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Torchwood: Cyberwoman

Owen: "It's wrong. It's beyond wrong. It shouldn't be here."

When I saw this episode the first time, I hated it. I had never watched Doctor Who back then and (blissfully) didn't know what a Cyberman was. I know now. And with more Who background and twenty twenty hindsight, I found some of this episode to be quite fun. I said "some."

It mostly served as a window into Ianto, a character that up to this point has been a nonentity that served coffee. He actually does have a personality, after all. He lost his temper. He cried. He lied to his mates. He made deadly mistakes for the sake of love. In fact, I think the writers went too far with the theme. Ianto violently emoted for about ten minutes past my personal limit, there was way too much of Jack and Ianto screaming at each other, and it was definitely not John Barrowman's best acting. But okay.

I did think that hide and go seek in the darkened, powerless Hub with a scary, slashy monster was pretty cool. Except that everyone was running for their lives, and then all of a sudden, everyone was kissing. It created an odd break in the tension. Jack was giving Ianto some rather sexy mouth to mouth. I thought Gwen's cell phone ringing with Rhys asking her to tape Wife Swap just as she was cheating on him with Owen was really hilarious. (Wife Swap. Get it?) What's up with Gwen? Jack has shown a strong interest in her and has done everything but make a pass, and she's kissing Owen? Does she actually have eyes and ears?

All that was the high point. Cyberwoman herself was the low point. It looked like she was wearing the musical comedy version of the supposedly terrifying cyber suit. If the Cybermen were only halfway through the process of upgrading her, why did they stop and make her a special suit with a pointy Madonna boob plate and a special decorative hole for her belly button? Lisa's near death by barbecue sauce and pterodactyl was very Clash of the Titans, and come on -- if she can survive a scalpel in the stomach, what made Jack think the pterodactyl could peck her to death? Plus, how could someone transplant their own brain into another body, even by remote control?

Dr. Tanizaki and the poor pizza delivery girl met a horrible, undeserved, brain-slashy death. What a wicked web we weave, Ianto. Let that be a lesson to you.

Bits and pieces:

-- Lisa Hallett was from Torchwood One, and we were told she was partially upgraded during the Battle of Canary Wharf ("Doomsday").

-- The basketball and pub scenes were too obviously the writer's way of telling us that Ianto was isolated and not one of the gang.

-- Toshiko questioned Jack's orders not once, but four freaking times. He'd better write her up.

-- Jack's wristband is much like the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.

-- Jack said that nearly dying made him feel alive. Actually, it appeared that he didn't nearly die; he was electrocuted to death twice. The other Torchies saw it, too, but probably didn't realize how dead Jack was.


Jack: "And she said, 'Do you know how difficult it is to find a man in this city? He had a nice flat, all his own hair. So frankly, a couple of tusks I can live with.'"

Ianto: "I'll hide the body. Everything's going to be okay." Ianto, Ianto, those two statements never go together.

Jack: "Ianto, I need to hear those beautiful Welsh vowels."

Ianto: (to Jack) "You could have saved her! You're worse than anything locked up down there! One day, I'll have a chance to save you, and I'll watch you suffer and die!" This is an interesting statement in retrospect, if you're looking at it from later on in the show, which I am. I hope that wasn't spoilery. I didn't say how it was interesting, did I?

Tosh: "I used my initiative! I'm sorry!"
Jack: "When I want you to think for yourself, I'll tell you!"

Despite much that amused me... one star,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Easily the worst Torchwood episode ever. Despite this I'm intrigued by parts of it. Like why Gwen would cheat on Rhys with Owen when she could have made a play for Jack. Her cheating made her seem more human and fallible than we might have assumed. Maybe she thought she didn't deserve better than Owen? Oh, I love Owen's character to bits, but he is a piece of work isn't he? The revelations about Lisa and Ianto were cool.


  2. I didn't mind this episode when it first aired but it's not one that greatly stands on repeats.

    The insight into Ianto was needed, a part of me sympathised with his situation but his recklessness could've killed everyone. It didn't help that Lisa looked too robobabe as well.

    Gwen and Owen's affair actually doesn't bother me, because I don't ship her and Jack but Rhys is by far the nicer person and Gwen should treat him better.

    Toshiko questioning Jack's authority isn't the worst thing either.

  3. I don't consider myself a Jack/Gwen shipper or a Jack/Ianto shipper. I just love Jack. He's a special character with a unique vibe and I love how John Barrowman plays him. He *feels* like an omnisexual immortal from the future, like he transcends sexual orientation, and there just aren't a lot of actors out there who could pull that off.

  4. Anna, I think you have a good point about Gwen feeling like she deserves a guy like Owen, but not Jack. That must be it.

  5. I'd be surprised if Torchwood HR isn't bathing in harassment claims. Everybody seems to try and shag everybody else in the office.


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