27 November, 2006
The country is recovering from the incredible news that an episode of Torchwood was not only good for Torchwood but a good episode of TV drama in general.
While the main influences of the episode, Greeks Bearing Gifts, seemed obvious (Buffy epi Earshot and Unbreakable), Toby Whithouse managed to craft something fairly original and entertaining as he focused on Toshiko's new friendship.
Reading the messageboards, the homosexual content of previous episodes seemed to generate as much anger as the awful writing. On that issue, I say it is RTD’s series and his sexuality is part of his writer’s voice (like all of us) and he can do what the frack he wants. No-one complains about Kay Mellor and her ‘obsession’ with heterosexuality.
However, in Whithouse’s episode, the homosexuality felt natural and normal not forced and exploitative as before. Previously, in a story context, you just didn’t believe it would or could happen with the characters while it was made to work in this episode because it was coming from emotion and a certain amount of psychological truth.
I do have a theory about actor/writers like Whithouse but I’d better wait until I’ve seen his fellow thesps Jaquetta May and Noel Clarke’s Torchwood episodes before I share it.
If you’re one of the millons who have abandoned the series (it's lost a third to half of its audience) then try and catch the BBC3 repeats or terrestrial premiere of this last one and see if you can see the difference.