After a couple of weeks of pulling in pretty good, solid episodes (one of them being one of the best episodes I think Torchwood has done – ‘Reset’), they put out ‘Dead Man Walking’. I’m sorry, but — well, it was just poor! The episode just didn’t really make much sense, end-to-end. We also watched the follow-up episode on BBC3, and that’s not so brilliant either, but I’ll come to that in a minute.
‘Dead Man Walking’ was just full of things which I didn’t quite follow:
- Why was Jack so keen to revive Owen? Owen’s been nothing but a git all last season and most of this one. I just can’t see the motivation behind Jack risking life and limb to get the glove.
- Speaking of Jack getting the glove, what was up with that church? It was just kind of bizarre!
- What was going on with the glove anyway? – was it being controlled by ‘Death’ or something? Not exactly sure why it suddenly decided to try and attack people when they were going to inject Owen with something or other.
- Why, at the end of the episode, does Martha go back to her usual self — but Owen still remains undead? Owen remaining ‘undead’ is never really explained (more on that when I’m talking about the next episode).
- The worst thing about the episode, in my opinion, is the whole premise: ‘Death’ is an actual entity? WHAT?!!! I just won’t even bother going on about it – it’s ridiculous. (Oh, another random thing — why did death move so SLOOOOOWWWWWLLLYYY?)
The episode did have its moments, and it was quite tension-making at some points, but I spent more of the time thinking about what was stupid about the episode than actually enjoying it. In other words, it was like a Torchwood episode from last season. I was surprised that it was written by Matt Jones (‘The Impossible Planet’ / ‘The Satan Pit’ from the second season of Doctor Who). Although apparently it was quite heavily re-written (as were those episodes) so perhaps I’m doing Matt Jones a disservice.
I will talk about the next Torchwood episode now, but I just want to warn you that this may contain spoilers (if you haven’t already seen it).
It was a bit better than ‘Dead Man Walking’, but didn’t really hit the spot. There were still a few too many things — mainly about Owen — which still didn’t make sense: they draw attention to the fact that he doesn’t actually breathe, but then don’t answer the question: how the heck does he actually TALK then? I think I would have shied away from the whole ‘Owen being dead’ thing completely and just had his life come back after he ‘defeated Death’… it would have made more sense.
Still, the episode’s not all bad – Richard Briers is pretty good, and the episode does have quite a nice touch with Owen and the suicidal woman (if you haven’t watched it, that will sound strange…it’s not really). But it’s just overshadowed with me thinking “What??” every time they make reference to Owen being dead.
Aaaaanyway, I’d better stop ranting now!