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The Teflon Tart


Here are just a few names I collected from the Web describing the Teflon Tart, RTD's Little Fav, Gwen Cooper;

Saint Gwen the Awesome
Lady GwenGwen
Doctor Gwen
Queen Gwen the Magnificent
Tooth Fairy

Ianto Wannabe

Her Majesty The Queen of Mary-Sues
La Femme (who won't stay) Fatale
Lady Hypocrisy
She-Who-Gets-Her-Feet-Under-Every-Table.

Biach!

Teflon Tart

Teflon Gwen

Gwenzilla

The Gweninator

Gwennie Sue

Gwennypoo

Princess Gwenypoo

Gwen-Bloody-Cooper

Little Miss Me-Me-Me

Who?
Bazooka Cooper

And this is the lead character of Miracle Whip?  The words 'crash' and 'burn' come to mind.


A little ditty to someone shitty


I wrote a little song to express my extreme dislike of the Gwen Cooper character from Torchwood:

(Sing to Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly)


If you knew Gwennie Sue
Then you'd know why I feel blue
About Gwennie, 'bout Gwennie Sue
Oh well, I loathe you, Gwen
Yes, I hate you Gwennie Sue

Gwennie Sue, Gwennie Sue
Ratty, catty, batty, bratty, Gwennie Sue
Oh, that Gwennie, that Gwennie Sue
Oh, well, I loathe you Gwen
Don’t need you, Gwennie Sue

I hate you Gwennie Sue
With a hate so rare and true
Oh, Gwennie, that Gwennie Sue
Oh, well, I loathe you Gwen
Don’t want you, Gwennie Sue

Gwennie Sue, Gwennie Sue
Oh how my guts spew for you
Oh, Gw-hen-y Sue, that Gw-hen-y Sue
Oh, well, I loathe you Gwen
Don’t need you, Gwennie Sue
Oh, well, I loathe you Gwen
Don’t want you, Gwennie Sue


If.....


First, let me say that I am not one of those fans that wishes that RTD be decapitated, disembowelled or dead.   I can separate fiction from real life tradegy perfectly well. 

However, if someone were to send Mr Davies on a one way trip to Antarctica on the bigger, bolder, Titanic Two, I would be forever in their debt.

This is written in the same 'tongue in cheek' fashion as Rusty's SFX Awards speech, in which he refered to Gareth David-Lloyd as his 'house boy' and suggested that he 'bend over'.  I imagined RTD giving a candid newspaper interview and threw in a few phrases that Mr Davies has, in fact, used. 

I believe that it is morally wrong to take advantage of a person who is in a less favourable postition than myself.  Therefore, after RTD's SFX speech, I feel no guilt whatsoever about writng this.

If you can't take it, Rusty, don't give it out.





The Gay Wannabe Chronicle
RTD’s New Torchwood
by Ian Taviewer

 
Ian: Mr Davies, you must be pleased and relieved that Starz has made the decision to joint fund Torchwood with the BBC.

RTD: Pleased, of course.  Relieved, certainly not!  After the huge ratings success  of Children of Earth, there was never any doubt that the series would continue.  Children of Earth was, after all, a work of genius.  I know, I wrote it.  It proved once and for all that what Torchwood fans want is a global, Gwen-centred show in which Torchwood saves the world.

Ian: Not everyone was happy with Children of Ea…….

RTD: Nine women.  Nine.  They were the only dissenters. Anyone who failed to recognise the quality of Children of Earth, and the pivotal nature of Gwen Cooper as audience perspective, is no more than a hysteric, I’m afraid. (smiles condescendingly)

Ian: So you don’t acknowledge that there was a backlash to Children of Earth and the killing of Ianto Jones?

RTD:  There was never any problem with Ianto’s death.  It added drama, all the fans know that and applaud my decision -  except those nine who are trying to sabotage my career by rigging polls, tweeting manically and hacking articles on the Internet.  Dead is Dead in Sci-Fi.  Everyone knows that. (makes subject closed face)

Ian: I hear that Series Four is going to be much more international than the previous series.  Will any filming be done in Wales?

RTD: Naturally!  Torchwood is a Welsh show after all.  There will be a 5 minute scene at the beginning of the first episode that is set within Cardiff airport.  Gwen will be saying an emotional farewell to Rhys and her beautiful baby as she prepares to depart in order to save the world again.  That should keep the fans happy.

Ian: And what about Captain Jack?  You haven’t mentioned him yet.

RTD: Jack will always have a role in Torchwood alongside Gwen.

Ian: Can you tell me what that will be?

RTD: (hesitates) I’ll think of something.

Ian: Will he have a new love interest this series?

RTD:  New?  Jack only ever had one love interest – Gwen.  He has always been in love with her.  All the men are – Jack, Owen, Rhys, PC Andy….

Ian: All except Ianto.

