Saturday, July 11, 2009

Torchwood failures and toilet brushes

Ah, Torchwood. What a very peculiar mix that week was. Such a rollercoaster ride and with such a deeply unsatisfying conclusion. Who would have thought that the kick-ass brilliant episode one could have led to the mixed-up confusion of episode five? Such a shame. Don't get me wrong though. I thought that, taken as a whole, it was an utterly superb and gritty political fantasy drama, and the brilliant Peter Capaldi gave the performance of a lifetime as flawed civil servant, John Frobisher. I also think the scene where he (SPOILER ALERT - just in case!) goes up the stairs of his family home to kill his wife and children, interspersed with the equally wonderful scene of his secretary talking to Lois in prison about how Frobisher used to be might just be the best thing on TV since Rome.

But, to my mind, for all that it simply wasn't Torchwood. It felt as if the scriptwriters had strayed so far from the ethos of the programme that they could easily have taken it out of the Torchwood world, given it a slight shift of structure and it would have worked equally well. And, if that's the case, then I think that all in all it failed. Interestingly, (ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT!) when Ianto dies, I felt it had strayed so far from its centre by then that I didn't much care either way whether he lived or not. I also do think that the scriptwriters never really understood how to handle a developing gay couple relationship - throughout the five nights, the dialogue between Jack and Ianto was never consistent and blew hot and cold all the time. It was really very unsatisfactory. And yes I do think Ianto had to die - due to Jack's revealed past history and the fact that he'd taken twelve children to their deaths, creatively speaking Jack needed to suffer too, and that was fine. But, if the series wanted to hang on in some measure to what makes (or rather made) Torchwood special, then there would have been no need to kill Jack's grandson, Steven, at the end. All they had to do to give it a really satisfying ending was to discover that Steven had inherited Jack's resurrection abilities, and allow the boy to come back from the dead. That would have been grand - and opened up a whole new plotline about Jack's developing links with his family, while Gwen develops hers. Instead, they seemed to blow any concept of light or positivity out of the water and left themselves with something of a mess. Again, such a shame.

Anyway, here's today's meditation:

Meditation 169

You won’t find it
in the sky
nor on the other side

of the ocean.

What you seek
is already with you;
it’s a pure scent,

richer than all the perfumes
of earth, poured out
like water, over skin.


Other amusements of the day are that when cleaning the loo last night, the loo brush fell off in my hand and landed in the toilet-bowl. Goddammit. I had to get Lord H to come and fish it out and mend it - this sort of thing is a man's job, you know ... Oh, most definitely it is. However, bearing in mind that this week I've had a gear stick come off in my hand, and now a loo-brush, I am loathe to go anywhere near Lord H's good self for the duration of the weekend, just in case. These things often travel in threes, you know. And I have absolutely no idea how I might explain it to the hospital, should I need to ... Hmm, perhaps better safe than sorry.

This morning, I have finished writing up my review of Chris Cleave's novel, The Other Hand (surely no coincidence, bearing in mind the above?...), for Vulpes Libris which will be up on site on 4 August. My review won't be pretty either, that much I can say. The novel also has the worst blurb in the history of time - what on earth are publishers on these days??? The mind boggles indeed ...

This afternoon however, things are looking up as Lord H and I are off to Glyndebourne once more to see Falstaff. I must admit to not usually being a fan of anything to do with Falstaff at all - I've always found him an immensely irritating and dull character, but hey it's Verdi and it's an experience. So I am endeavouring to keep an open mind. And the company, the food and the setting will be lovely for sure.

Oh, and the good news is that Lord H has found out how to open my strange PDF files on the CoolerReader. Apparently the Adobe Digital Editions downloads are not actual PDFs at all, but envelopes containing PDFs. When downloaded, they put the envelope in one file and the actual PDF in another. Yes, I know, it's not intuitive at all, is it? And the instructions are sadly minimal. Anyway now I have found them on my computer, I have copied them to the eReader and it's all working fine, hurrah. Hell, I can even bookmark the dang pages and find them again - what joy! Lord H and I are now the experts, sad to say ...

Today's nice things:

1. Poetry
2. Getting the loo brush mended
3. Not having even to think about Cleave's dreadful novel for a while
4. Glyndebourne
5. Getting to grips with my CooleReader.

Anne Brooke - frightened to touch anything at all today


slippingthroughtheworld said...

anne, i had the complete opposite experience from you; i loved the darkness emerging from his character and thought it a spellbinding story.

i didn't see it as 'Torchwood' it was something else...from another point of view - so not the typical torchwood.

but great topic for debate eh?

Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

It was the first time I've ever watched Torchwood and I've only just discovered the title is an anagram of Doctor Who (I know, I should hang my head in shame).

Anyway, I really enjoyed it and think I might become a fan. I was impressed they didn't do the usual thing ie. all the good people getting saved in the end. Destroying the little boy was quite shocking I thought but things like that happening kept it so gripping.

P.S. keep you hands off Lord H's plunger this weekend - you sounnd dangerous!


Anne Brooke said...

Tee hee, Sue!

I do think it was a wonderful story - no doubt about it! - but just not part of the Torchwood canon, sigh.



Jilly said...

Loo brushes never seem to be made to stay together with their handles - or maybe I don't pay enough for loo brushes! It's me who has to sort things like that out in this house unfortunately!

Anne Brooke said...

You're so brave, Jilly!!! Next time it happens, I will definitely call on your services!


Run, gal, run for the hills ...


slippingthroughtheworld said...

i didn't know it wan an anagram either! my excuse is that i don't watch dr who - though i did watch the last series just to see john barrowman but i haven't watched the recent one. maybe i should.

Anne Brooke said...

I think everyone says that, Irene - I had to be told too!!