Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: Adam

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... You know Men in Black? Imagine a punch of pathetic sex-addict junkies were left in charge for a day and all their decisions were given by an incontinent leprous howler monkey having its head cut off and you’ve pretty much worked out how effective these losers are. Still, the ladies are so hot they’re steaming. Plus I do owe Captain Jack for completely fucking up my plans for universal domination. Vengeance shall be MINE! Mwhaahahahahahahahaha!"

Episode 5: Adam’s Back

One of the many recurring characters seemingly slaughtered in "The Parting of the Legs" was Lavros II, AKA Adam Mitchell the bitter loser geek. However, by the powers of the Time Goddess, Adam finds himself NOT reduced to sub atomic particles but instead restored to his human form and dumped in an alleyway in Cardiff 197, 991 years in the past. Adam is overawed at such divine compassion and mercy, and that he has been given a second chance to live out his life properly in a new and fulfilling manner.
But instead he decides to become a super villain all over again and slaughter his enemies, starting with Captain Jack Sparrow and Touchwood who are based nearby. Using a self-help book entitled "Memory Manipulation for Dummies", Adam is able to implant false memories into Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen and Ianto, making them believe he is a regular cast member with a massive fan base. With the run of the Touchwood Hub, Adam decides to have some fun and, with the aide of a rubber chicken, performs mindfucks on each team member to change them dramatically.
He wipes Gwen’s memory of Rhys so when she wakes up naked next to him the next morning, she tries to kill him in the belief he’s a stalker. He also rewrites the minds of Tosh and Owen, swapping their personalities so that Owen is a mild-mannered spectacled geek and Tosh is the overconfident sexist bitch. Indeed this new Tosh turns Adam on so he tampers with her memory yet again and the two become full-time official hetero fuck buddy life partners.
And for sheer sadism, Adam makes Jack become haunted of memories of his childhood, which are in fact scenes from "Star Wars: A New Hope", so Jack holds himself responsible for his uncle and aunt killed by an attack on the planet Tatooine and longs desperately to find out what happened to his long-lost father, Annakin Skywalker.
Unfortunately, Adam completely forgets about Ianto, who tries to expose the jerk. Adam simply downloads three entire series’ worth of "Wire In The Blood" into Ianto’s mind, leaving Ianto believing he is an incredibly-well-written-and-acted Welsh serial killer.
With Jack spending all his time looking on Facebook for Ben Kenobe, Gwen in a straightjacket in the cells next to a Weevil, Tosh sadistically mocking Owen when he confesses his longtime love for her, and Ianto cowering in a corner, sobbing pathetically, Adam dusts his hands for a job well done. He plans to have one last shag with Toshiko and then head off to destroy the human race forever in an alliance with the alien gourmets, the Snotaran Empire.
Jack finally looks up himself on wikipedia and discovers the horrible truth, that he is a confused collage of hugely successful film trilogies, and his true identity has been lost. Not particularly interested in this, he decides to look up the others on wikipedia and realizes that Adam has been screwing with their minds.
The team wonder what the hell they should do now and Jack hits on the idea of one massive drug-taking to wipe their minds of the past few days and all return to normal. Unable to see any possible problems with this approach, the whole steam start quaffing whole bottles of pharmaceuticals and one long, long, LSD nightmare they wake up all back to normal and with no memory of the entire adventure. Rhys pops by and explains what the hell happened over the last few days, and then it strikes Gwen that while they were all blissed out of their skulls Adam has escaped into Cardiff and is at loose in the world somewhere!
Jack yawns, says it couldn’t be helped and suggests they start comparing each other’s genitals with a tape measure as a way of cheering them all up. The others lock him up in a cell with the Weevil, who repeatedly kills Jack for the next three weeks as punishment for pretty much causing the entire problem in the first place.

Trivia Questions
1. Which Buffy episode is sodomized this week? 2. Which full length official Touchwood novel already nicked that plot?

Great Moments - Tosh repeatedly humiliating Owen by sadistically forcing him to watch her having sex with Adam in his office is... mildly diverting.

Fashion Crimes
Adam’s replica Michael-Jackson-Thriller outfit would work better without the fluffy bunny slippers. Or the fake arrow-through-the-head.

