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I think there may actually not be enough words in the universe to describe how much I love "Small Worlds."  Not because of anything particularly having to do with the Torchwood team (well, maybe a little) but because it was just such a FREAKING FANTASTIC STORY.  I'm going to go ahead and call it this show's "Blink."  Is that a hasty decision?  Perhaps.  I do not care, for it gave me that same kind of breathless thrill.

Actually, a long time ago when I first started watching DW, I remember glancing at some of the old recaps out of boredom and being really intrigued by this one, wishing that Torchwood was a better show so I could watch this.  It was as good as promised - first of all, you should know that the story of the Cottingley Fairies is like, my favorite thing EVER in the history of England, right up there with Queen Elizabeth. So any show that can work that curries vast amounts of favor with me.   

Secondly, so many points of win for having something that pretty much can be classified as 'paranormal.'  I've said so many times that one of Doctor Who's few shortcomings is the way that it always jerks you back to reality and explains things with science and aliens.  This left a lot more to interpretation.  Torchwood: allowing Earth to have mysterious unseen creatures too.

Thirdly, TURN OF THE CENTURY FLASHBACKS!  They didn't even have to be shot in sepia tone or have the grotesquely artistic death-by-rose-petal-suffocation direction - although the inclusion of those two things made it a billion times better - I just love my turn-of-the-century era clothing. 

Fourthly, creepy little girl.  Who is actually more of an adorable, heartbreaking, tragically isolated little girl, (awww, suddenly I wish Torchwood was on Television Without Pity), who would probably have been snatched up by the Isolus if the...what were the fairies called?  Were they just fairies?...hadn't gotten to her first.  COMPLETE AND UTTER LOVE.  (especially when she bit her evil stepdad.  which made me laugh for about half a second before he SLAPPED HER and then I was rife with outrage and eager for him to hurry up and meet his end)

Fifthly, OK, fine - I redact my previous statement; there are two people whom the idea of Jack being in a serious relationship with is not completely laughable: Ianto and Estelle.  I adore Estelle all her own - she has such a lovely cat!  And is sweet and naive and charming - but then...well.  In her last scene, I was like 'Oh, there's no way they'll kill her now.  Maybe by the end, but she's too significant to get bumped off halfway through.'  And then a minute later I realized, no, Torchwood kinda gives me the feeling that everyone's expendable at all times.  And I was right.  Brutal, show!  Which leads me into:

Sixthly, Captain Jack, what am I going to do with you?  I got twinges of not-hating-him when he kissed the top of Estelle's head and showed one of those rare, kind of Doctorish moments of just caring about another human being.  Up to that point I was really hoping that she'd turn out to be his daughter or something, so as to minimize the emotional sledgehammering.  Haha.  And then DAMMIT, HE BROKE ME.  Stupid Jack and his stupid tear.  *sulks in corner, sniffling against her will*

(*is also still finding a way to make this scene work as Doctor/Rose*)

AND THEN, that incredibly moving scene towards the end, with all the desperate shouting and trying to save Jasmine!  (aw, even her name's pretty)  DAMN YOU, JACK, HOW CAN YOU HAVE SUCH ADORABLE SCENES WITH LITTLE GIRLS?!  And when he lets her go, and she trots off into the forest with a smile and disappears, I actually did start crying a little bit.  I was kind of on everyone's side in that moment.

But how dare everyone on the team turn on Jack in the one moment I pity him!  SYNCHRONIZE YOUR HATE TIME.

Seventhly, there was a lot of really gorgeous scenery. 

Eighthly, there was even more gorgeous music.  The pretty little music-box tune that plays at the very beginning, when Estelle is photographing the fairies?  What is that called?  Because I WANT THAT.

[edit: oh, the hell, TBTB.  Why was your first soundtrack only just released, and more importantly why does Wikipedia say that none of the songs on it were used in "Small Worlds"?  Will kill you, I will.]

Ninthly, from the very brief moment he was in the episode, I decided that Rhys is clearly a schlub, but he's also just dopey enough that you figure if Gwen loves him, and he loves her more, then it makes him kind of a lovable character all around.  I want nice things for him, at any rate.  

P.S. It's sort of shock getting used to all their voices...Ianto's in particular is shockingly low.  No less gay, just low.  Every time he speaks I think he's been possessed by something and wonder why no one else sees anything amiss.  The accents have also been a change.  What with Jack sounding perfectly American, it hasn't occurred to me to imagine accents on any of them, so that takes some getting used to.  I quite love Gwen's, though.

