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Torchwood: To the Last Man

Gwen: "He's a frozen soldier from 1918."
Jack: "Nobody's perfect."

As good as this one was, and it was very good, I kept thinking that the basic structure was the same as the previous episode. An ordinary person stuck in a fantastic situation they could do nothing about, but ultimately rising to the occasion and acquitting themselves heroically. Not to mention dying.

Loved the glimpse of 1918 Torchwood, Gerald and Harriet. But why didn't they leave some instructions outside the temporally locked container? At the very least, that drawing of Tosh would have given Jack a good idea of when Tommy would have to go back. I kept thinking how utterly unfair it was that Tommy only got to live for a few weeks. They could have given him months, even a year or two. It would have lessened the tearjerker aspect, though. Can't have that.

The story was a circular paradox, like Terminator. Tommy got yanked out of the hospital by Torchwood because Tommy told Torchwood to do it. I was never clear about how the whole time mess started. And what were the odds that Torchwood would wake Tommy on the right day of the year? They must have known the day, just not the year, but how? Oh, well. Never try to apply logic to time travel stories. That's Billie's seventh rule of television.

Tosh was cool and sexy, and she actually went after something she wanted. She even told Tommy the truth (mostly) about what was going to happen to him, instead of a much easier lie. And Owen was sweet to Tosh, not once, but twice. Contrast this with how he treated her last season, and it appears that Tosh and Owen may actually be moving toward getting involved.

Speaking of romance... Ianto comforted Jack, who obviously identified with Tommy and was upset about what was happening. Jack told Ianto he wouldn't go back to his own time, that he wouldn't have missed knowing Ianto for the world. And then there were big smoochies. This was the first time we saw Jack and Ianto kissing passionately, and it was just lovely. They've kept it quiet, but they're obviously into each other.

Funny how I'm more into Jack and Ianto now that I'm watching the series for a second time. I always get more deeply into a series when I review it. Not surprising, I suppose.

Bits and pieces:

-- Harriet Derbyshire was only 26 when she died. People who work for Torchwood tend to die young. Message received.

-- In the previous episode, Torchwood was going to freeze Beth, too. No reference to waking her once a year, and could they, even? Of course, she was an alien. Maybe the once-a-year thing didn't apply to her.

-- I really loved the temporal lock. (It'd be a great way to save money, wouldn't it?) When it opened, Jack looked otherworldly in the glow of the... time fuzz smoke. Whatever.

-- I got creeped out when the nurse from 1918 saw Gwen, and started after her. Definitely effective.


Jack: "He's been here for 90 years. Longer than any of us. Any of you."
Jack has worked for Torchwood for more than ninety years?

Tommy: "In 1968, they were in miniskirts. I thought all my Christmases had come at once."

Gwen: "Jack, have you got any more of those pretty boys in the freezer?"
Jack: "Hands off, missy. Tosh got there first."

Three stars? Three and a half? It was really good. And I'd almost give it four stars just for that kiss in Jack's office,

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


  1. Heh, we need to see that Billie's Rulebook of Television one day.

    I loved this episode. More so than the previous episode. Somehow I thought To the Last Man had a little more heart than Sleeper. And I'm a sucker for both time-travel stories and flashback segments.

  2. This was the episode that made me realise Torchwood was actually a very good show. In earlier episodes it seemed to rely a lot on B-movie plots, violence and everyone shagging everyone else. Not that that's a bad thing, but it lacks longevity.

    This episode has a relatively simple plot and just relies on superb performances from Naoko Mori and Anthony Lewis.

    Jack and Ianto's kiss was heart-warming, and it seemed a reminder why Jack was doing all of this, because he loves people, he loves this planet, but my absolute favourite moment was Owen comforting Tosh. Slowly but surely, Owen's becoming a person.

    Outside of Children of Earth, this is probably my favourite Torchwood episode.

  3. If there had only been a first season of Torchwood, I almost certainly wouldn't be writing these reviews. I liked season one. Loved season two. Am crazy about Children of Earth.

    Remco, I only recently started compiling those rules of television. When I hit ten, I'm going to put them all up in a blog entry. :)

  4. If I had to rank seasons, I would say Season 2, Season 3 and then Season 3.

    As for this episode, not my favourite. It's great for Toshiko and Tommy was a good one episode love interest but not as solid as the likes of Out Of Time or Captain Jack Harkness.

    Jack/Ianto, yes I'm a shipper (almost as big as Willow/Tara or David/Keith Six Feet Under too) so I liked seeing more of them this week and that kiss was hot.

    Because Toshiko had a lot to do, Owen and Gwen had less in this episode. Not always a bad thing though.

    These reviews are great, really glad you've taken to watching the series and writing reviews for it.

  5. Shawn, was that last one supposed to be season one? :)

    As I'm sure you know, I was pretty deeply into Willow and Tara, too. Nearly as much as I was into Spike and Buffy.


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