Last Saturday's Guardian 'Guide' supplement described the hero of the BBC's new Doctor Who spin-off as "one of the most pantomime characters ever to appear in Doctor Who...like Buzz Lightyear, but less realistic". A pretty harsh assesment of what was intended to be a flagship programme - much-hyped, and eagerly anticipated by sci-fi buffs, myself included. Up until last night, I'd been keeping an open mind about Torchwood, giving it the benefit of a few episodes to get going, but was sadly so bored by the third installment that I dozed off. So I'm afraid I'm with the Guardian on this one... Captain Jack Harkness is a ridiculous caricature, utterly devoid of charisma or sex appeal, and the laboured attempts to create on-screen chemistry between him and the leading lady were about as sexy as a bowl of cold porridge (thanks to Ant for that analogy).
The recently resurrected Doctor Who series were aimed firmly at children, and yet the scripts were funnier, the characters far more appealing, and the sentiments at times genuinely moving. Having been seduced by the "This Life meets the X-Files" pitch for Torchwood, one of the few prime-time programmes aimed squarely at me (a post-Buffy-DINKY), I feel sorely disappointed that the BBC have got it so, so wrong.