Still, this Doctor Who spin-off for alleged grown-ups (the definition of which in Torchwood-land appears to be “people who like to rub their genitals together regardless of whether that’s a good idea under present circumstances”) can be fun when it puts its mind to it, and the big reset button they hit at the end of last season raises the hope that the show can raise its game. Will the absence of Owen (THANK YOU!) and Tosh help the show reign in some of its more ridiculous tendencies, or will this move just leave more space for Gwen to annoy? (For all the cosmic mysteries the Torchwood crew takes on, the question of how the adorable Eve Myles can be so much fun in fare such as Who and Merlin and such a downer on Torchwood is the one puzzle they may never solve.)
In additon, this “season” of Torchwood is actually a five-part miniseries (Torchwood: Children of Earth). While star John Barrowman has supposedly complained about this, the new structure might allow the show to focus in on better storytelling. The ad campaign has been nicely spooky, with Children of the Corn-esque kids chanting and staring and being generally creepy, which seems promising. If this show can really only handle telling one story at a time, why not let them dig into that full-bore? So if new-school Torchwood can make us hide our eyes instead of rolling them, we’ll be in favor of all of the changes. Part One premieres tonight on BBC America at 9pm Eastern/8pm Central.