Missing Adventures
Adam nicks all the Dustbin laser tommy guns (from "The Dustbins on Broadway!") that were gathering dust in the Touchwood armory.

Technobabble - "This is no ORDINARY rubber chicken down my trousers, but in fact a holistically-destabilized alpha wave interferometer and mark my words it will fuck you up good and proper!"

Great Lines –
Adam: I’m back! And I’m mad! MAD! I’m completely out of my tree! I’m a sandwich short of a picnic! There’s no slates on my roof! Never had a screw that didn’t come loose! Three bricks short of a load!

Adam: Do you know who I am, mortal?!
Rhys: Oh, go buy yourself some spot cream, ya pillock!
Adam: How DARE you mock my adolescent complexion, you insensitive prick! I’m tempted to wipe out humanity thanks to your impertinence!
Rhys: Try threatening to end the world after your balls have dropped and maybe THEN we can have a serious conversation...

Owen: Here you go, Tosh, a toy mouse to put on your computer.
Tosh: Just what I need – a small rodent staring at me while I’m working. I think I’ll call him Owen.
Adam: Oh, Owen, you just got pwned!! HAH!
Owen: Tosh, I love you.
Tosh: What?!
Owen: Oh yeah, there we are, I’ve said it. I love you! Yes, I always have, actually. Ever since we started working together, and in fact um, actually, I ache for you. I mean, physically, when you’re in the room I just want to reach out and touch you…
Tosh: Owen...
Owen: No, no, no, I can’t keep the secret anymore. My mum said to me "seize the day", so I am seizing it and, you know I’ve got so much LOVE to give you Tosh, and you know, you won’t know that unless I tell you so here I am, telling you that I LOVE YOU!
Tosh: ...you’re pathetic. You sicken me. Die alone in a ditch.
Adam: Man, this just gets better and better!

Crap Lines – Rhys: And I thought, I’m going to marry this bloody mad woman, even if it kills me. Well, guess I’ve proved that. Can you put the gun DOWN please now, luv? Got a bit of a sucking chest wound from last week.

Adam: Ianto, you alright, man? I could murder a coffee. Seriously, I could really murder one. Follow it down a dark alley, in the rain, throw away it’s mobile, slide my hands around its throat and slowly squeeze the life out of it as its struggles became feebler and feebler and the light gently faded from its wide, accusing eyes as it finally went limp in my merciless, unforgiving grip...
Jack: Christ, someone get him a coffee already!

Plot Oversights
- Why does geek Owen suddenly wear glasses? Does Adam make him short sighted or does he normally wear contacts to look more damn bastard hard? Doesn’t he realize the specs take the attention away from that inhumanly large mouth he possesses?
- If Adam only makes Tosh believe that that they are screwing, how come everyone else knows about it? Surely they haven’t been able to upload any sex tapes onto youtube in such a brief period? How can Owen be jealous of Adam when he has no idea there’s anything to be jealous about? Or is Adam just like everyone else and gets off on making Owen suffer at every possible opportunity?
- Rhys points out that he can prove he’s not a creepy alien stalker because he has masses of photographic evidence that he’s Gwen’s longtime boyfriend. But why doesn’t Tosh notice that the love of her life for three years doesn’t even merit a phone number in her mobile? I know love’s blind but I didn’t know it was brain damaged!
- Why is Jack the only one who is seeing visions? Is it because he’s so drug-addled he spends most of his times having hallucinations normally?
- Torchwood surveillance cameras have a disturbingly good sense of cinematography, zooming in on just the right bits. Is it sentient alien technology or does Touchwood have a director for CCTV?
- It’s amazing Adam even REMEMBERS Jack since they have never so much as spoken and the last time they met Jack was mercilessly exterminated. Surely it would be Rose he’d be after, if anyone?
- Despite what this episode purports, the Nokia N90 can NOT be capable of delivering that good a quality video or transmitting live video. Fuck knows I’ve tried, and you can never even so much as make out the nipples! Ahem. Anyway. Moving on...
- During the hypnotism scene where she relates what a lonely, miserable life she’s lead without friends or family or any kind of meaning to her wasted life, Tosh is giggling uncontrollably
- When did Jack become a master hypnotist? There’s fan theory that, on one of his Time Agent missions, Jack went undercover as "Shauno The Naughty Magician" but if so, why does Jack never use this ability again like, for example, at the end of the episode when he is fed to the Weevil? Is he actually just a brilliant motivational speaker instead of a hypnotist? If so, it STILL doesn’t explain why he didn’t use it to save his perfectly-formed buttocks in every single episode.

