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3.8 out of 5 stars
Torchwood: The Complete First Season
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'm not much of a fan of TV in general, but there are a few series here and there that really stand out for their intelligence, innovation and quality... and Torchwood is a standout even among those.

While season one didn't quite hit the same level as season two eventually did, it was still stunningly good -- far more interesting, entertaining and mature than the vast majority of other shows. Torchwood even at its worst is better than most other shows at their best.

The acting is consistently excellent, and the characters all intriguingly complex, flawed people, who are not overidealized but shown as being capable of both heroism and terrible mistakes. Above all, they're very, very human. It does take a while for some of them to fully develop over the course of the series, though, so don't expect to feel like you fully know everyone after just the first few episodes (or even by the end of the first season, for that matter).

However, it's definitely not for everyone's tastes - Torchwood does not shy away from dealing with dark and/or controversial themes, and the conservative or easily offended should probably stay far away. In particular, those who are expecting it to be similar in style and tone to Doctor Who may be in for a bit of a shock. Even the character they have in common has gone through a lot of changes between his parting of ways with the Doctor at the end of DW season one, and the beginning of this series (for reasons that are eventually made clear in season 3 of DW) - Captain Jack as he appears here is a lot more serious and driven, and less playfully hedonistic than we originally saw him, though there are certainly still flashes of that.

But many of the same things that upset some viewers - like the strong presence of LGBT themes and characters, sudden shifts in style or content just when you think you've got the series pinned down, exploration of moral ambiguities, and the occasional shock of having "good" characters do very bad things - are what make the series so unique and compelling for those of us who find most television banal.

The only real flaw I've found in Torchwood is that it sometimes seems to focus on character development and emotional impact to the point where logic suffers. There are things that seem to happen for no other reason than that they provide an opportunity for intense and emotionally affecting scenes, and don't really stand up to logical scrutiny afterwards. But on the whole that seems like a minor failing in a series that's otherwise so powerful.

All in all, highly recommended for anyone who wants a change from the usual TV fare, and isn't afraid of being shaken out of their comfort zone.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
This show isn't Doctor Who but then again, it's not supposed to be.

This isn't a show about monsters, regardless of its monster of the week format. It's a show about the blemishes in humanity, the mistakes and the compromises that we make as a deeply flawed race. The monsters aren't the things that the Torchwood team chase; I'll let you guess what the monsters are.

This show brilliantly explores the other side of Doctor Who. While Doctor Who shows the brilliance of humanity and its ability to overcome adversity, Torchwood shows the cracks in the vaneer. It shows the dark side of the human face and makes sure we don't like what we see--while doing it in a very compelling fashion.

We see a very different Jack in this show to those who are familiar with his presence in Doctor Who. Less carefree and feeling the weight of the world, we follow Jack as he leads an essentially selfish team that is charged with selfless work.

The show takes on more adult themes and more mature ideas and doesn't resolve them in happy, tidy little bows. The story telling is more nuanced and shades of grey permeate every choice that the team is faced with.

This isn't a show that leaves you feeling happy at the end, it's one that makes you think.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on September 12, 2008
When I first saw this I didn't realize it was a spinoff of anything until my friend pointed it out.
It stands on its own very well, and if you're a fan of Dr. Who then
its even better!
The characters are realistic minded people,
the plot is amazing,
you won't be able to stop with just season one!
It's a must see for any sci-fi fantasy fans!
Quick! Buy it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 15, 2008
I was a bit skeptical on this series after Dr Who, but has proved to me to be the same high quality - strong cast, high production values, good story and characters. I quickly became a fan - and liked the cast becoming intrigued with them. I find it refreshing when the Brits come up with an "enemy", it isn't a Black, Latino, Arab or other member of the human race to denigrate, but something entirely different. This is definitely of the high quality of Dr Who and I highly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2009
I actually started watching Torchwood with Season 2, and immediately fell in love with it. It's different, it's non-conventional, it has an omni-sexual hero...what's not to like? I think my favourite thing about the show is that Captain Jack is NOT your typical hero: he is ruthlessly practical and makes the hard unlikeable decisions even when his team hate him for it. Marvelous.
For those complaining about missing discs, Amazon is wonderful about replacing things so why the fuss?
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on October 1, 2009
I watched a few episodes of this series with a friend of mine and instantly fell in love with it. I has a wonderful combination of genres aspects that I find incredibly appealing. There is horror, drama, suspense, action, romance and a touch of the extraterrestrial. I've heard many people say it is one of the greatest Sci-fi series ever created. For me, personally, I would agree with that. Though right now my top spot is taken by Farscape.

The greatest pull this series has for me is the characters. If you minus the aliens, the people in the show are incredibly realistic. No one is perfect, no one's faults go unnoticed, and people make horrible mistakes based on what they feel is a rational or morally emotional justified thought.

John Barrowman is the leading man in the series, and in real life he is pretty much Captain Jack Harkness. He is charismatic, mysterious, and you always want to know more about him.

No matter how you look at it, the series is incredibly dark, but I feel that helps bring it to reality. Given what Torchwood does, there is rarely a happy ending. if you're a fan of special effects, the show has a decent gory side to it. Low budgets hurt, but Torchwood really does the best it can.

Russell T Davies also writes omnisexual very well.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 4, 2008
I bought this dvd set with a little fear. I am NOT a Dr. Who fan, could never get into the series. But I'd heard that this series was good science fiction story telling ... and I heard right. I like a series that dazzles with wit and words as much as it uses special effects. I liked each episode for different reasons because the writers didn't use cookie cutter plotting and as such they kept the whole thing fresh from start to finish. Great series. Dr. Who?
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on March 6, 2014
Some don't like the series as much as Doctor Who but let me tell you, if your 18+ you'll love it! Excellent series if you give it a chance and lots of great character story build up throughout the series
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on January 11, 2013
Great series and would recommend to anyone .Get all the series as well worth it and you will love it
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