Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: Something Borrowed

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.

"Cardiff. You see it at night and it shines. Like a beacon. People are drawn to it. People and other things. They come for all sorts of reasons. My reason? No surprise there. It started with a girl. In every generation there is a Crazy Bitch. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is Gwen Cooper."

Episode 9: Something Borrowed From Joss Whedon

Gwen is too busy slaying vampires to turn up on time to her hen’s night, and doesn’t even bother to mention getting bitten on the stomach. The next morning, the day of her wedding, she wakes up heavily pregnant but tries to pretend nothing has happened and everyone who says otherwise is a hallucinating junkie.

Despite all the recommendations from Rhys, Jack and Owen – you know, the three guys she apparently trusts her life with – she decides to go on with the wedding and Ianto is left making her new dress she can fit into. Now showing signs of either permanent brain damage or proof that all women are crazy bitches, Gwen decides to tell everyone Rhys knocked her up and then pretend to have a miscarriage and make all her family and friends incredibly miserable.

In further proof that all women are crazy bitches, Tosh becomes addicted to black magic and turns up at the wedding venue violently keyed up and tries to stab the best man to death with a banana-shaped pencil and crushes his gonads with her bare hand, before eating them.

Jack, feeling a particular asshole today and wanting to drive Rhys to point of suicidal despair, decides to wait until he and Gwen are at the altar and then demands the wedding to be stopped as he and Gwen are very much in love. In yet even more proof that all women are crazy bitches, a bridesmaid suddenly backflips through the stained glass window of the church for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

At this point Rhys’ mother turns into a zombie monster, but Gwen had hidden a loaded gun in the bridal bouquet (what with her being a crazy bitch and all) and shoots her fifteen times for "being an ugly bitch". This has no effect on her at all, so she throws Owen into the cake in annoyance that he’s not actually alive and thus she cannot kill him.

Suddenly the time rift opens and a little old man emerges into the church, explaining that he is Rhys from the year 2038 and that being married to the crazy bitch Gwen will ruin his life with her insistence on bringing up her ungodly hellspawn as Catholics. Rhys wonders why the hell he took 30 years to come to this conclusion when he knows that all ready and the Future Rhys vanishes in a puff of logic.

After the massive cat fight between Gwen, Tosh and Rhys’ mother, most of the guests are dead and the venue scattered with the intestines of the DJ. Gwen gets soaked in so much human blood, her undead brood revive and she goes into labor. In a final act of true, supremo dynamite crazy bitchness, Gwen decides that rather than going to hospital or calling an ambulance, she should go to an incredibly unsanitary stable and give birth there.

While Gwen struggles with labor, Ianto chats with Spike, who turned up at the wedding with a Goth date for no other reason than it’s in the second-hand script. As the vampire cults close in on the stable to worship the messiah child, a bright light explodes out of Gwen and transforms into a full-grown, nude, dark-skinned woman. Jack drops to his knees, awestruck – Gwen has given birth to MARTHA JONES!!

Suddenly everyone starts to sing...

...and Jack wakes up, having got completely drunk at Rhys’s stag night and dreamt the whole thing while in reality he was stripped naked, painted orange and green, and then handcuffed to a moving bus.

Trivia Questions
1. What was this episode described as the television equivalent of? 2. What occurred to the anatomically-correct pregnancy outfit after Eve Myles no longer needed to wear it?

Great Moments - Martha J as nature intended is the sole redeeming feature of 45 minutes of otherwise 100% pure crap.

Fashion Crimes
Owen’s top hat, cravat and tuxedo is actually improved when covered in gore and entrails.

Missing Adventures
Most of Jack’s stag night activities. Thank fucking Christ for that.

Technobabble - "Owen! Gwen’s gone into labor, so what really need right now is some Vaseline and a catcher’s mitt..."

Great Lines - Jack: You are not thinking straight!
Gwen: Do not bring my bloody hormones into this, Mister Jack Harkness!
Jack: Hormones? I was talking about you generally.

Owen: This is way beyond my ken - and my Barbie and indeed ALL my action figures.

Banana: I’m Banana!
Tosh: You come in spots and go soft quickly?
Banana: Actually I’m the best man.
Tosh: Evolution is full of surprises.
Banana: And what’s your name?
Tosh: Both you and bananas make me vomit.
Banana: ...fuck you, bitch!

Ianto: Can I say something about destiny? Screw destiny! If this evil thing comes we’ll fight it, and we’ll keep fighting it until we defeat it. Destiny is just another word for inevitable and nothing’s inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye, and say "You are evitable, you ugly trashcan fuck!" Am I right, or am I right?

Owen: She’s going ahead with the wedding.
Jack: Which is fine, as long as she doesn’t go into labor at the altar. Rhys might forgive her for going down the aisle pregnant, but not giving birth to a razor-tooth monster that eats half his family.
Tosh: I know. It’s just so embarrassing when that happens. Still, at least the Spice Girls aren’t here this time.

Rhys: How can the vampires be active during the day? You can’t they can’t stand direct sunlight!
Gwen: It’s not direct sunlight!
Rhys: What?
Gwen: There’s an atmosphere in the way!
Rhys: Ah, right. [long pause] Wait a cotton-picking minute...

Jack: What do you get in return? Fame, money, success? That’s it, isn’t it? How else would losers like you get ahead? I mean, you’d have to become procreative surrogates for a vile demonic entity.
Banana: Well, mostly, I do it for the sex....

