much of a life outside of Torchwood. Definitely bisexual, she has an affair with a female alien, yet is in love with Owen. Shy, but intelligent, she is one of my favourite characters. And not just for her beauty. She is the closest friend to Ianto, especially after they survive cannibals together. After the Cyberwoman incident, Tosh (in a deleted scene) brings Ianto coffee, something no one else has ever done.

Ianto Jones is a smartly dressed archivist with a good heart and a ready sarcasm. Smarter and braver than anyone gives him credit for, he fought in a war alongside his girlfriend Lisa. When she was transformed into an evil Cyberwoman, he stuck by her, trying to cure her. She gets loose and tries to kill and assimilate all of Torchwood. Ianto must decide where his loyalty lies. Unable to stop her, Jack had to kill her. Ianto doesn't lose his job (though he is suspended for four weeks, how do they manage without his coffee?) and seems to eventually forgive Jack and earn his trust again. Ianto is kind-hearted and exceptionally tidy and punctual, he also brews a mean cup of coffee (Join King Ianto's Coffee Club for ever-lasting peace and damn fine coffee). He clashes with Owen, is friends with Tosh, is mothered by Gwen, and finds himself in love or lust with Jack. The sexual tension between the two is palpable and in several scenes, it is more than strongly hinted at that Jack and Ianto are sleeping together. Actually, the very first episode I watched, I thought Ianto and Jack were already together.

To acquaint yourselves with Torchwood and the Jack/Ianto dynamic (along with proof it is canon): My favourites are moments 1, 2, 4, and the last one.

This is John Barrowman (Captain Jack) on some odd quiz/talk show from England. It's in 3 parts, but this is the start. Look in related for the others. Part 2, however, is the best with John being fooled by a drag queen and declaring he and the host should "have a gay-off". Love.

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