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Torchwood - Series 1 Vol.2 [2006] - 17.98

There are many reasons why Torchwood is unlikely to ever match the appeal of its parent show, Doctor Who, and this collection of episodes from its maiden series ably demonstrates why.

Firstly, the show is blatantly aimed at an older demographic, both through crude and clever means, and that's already lost it as many fans as it's won. Secondly, there's a real sense of risk-taking to some of the writing, and that's why those who wrote the show off after just a couple of episodes should perhaps give it another whirl.

On this disc are four more shows from the first series, the highlight of which is the first: Countrycide. The following three aren't too shabby either, although Greeks Bearing Gifts, They Keep Killing Susie and Random Shoes aren't as consistent or engaging.

But here's the thing about Torchwood. Even on an off day, it's still interesting. Sure, it's a muddled sci-fi programme, with plenty of peaks and troughs, but it's also a grower, a programme that'll gradually win you over should you give it a reasonable chance to do so. This particular DVD release is worth it for the one episode alone. Treat the others as an added bonus, and you'll have little quarrel over the value you get from the disc. --Jon Foster

Customer reviews (av rating: 4.5):

Rating: 4:
It's getting better all the time :
The 4 episodes on this DVD release contain 2 strong episodes, and two which didn't feel as strong. I wavered on giving this 3 stars but ultimately felt it deserved 4.

Countricide was a fantastic episode, probability the best on this release - a good dose of scariness and gruesome scenes!

Greeks Bearing Gifts (Episode 7) was a great too. We got to see more of Toshiko, but some of the early scenes seemed a bit contrived just for that episode to make sure we knew that she felt like a bit of an outsider. Still, it was nice to see her 'bloom' as a character. Daniela Denby-Ashe was brilliant as Mary. Another sexually charged episode, and it worked in this episode - it didn't feel as though it was there just for the sake of it like it had in others.

We saw a reference to the first episode in "They Keep Killing Suzie" (Episode 8) and this was not as strong as the first two on this release, but still a good yarn. An ex-colleague is brought back to life, unfortunately for the TW guys, she has a few issues and goes a tad mental.

Random Shoes (Episode 9) had a weird feeling to it. It was a bit like the "Love and Monsters" episode from Doctor Who (new series 2) as the Torchwood team weren't as involved, it focussed more around the character of Eugene, the young guy who found the Alien Eye. Some dislike this episode, I enjoyed it - but the ending seemed a bit rushed.

We get to understand the characters more and Captain Jack becomes more compelling to watch as you long to find out more about him.

Rating: 5:
Fantastic spin-off : I've been a DW fan for years and with a new spin-off I was curious about it. When I watched it with Doctor Who on BBC3, I was instantly hooked on this series. It stands on its own whether or not you've watched the Doctor.

The stories are dramatic and emotional driven by strong characters and relationships. I highly recommend "Torchwood" and for some enlightening reading try "Nexus" by Deborah Morrison & Arvind Singh.

Rating: 5:
Doctor Who with a slightly kinky twist!! : when i first heard about Torchwood, i was a little sceptical. But after re-watching the doctor who episodes with Captain Jack Harkness (AKA John Barrowman) i started to like the idea. and after the double bill on BBC3 i was hooked from start to finish.

the storylines are amazing and they convey such emotion, fear and also happiness when stuff goes right. they are very daring and at times a little risque. It also has that sense of danger that makes you bite your nails or in the case of the last two episodes (Captain Jack Harkness/End of Days) has you crying till it hurts.

Each of the characters has their own little quirks and character flaws that make them individual to the team.
all in all, well worth watching as it makes Doctor Who look like....well....what it is...a family show.

Rating: 2:
Ohhh Patchy Again : My problem with Torchwood is that i find it inconsistently enjoyable. For example, the first episode in this set, Countrycide, is fantastic. I loved it. But the remaining episodes are simply not worth my time. "They Keep Killing Suzie" - an horrific title, is followed by an average episode that i wasn't enjoying until they started talking about "the thing in the darkness" which scared me stupid. "Greeks Bearing Gifts" was a nasty Unbreakable rip off which i wished i hadn't watched, and "Random Shoes" was a gimmicky boring attempt to do the whole "lets see the characters from someone elses point of view" which was done so badly in Doctor Who's "Love and Monsters". However, rants over. John Barrowman's Jack Harkness is so watchable, really, that it counteracts all the rubbishy bits somewhat. And of course theres the black range rover, which is just cool. And that episode Countrycide, which is brilliant. Obviously by this point you've either decided that you llike the series or not, so recommending this box set depends on whether you liked the first eps or not. However. This set unfortunately has but one really good episode. So if you're willing give this one a miss and just go for the opening episodes and the closing episodes, as they are, as a whole, far more superior.

Rating: 5:
Can't wait for this to come out!!! : Almost as soon as the first volume in the Torchwood series came out I bought it as i loved it on tv and now i can watch it whenever i want. I have been waiting desperately for volume 2 to come out as it contains some of my favourite episodes such as "Countricide" and "They Keep Killing Suzie." My only regret is that it contains random shoes which was one of my least favourite episodes of the series as i prefer ones that revolve around Torchwood characters and that one mainly focused on Eugene Jones (I'm not saying it is a bad episode or that i didn't enjoy it, just that i enjoyed the other episodes more.)
I strongly recommend you watch this as it is a a great series with loads of cool and exciting story lines that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
(P.S. i disagree with one of the other reviewers who said they hated Owen and Gwen as i think that all of the characters in Torchwood are great and they all add something special to the series, however i do wish that Gwen would dump Rhys and stick with Owen as i believe it is unfair what she is doing to Rhys as he is a nice bloke and deserves loyalty. Also the storyline would be better if owen and gwen went out.)

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