purplecat: Hand Drawn picture of a Toy Cat (torchwood)
I have commented elsewhere, somewhere, I think in a response to one of [livejournal.com profile] parrot_knight's posts that I don't resent NuWho for not being Classic Who but I do somewhat resent it not being Firefly. Even though that is clearly an idiotic attitude to take up.

I don't really have any problems with From out of the Rain as a Torchwood episode. But I do rather resent the fact that it wasn't a Sapphire and Steel story. It makes about as much sense as most Sapphire and Steel stories, in that it relies quite heavily on making an association of ideas into an association in reality. It's resolution was no better nor worse than the resolution of a lot of Sapphire and Steel ones (resolution was frequently not their strong point) and it was certainly as full of startling images as any Sapphire and Steel episode. But... but... but... while David McCallum and Joanna Lumley are hardly the creme de la creme of British thesping they put John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd to shame. There were portentious lines here about things "breaking through" which McCallum and Lumley would have delivered with chilling conviction but which Barrowman failed to raise above pomposity. Where Lumley would have exuded a detached but nevertheless heartfelt compassion David-Lloyd gave us mawkish sentimentality. This was the ideal opportunity to showcase the Jack/Ianto relationship and I still got no real sense of genuine attachment between them in scenes where McCallum and Lumley would have sizzled*. Sapphire and Steel thrived on the slow build-up, a luxury Torchwood, and modern television in general, simply does not have. We needed more time for the threat to evolve. We needed, frankly, more time to explore the nature of Jack as a side-show freak and we needed more time to establish Ianto's emotional involvement with the unfolding events. I found watching this, knowing it was from the pen of P. J. Hammond, an instructive exercise in seeing how important the execution of a script could be because (apart from the fact it wasn't restricted to a small location) this script could have been translated easily into the older show.

This is another good Torchwood episode. It hangs together better than many, providing you are prepared to enter the sort of dream logic world of Sapphire and Steel. The team retain a basic level of competence (though they still fail to convince as an elite unit). It had startlingly ideas and creepy images. But it would have been so much better as a Sapphire and Steel story.

* Of course on screen sizzle is greatly aided by a bit of unresolved sexual tension. Since it was doubtful Sapphire and Steel had anything resembling real bodies and half the time we got the impression their relationship was based on elaborate assumed personas, unresolved sexual tension was pretty much built into the format. Jack and Ianto, however, are already shagging like bunnies so any sexual tension is pretty much well and truly resolved.

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September 2017

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