Sorry about the delay! Blame an unusally high amount of work, sickness and a damn shoddy internet connection that's only just been fixed. Excuses in other words.
Here are the winners of the "Torchwood (+1)" competition I launched earlier this month - in no particular order:
Lauren Williams - OK, why do I love Torchwood so much...? Just because it rocks! The 17th October is when Everything Changes. It's about 10.30pm and I've just been out for a meal with some old school friends. Nothing particularly special. But then everything changed. It's before the days where i am internet-aholic, and 10.30 is usually too late to be switching my laptop on. But for some reason, I put it on anyway - I have an e-mail.! And it's from the BBC...!
'Congratulations you have won a pair of tickets to the special secret screening of Torchwood On: Wednesday 18th October At: Odeon Manchester.'
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay! Trying to get in touch with my friend at nearly 11pm to arrange something for the very next day isn't easy. Never have I typed so fast! But we manage to sort everything out. We skip tutorial at college the next day (zzzzzzzzz) and head off to Manchester.
Those tickets are probably the best thing I've EVER won! From that day on, nothing is ever the same again. On 29th October, my friends and I book panto tickets. John Barrowman in Jack and the Beanstalk for 30th December. A week later, I discover Torchwood.tv...and it's chat room. I log on every sunday and chat until midnight. And then return the next night, and the next night, and the next night. "Springmaus, are you always here?" Yes!
21st January 2007 - Captain Jack Harkness turns up in panto!--The weeks zoom by, panto comes and goes, and 2 days later, so does the Torchwood series 1 finale. But still, for several weeks after, we stay on chat :) 9th of January, we decide to book for panto again! 21st January 1941 Captain Jack Harkness failed to report for duty, but...21st January 2007, we find him! What a great day to see him in panto!
Over the next few months, we meet LOADS of people! 24th February we meet Gareth David-Lloyd at the Midland Expo in Telford. 23rd March, we go to see John Barrowman filming Would I Lie To You, and then the next day, meet Naoko Mori (and Billie Piper). And then 28th April we FINALLY get to actually meet John himself, singing the Torchwood audiobooks in London
Torchwood - Arming the human race against the future--Ahh The Future!!
This year isnt over yet! We're going to see Gareth in concert with James Marsters (yay!) and going to see John in panto again. I'm taking my little sister as a surprise for her birthday. Front row! And then, we're going again to the finale. And by then...hopefully....we'll have series 2!! I like the future. The future's bright! The future's.....
♫red and yellow and green and brown and....♫
So, how much Torchwood impacted on my life? Just a bit (!) And why am I worthy above everyone else? I'm not. But I would like to say a BIIIIIG thankyou to Kezzy and Kelly and OJ and of course Anthony and 'Kurly' for a brilliant year at tw.tv and on chat, and heres to another!
(...and yes i DO still have my email for the screening tickets) :D
Magz Wiseman - I love Torchwood – plain and simple. It's got everything that I like from aliens, human stories, horror stories and a secret organization that has the best SUV in existence! I passed my driving test many years ago (yes, rather too many than I'd care to admit to!) However, after I got my license I didn't drive and over the years my confidence just went away. I've wanted to drive again but my nerve always failed me and I kept making excuses.
So, what has this to with anything I hear you cry?! Well, this will seem a bit odd, but thanks to Torchwood, I'm now getting some confidence and I'm actually willingly going out in my car! You see, after I watch any episodes, particularly ones which features any of the team driving – (especially the all wondrous SUV), for some bizarre reason, I seem to get a confidence boost and I can get behind the wheel.
So, all I need do is summon up a bit of imagination – well, OK, quite a bit of imagination, and suddenly my little dark gray Punto is the all mighty SUV and I'm on a mission! Yes – it may be crazy, but it works!So thank you Torchwood - you've got me up and mobile! Oh, and did I mention that it's also the best series EVER?!
Rob Hoitt - I remember seeing my first episode of Doctor Who. It was the 'Talons of Wang Chiang' with Tom Baker which was rebroadcast on my local public television station. I was 8, and I was hooked. As I grew into my teenage years, my obsession with all things Who grew. I got the distinct pleasure to meet Patrick Troughton when I was 15, and when the BBC said that the program was going into hiatus in the late 80's I was blessed to have the opportunity to correspond with Colin Baker and Anthony Ainley. Both expressed hope that the hiatus would end, and Who would return. And it did, but soon, even with a new Doctor the end came all too quickly.
