fairyd123: (Ianto Smash)
[personal profile] fairyd123

Do you hear that?

Listen very closely.

That would be the sound of a corpulent diva singing a funeral lament.

Yep the fat lady she is singing and she's serenading the end of Torchwood.

So they did it.

They killed off Ianto Jones.

Insert your own South Park joke here.

And it's not like I didn't know they were going to do it. The spoilers have been out there for about 9 months or more with a couple of people being quite adamant that his character was gone. And the signs weren't especially positive, what with Gareth looking for work in the US (you don't try out for Pilot season if you think you have a job to come home too) and the subtle re-positioning of Blue Gillespie from being a fun hobby to a commercial concern and then of course today the net was flooded with spoilers due to HMV messing up and sending out dvds too early (sure the BBC will be delighted with them).

And then there was the series itself with Lois showing off the skill set necessary to effortlessly take over Ianto's job, and the foreshadowing of the "old and grey" speech (not to mention the absolutely blatant goodbye speech in The Dead Line radio play) and did anyone seriously see that moment of Thames House going into lockdown in the "next time" trailer and not know precisely how the end of day 4 was going to pan out (nice going trailer guys - way to keep me in suspense!)

But even after all that there was a part of me that thought, no they can't really be about to kill him off can they?

No actor is irreplaceable - shows can continue on and weather many a change in cast but Torchwood was a tiny cast to begin with and they'd already killed off 2 cast members. So why repeat themselves? Why have yet another shocking death taking the number of remaining cast members down to two? Yes I know this is a re-boot of the series and a lot of the people watching won't know who Tosh and Owen even are but a good writer shouldn't play the same trick twice. A shocking death isn't shocking if everyone is expecting it and how are you supposed to give a damn about any new Torchwood operative when you'll just be assuming that they'll drop dead at any minute? Noone is going to bother emotionally engaging with a red shirt.

I was so sure that RTD wouldn't want to play out the tired old trope of having the bisexual character killed off because god forbid a gay or bisexual character on a prime time drama should be happy. I mean he'd made such a huge deal about the Jack/Ianto relationship being key to this series and so much of the pre-air hype was about how wonderfully refreshing it was to see Jack and Ianto as a couple on prime time tv and their relationship not all be soap opera dramatics about the "turmoil" of being in a same sex relationship. So he wouldn't really have Ianto die after all that would he? He wouldn't really completely de-gay Torchwood and have a bland future series with a boyfriend-less Jack spouting cheesy come ons like he does when he shows up in Tennant's Who therefore making the show more mainstream and accessible and Daily Mail friendly? He wouldn't really want to turn the show into an alien hunting version of Bones with Jack and Gwen fighting the good fight and all that unresolved sexual tension? Would he? I mean the reaction from the gay media to Something Borrowed which did rather suggest that all happily omni-sexual Jack really needed was a cute girl to settle down with was pretty brutal. So he wouldn't want to invite the same sort of wrath by killing off Ianto - would he?

And then of course there is the commercial element to consider. Nearly 6 million people have been watching the show each night. Yay show. And of course the percentage of those 6 million who post on-line, who attend conventions who even know what Gareth and John's names are will be tiny. On-line fandom simply doesn't matter as much as we'd like to think it does. And of course not everyone likes the character of Ianto Jones. Of course they don't. I imagine that in certain areas of the fandom people are doing a happy dance of joy right about now at the news.

But I would suspect that if you were to look at the people who routinely buy Torchwood merchandise the percentage of them who are also Jack and Ianto fans would be very very high indeed. Jack/Ianto is the predominant pairing in the fandom.

Simply put it sells.

It helped put In the Shadows on the Amazon best seller list, people buy convention tickets in the hope they'll get to see John and Gareth kiss in front of them, James Moran is pimping out his tie-in novel on the basis that its full of (and oh god I hate smush names) "Janto" goodness. It may have taken John Barrowman a while to cotton on but Gareth and TPTB were pretty quick to suss out that the Jack and Ianto relationship sells well to the predominantly female fanbase. So why fuck up a source of good income in this dismal market? I mean in all seriousness who is actually going to renew their Torchwood magazine subscription at the end of this year now? Or buy any of the tie in comics? Or buy any of the Ianto-less tie in novels or audio books? I won't and I've bought most of the tie in stuff so far. And if others follow suit that's a fairly sizeable loss of merchandise revenue.

And who the hell is going to watch another series?

I mean does RTD just fundamentally not understand the fandom or does he just not give a flying fuck?

I admit I had expected the series to get poor ratings (every night, middle of Summer - I think the slight change in the weather has helped it somewhat - if it had aired during the heatwave last week I'm not sure it would have gotten so many viewers) so it wouldn't really matter if he died as there was unlikely to be another series anyway. But the brilliant ratings are kind of adding insult to injury. I'm completely spoiled for tomorrow's episode as well and with the events of the two episodes I'm not quite sure how you could bring the character of Jack Harkness back to being jovial Jack, cracking inappropriate jokes about sex while fighting off aliens in Cardiff. Too much has happened for the character to ever really go back to that. I'm not even sure how he could work on Who - he's suffered too much tragedy. The loss of his brother (not mentioned but he was of course killed when the Hub blew up), loss of his lover, events of tomorrow - its just too too much for one man to bear. Too too dark. And what would the new series be? Jack, Lois and a handful of red shirts with Gwen juggling fighting aliens with raising a baby. Oh so not my cup of tea. Children of Earth wasn't really Torchwood anyway - it was Spooks with aliens but another series would bear so little resemblance to the original premise that it would be far far better just quietly ending it now rather than continuing it.

But despite all the sound reasons NOT to kill him off the fact remains that poor old Ianto Jones is dead.

And at least he got to go out with a degree of style.

