Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: Greeks Bearing Gifts

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... outside the government, beyond the police, independent of the judiciary, having wild and rompy sex with the alien menaces to mankind we actually are supposed to be fighting. It’s not quite make love not war, since we tend to murder everyone we sleep with. It’s just a habit that’s hard to break. The twenty-first century is when it all changes, and nobbing everything that moves becomes vogue."

Episode 7: Lesbians Bearing Telepathy

Toshiko Sato. Remember her? The chick who ISN’T Gwen Cooper and/or bonking Owen? Well, as she silently weathers the dismissive abuse of her boss Captain Jack and Owen and Gwen flirt around the Hub, smashing her computer with a football, and Ianto pops in an out of existence like some quantum fluctuation, Tosh decides she’s had enough. She heads to the local pub to meet with her girlfriend Destrii Anatos, a chain-smoking alien fish girl who uses a pendant to look like a hot chick from "My Family" and bitches about how she hates her life.

Destrii cheers Tosh up by having an all-night sex session and suggests Tosh make the rest of her gang suffer horribly. Tosh thinks this is a brilliant idea, and they start shagging again. Finally, Tosh gets dressed and uses a random bit of alien doohickey to give her the most embarrassing of rampant social diseases: telepathy.

With her new mind-reading powers, Tosh returns to the Hub to get hardcore blackmail on her work mates. However, the thoughts of Owen and Gwen flirting are damn well disgusting, and thoughts about what they think of HER are outright revolting. Ianto’s mind is revealed to be a perpetually looped tape recording of "Oh, every part of me hurts! I will never love again! Oh, Lisa, why? WHY? WHY?!?", while Jack’s mind cannot be read as Angel’s mind couldn’t be read in the specific Buffy The Vampire Slayer episode this story is ripping off.

Tosh returns home to Destrii for another steamy shower sequence where they come to the grim conclusion that Touchwood are so debauched and debased that they simply wouldn’t understand the concept of blackmail; indeed, they’d probably think it was some kind of foreplay. Thus, Destrii has a brilliant idea – KILL THEM ALL!

After ANOTHER torrid interspecies lesbian sex session, Destrii and Tosh leave their flat and go on a crime-fighting spree. When Tosh overhears the thoughts of a man who seems to be on his way to kill his ex-wife and son, Destrii assumes she’s just heard the thoughts of some passing tarantula and nothing’s wrong. But Tosh decides to check and she and Destrii are able to kung-fu the guy before he can kill them. Incredibly aroused, they make out yet again over his unconscious body.

Tosh brings Destrii into Touchwood, where they find Jack holding a big fucking gun in their direction, tense and paranoid after something that happened in the tie-in novels that this episode no doubt completely contradicts.

Destrii reveals she is an exiled alien, marooned on Earth after she split up from the Doctor when he entered his dark, broody, leather jacket, Northern phase. Jack insists that there is only room for ONE bitter ex-companion in this spin off series and blasts Destrii with a fragmentation canon. This either kills her instantly, or teleports her directly into the heart of the sun.

Tosh breaks down in tears at the death of her lover and falls to her knees as Gwen and Owen mock her for daring to have some kind of a life beyond generic computer geek. Tosh is next seen polishing the shotgun she got off the loony, muttering darkly under her breath.

Trivia Questions
1. What happens to Destrii after this episode?
2. Which story has her encounter the Tenth Doctor and Rose?

Great Moments –
At last! Comic strip companion Destriianatos not only appears on TV, but has thirty-five minutes of on screen sex with Naoko Mori! THIS IS WHY GOD CREATED HIGH-DEFINITION TV!! Full fist, BBC3, FULL FIST!

The brief scene where Jack makes a dirty phone call to Harriet Jones’ successor as Prime Minister Alan B’Stard pretty much anal-raped the story arc for the next year’s worth of Doctor Who. Well, it WOULD have done if anyone was paying any attention to the bits without Tosh/Destrii fornication at any rate.

Fashion Crimes -
"Oh, Tosh, sweetheart, the jeans and the boots thing has really kind of had its day!"
"Oh, who cares what YOU think, Ianto?!"

Missing Adventures -
Tosh’s collection of sex toys includes a Preacher anti-Dustbin fluid neutralizer from Dustbin Versus Cyberman, a replica of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver, the Sycophant Leader’s staff and sword from The Michaelmas Evasion.

