Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Half a million American Woodies can't be wrong

The rating data is out for Torchwood's premiere on BBCA and it broke a record for the station. 500,000 statesiders tuned in for 'Everything Changes' which are great numbers for the relatively small cable channel.

The media coverage in the US has been very favorable with the major problem being that people want to see it on a higher-profile network. Thanks to Jim who sent me the following E-mail compiling some of the good reviews:

Hollywood Reporter

"Bottom Line: A crackling good, brilliantly conceived sci-fi series that targets actual grownups."

"As sci-fi fans go, I'm what you might call, um, not one. I'm not big on the whole aliens/fantasy thing in general, so it takes something particularly enthralling in this genre to grab my attention and keep it. This is the highest praise I can give to
"Torchwood," a new BBC America sci-fi/thriller that's so good and unsettling and creepy that even grumps like myself can't help but be in its thrall...

"Compelling, convoluted and camp all at once, "Torchwood" tells the tale of a British crimefighting team that works independently of all law enforcement and government oversight....

LA Times

"'Torchwood' is indescribably delicious"

"... dark and splendid ... often funny ... beautifully shot... one of the strengths of "Torchwood," and of British drama in general, [is] that even in the grip of the fantastic it doesn't undervalue the ordinary."

TV Guide: Matt Roush

"Torchwood: TV's Sexiest Alien Hunters"

"Over the years, I've somehow resisted the lure of the iconic British fantasy Doctor Who, in all of its incarnations. So imagine my surprise to be hooked on Torchwood, a cheeky and often startlingly adult spin-off.

These are the provocative adventures of Torchwood, a super-secret team of dashing agents who specialize in containing alien threats. Think MI-5 in cahoots with The X-Files. "


"The Brits have seldom excelled in science fiction relative to their strides in other genres, but this semi-spinoff of the new "Dr. Who" from its writer, Russell T. Davies, yields "X-Files"-ish charms with "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" bite -- a smart,
occasionally salacious hour wryly populated by cheesy monsters.

"Davies and the other lead writer on the series, Chris Chibnall ("Life on Mars"), play much of it for laughs, but there's a bit of an edge in this British-Canadian coproduction as well.

"Briskly paced ... "Torchwood" has the fixings of a thinking-man's sci-fi series that doesn't take itself too seriously."

Kansas City Star

The two best serial dramas to arrive on American television in 2007 so far have been “Damages,” a thriller on FX starring Glenn Close, and “Mad Men,” a period piece set in 1960 Manhattan on AMC. That number
just grew to three with “Torchwood,” a “Doctor Who” spin-off arriving at 8 p.m. Saturday on BBC America.

Airing on cable, “Torchwood” is the best TV show debuting here in September — the month the networks used to own.

“Torchwood” is so much more tricked-out with talent and visual wizardry, moves at such breakneck speed and makes such demands on its viewers that it leaves most American TV shows in its dust.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Torchwood, BBC America's latest import, which debuts tonight at 9, is a magnificent creature.

By turns super-slick, raw, bizarre, hilarious, spooky, scary and sublimely sexy, the sci-fi show is about a five-member group of supersmart heroes who greet, battle, and steal technology from aliens - a la Men In Black. (Rest assured, it's a million times better and cooler than MIB.)

Torchwood doesn't disappoint: After tonight's slam-bang premier, subsequent episodes only get more outrageous.

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The special effects are generally decent and the writing and characterizations leaps and bounds better than in "Flash Gordon," "Eureka" or "The Dresden Files," to name just a few pathetic contemporary sci-fi shows. "Torchwood" is an adult sci-fi show with a sense of humor.

Seattle Post Intelligencer

"Torchwood" thrillingly sails into the darker side of the universe. Doing so creates a world underneath our world that's far more dangerous but, truth be told, a hell of a ride.

Harkness has always been a well of secrets, but this series makes you care about finding out what they are.

There's a lot to love about "Torchwood," especially for fans of the early days of "The X-Files," when it was more of a clever horror anthology series and the alien conspiracy had yet to take over the plot.

San Jose Mercury news

Just when you think you'll be able to concentrate on the networks' new fall shows up pops something new and fresh and captivating on cable: "Torchwood," an imaginative, wickedly funny spinoff from the revived and revitalized "Doctor Who," which drew critical raves and big audiences when it aired in Great Britain last year. The networks also have some promising
fantasy comedy-dramas coming up this season - ABC's "Pushing Daisies," the CW's "Reaper," NBC's "Chuck" - but "Torchwood" ranks right with them.

As written by Russell T Davies, who revived "Doctor Who" and created the original "Queer as Folk," and Chris Chibnall (the fine "Life on Mars"), "Torchwood" is grand fun and great adult entertainment. Like "Buffy" and "Angel," shows to which it owes as much to as it does to "Doctor Who," it's loaded with cultural references, rapid-fire dialogue and self-aware wit.
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