Torchwood 2.11: Adrift review

Review

Adrift

Quantity-ratings (click here for guide to rating system):

Wordbuilding  World-mapWorld-mapWorld-mapWorld-map
Gore                Weevil-chompWeevil-chomp
Dancing           CarysCarysCarys
Angst               Tear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizzaTear-stained-pizza
Aliens              Philoctetes

On Dancing.

(Please note – vague elements of the Season 1 plot of the ongoing 2003 version of Battlestar Galactica are discussed in the following review.)

“Not spooky enough for you?”
PC Andy to Gwen.

Doctor Who can’t really show Dancing on screen, Dancing being a euphemism in Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who scripts.  Torchwood was intended to be an adult Sci-Fi show, a spin-off from Doctor Who, with a timeslot that could allow it to show sex (Dancing) or Gore. The end result in Season 1 was often silly rather than worthwhile when episodes featured Dancing (e.g. Day One) or Gore (e.g. Countrycide). With this episode Adrift, there is not much goriness and some superfluous-to-the-story sex, but Adrift is so disturbing (in a way that makes for a good dramatic story) it just couldn’t be shown in the Doctor Who timeslot. (I expect the early evening edited version to be quite different.)

Really, the only Torchwood episode with Dancing at the centre of the story, so far, is the woeful Day One.  I know the production team watch the new version of Battlestar Galactica (Sleepers is testament to that) but they haven’t really followed its example of how to do sex-centred stories well in an adult Sci-Fi show.

Episode Quality-rating: GrinGrinGrinGrin

A very good episode, however, the story’s subtext has an ultimate message that’s disappointing, as the episode seems to suggest that it’s better to give up than face harsh reality – and hopeful ignorance is better than harsh knowledge? Surely not.

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2 Responses to “Torchwood 2.11: Adrift review”

  1. FrillyShirtCyberman Says:

    “it’s better to give up than face harsh reality”

    It feels like that, innit? Just like in Out of time… although that one offered three vastly different solutions to the same problem: being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

    Personally, I think that not knowing is much worse than having a certainty. False hopes and uncertainty can surely erode your soul (or emotions) much faster than a quick, harsh punch of harsh reality. Loved the episode, but it was harsh. If it were Who, you’d get some magical reset (maybe) or something to alleviate the rather depressing ending…

    4 1/2.

  2. John Nor Says:

    Well, Frilly, I think you would have to completely rewrite the episode if it were Who, the whole story is harsh (though harsh in a way that makes for a good dramatic story)!

    In my review I suggest this is a good thing, as it demonstrates Torchwood is actually making proper use of its later timeslot.


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