RTD:  Well, obviously!  Ianto was gay!

Ian: But in the episode Cyberwoman, Ianto was willing to give his life for his girlfriend.

RTD: What girlfriend?  I think that you are confusing canon with fanfic there, Ian! (pats my knee)

Ian: Series one and two made it quite clear that Ianto was bisexual, surely?

RTD: No.  Gay.  All of the other non-Gwen characters were bisexual.  They all had meaningless dalliances with same sex characters.

Ian: Didn’t Gwen kiss another woman in….

RTD: Under alien influence!  Gwen is straight.  That is why we had to have such an ethical, snow white character cheat on her less than perfect boyfriend.   We couldn't have her accused of smelling like a queer, now could we?   Obviously, Gwen is the straightest person on the team; straight sexually, straight morally, straight emotionally.   Face it, Ian, Jack spent three series throwing himself at her, yes?  But she never betrayed her beloved partner, Rhys, with the Captain, now did she?

Ian: Well…..

RTD: Exactly!  Now to get back to Series Four.   It will be an explosive, fun-filled ride, travelling breakneck through all of the most exciting themes in sci-fi; government conspiracy, child abuse, tortured heroes……  In this series there will be no irritating side stories focusing on transient secondary characters, none of the needless distractions that forced attention away from the main character.   Yes, Gwenwood will be the pinnacle of my career!

Ian:  Don’t you mean Torchwood?

RTD: That’s what I said!

Another BBC letter


As a teacher of Secondary age pupils, I feel that I must complain about the labelling of a character as ‘queer’, in the recent production of Torchwood: Children of Earth.  As an educator, I am in the position of strongly opposing the judging of any person merely on the grounds of race, gender, religion, colour or sexuality etc.  The character, Ianto, forcefully objected to this labelling by Clem, but was given no back up by his friends and colleagues, whom he had saved from death only 24 hours earlier.  Indeed, when Clem went on to state that he could smell that Ianto was ‘queer’, Gwen simply smiled tolerantly, indicating that Clem’s assessment was acceptable.

 

It was not.

 

The pupils in the school in which I work are mostly of the age to watch TW.  Many are taking the their first steps to adulthood, discovering themselves and the attitudes of the world around them.  When a global broadcaster such as the BBC allows this prejudice, it makes the job of people such as myself, who are in the forefront of the fight against stereotyping, more difficult.  By stating that homosexuality can be smelt, you have handed the intolerant of society a new weapon; if any of our pupils complain that the more narrow-minded amongst the students are telling them that they ‘smell gay’ I shall know who is to blame. 

 

Secondly, both as a teacher and a fan of the show from the start, I must express my total disappointment at the way the BBC ended the Janto relationship.  I applauded the BBC for initially making the lead male character bisexual – very unusual in the TV genre.  It also introduced a gay relationship into the macho world of sci-fi – rare indeed.  Put the two together and I think the Janto relationship may even have been unique.  It certainly knocked stereotyping for six.  What a great example it was to present to those teens who are convinced all homosexual males are camp and cowards; regrettably there are still all too many of them, exclusively boys in my 15 years teaching experience (this fact is unfortunately sexist, but significant to a point I make later).  I had hoped for a definite development, as was happening in the novels and audio books.  Certainly the BBC, I reasoned, wouldn’t cast aside a pairing that had won awards for ‘Best Couple’ and ‘Best Kiss’?  Would the makers of TW ignore the fact that Jack and Ianto are the fan’s favourite couple (judging by the fanfic on Live Journal, videos on YouTube, avatars and fan-art)?  Surely not?

 

I was wrong.

 

I read on the web, before the start of series 3 that Ianto was to be ‘marginalized’. To say that was overstating the case – but not by much.  He had about half the screen time Gwen did.  Even Jack, supposedly the main character, fared poorly compared to Gwen.  Relationship-wise, from the beginning of episode 2, Gwen and Rhys were hardly apart; from the end of episode one, Jack and Ianto were hardly together.  When they were, where was the flirtatious humour of the previous series, the masculine tenderness?  Almost imperceptible. 

I might remind you, BBC, that within the audio books, ‘The Sin Eaters’ and ‘In The Shadows’ – both BBC productions! – Jack acknowledges (albeit to himself) that he loves Ianto, that Ianto knows him better than anyone, that he (Jack) needs Ianto more than he cares to admit.  Within the Radio 4 play ‘Dead Line’, Jack tells Ianto that he is not just ‘a blip in time’ suggesting that he is significant.  Where was this in CoE?  Indeed, Jack seemed to treat Ianto as almost an inconvenience, rather than as the best friend of previous series.  Could it be that the BBC knows that only the true fans, who are perfectly comfortable with the couple, and indeed adore the relationship, are going to buy novels? 

