Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: Sleeper

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... It’s all right, it’s OK! Captain Jack will love you if you’re straight or gay! It’s all right, it’s OK! Touchwood will save the day. Possibly. Don’t get your hopes up."

Episode 2: Arcworthy

In an increasingly desperate attempt to get a job with Touchwood, Captain Jack Sparrow starts hiding in police vans in the hope cops will be summoned to the scene of weird spooky inexplicable events and Jack can get there before Touchwood can take over, making him look really smart, on the ball and professional.

It doesn’t work.

The Touchwood team simply ignore him and get on with their next case – a burglary that went so wrong the would-be robbers ended up on a giant kebab skewer emerging, Wolverine-style from a meek housewife called Beth. The experts speculate there might be something a tad... alien... about all this and immediately arrest, strip and torture her. Jack tries to help out, but his unorthodox "mind probing" doesn’t really help anyone – mind you, Jack enjoyed it.

The truth emerges: Beth is, in fact, a Cyberwoman!

No, wait, don’t run away, there’s more. It turns out that the global credit crisis has struck the Cybermen as much as anyone and they simply can’t afford the overheads to totally transform a human being into the hydraulic-genitaled arnickleton bastards of yesteryear, so instead they’ve decided to spend their cash on brain implants, turning humans into filthy Commie pinko sleeper agents. With kebab skewers in their arms. But Jack’s come-ons have awoken the cyberporn implants of not only Beth, but other Neo-Futuris-Cybs all over Cardiff and go on a killing spree of such awesome, I mean, AWFUL carnage things only calm down when these double-agents self-destruct in suicide explosions.

Worse, these explosions occur at key locations so Cardiff’s phone lines are out, a military fuel pipeline destroyed, and all the even vaguely competent emergency services skewered like kebabs. The remaining Cyb intends to set off nuclear warheads... for some reason. Actually I have no idea why they’re doing this, but it’s all Jack’s fault for his unprofessional libido.

"Oh, who cares? It’s not like I’M gonna die, is it?" he mocks, downing another bottle of rum in one go.

Luckily, Welsh atom bombs are as rubbish as all their other exports and the world is saved, though there are undiscovered proto-Cybermen all over the world, just waiting to... do stuff. EVIL stuff. Baby-killing stuff. And only Touchwood are capable of defending the Earth!

They do this by throwing Jack into a cell full of hungry Weevils and using Beth as target practice, refusing to listen to her screams that she still has parts of humanity in her mind and, actually, she’s really rather nice when you get to know her.

Ianto, Gwen, Tosh and Owen throw Beth’s bullet-riddled corpse in the cell with Jack and the Weevils and sod off to the local branch of D’you Believe This Is Pizza? to bitch about their hard day at work.

Trivia Questions
1. Who makes a special guest appearance as a non-speaking extra? 2. Is this story arc ever referred to again?
Great Moments - The moment where Owen and Tosh discuss their favorite episodes of "Murder, She Wrote" while waiting for Ianto making the coffee. Sorry, that should be under the Stupid And Complete Time Wasting Moments Where Gwen is Referred To Jessica Fletcher section.

Stupid And Complete Time Wasting Moments Where Gwen is Referred To Jessica Fletcher –
See above.
Fashion Crimes -
Cyber Chavs. Nuff said.

Missing Adventures -
This is the thirtieth unsuccessful attempt made by Jack to join Touchwood since the previous episode.

Technobabble - CB radios work on "protodyne quark manipulation rays". Apparently.

Great Lines -
Ianto: Mobiles. Landlines. Tin cans with bits of string. Everything, absolutely everything. No phones, phones all broken. "Hello? Anyone there?" No! Because the phones aren’t working. There are no working phones, all the phones are broken, no phones. Am I making myself ridiculously clear or do I need to draw a diagram before you stupid bastards understand THE PHONES ARE OUT?!

Jack: We’re not charging you with anything. We don’t have to. And there’ll be no lawyer, no phone calls, just us and this room for as long as it takes! And I’m fucking IMMORTAL! You know what that means? IT MEANS YOU DO NOT BULLSHIT ME!!

Beth: It’s so big. This is crazy. I suddenly feel very, very small…
Jack: The sight of me naked does that to most people, Beth.

Jack: That species has extremely high blood pressure.
Ianto: Oh, right, their heads must explode all the time then.
Jack: I’m into exploding heads. Giggity-giggity-goo!

