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[personal profile] fairyd123

So after a quite ridiculous 18 month wait and over 3 weeks since I saw the preview screening of the 1st episode Torchwood is finally, finally on our tv screens. I'll be honest just seeing the names John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Gareth David Lloyd and Kai Owen flash up on my tv screen made me grin from ear to ear.

My lengthy synopsis and review from the preview screening is here in case anyone wants to read it.

I was intrigued to see how well it would hold up to a second viewing. Sometimes when you're as canon deprived us as poor Torchwood fans have been been and even though I have never mindlessly squeed over anything in my life it is easy when you're in the company of like minded fans and seeing something for the very first time to let your excitement and joy at seeing a new episode blind you slightly to its flaws.

So I was pretty pleased to say that I thought it stood up to a second viewing incredibly well and is as good as I remembered it. Fast paced, glossy, well acted, witty, suspenseful - it was prime time drama at its best.

I love, love how well the central trio was written for once and Gareth, John and Eve all played their parts wonderfully. I simply adore Gwen in this. It's so nice to finally be able to root for Gwen - it always made me a bit sad that the only two female characters on the show were frequently written as besotted, socially inept and very wet (Tosh) and self righteous, falsely sincere, smug and grating as hell (Gwen). But in Day One Gwen is fabulous whether she's refusing to let Dr Rupesh wander around the Bay like a lost lamb, bantering with her wonderful boyfriend (seriously Rhys has rapidly become the best tv boyfriend ever - cute, clever, capable - Gwen is a lucky, lucky girl), carefully gaining Clem Macdonalds's trust in the nursing home or coping with the revelation that she's pregnant. That moment where it sinks in that she's having a baby and she says "That's bloody brilliant" is just a beautiful piece of acting from Eve - really wonderful stuff.

Gareth was equally wonderful displaying killer comic timing in the opening sequence in the hospital, displaying wounded vulnerability (and a whole heap of insecurity) in his interactions with Jack and his scene with his sister is still my favourite in the episode. It's just such a brilliant scene - he's so disarmingly awkward and nervous in the scene and yet you get such a strong sense that they are siblings even though this is a sister who has just basically been magicked out of thin air for the purposes of this mini series. Poor Ianto he's so desperate for Jack to put a label on their relationship - to define what Ianto means to him that Ianto looks completely crushed when Jack refuses to play ball and says that he hates the word couple. And with his sister he can't begin to describe what Jack is to him because, well, he doesn't understand it himself. And he looks so relieved when her only and immediate response to him shyly admitting that Jack is handsome is to reassure herself that Jack is nice to her brother. It's a really lovely scene.

John gets a lot of stick for his acting and admittedly he has had more than his share of ropey moments but he equally gets a chance to shine be it bantering with Ianto at the hospital, the lovely moment with Gwen when she finds out she's pregnant or his scene with his daughter where he manages to be both wounded estranged parent, proud grandfather and callous bastard looking for a child to experiment on all at the same time.

In fact watching it again with one notable exception I was hugely impressed with the acting calibre of all the guest actors.

I do think it was a real shame that Rupesh was Children of Earth's Suzie Costello because he was an engaging, interesting character. He had great chemistry with Eve Myles and looked like he would have suitably spikey chemistry with John and Gareth. And his delivery of that beautiful but tragic little speech about how the reality of there being aliens is affecting people was great. Sad to see him gone so soon.

Loved Cush Jumbo's awkward turn as Lois - the bumbling awkward way she introduces herself in the meeting completely oblivious to the importance of what's being discussed and that the two men are just desperate for her to sod off and leave them to it was very endearing. I do wish RTD had found a much better way to involve her in proceedings rather than simply have the secretary hand over her password details but then I guess given that we live in a world where the wife of the new head of MI6 is stupid enough to put up personal details and pictures of them on Facebook the secretary handing her security clearance to a temp isn't entirely out of the realms of possibility.

Katy Wix is fantastic as Ianto's sister and made a huge impact with a very small part, likewise Nicholas Farrell as the rather repitilian Prime Minister and Ian Gelder whose Mr Dekker (who is entirely too excited about the 456 band being activated) made my skin crawl.

I even enjoyed Paul Copley as the very twitchy Clem. Its hard to play a mental patient convincingly - audience's tolerance for twitching and gurning is limited but he managed to make Clem engaging and sympathetic.

And I remain enormously impressed with Peter Capaldi as the civil servant having the worst day of his life. I mean this is the bastard who signed off on the kill order to have Jack blown up and the other two team members assassinated and yet he somehow manages to engage your sympathies. You may hate him for what he's doing to the team but at teh same time you can understand why he's doing what he is. He's desperate to keep the British government's prior involvement with teh 456 quiet and if that means killing a handful of operatives...? Well so be it.

Unfortunately the only actor in it I really don't like is Lucy Cohen who plays Jack's daughter. She just leaves me cold. I know the Jack/Alice sequence was meant to be awkward but it felt as if JB had nothing to act off. He was doing his utmost but they just had no chemistry at all and because I couldn't engage with the actress she just came across as a hard old bitch refusing to let her father into her life or the life of his grandchild.

And so Day One over already and no more Hub. Which I'm so sad about (and dubious as to why the government would risk killing innocent civilians as well as losing precious alien tech by having the Hub blown up - surely there were easier ways to permanently deal with Jack?) I mean where is Myfanwy going to live? It would be nice if we got a one liner in the future episodes acknowledging that by blowing the Hub up not only have the governent crippled the base of the one group of people who could have helped them to fight the 456 (and destroyed all their weapons in the process), not only have they destroyed Jack's home, but they've also killed his brother as well.

When the Hub blew up poor old Gray blew up with it, along with the remains of Suzie Costello and presumably Tosh if she was being kept in the morgue. The government destroyed the resting place of all those Torchwood employees. Somehow I don't see it being mentioned (nor the issue of the homeless Myfanwy addressed) but it would be nice.

Roll on tomorrow where I can finally see what the sequence in the ambulance (which I saw being filmed) looks like.

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