Viewers’ Quotes

"I always thought that the only character in Touchwood more forgettable than Ianto was Rhys, and this episode just went and proved it."
- Kai Owen (2007)

"Was Geeky Owen taking the mick? Sassenach bastard!"
- David Tennant (2008)

"That ending was lame, touchy-feely, cheese-filled pointlessness that required a barf bag to sit all the way through. Horrendous. It was like hitting a brick wall built from the bones of soap opera rejects. What teen emo loser wrote this drivel?!"
- Jane Goody (2007)

"Of course Nigel is clearly a manifestation of the Mara. And if you don’t agree with us you are clearly under the spell of delusion that the Mara will use to bring about the end of all things and consume the souls of the righteous. So there."
- Alan Stevens & Fiona Moore (2008)

"Damn, these idiots wake up with two days missing and don’t think it’s a big deal? Even the Red Dwarf crew were smarter than that! Honestly! Speculation on insufficient data is the root of all worry!"
- Bhudda Stevenson (3284)

- Ewen Campion-Clarke in a lucid mood (Feb 14, 2008)

"I’m going to be Dr Who when I grow up."
- Matt Smith (2007)

The Author Speaks
"The thing about this story is that, anywhere else, if some guy came in with a gun and started sleeping around the office he’d be fired by the end of the day. For Touchwood, he would stick out like a sore thumb if he DIDN’T. And Adam Mitchell is played with insidious subtlety by myself, don’t you find? So needy and conflicted, benign and pleasant at first but the moment the light goes out it escalates out of control and he never has to face up to the consequences of what he did. It’s a religious experience, shagging me, as Tosh found out."
Trivia Answers
1. "Superstar". Duh. 2. "Bored Princes" by Andy Lane. Rumors and Facts -
Following his portrayal of himself in the previous series of Touchwood, Nigel Verkoff attempted to sue the BBC for defamation of character. However, it turned out that he was one of thousands of actors, writers or simply extras demanding recompense for the emotional, physical and financial damage done to them by being associated with Touchwood.

For Verkoff he was offered the chance to write an episode of the new, less monumentally awful series, which portrayed himself in a more positive light. Verkoff was delighted and, from the safety of his bedsit in Australia, decided the time was right for his character of Adam Mitchell to return to the Whoniverse after Adam was merciless annihilated in the 2005 season finale. But beyond this starting idea, Verkoff had absolutely no other ideas. Well, that’s to say, he had plenty but had no intention of wasting any decent ones on Touchwood, no matter how often RTD and Chibnall insisted it had improved.

Rather than waste time and effort coming up with a wonderful hour full of quality comic moments juxtaposed against tear-jerking tragedy, Verkoff simply decided to rip off a Touchwood tie-in novel about the Touchwood team being infiltrated by someone with the power to alter memories and pretend to be a regular. Verkoff later defended this decision in court on the grounds at least he was plagiarizing a half-decent source material for once, which HAD to mitigate in his favor.

This episode was the first to be filmed for the series, which caused a bit of confusion as originally it was to occur AFTER Something Borrowed From Joss Whedon, where Gwen and Rhys were married, allowing Gwen to unthinkingly kill her husband for some extra grief points. However, Verkoff was not paying attention and forgot to make Owen a zombie. Thus, it was forced to be shown much earlier in the season and, in Chinball’s opinion, was the poorer for it since it would have been a lot better coming directly after the shithouse wedding episode.

Ruminations -
When the newer series of Doctor Who began remaking novels and audio dramas around a decade old, it was almost forgivable - but with around a dozen Touchwood tales across every medium, quite why the need for such an early re-imagining is beyond me.

Apart from the fact it’s a thousand times better than the detritus those fans keep insisting is canon, anyway.

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