TV REVIEW Torchwood 2.03 "To the Last Man"

Original UK air date: 30/1/08

Written by: Helen Raynor

Directed by: Andy Goddard


The One Where: Torchwood carry out their annual defrost of a cryonically frozen soldier from 1918... whom Tosh has fallen for. Only Tommy can seal a “time shift” caused by the demolition of his old army hospital, by returning to the past. Unfortunately, he’s fated to be shot for cowardice...

Verdict: The production team clearly loved season one’s “Captain Jack Harkness” – so much so, they got Helen Raynor to rewrite it. Okay, I exaggerate, but still: a story set across two time zones, with Sapphire & Steel-ish “ghosts”, and a romance with a soldier from the past... it’s a bit too familiar. While this Tosh-centric episode shows us a likeably girlish side of Torchwood’s blandest character, it doesn’t flesh her out that much. And Ianto/Jack’s full-on tonsil hockey slightly overshadows her big romance.

True, this story – sweet, surprisingly subdued, almost coy – does prove the flexibility of Torchwood’s format. But I prefer the show when it’s full-blooded and outrageous. This is just a bit tasteful.

Highlight: The reveal that 1918 poshos Harriet and Gerald are Torchwood employees.

Character: A concerned Owen tells Tosh he doesn’t want to see her get hurt. That’s Owen – Mr Fuck Buddy. When was he replaced by an alien double?

Featured Music: “One of These Mornings” by Moby plays at the end.

Nitpick: Why does it have to be Tommy who heals the time shift, the poor sap? Couldn’t Mr or Mrs Cholmondley-Warner have gone in the fridge instead?

Best Line:
Tommy: "We could go back to my place... but there’s only room for one, and it’s bloody freezing."

Ian Berriman

Next Torchwood review: "Meat"
Previous Torchwood review: "Sleeper"

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