Okay, guys, I’ve got a confession.
Until about one month ago, I’d never seen an episode of Torchwood!
I’d heard of it, of course, and I’d seen the team in Stolen Earth/Journeys End – but I’d never had much interest in watching the show. All the sex, violence, swearing – To me, it just didn’t seem like Doctor Who. However, I started trying to rectify that- and began to watch from Series One Episode One, to Miracle Day Episode Ten. At time of writing, I’m approaching the end of Series Two – and by far, my favourite character is Ianto.
Oh, sweet Ianto – forever loyal, and a bloody good tea boy. Always supportive of Jack, and even though he doesn’t have the biggest part in most episodes, he shines through in each performance he gives. Now, as I said, I’m only at the end of Series Two – but unfortunately, I know Ianto’s fate – his death. I don’t know how he’ll die, but I know its coming. I’m sure to be very, very sad.
But enough of worrying about the future – let’s look back at the past, and a particularly Ianto heavy episode – Cyberwoman!
We first see Ianto acting behind his teams back, sneakily looking after and ‘repairing’ his girlfriend Lisa. We discover that she died during the events of Doomsday, and Ianto, and other scientists, have been using the left over technology to keep her alive. But no longer as a human – as a Cyberwoman. ‘Lisa’ is out of control, killing the scientists and threatening the team – but can Ianto let her go?
The dilemma here is brilliant. While we as the viewer know that Lisa is dangerous, we side with Ianto, and feel sorry for him when things don’t go to plan. It’s an emotional struggle – one that is left hanging in the air, not only for this episode, but also for the next few – Since we’ve grown to love Ianto so much in the preceding stories, it really is devastating seeing him so sad and depressed here.
Both Gareth David Lloyd and John Barrowman are amazing in this episode – we understand the stakes, and the emotion almost tears through their performances. As the two are usually given comedy, it’s lovely to see them here at their dramatic best.
The show is big on gore, especially when the Cyberwoman takes the body of the Pizza Delivery girl – it’s shocking, and makes you side with Torchwood even more. When they do shoot her it’s devastating, for them, and Ianto – you can really feel the betrayal.
As an episode Cyberwoman does have several flaws. Areas of the story are quite repetitive, especially in the middle when we're presented with several instances of ‘Oh no, we’re trapped, but we can escape’. I also dislike the design of the Cyberwoman, but I suppose that's mostly just due to my personal opinion.
That being said, all in all Cyberwoman is a good episode, with a character based debate at its core. While it’s not the most fun, exciting installment of Torchwood that I have seen so far, it's still great drama, and a brilliant choice if you want to explore the background and mindset of everyone’s favourite Torchwood character, Ianto Jones.
By Michael Allan.