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"Greeks Bearing Gifts"

Finally, another alien episode! I must admit I've been sort of missing those space baddies. It is interesting that every alien this show has thus far encountered has been interested in either sleeping with or eating human beings. So much for "we come in peace."This time the alien in question is a floating, light-filled, Medusa-headed creature, though we don't find that out till later. To start things off, she possesses a pretty prostitute in 1812 Cardiff named Mary, you know, "like the virgin." Torchwood is called in when a body is discovered at the formerly wooded site where her prospective john lay buried, lo these many years later. And along with the body, they find an alien transporter. The team brings both back to HQ for analysis; Owen works on determining the skeleton's cause of death (and gender, as it turns out, since his initial guess that it was a woman proves wrong), while Jack tries to unscramble the artifact.Meanwhile, Tosh visits a bar to sip away her increasing discom... read more

"Countrycide"

Ewwwwwww. I'm not such a fan of the cannibal genre in general, and this one was quite... well, gruesome. Not to mention grim. It all seemed to start out innocently enough: Torchwood left the comfortable confines of Cardiff to investigate a series of unexplained deaths in a small village; once in the country, they set up camp and started a provocative conversation about snogging (which revealed, among other things, that Tosh has a thing for Owen). Too bad for poor Tosh — Owen and Gwen take a stroll in the woods, to "gather firewood," and end up thisclose to snogging yet again. When they make a gruesome discovery — a skinned, maggot-infested corpse — the rest of the gang join them to investigate, leaving their camp unattended, and giving the mysterious bad guy a chance to drive off in their car. So the gang take off in the stunning, if menacing, landscape, toward the seemingly abandoned, utterly creepy village.There they split up (of course, because what else do people ... read more

House Goes to Extremes to See What Happens After We Die

House really embraced the scientific method by staging his own near-death experience. Hugh Laurie by Adam Taylor/Fox

Episode Recap: "97 Seconds"Wow — despite House & co. losing not one but two Patients of the Week (plus a really sweet pooch), this was one memorable episode. And as usual, it's all because of House: this time, he was testing the boundaries of life itself, to see what — if anything — there is beyond death. To diagnose POTW 1, the guy with incurable Spinal Muscular Atrophy (and to further reduce the number of intern candidates), House splits up the remaining contestants by gender: "If your sex organs dangle, you're the Confederates; if your sex organs are aesthetically pleasing, you're the Yanks." In other words, girls vs. boys. Well, with the exception of Number 24, aka "Cut-Throat Bitch" (Anne Dudek), who requests to be with the Confederates, though they want nothing to do with her. True to form, she seeks out both Chase and Cameron for diagnostic help and a bit of rule-bending. CTB lives up to her name — especially when she doesn't want to stop an experiment... read more

"Small Worlds"

A very enjoyable episode indeed. It was interesting to see the gang battling a foe they really couldn't do anything to stop — and for that foe to be of this world, rather than alien or technological. It sort of reminded me of some of the better X-Files "creature" stories, though "Small Worlds" had the added element of filling in some of the Captain Jack backstory.In an eerie take on a bird-watching expedition, Estelle, an elderly woman with a thing for fairies, catches a few on film in the woods. Jack (after an unsettled, shirtless night spent at HQ) drags Gwen to see Estelle present her images. It seems that the two old friends have an ongoing debate as to whether fairies are good or evil, Estelle preferring to believe that they are kind and harmless (boy was she proven wrong), Jack recognizing them for old, restless earth spirits. When Gwen sees a faded photo of what looks like Jack, he explains that it was actually his father, and that his father and Estelle were inseparable... read more

House and Crew Take On a Space Case

Number 9? Number 9? The erstwhile Number 6 changed his number - and his fate, with a suggestion of tequila shots. Kal Penn by Isabella Vosmikova/Fox

Episode Recap: The Right StuffOooohhh, trippy. Gotta love an opening sequence that references both Stanely Kubrick's classic a href=" 2001: A Space Odyssey and House's acid trip last season. I'm sure synesthesia (the Patient of the Week's initial diagnosis, a condition in which she "started to hear with [her] eyes") is awfully disconcerting, but it sure looks neat.To start things off, House assigns his group of hopefuls the task of diagnosing Buddy Ebsen, the original Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz, who had to give up the role after he developed a life-threatening allergy to the costume's silver paint. But a far more interesting — and breathing, paying — test case walks in the door, in the form of an Air Force captain and NASA hopeful, who offers House $50,000 in cash to figure out what's wrong with her, on the condition of preserving her anonymity. (Apparently NASA doesn't send biological lemons into orbit.) So House introduces her to the class as Osama bin Laden and sets ... read more

Cyberwoman

And with that... we hit the first Torchwood clunker. This episode verged at times on the absurd (yes, I'm aware that it's a sci-fi series — you know what I mean) but mostly was just rather boring. For the first time I was aware that it was an hour-long show; while last week my heart was in my throat waiting to see how it turned out, this week I was sort of waiting for it to be over.The story revolved around a cybernetic menace who gave a whole new meaning to the term "bionic woman." Lisa, a gorgeous former Torchwood employee, was at some point in the organization's murky past "upgraded" with cybernetic implants to fight a gruesome battle. As the episode begins, Ianto is sneaking a doctor who specializes in such matters into the HQ basement, where he's hidden Lisa — who, in her former manifestation, was his girlfriend, and still considers herself as such. She's the last of her kind (as far as we know; please let her be the last) and only escaped because Ianto rescued her. T... read more

Let's Talk House! How Will Dr. House Torture the Wannabe Interns?

House shows off his many talents. Hugh Laurie by Isabella Vosmikova/FOX

The persnickety doctor might think he doesn't need Foreman, Chase and Cameron, but we know better. Looking forward to seeing how he struggles to solve medical mysteries without those trusty interns – and how he breaks in the new batch. What's your take? Will the would-be interns rise to the occasion? And will Dr. House learn a little humility? (Not likely!) I'll be back after the show with my full recap. Until then, let's get the conversation started! read more

"Ghost Machine"

I'm all for a quick start, and "Ghost Machine" certainly had that: Gwen and Owen (who really impressed me for the first time, but more on that later) are pursuing an alien signal through the streets of Cardiff, with Captain Jack closely following in the Torchwood-mobile. Gwen is apparently the fastest on her feet, and she catches up to the guy who's giving off the signal — only to have him slither out of his jacket and get away. Tosh convinces her that the alien signal is still with her, and Gwen fishes in the jacket pocket and finds another alien doodad. The only conclusion I can draw is that all alien creatures and artifacts are utterly irresistible. It's the technological version of last episode's hyped-up sexual pheromones: Even though you'd think she's been around such items long enough to realize not to touch the alien on/off button, she does just that anyway.She's transported to the same place, a train station, some 60 years ago. A young boy with his name pinned to his j... read more

"Day One"

From the moment that "TV-MA" popped up on the screen at the beginning of this episode, I had high hopes for the second installment of Torchwood. And I'm pleased to report I was not disappointed! I gather from some of the comments made by those of you who've seen the unedited British version of this show that it has, as I'd hoped, a real edge to it. Tonight we definitely saw that.It all started with Gwen and her boyfriend bowling and having a date night to celebrate the start of her new job in "special ops" (aka Torchwood) the next day. As they're dining alfresco, they see a hurtling ball of fire heading toward Cardiff, and she gets a text message that's pretty clear, despite its brevity: Torchwood. And just like that, she's off on her first assignment.The team arrives at the crash site and displaces the authorities who've already moved in (it's pretty impressive how an organization that's completely outside the government hierarchy can exert such influence, making police and militar... read more

"Everything Changes"

Good evening, Torchwood watchers, and welcome to the blog of this BBC show's American premiere. Let's get right to it and meet the cast of characters: The star, of course, is Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), whom some of you may know already from his appearances on Doctor Who. Charming, handsome and unabashedly bisexual (or perhaps more aptly "omnisexual"), he's the head of a group of investigators out to solve crime of the strangest sort in Cardiff, Wales. His team consists of Owen Harper (Burn Gorman), a scientist who apparently enjoys the nightlife; Toshiko Sato (Naoko Mori), the technology gal with a penchant for classic literature; Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd), Torchwood's "cleanup man," who makes sure the team has all they need; and Suzie Costello (Indira Varma), Captain Jack's No. 2, who, as we'll see, has a hand in the evening's serial killings.Oh, and let's not forget Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), the cop with a seemingly ordinary life who finds herself swept up in th... read more

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