Technobabble -
In a previous battle against the Cybermen, Owen claims teamed up with Quincy and Amanda Burton on Family Fortunes. They then had a three-way before Owen killed them both, bullet-in-the-back-of-the-head execution style, with the words, "There can only be ONE forensic pathologist in THIS town!!"
Jack later confirms to the audience that Owen is full of shit.

Great Lines -

Tosh: Do whores have prayers, Jack?

Owen: I wonder what Tosh is like in bed? Catholic, but grateful?
Destrii: Yeah, pretty much.

Tosh: What happened to the computer?
Gwen: Oh, I kicked out the plug.
Tosh: What! It was running a translation program I’d written. I’d collated every scrap of alien language we’ve got and broken it down into binary threads to see if there was a common derivation.
Owen: That’s a bit of a mouthful, eh, Gwen?
Tosh: ...I hate the fucking pair of you.

Destrii: I had heard the whispered tales
Of im-mort-ality!
The deep-est my-ster-y!
From an ancient book
I took a clue!
I scaled the frozen mountain tops
Of eastern lands unknown!
Time and Man alone!
Searching for the lost Xanadu

Tosh: We found this thing, it was about A4 size, and it had all these symbols on it. And, it took me about three months to translate. It was a letter someone had written to his family. To his children. To say how much he was missing them. It just made me cry because I thought even across these unimaginable distances there are fundamentals that stay exactly the same. Of course it lost a bit of its power when I realized the rest of the letter was explaining he was leaving his wife to head to the Vegas Galaxies with a prostitute he’d just met and that she could keep the kids while he got the hive cell...

Destrii: Six cigarettes today and all of them post-coital... glorious.

Tosh: Let me take you to Touchwood. Maybe we can help you?
Destrii: You won’t. You’ll examine me. Access whether or not I’m useful, or whether I’m a danger, and then lock me in a cell and grang rape me repeatedly. You’re not interested in understanding alien cultures. It’s just as well you haven’t got the technology to reach other planets yet. Yours is a culture of invasion. Do you really think I’m going to walk, hands raised in surrender, into that?
Tosh: ...you’re right. Let’s kill them all.

Crap Lines -

Jack: To stand within the pleasure dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan;
To taste anew the fruits of life!
The last immortal man
To find the sacred river Alph,
To walk the caves of ice...
Oh, I will dine on honeydew!
And drink the milk of paradise!

Ianto: [thinks] Not again. Please not again.
Tosh: For fuck’s sake, I just asked for a cup of coffee!
Ianto: [thinks] There isn’t an inch of me that isn't hurting.
Tosh: Oh, build a bridge and get over it!

Jack: You smell... different to them.
Destrii: That’s nothing. It’s when you compare teeth with British guy – that’s when it’s really scary.

Jack: A thousand years have come and gone
But time has passed me by!
Stars stopped in the sky!
Frozen in an everlasting view...
Waiting for the world to end
Weary of the night!
Praying for the light!
Prison of the lost Xanadu

Gwen: I don’t know where this leaves us...
Tosh: I do. You fucking killed my girlfriend. You can’t really take the moral high ground over this.
Gwen: No, Tosh, what you did was an invasion. I wasn’t in control. I realize that now. Even so, YOU have to live with this. Not what you heard, but what we did to you.
Tosh: MY betrayal?! What about YOU?
Gwen: What do you mean?
Tosh: You know, cheating on your boyfriend or whatever he is. This should be your wake-up call. You should stop. But, you won’t; what does that say about you
Gwen: You’re not really in a position to make judgments.
Tosh: Oh, I am. You are fucking DEAD, Cooper!

Destrii: Are you supposed to be a charismatic central character?
Jack: I don’t know.

Jack: To coin a phrase, I set the controls for the heart of the sun.
Tosh: You what?!
Jack: She’ll be fine. I sent her there at night, didn’t I?
Tosh: You killed my girlfriend?!?
Jack: Yes! HIGH FIVE!
(long pause)
Tosh: Held within the Pleasure Dome
Decreed by Kubla Khan
To taste you bitter triumph
As a mad immortal man
Nevermore shall you return
Escape these caves of ice!
For you have dined on honeydew
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
Jack: ...sensing a little disapproval here, Tosh.
Tosh: They will write TEXTBOOKS about what I’m going to do to you, Jack.

