Torchwood-Series 1-Part 2 (2006)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 5-Sep-2007

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Deleted Scenes
Featurette-Sex, Violence, Blood & Gore
Featurette-On The Road
Featurette-The Team & Their Troubles
Rating Rated MA
Year Of Production 2006
Running Time 198:32 (Case: 197)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Andy Goddard
Brian Kelly
James Strong
Colin Teague
Studio
Distributor
2 Entertain
Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring None Given
Case Amaray-Opaque-Dual
RPI ? Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

   

"The 21st century is when everything changes, you've got to be ready" - Captain Jack Harkness

    This series is a spin-off from the new Doctor Who, featuring Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) as its main character, a character who was introduced late in Series 1 of the new Doctor Who. Here, the character has been fleshed out somewhat and is more serious and complex. The whole show is quite a bit more serious and darker than Doctor Who, being much more focused on an adult audience. Where Doctor Who focuses on humour and science-fiction with a little bit of creepiness thrown, in this series ratchets up the sex, violence and horror themes. It's certainly not a show you can let your young kids watch, like you might do with Doctor Who.

    The basic concept also follows on from something introduced in Doctor Who, the secret agency of Torchwood. Torchwood was set up in Doctor Who as an agency to battle the alien threat to Earth including The Doctor himself. The series is set in Cardiff, Wales in the present day where Torchwood 3 (i.e. the third office) has its headquarters located underneath a major public landmark. The office (known as 'The Hub') is run by Captain Jack Harkness and his team which includes; Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) his 2IC,the newest member of the team, Owen Harper (Burn Gorman), their rather naughty medic, Toshiko Sato (Naoki Mori) the technical expert and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd), the receptionist, driver, archivist and many other things besides. Ianto becomes more of a full-blown member of the team in these episodes. Captain Jack, who is American, is very mysterious and does not seem to exist in any official records and seems to be much older than he looks. His mysteries are slowly revealed as the series progresses both to the audience and to his team. Cardiff, it would seem, incorporates a rift in space and time which allows aliens easier access to Earth. Accordingly, the team have their hands full dealing with the aliens threats that come their way and trying to turn those to Earth's advantage by capturing and determining uses of alien technology. This second set of four episodes (over 2 discs) sees the show going in multiple different directions with one episode having a definite horror film feel, others being more sexy sci-fi and one being more personal and heartfelt. This is not to indicate that these episodes are disjointed, more that they show multiple facets of the various main characters.

    A third set will be released in October featuring more of the series.

    The four episodes included here are:

  1. Countrycide (46:53) - This is the horror themed episode which involves the disappearance of people while driving through the remote countryside. As it might be alien-related, the team investigate despite Owen's reluctance to go into the country. This episode includes a number important events for members of the team. Some viewers may be put off by this episode which is rated MA15+, whereas most of the series is M.
  2. Greeks Bearing Gifts (49:39) - Torchwood are called in to investigate a very old body. A woman who seems to know Toshiko approaches her and gives her a bracelet which allows her to hear other's thoughts. They form a relationship which finds Toshiko somewhat surprised at herself. Really good episode.
  3. They Keep Killing Suzie (52:44) - Three people have been murdered horribly in suburbia. A couple found dead in their bedroom have the word Torchwood smeared on the wall in their own blood. Gwen wants to bring the resurrection glove from Episode 1 out of storage to find out what is going on. Strangely this case seems to be linked to Suzie who was killed in Episode 1. This is quite a creepy episode which is one of the best of the series so far.
  4. Random Shoes (49:16) - A young man who has been trying to get Gwen's attention for months winds up dead, run over on a country road. His name is Eugene Jones and when the team arrive to investigate his ghost starts following Gwen as she investigates a case which at first glance doesn't seem to be in Torchwood's area of expertise. This is a quieter and more personal, Gwen-focused episode. Good but not great.

    This is an excellent new series at least the equal of the new Doctor Who, if not better for an adult audience. The characters here are multi-dimensional and the series is very well written. The cast are enigmatic and interesting and the story lines run the gamut of science-fiction, thriller, mystery and horror themes. Additionally, there are good dashes of humour. This show would certainly be enjoyed by adult fans of Doctor Who who don't mind a bit of extra sex, violence and horror themes. Highly Recommended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio, 16x9 enhanced, which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout, with no evidence of low level noise and just some occasional light graininess. The shadow detail was generally excellent. The bitrate used was quite high throughout.

    The colour was rich and vibrant, however, like Doctor Who it did exhibit some mild light colour bleeding.

    From an artefacts perspective, there was some very minor aliasing but it was rare.

    There are subtitles in English. They are clear, easy to read and virtually exact to the spoken word, if a little small.

    The layer changes were not obvious and may be between episodes.
    

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is very good, but is significantly different to what is advertised on the cover.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo soundtrack encoded at 192 Kb/s. Considering that the case advertises Dolby Digital 5.1 EX and dts 6.1 ES audio, this is a bit disappointing.

    Dialogue was mostly clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync. Unfortunately, some lines of dialogue were overwhelmed by the rest of the soundtrack.

    The score of this series is by Murray Gold and Ben Foster. Like Doctor Who, the music is excellent with a very catchy theme tune and lots of great incidental music, featuring some different and 'alien-like' instrumentation.

    The surround speakers were used quite a lot when this series was played via Dolby Pro Logic II. There was lots of atmosphere. Considering this is only a 2.0 track the surrounds are surprisingly well used.

    The subwoofer is also used quite often, adding bass to the music and tension sounds.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras are presented in 16x9 enhanced widescreen.

Menu

    The menu design is great with an introduction, lots of the theme music and a nice and functional design motif.

Disc 1

Torchwood - Sex, Violence, Blood & Gore (15:42)

    A featurette focusing on the adult rating and timeslot and what that allows the producers to do which they cannot with Doctor Who. Worth a look.

Torchwood - The Team & Their Troubles

    This section includes two featurettes which are essentially short making-ofs for each episode on the disc. They are:

Deleted Scenes (11:06)

    Some deleted and extended scenes from all five episodes. Nothing terribly interesting unfortunately.

Disc 2

Torchwood - On The Road (9:09)

    A featurette focusing on the Torchwood vehicle which they refer to as an SUV but is obviously a Range Rover. Covers what they have added on to it and problems with filming in it.

Torchwood - The Team & Their Troubles

    This section includes two featurettes which are essentially short making-ofs for each episode on the disc. They are:

Deleted Scenes (6:51)

    Some deleted and extended scenes from all four episodes. Not spectacular but better than Set 1.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    The Region 2 version of the set seems to be identical and it has not been released in Region 1.

Summary

    The second set of a great new adult series which has been spun off Doctor Who.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is very good but disappointingly different to what is advertised on the cover.

    The set has a reasonable selection of extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE