Welcome to Torchwood

Well, Saturday the 1st of July, 2006 will go down in my personal history as something of a special day. First I manage to end up actually feeling sorry for the England football team (except for the idiot Wayne Rooney) — or more for their supporters, really, in the form of my kids. Then Russell T Davies and the BBC give us the glory that is ‘Army of Ghosts’. Warning: spoilers follow.


At last. At long, long last, Daleks and Cybermen together (and doubtless against each other). I remember long ago in my university days, my friend Andrew (who co-edited Nova Scotia, as I was saying the other day) putting forth the proposition that there should be a Dalek-Cyber war. It being inevitable that two races each so destructive and inimical to other life forms, should fight if they ever met.

And maybe that’s what’s going to get them out of this one: somehow or other the Doctor’s going to have to use one set of baddies against the other.

But what of Rose? How can she be saying,”This is how I died”? I wouldn’t be surprised if she got trapped on the alternative Earth, but that’s not exactly death. Could she end up trapped in the Void craft (and in the Void)? The beach at the beginning could be virtual reality. But even that wouldn’t exactly be death, and it couldn’t provide any way that she could be telling her story.

The only thing that could make anything like sense, as far as I can see, is if she was telling her story knowing that she was about to die. But I don’t really see how they could get to that state of affairs in the forty-five minutes remaining of the series.

Still, all this speculation will look pretty stupid by this time next week, I suppose, as the speculation about “Army of Ghosts” does now.

My son was crying with emotion when the Daleks flew out of the sphere. We had, of course, seen the Dalek blast in the trailer, and he had said,”I think there’ll be Daleks in it.” While I said, “No, it’ll be Dalek technology that Torchwood have scavenged, and maybe even needed the Doctor’s help to get it working.” But how right he was.

We should have seen it coming, of course. When the Doctor said, “There’s a storm coming,” it was obviously an allusion to “The Oncoming Storm”, his supposed nickname amongst the Daleks. So what could his oncoming storm be? And then when he said that you could survive the end of the Universe inside a Void craft, it should have leapt out at us as an obvious place to survive the Time War.

But I thought I had heard that there weren’t going to be any Daleks in this series. In fact, I though that Russell T Davies himself had said that. If so, then it was a great piece of misdirection — of lying, let’s face it — and I don’t hold it against him for a moment. At last we got a properly non-trailed, non-spoilered surpise baddy arrival: the best since the Cybermen’s appearance at the end of the first episode of “Earthshock”. Almost as good as the Dalek’s appearance in “Dalek” could have been, if the episode had been called something else and they hadn’t trailed it.

Only one more week: what’ll we do without it after that? And The West Wing ends the week after that. Bah.

Welcome to Torchwood

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