After college, I got married and end enjoyed my old Who episodes on my VCR. But then Fox announced a Who movie, and the possibility of a new series... It was like an old friend had returned, albeit with a very bizzare TARDIS that looked more like a dungeon with flaming torches in the rooms, but it was still an old friend (with very poor fashion sense.) But the movie didn't garner new fans here, and again I was forced to enjoy my videotaped Who memories...
But then many years later, new hope arose. A new Who series... But not to be shown here in the US. In today's internet age, limitations were overcome, and a new Who was in my home.
And then, Torchwood... Something new, but tied to the familiar... Woah, it was edgy, it was raw. But it was good. I was as hooked as I was when I discovered Who for the first time. Now with 13 episode behind me, my family is longing for more. Bring on more weevils! Bring on more cyberwomen! Bring on more really big scary monsters that will bring about the end of the universe! Just stop killing Suzie! (She's beginning to look pretty moldy after being bumped off a couple times...)
Am I worthy of a prize for my obsessions? Who knows, maybe not, but either way I've had a great ride with both Who and Torchwood, and am looking forward to the future of both series.(BTW, If I am worthy, I'll go for the mystery... After all, it wouldn't be fun if I knew everything!)
Salina Conlan - “Torchwood, outside the government, beyond the police. The 21st century is when everything changes, and you've gotta be ready.” -Jack Harkness. This is when everything changes. There is a fantastic wind in the air -the wind of change, as they say- that originates from the pen of Russell T. Davies and carries a message of realistic acceptance of all the differences in the world around us. Torchwood is a beacon for not only gays and lesbians, but bisexuals, a severely underrepresented group in media.
As a bisexual, Jack is my hero. Not only is he open about what he likes, he treats being that way as completely normal which, throughout the series, has an effect on the rest of the team that makes all of them more open. Sometimes the characters make poor romantic choices, but it applies to gay and straight alike on the show and reflects the real-life difficulties of romantic endeavors in general.
I will always respect the writers for sticking to realistic situations instead of trying to make every same sex relationship work out because of some pro-homosexual agenda.
The future that Russell T Davies paints for the human race is one where we have become all-accepting and discrimination doesn't even make sense anymore. I would love to live in that future and maybe, if the American audience is affected by Torchwood as I have been, we will all be steps closer to that reality.
When I say affected, I mean that, after watching a season of Torchwood, I actually forgot that what happened on the show was revolutionary and taboo on many other programs (especially true for American TV). Foolish me, I actually started to believe it was normal, because in the Torchwood universe, it is.
Aside from the often discussed sexual buzz, Torchwood is well written, with a coherent universe that is a fan writer's absolute playground. I've heard so many people talk about how terrible Torchwood is and every single one of them, when I've asked, only think so because they are either closed-minded or they don't understand what is happening in the stories. I hear people complain “why did so-and-so do that?” But if they'd pay attention to the whole show that question is easily answered.
Beyond the show are the fantastic extended universe tidbits that were released on the hub website over the course of Torchwood's first run. These also play into the very complete world that has been created by the writers that I absolutely love. Branching off of that, I've written some Torchwood stories like many a fan, including a novel in progress that I want more than anything to get published, though the chances are slim to impossible.
I've adopted Ianto as the main character I write, and with four really good friends we delve into the interactions between the torchwood team with our extensive online writing project called the SHI. SHI stands for Secondary Hub Interface and we like to fill in gaps between episodes and we also write up case reports. The main page is located in live journal, under the title TORCHWOOD3.
We each have team email addresses and screen names for the community that I set up myself (both because I'm doing the things Ianto would do and because to start it was only the group's Jack and I that worked on the community). It's been a really interesting thing to work on and I've had a lot of fun with it. I even left a reply as Ianto on the BBC America Captain's Blog.
The creativity doesn't end at writing. I've also made a music video based on Cyberwoman which is up on YouTube, drawn various fan arts, gathered Ianto's outfits together (because the lot of us are also costumers) and when I heard that some of the actual crew of Torchwood was going to be at Comic Con I made a replica of the resurrection gauntlet that was very well received by special effects man Matt O'Toole who thought it was “very cool.”
I also geeked out a lot over Chris Chibnall being there because, after all, he created my girlfriend (Chris Chibnall wrote Cyberwoman) and I got the entire panel's autographs because the crew is just as awesome as the actors. The best thing of all at Comic Con was that we had a whole Torchwood costume group together and we were such a hit!
