We've been enjoying Torchwood lately, but there's a problem with the series that stands out and threatens to ruin my ability to watch it at all. Since the major suckage seemed to originate with a single person, I hit tv.com and left a review there which I reproduce below for your edification.
The problem with a series as excellent as Torchwood is that it tends to show up the weaknesses of talentless writers such as Chris Chibnall.
We’ve been enjoying the new Dr. Who spin-off series Torchwood. The characters are unique, fresh, and explore that edge where really bad things happen in the absense of good guys taking forceful action (and often being hurt in the process--both emotionally and physically). In this respect, Torchwood holds its own with shows like Buffy: Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Veronica Mars.
Almost all of the episodes are awesome and have the characters struggling to do right in tough situations where the demarkation between good and bad are blurred. Almost all. Unfortunately, two episodes so far have proven to be complete disasters with the characters behaving uncharacteristically in what appears to be a naked appeal to emotional drama. Those episodes have something in common: they were written by Chris Chibnall.
Chris has Jack acting so completely out of character in Cyberwoman that I found myself literally staring at the screen wondering if I had actually seen what I thought I saw. I lost track of the number of times Chris had Jack making threats to Ianto only to back down for no reason whatsoever. I mean, who goes from threatening to shoot you in the head if you go down and help the enemy right into giving you the gun and telling you that you have 10 minutes to kill that enemy you’re bent on "saving"? How on Earth would Jack think that Ianto would do something he had steadfastly refused to do throughout the entire episode?
Jack’s actions could have been just temporary blunders, though, if it weren’t for the portrayal of the episode’s title character. Caroline Chikezie did a fine job portraying Lisa given what she had to work with from Chris Chibnall. But Chris had the Lisa character changing from cyber voice to normal voice and from professing love to promoting upgrading apparently based solely on what he felt would be most emotional at that moment. He displayed no discernable thought to consistency or rational behavior or plot development.
In a later episode, Countrycide, Chris again has the whole team making threats and failing to follow through on them and acting in ways that make no sense to the series dynamic or the characters as developed thus far. I mean, when Jack came into the final scene shooting people’s knee-caps I practically dropped out of my chair laughing. I mean, seriously, a room full of armed villians and Jack is going to be careful to make sure they are still capable of shooting him or, more importantly, his friends? It makes no sense.
And that’s the core of the problem with Chris’ episodes. He has no sense of rational actions or behavior, relying instead on raw emotion and drama. It’s as if he’s hoping that if he works fast enough nobody will notice that he actually has no grip on the characters, the plot, or even basic cause and effect.
I shudder to think how he is preparing to screw up the season finale. Maybe I’ll stop watching the show now and save myself the coming aggravation and disappointment of seeing the characters and plot circle back on themselves in an emotional vortex sucking the strength and resolve out of a story I enjoy and respect.