Those of us who were frustrated by the first season of Torchwood have been wrestling with why: is it because one of the characters proves himself a rapist in the first episode and is never given more than a slap on the wrist for it (using chemicals–even alien ones–to get otherwise unwilling partners to have sex with you=rape, Owen)? Is it because the characters prove over and over again that they don’t have even the most basic investigative or anti-terrorism skills needed to combat alien threats?
Actually, it turns out the biggest problem was a simple one: no matter how dark or “adult” your setting is, if your star is John Barrowman and you’re not having a ton o’ cheery, cheeky fun, you’re doing it wrong.
And–a miracle! The first minute of Torchwood Season 2 was more fun than the entire first season put together. There was a blowfish driving a sports car, for Pete’s sake–that’s almost fun by definition. While the subsequent three minutes showed that, in spite of a lot of bustling around, the Torchwood team is no more competent than they were in Season 1 (try checking the blowfish’s pockets, geniuses), it’s hard to care so much about that when James Marsters is smooching John Barrowman and then using Captain Jack’s face for bar clean-up–all to the tune of Blur’s ubiquitous “Song 2”. Woohoo, indeed!
While not every episode can feature Marsters’ Captain John Hart (why not? Why not?!?), the cheeky tone and the promise of an overarching, emotional mystery suggest that the Torchwood folk went to murder rehab over the hiatus–and I couldn’t be more excited to hear it. Woohoo! I think they’re feeling heavy metal!