Faerie Magick

Did anyone else think that episode of Torchwood last night (or on Sunday night, if you’ve got BBC3) was lame? Let me just run through it.

‘Fairies’ were the subject of the episode. So what do we know about them? Next to nothing, aside from the fact that they like to play ‘games’ with people (i.e. by teasing them and finally killing them). Where do they come from, where do they go? We don’t know. What can Captain Jack and Torchwood do about them? As it turns out, absolutely nothing… they might as well not have bothered turning up for work!

Do you want to learn the Bible and the Christian faith online? Check out my new resource:

Why was the little girl the ‘chosen one’? Who knows. What does being a ‘chosen one’ mean? Don’t ask me! Why did they absolutely have her and no-one else? Because she was a ‘chosen one’ (duh!).

Why did they kill the old lady – she didn’t even know the ‘chosen one’?! Um… because … they’re fairies, and that’s what they do? Or perhaps they just really, really objected to her taking pictures of them (hmmm).

All in all, a very poor show, I’m afraid! One other smaller point of note is that — what with Torchwood being a spin-off of Doctor Who, I’m really not sure about Captain Jack. He just let that little girl go, claiming it was the only thing he could have done. The problem is, you just know that The Doctor could have done, would have done something about it…

In other news, I pre-ordered a copy of “Love” by The Beatles. It’s a new album of some Beatles songs which have been re-done by George Martin (their original producer, I think). They played through the whole album on Virgin Radio last night, although I didn’t listen to all of it I caught a few of the songs and it sounded a bit of a mixed bag. Some of the songs sounded almost exactly the same as the originals, and some were a bit different… I liked what they’d done with “Lady Madonna” and “Strawberry Fields”. I’m quite looking forward to giving it a proper listen, actually!

Anyway, that’s all from me for now…

12 thoughts on “Faerie Magick

  1. I think I might actually have to disagree here, Phill, mainly on the whole premise of the show. Dr Who is undoubtedly about the adventure, about going from one place (or time) to another, saving the world, and leaving without a scratch. Torchwood on the other hand stays exactly where it is, and deals with life more than the adventure. In life there aren’t always answers, things don’t necessarily have the best outcomes, people don’t always make the best decisions, and they have to live with them too. That’s what makes Torchwood so different – it’s darker, less fantastic, more real.

    I did notice though that the old lady didn’t seem to have any connection with the little girl, and her death was slightly unnecessary; it almost seemed like the writers put it in solely to get Captain Jack emotionally involved in the plot. It’s also not entirely clear why in the garden they started attacking Jack as well, even more unclear was why they just gave up when Gwen separated them.

    As for Captain Jack and Dr Who behaving differently, I’d have thought that would be expected – after all, they are different people! Anne-Marie was pointing out recently though how since CJ was brought back to life by Rose, and having seen him in the aftermath in Torchwood, CJ seems to have become more and more like the Doctor in many ways – some of his phrases, his perspective on life, the decisions he makes. But in a way they are like opposite sides of the same coin. Dr Who can’t be killed (kind of), and takes the opportunity to have lots of fun, live life to the full. CJ can’t die either, though I get the feeling he wishes he could (in the previous episode the Cyber-woman almost killed him, and as he almost died he said he felt it was the closest he’d got in a long time to feeling alive). For CJ, immortality has taken the risk out of life, which is why we see him standing on tall buildings for no reason – I suspect he’s just trying to make himself feel afraid of something, to feel alive again.

    So all in all I think I’m disagreeing with you on this one. Torchwood isn’t about the adventure, it’s about life, it’s about coping with adversity, it’s about trying to pick up the pieces once the danger is over, it’s about trying to make sense of what you don’t know everything about. And in that sense, Torchwood does it very well!

  2. That’s all well and good Matthew, and I see your point and agree with you for the most part, it doesn’t explain away the fairies does it? 😉 It’s all very well to say that Torchwood deals with what we don’t know about, but to be honest that episode had enough “not knowing about stuff” to make my knowledge of 13th century Mongolian history look almost passable.

  3. To be honest I also thought it was a very good episode – buildling up a very effective atmosphere and leaving it with a very creepy ending. I think the reason we know so little about the fairies is that in the episode their this force that is undetectable by any of the teams computers (spiced up with Alien technology) – they only find them due to the weather disturbances – plus there is a comment about how they were originally formed by the dark sides of peoples personalities hence the evilness. You also say what could Captain Jack and Torchwood do about them – well it seems they tried their hardest to stop them – but as was pointed out at the end of the episode the fairies are very powerful creatures and if they were to run amok they couldn’t be stopped – you see how quickly they kill the 20(?) men in the train van in the flashback – and the effect that they can have on the weather – so against a force like that they really didn’t have that much of a chance. Regarding the chosen one there could be any number of reasons they chose her – she was lonely, she believed in them, she played in the right part of the wood, her brain worked differently from everyone elses, she had a stronger dark streak, they chose randomly but that isn’t required for the story – it’s not talking about WHY they were chosen, more looking at what happens WHEN someone is chosen and how this is like a curse which there is no escape from leaving to the inevitable “kidnapping” by the fairies. I found that it played the psychological horror card very effectivly (I don’t know if watching it by myself with dimmed lighting helped) and the atmosphere created was a very creepy one – and does it say something that for the first time in Doctor Who or Torchwood the goods guys completly lost? I think that brought a nice element of real to a show that we haven’t seen before – as humans (yes with alien tech) but still human we could encounter these forces we can’t fight against – and yes it would be very interesting to see what the Doctor would do in that situation because I’m not sure if it would have worked out differently… Anyway those are just my random thoughts.

  4. Hmmm, I guess at the end of the day we just want different things from a Torchwood episode! Personally in a series which is “preparing the human race for the future” I’d rather see something positive happening rather than everything being torn apart. This is why I prefer Doctor Who over Torchwood – in Doctor Who there is generally a resolution, even if the consequences don’t always turn out exactly the way you would expect.

    I guess my life has enough, FUD in it without having to worry about adding more 🙂

  5. Just another quick thing I remembered. The very last scene showed Gwen zooming in on a photo, which showed the face of that little girl already painted into the picture. Because these faeries didn’t operate within the normal confines of time and space, it shows that actually the end was inevitable because in some ways they had already written it. All that CJ could do was determine how easily that end happened – either let the girl go and let fate take its course, or allow countless innocent people get killed first. It’s tough, but if you can’t beat your enemy I guess it was the right decision, hard though it was. In that sense, I expect the Doctor might well have done exactly the same…

  6. You’re on dodgy ground when you start talking about things which have been “predestined”, Matthew 😉 Do we have free will, if God already knows what is going to happen through history? … if the fairies operated outside of space and time, why was the “chosen one” a girl inside?

    Come to think of it, why didn’t they just take the flippin’ girl in the first place? Why all the crap about “If you touch her, we’ll kill you?” You could argue she wasn’t ready to be taken then… but then they take her pretty much without argument at the end of the episode (they didn’t say, “Oh, no, we can’t take her now – she needs to wait another 2.43 years before she will be ‘ready’).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *