Diary of an old cheeser

Hi there! Like other blogs, this is my chance to wax lyrical (some might say talk utter cr*p) about a) what's happening in my life b) all of my pet obsessions in particular music, tv, movies, books and other generally connected things, quite often of the retro, old and "cheesy" variety. Hence the title of my blog. Feel free to leave a comment if the mood takes you. There's nothing like a good chinwag about one's favourite topics and besides I love to meet new people! Cheers, Simon

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Gonna be your Cyberwoman...

Torchwood time again last night. Featuring the first proper debut of a Cyberwoman. Ooer. That's her above. Lovely looking bird isn't she?

I thought "Cyberwoman" was quite a tense and exciting episode, if slightly corny in places. I'm liking the show for the most part but still wouldn't rank it on the same level as Doctor Who (I am sooo hard to please, aren't I). It's just a bit too formulaic and I'm finding it hard to care about many of the characters. However one of my previous criticisms was that the character of Ianto (one of the team) wasn't fleshed out enough and at least this episode finally gave him a chance to take more of a central role.

The plot was a follow on from "Army of Ghosts" / "Doomsday", the finale story from the last season of Doctor Who, in which the Cybermen infiltrated our world and started turning hordes of hapless human beings into their own kind. It turns out that Ianto's girlfriend, Lisa, was one of those on the list for conversion and in fact she is mid-way through her "upgrade" when Ianto managed to rescue her. He's now got Lisa hidden beneath the Torchwood hub, unbeknown to the rest of the team, and is desperate to restore her to full humanity, however the Cyber-part of her starts to take over more and more...

This was an interesting idea for a story with lots of room for tragedy. Lisa/the Cyberwoman was quite menacing although I did think her costume looked rather ridiculous, with Cyber-stillitoes and breasts, for heaven's sake! This didn't really make sense because in Doctor Who, all humans that had been upgraded, whether male and female, ended up wearing the same sexless Cyber-suit, the idea being that all individuality is erased and no trace of previous humanity left, only a race of identical looking clones. So why did this particular Cyber-person have boobs? As Lisa was meant to be an attractive female, perhaps this was a decision by the production team to "sex up" the Cybermen, but a bit of a silly and illogical one nevertheless...

I also couldn't help wondering exactly how Ianto had managed to smuggle an entire Cyber-conversion unit into the Hub without detection, not to mention a partiallly-converted Cyberwoman! How on earth had he kept it a secret all this time? Is there a secret back entrance (ahem) into the Hub that the rest of the team aren't aware of?

Ianto's reactions to his converted girlfriend and desire to protect her at whatever cost (even from the rest of the team) were fairly well conveyed. Some of his crying was pretty cringe-making and annoying though, no BAFTAs there. The scenes when Lisa/Cyber-woman pursued the team round the Hub were tense and I was on the edge of my seat at some points. There were some good action bits, such as Jack "dying" twice and then coming back to life... how nice it must be to be immortal. And how gracious of him to give Ianto the kiss of life! Meanwhile, Gwen and Owen were engaging in rudeness of their own, cramped into a storage space and forced to lie on top of one another. An inevitable snog ensued. Does this mean there is relationship potential for these two later on? (Even though Gwen has a boyfriend already?) I couldn't understand why Cyber-bird didn't just shoot the Pterodactyl though. And the ending was a bit far-fetched. Pizza girl happens to walk into the hub and then gets a brain-transplant from Cyber-chick. That all happened rather too quick. You'd never get such a fast service on the NHS.

The ending was actually quite sad too. All in all then, an enjoyable enough episode, reservations aside!


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