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, January 17, 2008

Mr Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

Hello boys! It's us again! So, which one of us is going to win the "I can brood and pout the most" award? We've already BOTH won the "Air-brushed Action Man" prize...

Well, I thought last night's installment of Torchwood was actually...reasonably okay. Gasp! Actually, it was...more than reasonably okay. It was certainly entertaining, had lots of exciting bits, humour, some nice effects and a potentially good villain.

So the plot was pretty superficial - time agent Captain John, an old flame of Captain Jack's, arrives in Cardiff,and after causing trouble in the odd bar or two, tells the Torchwood team about some radioactive canisters which need to be disposed of and offers to assist. But it's all a hoax and an excuse for sly-puss John to try to bump off the team, as well as get his hands on an important diamond...

Really the opening episode of Series Two was an exercise in getting the audience reacquainted and re-engaged with the programme's leading characters. I'm pleased to say, second time round the Torchwood team are coming across as a slightly more likable bunch. Slightly. I mustn't go TOO far. Dare I say, there was almost a feeling of "coming home" on seeing the likes of Jack, Owen, Ianto, Tosh and gappy Gwen back on our screens again...they kind of felt more...settled? You almost sympathised with the team's sense of loss at the start of the story with Jack still AWOL, having abandoned them all at the end of Series One for a three episode reunion with the Dr. When Captain J popped up again to save the day - shooting a very strange alien that resembled a blowfish - it wasn't just the Torchwood team breathing a sigh of relief. Good to see the team feeling narky with Jack for leaving them in the lurch too - a normal kind of reaction - with Gwen stroppiest of all. And there were some quite good conversations between her and Jack (but what is this "thang" they've got going on? The relationships in the Hub are getting positively incestuous).

As for James Marsters, lots of people have been commenting on the similarity between his character Spike from "Buffy" and Captain John Hart i.e. that they were virtually the same. Having never watched "Buffy" properly, I can't say. John made quite an effective villain in "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" though, with a suitable line in rude patter and some very violent tendencies. And a natty waistcoat too that admittedly looked rather incongruous in modern day Cardiff (I suppose he could have always claimed he was going as Adam Ant to an 80s fancy dress party). However I did think he was a bit of an odd-looking fellow, not really the good-looking studmuffin that everyone else had made him out to be - a bit haggard even? Miaow. And his accent was strange - a strange hybrid of English and American - where was he meant to be FROM? But a nicely amoral character nevertheless with obvious hedonistic tendencies as well. As for the back story with Jack, well there were hints at their past "relationship" but it kind of left you wanting to know more...Nice that John got his comeuppance by a lay-dee hologram - kind of served him right for all the chaos he'd caused. Except he didn't die atall. How fortunate. Most intriguing of all were John's parting words to Jack as he was whisked off into a time vortex: "By the way, I found Gray" - or sounded like that anyway, unless anyone would care to correct me. What's THAT all about? Sounds like another series-wide story arc like the "Mr Saxon" references that were peppered throughout the last series of Dr Who.

I shall now quote from my fellow blogger Steve, who has just written a very perceptive post on the same episode:

"But much as I enjoy this tour of sexed up sci-fi, shouldn’t there be more to Torchwood than just adult content? Shouldn’t there be more to it than all this inter-species spooning and inter-office bed-hopping? Doesn’t there need to be?

Good sci-fi needs to press a few intellectual buttons among the hi-tech barrage of flashy effects and glistening cleavage. Otherwise it runs the risk of being all gimmick and no content. And that is bad."

Hope you don't mind me nabbing your comments Steve...! But I couldn't have put it better myself (and in fact was too lazy to attempt to do that...) Yes, although the show is no doubt entertaining, it's still lacking in REAL depth and content.

To be honest I'm not holding out much hope for some kind of massive ideological shift during this series of T-Wood. But the future looks promising, if the "rest of season trailer" is anything to go by (although you will note that the word "sex" is uttered several times, not to mention shots of the cast snogging the faces off various other characters. Overkill? Surely not! Nice shot of Jack and Ianto engaging in tonsil-hockey though. Goodness. I'm SUCH a hypocrite).


  • At 2:12 am , Blogger TimeWarden said...