The relationship wasn't quite the great romance that the pre-publicity promised us. It wasn't hearts and flowers certainly and all we got was one solitary kiss and a manly hug but I think in a way that made it a bit more real. There weren't flowery declarations of adoration but if you ignored what the characters said and focused on how they looked at each other the depth of emotion was overwhelming.

I loved the beginning - Gwen absolutely devastated with Jack's confession about giving the children to the 456 and Ianto equally distraught but still leaning towards Jack - supporting him. 1960's Jack was a very different man to this Jack. Fed up of being stuck on Earth - fed up of waiting for the Doctor - he'd become disconnected, cold. It was chilling to hear the Torchwood operative say that they needed Jack because they needed someone "who didn't care". He gave the children to the 456 in return for a cure for the flu virus and pretended not to care even though it ate away at him for years. Friendly, smiley, "Uncle Jack" encouraging all the little kiddies into the light and telling them that it was safe was bone chilling and very very hard to watch.

When Clem shot Jack Ianto was the first to reach his side - not concerned at all by the mad man waving the gun around. And the look on his face! Such intense hatred for the man that had killed his Jack. Ianto looked terrifying in that moment.

It was a great acting performance from Gareth all round. His shock at discovering what Jack had done, his hatred towards Clem for shooting Jack, the look of sheer nausea and horror when he sees the child in the 456's tank. Even his cute goodbye speech to his sister "I'm even warming to Johnny" - beautiful. Superb stuff.

I liked the conversation between Jack and Ianto in the Hub 2. Jack desperately pretending that there's nothing more to him than surface gloss, that nothing bothers him, that he can just wipe it all off and that he's not worthy of anyone looking any closer than that. And Ianto refusing to let go, refusing to let Jack dismiss himself like that, desperately trying to get him to open up to him, to let him take some of Jack's burden. I liked that an unravelling and very emotional Jack told Ianto about his daughter and grandson himself and that Ianto didn't find out by accident. He trusted Ianto enough to tell him, to make it clear why he was so upset. It was a nice moment.

And at the end Jack did what Ianto wanted him to do. He stood up and fought. He did what he should have done in 1965 and refused to roll over. He and Ianto - side by side refusing to let the 456 win. It was a great moment because it showed them as total equals. Lovers and brothers in arms willing to face a truly frightening threat together and do what needs to be done because noone else has the courage to. Not the office boy and his boss anymore.

But equally I loved that as soon as the 456 calmly responded by putting the building into lockdown and releasing the gas Jack's immediate response was to back down. Not because of all the people in the building. But because of Ianto. Because backing down meant not losing him. His "Not him" was painful to hear.

And as death scenes go it was a good one. Enough to turn me into a snivelling wreck and really a grown woman shouldn't sob her heart out over a tv show. OK maybe I would have liked Ianto to go down all guns blazing and perhaps he was a teeny bit sappy but he was dying dammit! The sap in me would have liked Jack to return Ianto's declaration of love but I don't think it was really needed. Jack's desperation, his pained entreaties to Ianto to stay with him, his promise not to forget him even in a 1000 years- they said far far more than "I love you" ever could. Jack holding Ianto's dead body and begging him to stay with him just broke me. As did Jack kissing him good bye before dying himself cradling Ianto's body.

And Gwen straightening his tie when she saw him lying there.

And now I'm off again.

Bloody Torchwood!

Also credit where it is due John Barrowman has been the best I have ever seen him act in this series - he's giving a really beautiful nuanced performance.

As for the rest of it. Gwen continues to be strongly written - liked her horror at Jack's actions but also how she just got on with what needed to be done. The Gwen of early series would have let rip with self righteous fury but this Gwen whilst not being a push over understands what needs to be done and the difficult choices Jack faces. Loved how cool she was when Johnson burst in (she could after all have shot first and asked questions later) and her pride over Rhys ("my gorgeous husband").

Lois is not quite strong enough to be main cast yet but I loved her carrying out clever Team Torchwood's blackmail plan. Her "and I think that's it" was very funny.

Far too much of the ministerial shenanigans again (Why Nick Briggs why? We love you - you're not allowed to be evil) and them calmly determining the best way to choose the 10% of children to give to the 456 was truly horrific.

Capaldi was once again superb - really not enough superlatives for his performance in this series. Was also impressed by his wife - that moment of her crying her eyes out on the phone knowing damn well that her husband is lying through his teeth to her was really powerful.

Shame that poor old Clem died. Clearly the means of his death is the key to killing the 456 but what a miserable life. Stitched up by Jack, homeless, institutionalised, terrified beyond reason for most of his adult life, then Jack comes back to haunt him and he gets massacred by the alien threat he never really escaped.

And that's the end of day 4. Day 5 tomorrow and by all accounts even more doom and despair to come (why the hell did they feel the need to make this series so dark?) I won't be watching live which is probably just as well as I could do with a break.

Still not quite sure why TPTB felt Ianto's death was necessary. For the record I don't see a magic wand being waved in the next episode - the world of Children of Earth doesn't have Risen Mittens - Ianto is dead and gone. Of course this is sci-fi and they could bring him back - hell they could do a series showing Jack in different eras of Torchwood and have Ianto in one episode - I would definitely watch that show - an episode with the naughty Victorian girls, an episode with the guy who killed everyone at New Year's , one with Suzie and an episode with Ianto. Definitely my type of show.

But if he's not coming back I think it might be better to retire the show now on a critical and ratings (although not an emotional) high rather than bring back a diluted show which is effectively Gwack and the red shirts. It would make a mockery of all their good work.

So farewell Ianto Jones. It's been a pleasure.

Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


fairyd123: (Default)

August 2009

910 1112131415
16 171819202122

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 24th, 2017 01:59 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios