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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

TV Watch: Doctor Who - Partners In Crime, Torchwood - Exit Wounds

Spoilers follow for both shows, so stop reading if you haven't caught up to the latest on the British schedule (not American).

We caught up on our Brit SciFi last night. Doctor Who's new season just kicked off while Torchwood ended their second one. Torchwood's second season is succinctly stronger than the first, with a lot less focus being drawn to the fact that this an odd bumbling bunch to be defending the world (well, OK, downtown Cardiff) from alien threats.

Instead the second season feels more personal and some of the episodes, like "A Day In The Death" managing to be truly excellent. Sadly, the two characters who probably had the most heart in the show - Tosh and Owen - don't seem like they'll be surviving into a third season. Ianto has always struck me as a bit two dimensional (except when he was being duplicitous, sadly) and Gwen and Jack honestly feel like they're trying too hard to be three dimensional half the time. While in general this works OK, it will be interesting to see how any cast changes might effect the dynamics in the future.

The Doctor Who opener pairs Tennant back up with Catherine Tate as Donna Noble, first seen during the Christmas Special "The Runaway Bride" (which is honestly required reading for this episode). Nothing against Billie or Freema, but I think Tate will raise the bar this season. The dialogue-free scene in "Partners of Crime" where The Doctor and Donna pantomine the events leading up to their reunion is simply masterful.

And on that note - the scene where Donna unknowingly taps Rose on the shoulder, talks to her and then later Rose fades away? Odd much? It will be curious to see if this is a one-off nod or if Rose appearing in this universe is as ominous as it appeared.

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