P.P.S. How much did I love that ending, showing one of the fairies in the Cottingley photographs with Jasmine's smiling face?  There was a brief moment where I actually shouted "TORCHWOOD, I LOVE YOU" before clapping my hand over my mouth in mortification.  
 

Then I couldn't resist going ahead and watching 1x06, because I remembered hearing a lot about how "Countrycide" was great and scary and otherwise one of the better episodes.  I caved when the preview looked interesting, and so went ahead and fetched it.

Won't be making THAT mistake again.

Firstly, this plot was scary the first time around...when I saw it on X-Files.  Not so much anymore, although I will grant you that the dead birds hung upside down in various places made me jump.  Secondly, this episode blasted me with not one but three of the reasons I am so adamantly against this show in the firstplace, namely gross vulgarity (really, did we really need Own shoving her up against a tree and speculating on her sex life?), Really Bad Swearing (I mean, I knew the language would be questionable, but since when can you have the F word on TV?!), and Naked Cheating Time. 

To be fair, it was only half-naked and I should probably be really grateful that I didn't have to watch them roll about in bed or even have an extended makeout session (unless they did and I just skipped over it), but still, UNCOOL.  Because from like 5 seconds of screen time, I've decided that I really love Rhys.  Also, Owen grosses me out even when he's wearing a shirt.  So.

Oh, and then the previews showed Tosh being of the sapphic persuasion, so...no.  I'm going back to plain recaps now, kthnxbai.

However, I will give them props for having a slightly more realistic gunshot-wound-with-field-doctoring scene.  Most characters who get shot on TV go all brave and stoic, pretending they can just will themselves through the pain.  Not Gwen.  She moans and wails and makes the same fuss any normal person would, which I do appreciate for purposes of furthering my daydream scenarios. Just because I wanted to throw up while Owen was treating her doesn't mean I can't pretend Owen and Gwen are entirely different people in this scene.

I've also made some minor adjustments to my character opinons.  I find that I'm liking Gwen as a person more and more (especially after reading that she is, or at least was, the recipient of fandom animosity?) but some of her actions are making me hate her more and more, so the overall feeling kind of balances out. 

Owen is even more of an ass than previously suspected, and earned my eternal wrath by pronouncing the smell of grass 'disgusting.'  Still want to punch Ianto in the face; was pleased when the cannibalistic characters beat him up for me.  Opinion on Jack hasn't changed.  Opinion on Tosh is sinking a little, just because she's bland.  That's a terrible reason not to like her, and it disappoints me in the same way not initially liking Angela on The Office disappointed me.  Hopefully I can turn this opinion around soon, because Tosh is clearly AWESOME.

That reminds me, I learned some important things in this episode.  Namely, my jaw dropped when I discovered that  "Rhys" is pronounced like "Reese."  Really?!  SHUT UP.  I'VE BEEN SAYING IT LIKE "RYES" THE WHOLE TIME.  (Well, the hell kind of spelling is that, anyway?)  Ugh.  Me and pronounciation, I don't understand the schism between us.

Speaking of the schism between me and punctuation, I still pronounce 'Ianto' with three syllables, like 'Ee-yawn-toe."  And I've been saying "Tosh" with a long 'o,' but I could sworn Ianto said it in a way that rhymes with "posh" (which would, you know, make sense given its spelling).  Man, what is with my need to make names as complicated as possible?  Getting half of them wrong has got to be some kind of record.

In the end, however, as I am keen to avoid any further instances of sex and/or swearing and not even a little tempted by the preview, it'll be a while before I try to watch another episode.   ------

*reads 1x07*
It amazes me that this show finally puts Tosh in the center spotlight, yet I'm too grossed out by a large percentage of the recap to even consider watching it.  *is annoyed*  (biggest gross-out: I don't want to know what kind of filthy thoughts Tosh is hearing in Gwen and Owen's heads.)

*starts to read 1x08*
Aw, hell.  I was told "They Keep Killing Suzie" was a fantastic episode too.  Should I watch it?  'Cause I don't want to miss out on greatness, but on the other hand, if I get burned again, heads will roll. 

(5 minutes later) I choose 'not watch it,' in the interest of moving quickly.

(unspecified amount of time later)
OK, I've read through 1x12 now, and aside from hearing that Jack's best friend was tortured to death while he was forced to watch - which, STOP HAVING TRAGEDIES IN YOUR LIFE THAT MAKE ME PITY AND/OR LIKE YOU - I don't feel a particular need to mention much.  I love moving at this speed!