Ianto: They know more about this place than I do. NOBODY knows more than I do! It’s my defining character trait in the series guidelines! YOU’RE NOT TAKING THAT AWAY FROM ME NOW!!

Crap Lines – Gwen: Do you feel Welsh?
Beth: Yes.
Gwen: Well then you are. What make us Welsh is in our minds, not what immigration says.
Beth: ...can I have someone NORMAL to talk to?

Jack: Come on, have a little faith? With a dashing hero like me on the case, how can we fail?
(everyone stares at him)
Jack: Hey, I AM dashing. You have to give me that.

Jack: You know what I’m thinking right now?
Owen: "Let’s all have sex"?
Jack: ...maybe.
Tosh: Just when I thought the end of the world couldn’t get any worse.

Plot Oversights
- So Beth NEVER noticed the fact she had a force field that stopped her getting ANY cuts, scrapes or bruises? And her HUSBAND didn’t notice? How did she pierce her ears with that force field around them, huh?
- Why would the Cybermen bother with Touchwood? Are these descended from the Cybus Men from Irth? How the fuck does THAT work?!
- So the burglar can have a heart attack while his blood pressure remains fixed at 139/81, huh? Bullshit.
- People DON’T have the right to a phone call, only to notify someone of the arrest, which usually takes the FORM of a phone call. But could equally take the FORM of carrier pigeon, smoke signals or texting. Remember that the next time you get arrested, coz I bloody hell wish someone had told ME!
- So Owen needs a clinical white suit to do a blood test. Why does he then cover it in badges with dirty sharp points?
- The most terrifying part of the story is that Cardiff’s nuclear stockpile is protected by a tarpaulin and a fat hillbilly with a sawn-off shotgun. That is loaded with rock salt.

Viewers’ Quotes

"Surely Jack could shag the Cybermen into submission?! He’s their credo of sexual survival made manifest!"
- Dave Restal (2008)

"Touchwood Tag-Team Assholes!"
- popular T-shirt slogan (2009)

"OMG! THEY KILLED NARVIN!! That random dude who got stabbed was Narvin in Gallifrey 90210! And his son was the young Bastard from Beat of the Drums! THIS CAN’T BE A COINCIDENCE! FOB WATCHES! CHAMELEON ARCHES! THE TIME LORDS LIVE AGAIN!"
- Someone Who Cares (2007)

"I much preferred this one, with its legitimization of dubious interrogation methods and echoes of kinky S&M bondage, its convincing alien threat thinly disguised as an Islamic terrorist threat. That said, there were faults, as the 'team' themselves come across as totally likeable! They seem to ENJOY their lives, which is unfair as my own life is foul and pretty unpleasant. Why should Owen of all people experience happiness when I cannot? Are you suggesting that there’s something WRONG with me?!"
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2007)

"This totally rips off The Deaths of Ian Stone!"
- Random Passer-By (2007)

The Author Speaks
"HAHAHA! Baby-Killer Moran, that’s what they’ll call me for this. I pen one of the most popular Doctor Who episodes of the millennium, spend months painstakingly crafting a tale of paranoia and betrayal, millions of pounds going into the best CGI effects but WHAT do the people notice? A pram getting pushed in the VAGUE direction of traffic. God you audiences are a miserable, grim bunch of fetid-lock-flaps, aren’t you? What is this weird blood lust you’ve got? You always want companions to killed off – and now BABIES? Get a life!"

Trivia Answers
1. That poorly-acted copper who got one line in The Michaelmas Evasion. 2. No. Shame.
Rumors and Facts –
This episode really didn’t help the political climate as it pretty much caused the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack. Cardiff refused to have such explosions recorded in town for fear it would be mistaken for a terrorist attack, so they had to go to Scotland to film it, and nearly triggered World War III. As Sylvester McCoy often said, thank Christ the BBC keeps the pyrotechnic people too busy to aide the military lest Earth become a cinder, floating in Spain. Er, space.

Meanwhile, the improvement of the scripts was already sounding a death nell for Touchwood – over a million viewers simply didn’t bother to tune in, and another two million would tune out over the rest of the series. Nevertheless, Touchwood remained a flagship show of BBC3, with its unparalleled ability to dive into the ratings cellar at the drop of an innuendo.

Ruminations -
This is a total rip off of Trenchcoat: Dead Ringers. You’re aware of this, right?

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