Gwen: Don’t let this put you off. The last couple of days you’ve had a look about you. Having a sex life suited you.
Tosh: I am STILL going to fucking kill you all.

Plot Oversights
- UNIT dating. But that’s by the by.
- When the alien reveals herself to Tosh, Tosh’s eyeline is wrong unless she’s talking to Destrii’s chest. On the other hand, if you discover your girlfriend’s an alien, their breasts might be of interest. In fact, this is a definite triumph of scripting, acting and direction now I come to think about it.
- What is Jack doing for UNIT and why does it involve eating eyeballs, drinking blood and having sex with animals? And what is Jack trying to do with the vacuum cleaner while he’s talking to Tosh?
- When Tosh is bouncing Owen’s head against the wall it doesn’t make a sound.
- During his final lines of the episode, Barrowman’s expression changes considerably with each shot-change: clearly they filmed it with two different approaches and have cut two takes together, and you can tell as when he’s talking to Tosh he’s foaming at the mouth with bloodshot eyes, but when she’s talking back he’s quietly sipping a cup of tea.

Viewers’ Quotes

"With four lines of dialogue, forty minutes of sex scenes and actually appearing in a comic strip, Destrii clearly is a better and more fistworthy choice of getting her own spin off than Captain Jack."
- The Tosh/Destrii Shipper Appreciation Society (2007)

"Doctor Who SHOULD have evolved - into a more adult sci-fi series like Touchwood, just as it did in 1970 when the first Pertwee season replaced the nadir that the silly Troughton fuckwit portrayal had fallen into. William Hartnell was a fine first Doctor and personally I’d have cast Geoffrey Bayldon as his replacement. Patrick Troughton’s 'penguin' portrayal set a fashion for the wrong kind of 'quirky' silliness that lead to Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy. The Troughton era also saw the end of the historicals which was NOT a good thing!"
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2007)

"What’s interesting is that this is supposed to be an episode that lets us get closer to Toshiko but as a result of her exploration we get to learn a fair amount about all of the regulars. And they are all worthless assholes who deserve to die from spider bites."
- RTD (2006)

"In 1970 Doctor Who did become more mature in tone and this essentially lasted until the end of 1970. Still a family show admittedly but one that appealed to 'the intelligent and sexually perverted 14 year old'. I'd have preferred Doctor Who to have become more like Touchwood and actually try to educate kids. Some of the best eras of the old series did so. Farting gags and burping bins are pandering to the lowest common populist denominator – as do lesbian fish girls! Touchwood is utter crap and unworthy of Adam Rickitt’s salty goodness! So, Touchwood is rubbish, Doctor Who is rubbish and I am off to the toilet now."
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2007, later that day)

The Author Speaks -
"Me again! No, I didn’t write this one, but by God I could have! No pretence of plot, the regulars acting like twelve-year-olds on a sugar rush, mindless cross-species sex scenes for most of the run time, and fun-loving intergalactic manhole Captain Jack being a conservative, homophobic murdering asshole! This episode sums up my entire worldview of Touchwood. I may not have written it, but I should have!"

Trivia Answers
1. She re-materializes half a billion light years away and sixty years into the past to join up the Warfreeks Academy for Studying Connoisseur Violence, and took a degree in Conflict Management.
2. "Warfreeks!" in DWM For Kids #5

Rumors and Facts -
Of the initial slate of Touchwood writers, the only person to have previously contributed a script for Doctor Who besides executive producer RTD was Toby Shithouse. Shithouse had scribed School’s Out for the new Doctor Who series’ second season, and now took one look at Touchwood: Nude Girl and assumed the series was just a collection of sci-fi porn flicks. Thus, he wasted no time in providing a XXX lesbian tragedy play where one half of the relationship just happened to be a giant fish with a passionate love of Star Trek.

Originally announced as the eighth episode of the year, it was eventually bumped up to seventh in the running order because no one was willing to wait the extra week to watch hardcore fish girl action and Toshiko Sato gain a second dimension to her character of computer geek: a deep burning hatred for the rest of the cast and a vow to kill every last one of them. Especially Owen.

Ruminations -
Considering this was billed as Captain Jack’s spin-off, this is yet another story barely featuring him. Is John Barrowman busy making another series across town throughout the whole of Touchwood’s run? Perhaps playing a character who ISN’T a complete prick who sends hot fish girls into the heart of the sun?

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