Also am denying existence of Gwen/Rhys fighting.  Deny, deny, deny.

Think am going to make an attempt to watch the season finale, if only because it links up nicely with Jack's appearance in Doctor Who, and the premiere because everyone's told me it's worth it, and...then we'll see how I feel about watching more.  Right now I feel distinctly grumpy by the fact that even if I don't bother with individual reviews, it's difficult to spare enough time just to watch all these episodes. 

Why can't it still be summer?!  Why did I have to drag my ass on finishing season 3?! I was doing SO WELL through July... ------------------
In a totally unrelated note, I think I'm going to jump on the paid-account sale at some point this month, and bite the bullet for extra icon space along with it.  I just feel certain that a-la-carte icon space purchasing is going to cost more per-icon, and so even though a la carte would probably be a smaller lump sum in the end, since the likelihood of my actually using 100 icons seems improbable...maybe I'll change my mind once I actually have that much space to play with?

Really hope I don't kick myself for this choice when "more information is available in October."  You know, the marketing execs on LJ are being exceptionally cruel with their timing here.  Brilliant from a profiteering standpoint, but cruel.  
-------------------
In a further unrelated note, I just realized that the next installment of the Music of 2008 list is due to be posted here by tomorrow.  *facepalm* After the 60 billion words I wrote this weekend, none of you are even going to look at it, are you? 

Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
dollsome
Aug. 31st, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC)
ajdflkad;jalk, Torchwood, sweet Torchwood!

I love "Small Worlds"! It is this perfect blend of macabre and exquisite. I love the image of the people being choked with rose petals -- so cool. And yucky. And COOL. And the Jack/Estelle stuff is so poignant; I really loved that storyline.

The first time I watched "Countrycide," I totally was just like, 'Bleh, whatever,' but the second time I thought it was genius. So I think it really depends on your relationship with the show. (Er, not that humans can have relationships with shows.) Seeing characters I loved so much in such a scary situation is really what got me about it the second time around.

Even though I should have a lot more bitterness toward Gwen than I do, I love her. She makes many a stupid decision, but I think a lot of it is that Eve Myles plays her so beautifully. She never skimps on the emotion, which I like a lot -- like in that scene where Owen is treating her for the gunshot wound, and she is, you know, actually acting like someone who has been shot. And her work in the season one finale is amazing. My soul hurts to think about it.

In terms of season one episodes to watch, I'd recommend "Out of Time," which is quite cool and funny and poignant. It is rather Owen-centric, but I think it makes him a little more sympathetic -- although, really, I don't think he quite becomes likable (although I like him the whole way through) until like mid-s2. And there's one unnecessarily, ridiculously long sex scene that it is best to probably just pretend doesn't exist, but overall it's a really neat episode with fun fifties-people-adjusting-to-modern-life shenanigans. And there are fair amounts of Gwen and Rhys being adorable in spite of their eight million trillion buried issues. Issues, what issues? Hum dee dum!
rainbowstevie
Aug. 31st, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Well, see, there were tiny parts of Countrycide that appealed to me (mainly the...scenery. Which I must admit was really fantastic and pretty in a windblown, desolate sort of way. Although I probably could have enjoyed the camping aspect more if Gwen hadn't ruined it with her snog talk). I can see where it would get better in retrospect.

But in general, I can see getting swept away be Eve Myles a whole lot.

Recommendations are welcome! Out of Time actually did tempt me a little bit, because whee, 1950's people!, but then I was put off by its Owen-centric-ness and finding out there was a random sex scene was the nail in the coffin. But I might be able to do it for the Gwen/Rhys. Like...I seem to have mysteriously acquired the episode and have it cued up right now. Interesting.
dollsome
Aug. 31st, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Operating simply on a shameless quest to prove that Gwen and Rhys are the cutest ever, I'd also recommend 1x03! Which, come to think of it, is also sort of Owen-centric. The hell, Owen? I never really had an issue with it, because I do like him a lot, but he does sort of like to bust out lots of issues and general jackassery!

One of my other favourites from s1 is "Greeks Bearing Gifts," but I'm not sure I will be able to sway you towards that one. ;-) Tosh is AMAZING in it, though. She doesn't get nearly enough attention on the show, by and large, but when she does, it's always proof that she is just the awesomest chick in the world. The rest of the team does not deserve her! (And rather takes her for granted, woe.)