    As it's you, Simon, I won't say BRIEFly that episode one of Series Two of "Torchwood" was boring, I'll simply say it was pretty PANTS! Actually, I think I'd rather watch a pair of pretty pants than this stuff. Perhaps that's why I enjoyed Daniela Denby-Ashe last series!!

    I'm going to have to ask myself why I continue to watch because I have no desire to ever watch this latest episode again. I wonder which bits they'll leave out in the kiddie version? All of it?!! It's a testament to classic "Who" that much of it was so strong that the very name pulls me back for more when it has deteriorated and been distorted out of all recognition.

    I suppose I'll tell myself that the first episode of Series One wasn't much cop either and, thus, tune in again for episode two in order to keep torturing myself! Like I said to Steve, "Torchwood" isn't actually about anything... Classic "Doctor Who", at its best, used to cover all sorts of issues in an entertaining way and was nowhere near as childish as all this tosh!

  • At 7:07 am , Blogger Steve said...

    Mind? OC I'm positively honoured to have you quoting me! Cheers! (By the way I will reply to your email soon...!)

    Like you I never really watched Buffy so James Marsters' character had no real overlaps for me... but yes! The Adam Ant reference was definitely there - when he pulled out his big shooters in the bar (oo-er) I quite expected him to shout "Stand and deliver!"... which maybe is a line he should later have used rather aptly on Captain Jack...? ;-)

  • At 8:29 am , Blogger matty said...

    Buffy, Dr. Who, Torch'd Wood.

    I'm a-drift in a gay sea of confusion. ...but, what else is new?

    so, is this a gay dr. who?!?!?

    why isn't Kylie on it?!?!? Or, is she?!?!?

  • At 9:47 pm , Blogger Lost Boy said...

    I didn't see the latest ep, but the first series of Torchwood really began to grate. It was like watching a late-night Hollyoaks but with laser beams. It was almost as if it were written by an over-excited teenage virgin.

  • At 9:58 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Tim - LOL.

    Sorry that you're not a fan of T-wood, I admit I much prefer DW, as you and everyone else is no doubt aware...I've said as much many times...I can see what you mean in your comparison though. T-Wood has a hard job coming up to the same level.

    Steve - Glad you don't mind - bit of publicity for you, eh?

    Perhaps we'll get to see Captains John and Jack "deliver" in another episode??

    Matty - Oh, you ignorant, uneducated child!!

    Ha ha. Just kidding. For your info, T-Wood has been billed as a "more adult" version of DW (it's broadcast after the 9pm watershed) and I guess there is more homo action in it, so you're getting there! Maybe you could watch some clips on You Tube?

    However as you might have guessed, Dr Who is the definite article! Incidentally, how is the DW viewing going? Have you and Byron watched any more DW dvds?!

  • At 10:02 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Lost Boy - I think your description is totally spot-on! Hollyoaks with laser beams, written by an over excited teenage virgin - ha ha. Well let's hope that the virgin gets, erm, some experience and matures a bit in order to write some more substantial, meaningful episodes...

  • At 1:50 pm , Blogger matty said...

    Oh, don't get upset! But, no. We've not seen any more of the Doctor Who.

    However, is there a queer subplot in Doctor Who? Kylie plus gay love might lead me back to it.

    Someone I know was chatting about Twood the other day.

    Sometimes it is quite frustrating to not have TV. Other times I'm glad I just have my music, DVD's and books.

    But, then I'm left in the cold during these discussions.

  • At 9:04 pm , Blogger Old Cheeser said...

    Matty, you and Byron simply must subscribe to some more DW! You KNOW it makes sense! I know you are both men of exquisite taste and your tastes would grown SO much more if you added a few Dr Who DVDs to your already massive collection!


    In DW there hasn't been much of a gay subplot, not unless you count Captain Jack who I guess did have a bit of a "thing" for the Doc, but that was more covert rather than overt.

    As for Kylie, I for one would prefer her NOT to return as she was a bit of a disappointment in "Voyage of the Damned". Besides which, her character it dead! But as I said in my review, there's a possibility...you should check out "VOTD" anyway Matty and judge for yourself on Ms Minogue's performance...wasn't just her fault about the character though, blame the scriptwriters!

    Yes, without a TV that's connected to channels it must be frustrating to be left out of the loop...you need to fix that, babe! Not that sitting down and watching the gogglebox is everything...strange how so many of my posts seem to revolve around it though, eh?


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