 

Jack’s attitude in no way mirrors the stance he displayed in series 1 and 2 in which he had no problem in flaunting his sexuality and boasting about previous relationships.  Are we to believe that this 51st century character, dubbed omni-sexual, would have a problem telling his dying boyfriend that he loved him?   I think back to the Vicar of Dibley when Gerry tells Mrs Cropley that she was a truly great cook!  If someone is dying you tell you love them - even if you don’t mean it!  For the series to go mainstream on the flagship channel, it was obviously deemed ‘too gay’ for the lead male character to say ‘I love you’ to another man.  Face it, a scene was cut out of, and ideas were ignored, in series two for being too ‘camp’.

I was beginning to suspect that the BBC had capitulated to the homophobes by the end of episode 3.  By the end of episode 4, I was sure of it.  Why else was such a complex, fascinating character given such a meaningless, anti-climatic death?  Drama? There was already plenty of it.  To prove that working for Torchwood is a dangerous business?  Figured that out from Owen and Tosh’s deaths, plus the exploding Hub, gunfire, chases……. 

 

There is only one explanation that fits the facts; the BBC were afraid that an obvious, loving gay relationship between two heroic male characters would turn off heterosexual men (I direct you to paragraph 4) and homophobes of both genders and therefore reduce ratings.

 

 Am I reading too much into the situation?  Consider the evidence –

 

  • of two bisexual characters, one has pointless death, the other is emotionally disembowelled.  The straight character, with the heterosexual relationship, comes away unscathed, with husband, child and life. 
  • Ianto displayed only integrity and loyalty; he died.  Jack, a womanising man-eater, remained true to him despite temptation; he is ruined.  Gwen, who commits adultery with one man while desperately wanting to commit it with another, gets off Scott-free. 
  • I refer back to the screen time afforded to Ianto (and even Jack) in contrast to that of Gwen and also to Jack/Ianto compared to Gwen/Rhys - an association that had already been done to death by the end of series 2.
  • Ianto, has been portrayed as bisexual in series 1 and 2 as well as the novels, audio books and radio plays.  Yet he claims when questioned about his relationship with Jack that, ‘It’s not men, it’s just him, only him’.  I refer you to the novel ‘Almost Perfect in which Ianto not only flirts with another man, but kisses him!  I can only assume that the statement made in episode 1,CoE was made to dilute his sexuality by making him appear straight, except in the case of Jack. 
  • Finally, I draw your attention to that fact that the Hub was destroyed via Jack, the SUV stolen via Ianto while Gwen – well, she was in no way to blame for the destruction of Torchwood 3, bless her. 

 

OK, it’s circumstantial, but damning; the evidence suggests that the BBC did not want a lead male character to have a caring non-heterosexual relationship on it’s key channel.   BBC3, no problem – call it a cult programme.  BBC2 – well OK, it’s arty.  But BBC1 – no way!  Let’s face it how any other lead male non-heterosexual characters in the action genre has BBC1 aired?  I can’t actually think of any. Ianto and Janto were hugely popular amongst fans; the campaign to resurrect Ianto proves that.  But, well ratings are more important than fans and certainly more essential than integrity after all.  Will there be a series 4 on BBC 1 with Jack in a nice safe, straight relationship?  With the sainted Gwen, perhaps? 

 

BBC, as a teacher who is trying to help young people find their way in society, I congratulate you for rewarding the adulterer and punishing the faithful (sarcasm).  Janto was a useful tool for discrediting stereotypes; it was very popular with the young ladies too!  As a small protest, I shall send the money I would have used on the DVD to www.justgiving.com/iantojones partly because Children in Need is a worthy cause, but also to thank Gareth David Lloyd for giving us such a wonderful character, warm, wise, helpful, brave and caring.  In being sensitive yet strong, he presented a far better role model than the egotistical Gwen and I dearly hope that the campaign for his resurrection is successful.  Only by bringing him back will the BBC prove to me, and many fellow fans, that it did not bow to homophobic, heterosexual pressure and dispose of a fascinating character for the sake of ratings.

 

PS – I’m not gay, just damned annoyed.


A reply from the BBC


T2009083009WP50126279526

BBC’s reply - Thanks for your e-mail regarding 'Torchwood: Children of Earth'.

I understand you believe that Iano's sexuality was brought to the forefront during this series

Ianto's sexuality has always been a part of his character on the show and there have been references to this since the first series.  We don?t believe that the references in the programme were ill suited or inappropriate and the show absolutely adhered to our guidelines for a post-watershed drama.

Yes, I agree that Ianto's sexuality was part of his character - part.  The BBC chose to highlight only that aspect of his nature. 

What about his borderline photographic memory?  No mention. 

His ability to fix almost anything?  No mention. 

YOU DIDN’T EVEN GET THE CHARACTER’S NAME RIGHT IN YOUR REPLY!