And oh, season two is just one fantastic whirlwind of awesomeness! Except for the part where Jack/Gwen randomly decides to become A Thing That Exists Suddenly, Out Of Nowhere. But it's not incredibly hard to ignore, if one is determined to. And by God, was I determined to.
rainbowstevie
Sep. 1st, 2008 03:10 am (UTC)
1x03 is...a long ways back from where I started this quest, like, all of twenty-four hours ago. Will note for possible future moments of boredom, though.

Except for the part where Jack/Gwen randomly decides to become A Thing That Exists Suddenly, Out Of Nowhere.
Wait, so they have those weird moments of sexual tension in the early eps, then she switches gears to Owen, and then she up and goes back to Jack? (All while Rhys is just hanging around forlornly in the background?) SHOW. In that case, I'm joining your party of determination-to-ignore.
dollsome
Sep. 1st, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)
Jack/Gwen = MOST BAFFLING THING EVER. I think they kind of played with it in the first few episodes and then totally dropped it, and it never really comes back in season one again. I mean, you get that there's a deep relationship there, but it never really seems romantic at all. But then, seriously, first episode of season two, it's suddenly like ANVILS, SWEEPING DRAMATIC MUSIC, CHEESY DIALOGUE, CLOSE-UPS, MOST DISTURBING KISS ON THE CHEEK I HAVE EVER WITNESSED IN MY LIFE. And it's sad and cruel and where, wheeeere did it come from?

It sucks.

To be succinct about it.

I use my Jack-and-Ianto-makin'-out icon in protest!!
dreamingwriter
Sep. 1st, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
Ahh, I watched the first episode of Torchwood yesterday. (I'm going to post most of this in my journal, but I figure, since you posted first, you deserve to hear it first.)

And I liked it. I'm totally in for the cracky, Jack-standing-on-buildings, and Gwen and Ianto. So I'll be watching all of them. Probably squirming and saying ew about the same amount of time I'm loling, but I may as well watch.

Ha ha, I decided that as long as I can take random character death, I'll like this show. (The blood is kinda much though. I shall be closing my eyes to the spurtyness of it.)
thewhiteowl
Sep. 6th, 2008 08:34 pm (UTC)
I mean, I knew the language would be questionable, but since when can you have the F word on TV?!

Any day after the watershed? Ah, BBC.

Well, the hell kind of spelling is that, anyway?

Welsh. 'Ianto' is more-or-less Welsh for 'Johnny', btw.

S2 is a large improvement on s1. It's as if they realised they were craptastic crack, and embraced it. And Owen grows the vestige of a human soul, and there is much Gwen/Rhys, and it's all good, yes.

Edited at 2008-09-06 08:35 pm (UTC)
rainbowstevie
Sep. 7th, 2008 01:24 am (UTC)
-*has to look up meaning of 'watershed'* Interesting. This is really destroying my long-standing perception of Britain as a considerably more proper place than America. Sad.

-Welsh. 'Ianto' is more-or-less Welsh for 'Johnny', btw.
Ahaha, that made me sound really bad, didn't it? I promise I'm generally rather fond of things like that, I was just tongue-in-cheek blaming the letters for my inability to translate text to pronunciation.

-Everyone keeps *telling* me Owen gets better and yet, I just...I find this notion so bafflingly impossible. It'll blow my mind if such a miracle actually happens.

I'm just about to move into season 2, though, if I can ever articulate my thoughts on 1x13, so I'm looking forward to a lot in general. (DON'T DISAPOINT ME, S2). Mostly Gwen/Rhys, yes.
thewhiteowl
Sep. 7th, 2008 12:47 pm (UTC)
Generally Britain will rate things lower for sex and swearing and higher for violence. It's kind of humorous when we get an import like, say, Numb3rs, which is 15 because of all the corpses and has to be shown after nine anyway, but yet hardly ever goes past PG with the sex stuff and has Don going, "Aw, dammit," as criminals escape him and his team collapses gently around him...

Well, the thing about Owen is that there was so much room for improvement! The only way to go is up, frankly.

I think if you've managed s1 you'll like s2. Gwen and Rhys have problems, but they're of the 'you catch aliens for a living1!!' variety rather than the 'I shall proceed to cheat on you with a complete plonker' variety.
rainbowstevie
Sep. 7th, 2008 08:19 pm (UTC)
It's kind of humorous when we get an import like, say, Numb3rs
LOL, I was just thinking what a discrepancy there must be there - that's funny.

Gwen and Rhys have problems, but they're of the 'you catch aliens for a living1!!' variety rather than the 'I shall proceed to cheat on you with a complete plonker' variety.
*giggles helplessly* Best phrasing ever.


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