Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Hey – remember the last episode of the previous series, which finished with Jack spending all that time dead?

Well, they don't.

Torchwood's second season started off really well, but this only lasted for a minute or so. The opening joke, in which they stop to ask an old lady if she's seen a blowfish driving a sports car, was great, subtle stuff, however as soon as they're gone again, she mutters one word that brings the inconsistent scripting of this show all crashing back again:


That's right – Torchwood is a top secret organisation that mindwipes everyone who finds out about their existence, except in several episodes when it's public knowledge. This is obviously one of the latter then. Next week? Roll a dice.

Jack returns from his three-episode mopping-up vacation back to Doctor Who last year, amidst much clunky dialogue telling us how much fun we're supposed to think he is.

Sorry, but Jack's arguably the character with the least depth in this show, a handicap accentuated by the writers' ongoing fear of commiting themselves to saying anything specific about him. Last season we were told what he dreams: nothing. We were also told what he thinks: nothing. And his past? He never talks about it.

In this episode Jack's old time-cop partner Hart (James Marsters still playing Spike) shows up, and threatens to tell everyone about Jack's secret past. Well, of course he says very little in the end. More mysterious that way. Except that there's no appeal when you know the writers are never going to tell you anything, and that even if they do, they might well completely forget it the following week.

This is Jack's third story running to feature time getting wound backwards at the end.

There are minor holes in the story (no-one thinks to cut Hart open for the handcuff-key) but so what. Torchwood's great strength is that, no matter how uninvolving, next week might be completely different.

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