Crap Lines – Jack: OK, Gwen, you just rest and we’re going to handle this. As the Face of Bond once said, "You’re not alone."
Gwen: [indicates her belly] That’s the damn problem, you lush!

Rhys: This is a private wedding. Featured word, "private".
Jack: Let me in or I will kill you. Featured word, "kill". Oh, and by the way, congratulations on getting married to a crazy bitch incubating an army of hellspawn.

Jack: I’m looking for a wedding dress for a friend.
Assistant: Of course you are, sir. You’d be surprised – we’re quite used to men buying "for their friends".
Jack: What are you implying, you filthy deviant!?

Ianto: Actually...
Gwen: God! I hate it when you say that word! 'Actually' means that your oversized ginormous brain thought of something that the rest of us failed to consider, right?

Plot Oversights
- How drunk was Gwen that she didn’t feel her stomach expanding through the night? And how did she escape stretch marks from that much growth in such a short time!? If it’s some kind of trick, I knew plenty of girls at high school who would like her to share the secret.
- Jack’s Irish accent for the flashbacks when he was a mortal, unemployed bum before the crucial vampire bite is as convincing as his American accent afterwards. Are we really expected to believe that Darla sired BOTH Jack AND Angel and they never once mentioned it?
- Gwen SERIOUSLY thinks that picking up a bunch of flowers will distract Rhys from her cute baby belly bump? If so, why the hell did she bother with that retarded cover story instead of using the bunch of flowers to hide her shameful confinement?
- When Rhys hangs up on Jack’s obscene phone calls, we hear a landline’s dial tone despite them both being on mobiles.
- Eve Myles seems to have confused "labor pains" with "giggling unprofessionally". That’s either incredibly bad scripting or... actually, I don’t want to KNOW what any alternatives are.
- Could Ianto really have fixed Gwen’s wedding dress for a heavily pregnant woman he has no measurements for on short notice? Ianto sure doesn’t SEEM to be taking out dresses to fit her. The slacker.
- Actually, how does a vampire bite to Gwen’s stomach cause a spontaneous instantaneous mystic pregnancy that comes to term over night? And why does such a union create a supernatural version of Martha Jones? Are we supposed to believe Martha is the spawn of evil? Is this some kind of backhanded insult to Freema Agyeman?

Viewers’ Quotes

"It’s not so much an episode you can safely watch by yourself with a bowl of popcorn, more a bucket of vomit. Don’t have a drink in your hand when you see this, have a loaded gun."
- President and Sole Member of the Official Touchwood Fan Club (2008)

- David Greenwalt (2008)

"My God, there’s actually an episode worse than the one with the Cyberwoman... my world no longer has meaning."
- Nigel V. (2009)

"This series has finally beaten any compassion or interest I have left. It’s gone. All gone. I can’t even summon up spite that this is a show whose last 'hilarious' comedy episode involved a woman raping and murdering men en masse. This week Gwen gets, effectively raped and forced to carry the rapist’s baby. But, you see, this is funny! Cause it’s a wedding and stuff! Huh? Aren’t you laughing? See, Jack and the others’ witty quips are jokes, not being callous arseholes you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire... even when Gwen is utterly traumatized to the point of catatonia, her pals are making lame oneliners about her, the heart of their gang. Oh well, at least we know it’s nothing personal and they treat EVERYONE like this."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke’s brilliantly-observed Mad Lawrence Miles Blogger impersonation (2010)

"WHAT... THE... HELL?! What... argh! Just what, what, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!?! If these guys could write any character, ANY of them consistently I wouldn’t hate the show. But as it is they see the need to systematically destroy every established about the only character who could be termed 'nice' or 'sympathetic' despite her also being the easiest one to write for due to her basic established personality. I don’t want nothing to do with this show. Nothing."
- Johan "Quite A Few Nicknames" Redsen (8002)

"Underbelly has more sympathetic main characters."
- Matt Newton (2009)

The Author Speaks
"I caught the bouquet! How freaking amazing is that?!?"

Trivia Answers
1. Robert Mugabe. 2. John Barrowman cut out the groin and used it as a soap dish. Rumors and Facts -
Originally it would also have featured the return of Suzie Costello from the first series but this plan was stymied as not only did no one want to hint that the first season was canonical, but the actress Indira Varma was pregnant. This lead to a hasty need for a script about a pregnant zombie psychopath and foolishly Phil Ford agreed to do it, even after the return of Suzie was abandoned altogether.

It was only during recording when anyone actually READ the script they discovered that Ford, refusing to believe that Touchwood had improved from the vile filth of 2006, had simply printed out transcripts to the Angel episode "Expecting", "Offspring", "Inside Out" and stapled them at random points throughout the shooting script of the Buffy episode "Hell’s Bells".

It was after this that Freema Agyeman, Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori decided to quit rather than risk another episode of such awfulness. Indeed, Agyemen fled the studio before recording began, so her departure was hastily re-written into the previous episode.

Phil Ford was amused at this chaos, as he was determined to destroy Touchwood for a number of reasons, least of all it would leave The Sarah Jane Misadventures the sole inheritor of Doctor Who spin-offs!

You know this episode would have been a lot more interesting if it had been in Season One and Gwen was getting married to her imaginary boyfriend, don’t you think?

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