We made friends with the people at BBC America who really loved our costumes and were awesome enough to post them on their website! The panelists also thought our costumes were awesome and Chris Chibnall himself took pictures of us that he said he was going to show around to the cast and crew! (then I got a pic with him).
A photo taken of us on a camera phone got sent back to BBC America headquarters, circulated around the office and is now up on a wall somewhere because they felt we were “inspiring”. The BBC people needed release forms signed and I -being Ianto- organized everything between the 8 of us (one team, an extra Jack, a Rose Tyler, and a Suzie) and the marketing group at the BBC.
The awesomeness continues because they put our picture in a commercial advertising the American website that aired on national TV, care of BBC America TV. It's a lot to have gotten to experience, especially considering I'm locked over here in America. Other, slightly less creative endeavors include the yahoo group I've started and it's sister live journal community, both of which are called TorchwoodUSA.
I go around the internet collecting any information that either pertains to the US or that US fans can get access to and post it to the group for them. For example, I let them know that this site was holding an essay contest. We've also had some Torchwood themed parties and outings that have been really fun.
For the season finale/new years eve, we got together and had a marathon of the whole series with Chinese food, costumes, and a never emptying pot of coffee thanks to yours truly. We've gone out in costume a few times and had dinner in character, er... I mean costume.
At the Los Angeles Doctor Who convention, Gallifrey One, we were the only people in Torchwood costumes and by the end of the con (that we volunteered to help at) the lot of us were known as the “Torchwood kids.”
I'm a big John Barrowman fan. His personality and attitude are constantly inspiring. It's one thing to see a character say “I'm proud to be me,” but John is the real person who lives that way. I've followed John's official website, and been on the yahoo group for a while. Currently I have a pair of panto fliers for his Aladdin show that are part of a contest the site is holding.
It can be hard being a fan of someone so far away, especially when he is so accessible to his fans in the UK, but to put it simply, he's worth it. When I come across his CDs I buy them- though they are surprisingly hard to get. I also picked up the issue of OUT with him on the cover. I would show the same support for the rest of the cast but there is even less available involving them in the US.
I'd say I have enough love for and have invested enough in Torchwood that I am in the realm of being worthy of a prize. Whatever it is would be treasured with my other really hard to come by bits of Torchwood merchandise that I've managed to gather in America. Not only do I love what I get from the show, I've already told the contacts at BBC America that I'd be happy to give something back if I could.
So, I'm going to take a risk (even though the Radio Times magazine DOES sound tempting) and opt for the mystery prize. The good one that is, haha. As long as it's Torchwood, I'll love it.
Torchwood is by far my favorite show. I talk about it, I write about it, I love it and occasionally I live it. Thanks to this show I have both found and become close to an awesome group of friends and had experiences that I'm going to look back on for the rest of my life and go, “That was so awesome.” I'm completely thrilled with the reception that wide-spread BBC America viewers have had to the show and I constantly put creative work and energy into this fandom because it makes me happy.
If you can find someone who loves Torchwood more than I do, I'd love to meet them because I'm sure we'd be fantastic friends! You may think it sad or obsessive (because I do look at myself sometimes and wonder how I can love a TV show so much) but there hasn't been a day that has gone by in the past 11 months that Torchwood hasn't at least crossed my mind once.
Never before had I found a show that I felt such a creative connection to, meant so much to me because of ways it connected to my life, and that I've had such a positive response to my contributions in the fan community. I can't wait for January to roll around and bring Torchwood back. It's the 21st century, and if I'm anything, I am ready.
Hannah Gardiner - I was already a big fan of Doctor Who before Torchwood or The Sarah Jane Adventures had hit our screens. I used to record episodes and watch them till I fell asleep. But as soon as Torchwood came out, I was hooked. I bought magazines with anything Torchwood based, cut articles out and stuck them upon my wall at home.
Now because of Russell T Davies, my dream has to be acting (on Torchwood or Doctor Who or Sarah Jane Adventures) Although I am only 14 years old, I don't think that can stop my dream. I have just started year 10, and my expectations for drama are exceedingly high. Many people have discouraged my dream with comments like "It's not a secure job," and "You probably won't even get a part.". I do take in these comments but I still think that if I try, I could become the next lucky person to act on these shows. That's my dream.
I'll contact all the winners within the next few days and tell them what prize they've won, and when they can hope to get it by. Thanks to everybody who did enter - whether by email or via the dot/TV Facebook group - it was an absolute pleasure reading what you had to say about your favourite show. Woodies rule. 'Nuff said.