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28 July 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

2.9: Something Borrowed

We start the episode with a flash back scene to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang where Gwen announces her engagement to Rhys. It was about time we finally faced the family of Rhys and Gwen, as keeping their lives and Torchwood separate couldn’t last much longer.


The best way I can describe this episode, is a more adult version of “The Wedding of Sara, out to kill Gwen who has been impregnated by a murderous shape-shifting alien - pure Torchwood. It’s a great way to make fun of soap opera style weddings which always end in some kind of disaster but with a sci-fi element to it. Gwen wanting the marriage to take place no matter what, really shows a strength of character and the love between Rhys and Gwen.


I do have to mention the issues of Gwen’s relationship with Owen, as again the affair from series 1 is never brought up, even at the key moment when Gwen has to be honest with Rhys about getting married because she loves him. What makes the situation even more awkward is in fact that Owen is there at the wedding with the pair of them. I do feel hugely sorry for Rhys in the series, as his character gives so much love and dedication, even to the point of marrying someone who is pregnant with an alien. He’s given no kind of redemption story arc for everything that has happened without his knowledge. This has been a problematic theme throughout Torchwood, but I’ve come to terms  with the fact that it’s something that will never now be resolved.


This episode reinforces the Torchwood cheesy storylines we’ve come to know and love. The shape-shifting alien mum out to kill Gwen, almost feels as if it was toned down in respect of the blood and gore which would fit in well with a “Sarah Jane Adventures” story line. To have the shape-shifting alien hide in between their relatives and even taking the form of Rhys’s mum, does create a somewhat comical effect as in a lot of Scooby-Doo style chase scenes that would work perfectly with the “Doctor Who” episode “Love and Monsters.” Again the problems are very quickly resolved with the Singularity Scalpel as it zaps away the alien baby before the mum can tear open Gwen’s stomach to get to it. The Singularity Scalpel is becoming as common as the sonic screwdriver from “Doctor Who.”


A lovely final moment for the relationship between Jack and Gwen is when Jack finally takes out the shape-shifter and he picks her up as a trophy. Realising that Rhys is there, Jack places her on the ground and puts Rhys and Gwen’s hands together saying “The hero always gets the girl.” Again it’s the final resolution that is needed for their relationship now that Gwen is committed to Rhys and loves him, so he should be the man with whom she celebrates her victories.


It does start to feel that Torchwood has found a truly good balance between the gore, sex and violence from its previous series. This is very prominent with Phil Ford’s writing, as he creates some fantastic one liners throughout the episode - “That’s what I love about Torchwood. By day, you’re chasing the scum of the universe, come midnight, you’re the wedding fairy.” It’s a wonderful send off, as the Torchwood team retcon the entire wedding so nobody will remember the event thats happened. That will be fun to explain when the wedding photos are finally developed. 


We finish the episode with a touching scene of Jack looking through all his past photos, which appear to date back to the late 1800’s. One is of what appears to be a wedding photo, as Jack softly smiles, reminiscing about his past life and why he feels so comfortable letting Gwen marry while she’s working in Torchwood. It’s a nice send off to the episode as the camera pulls back, and the world is right once again. 

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 



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