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January 31, 2008

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Yes, three episodes in and DNA injections have saved them twice, now. No it wasn't just you; Gerald was and Harriet was. Plus ca change and all that.

I don't think Owen is as unavailable as he used to be; I wonder if Tosh has lost interest or is just oblivious. Either way, I like him much better this series, without the bitterness he had last time. I just don't want them to soften him too much; he needs to keep that edge. His bedside manner has improved immeasurably, also. A bit weird to see him giving relationship advice. His sympathy is not as facile as Gwen's, but feels more sincere.

I'm back to not liking Gwen. Nothing in particular, she just annoys me. At least partly because she has nothing to do this episode except provide an excuse for exposition, but she gets so much screen time. Does she say "I/we don't mean you any harm" a lot? For some reason it sounded familiar. And she probably needs to say it, because Torchwood is very destructive. They're very big on sacrificing other people. It seems like they only destroy, at best sometimes preserve, and never improve or create.

Tosh gets to have a personality! Tosh and Tommy are much better than Tosh and Mary. Her emotional reactions were more plausible, and I like the way Tosh wants the Torchwood people to appreciate Tommy's sacrifice. She comes to accept the necessity, but won't accept their comfort and let them feel good about it and dismiss it. She says "He trusts me" implying "he doesn't trust you" (and with good reason), doesn't reply to Jack's "Thank you", and at the end with Owen, goes with "Let's hope we're worth it", not a reassurance.

I also thought there was a bit of foreshadowing in the way Ianto said "Nothing changes", but wondered if it was to do with him. Something about the way he said it seemed like he was speaking from a depth of experience.

And yeah for Ianto making the first move! It just makes me twitchy that the relationship seems to be going so well, like they're setting us up. Maybe I'm a pessimist, but RTD, Chibnall, and at least some of the writers have gushed about Gwen and Jack so much that I'm braced for something to happen to allow her to step in.

I don't watch Torchwood, but I'm making a necklace dominated by a lampwork red poppy!

Marilee: same inspiration as my post-title? (I assume it's obvious to the people who've seen the episode that it isn't a line from the show.)

The title is obvious, and very appropriate given that Tommy gets to *see* that it happened again and again.

The shell shock victims who were shot for cowardice were finally pardoned last year, after a long campaign:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/radio/wk46/sun.shtml
I think this must have been a factor in the episode being written the way it was. And yes, it is a living memory; and will be, I think, until after the last of us who remember very old men at the Cenotaph have gone ourselves.

DNA's got magic powers, it seems.

I was wrong about that scene in the series trailer, it was actually part of this episode.

Ianto's "Nothing changes" could be foreshadowing (and felt like it), but it's also got to be a direct reference to what's already happened in the series. He was at Torchwood 1 during the battle of Canary Wharf, his girlfriend was part-Cyberised during that battle, and then got killed for good by Torchwood 3. He's seen a colleague get killed for turning traitor, when turning traitor may well have been as a result of corruption from handling alien tech as part of her Torchwood duties. His boyfriend's been killed in the line of duty more than once, only this being Torchwood, it's only one boyfriend killed multiple times, so Ianto does get him back. So far, at least. He's had plenty of up close and personal experience with what happens to your life expectancy when you're part of Torchwood.

I am shamelessly shallow, and will be wearing out the bit of the DVD with the fanservice kiss. It's a really nice kiss.:-)

Oh yes, splashing in the shallow end right with you... I like that whole conversation. Subtext is back!

The next shot is Tommy and Tosh in bed; I'm assuming that, as in Cyberwoman with the simultaneous kisses (Jack/Ianto, Owen/Gwen), we're supposed to catch the parallels. Did you notice that the next morning Jack has a different shirt on, but Ianto is wearing the same suit, shirt and tie? You'd think he'd keep a change of clothes there, at least.

The WTF factors this time were technical - continuity glitches that caught my eye:

When Gwen asks Jack if he has any more cute boys in the freezer, they're each leaning against a jamb, an overhead light is in the frame between them, and blue neon on the wall behind. There's a brief cut to Tosh and Tommy, then as Jack replies the camera goes to him and Gwen. Now it looks like they're in a different doorway, with a ladder and radiator behind them, the overhead light all the way over to the right of the frame. Since the camera is still at the same angle relative to the actors as in the first shot, the change in background was jarring.

When Tommy picks up Tosh she drops her purse, but a moment later the shot of her on his shoulder shows the strap firmly over her shoulder.

It doesn't really affect my enjoyment of the episode, and I'd rather those kind of errors than stupid stuff in the scripts, but still.

Gwen didn't really have much to do this time, did she? Except squeak when that ghost went past her. You'd think she'd have learned by now to step out of the way!

Time travel via DNA. Whatever.

But at least Jack wasn't horribly bloodthirsty this week.

The only thing I wasn't bored by was...Ianto! Did you see him suddenly remember he was Tea Boy? And then he went for it with Jack! Hurray! I do hope the writers let him keep his spine.

Oh yes, Ianto suddenly remembering that he's Official Teaboy was a nice touch. :-)

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