So there were references since the first series?  Please tell me in which other episodes, apart from CoE, he was referred to as 'gay boy', 'bender' or 'pervert'?  When was he ever asked if he 'takes it up the ass' in series 1 or 2, which focused much more strongly on the Jack/Ianto relationship? 

 

What I don't understand, and would really like explained, is why after making a character's sexuality so matter of fact for 2 series (and the resultant spin-off media), is his sexuality highlighted in every episode?  Not just in the first ‘outing ‘ to his family in Ep1, which, played for laughs though it was, still showed that his family loved and accepted him.  It carried on.  And on.  Guidelines or not, this was a total departure from the mature and progressive way in which the character was shown previously. 

 

Therefore  I want – no, demand  – answers to these questions –


Why was Ianto called these names in CoE when there was no previous homophobic language in series 1 or 2?
Why was Jack Harness, omnisexual swinger, in receipt of no such branding while Ianto ‘It’s him only him’ Jones is ‘outed’ in every episode?

How come Clem’s sense of smell identified Ianto as ‘queer’ but not Jack?
How did the labelling move the plot forward?

When did the BBC decide that a character needs to be constantly defined by their sexuality?

 

I include an e-mail sent to me in reply to the BBC’s previous answer.  Perhaps it will indicate to the corporation how much they have upset some of its viewers.

 

I hate the sexuality bit of this reply. The beauty of Ianto's sexuality is that it's always been there, but it was never noticeable. He just was, and that was good enough. That is what made it progressive - we didn't need to ask, we didn't need to examine, we didn't need to shout it from the rooftops, because it wasn't important. And it was its lack of importance to the show and to him as a character that made HIM so important in that respect.

The references were not references. In the world I come from "bender", "taking it up the arse", "pervert", "queer" and asking "was he gay?" after death are insulting proclamations, not happy acknowledgements of sexuality; it's almost as if the BBC were expecting the LGBT world to fall to their knees in praise at their handling of Ianto as an "other than straight" character. I hated it. If we're gonna have Ianto sexuality advertised and put up in neon lights on billboards, then you have to counter that, and they didn't.

Jack's previously overt sexual flexibility was dumbed down to the point where, actually, it wasn't mentioned at all. And this stinks of the BBC being afraid to openly claim Jack as other than straight - note how they were presented with the opportunity for Jack, an incredibly masculine, heroic and influential character to say "I love you" to another man, and they passed it by. Only Ianto actually openly proclaimed that he loved another man.

The fact that Ianto was set up as "the gay one" right before he died is what we find offensive. Viewers who began with COE (I'm not even calling it Series 3 anymore, coz Torchwood it ain't) will remember him as "that gay one", and not for the reasons that truly devoted fans loved him so much.

And that is a step backwards in all respects.

 

Or how about this one?

 

Yeah, Ianto was used as a "Jack prop", there merely as a ploy with which to screw with Jack's emotions. Ianto "had to die" to send Jack over the edge, Ianto "had to die" so that Jack would kill Stephen, Ianto "had to die" as retribution for Jack's previous wrongdoings.

That Ianto isn't perceived as a character in his own right by the very people who created him appals and shocks me. And I shan't be lending my viewing finger to anything else produced by people who have so little respect or forethought for their entire cast of characters.

 

I AGREE.

 

As a teacher of Secondary pupils who are all of an age to have watched this program, I found this labelling deplorable.  If Ianto had been of mixed race, would Clem have said ‘He’s a nigger, I can smell it’.  No.  Even though the term was as widely used as ‘queer’ in the world of Clem’s youth, where mentally he obviously still was, to have used that disgusting word on TV would have been rightly condemned.  But it’s OK to label homosexuals?  No BBC.  It isn’t.

 

XXXXXXXXXXXX


RTD


 

Well today I was insulted by a senior BBC writer; that’s a first!  Of course it wasn’t personal, it was aimed at Torchwood fans in general.  He suggested that myself and fellow fans admired the character of ‘Ianto’ merely for Gareth David Lloyd’s being cute.  RTD’s condescension is sublime.  I have watched Supernatural as he suggests.  I stopped viewing when I felt that the storylines were becoming less tight and focussed; I like strong characters and well-built plots.  I am a 42 year old teacher of 15 years experience and to suggest that looks are my primary purpose in caring about a character is offensive in the extreme, not to mention dismissive to GDL who is a fine young actor who played a complex character with a fusion of sensitivity and spunk.

 

RTD suggests that I go read poetry.  I suggest to him that he study the works of poets of the calibre of Seamus Heaney and Gillian Clarke.  Their work is poignant, incisive and beautiful.  However subjects they so eloquently convey include the real-life death of Heaney’s 4 year old brother, the Bosnian conflict and the metaphorical death of childhood and innocence.  Sci-fi is fantasy, pure and simple.  How dare Davies imply that his whimsical offerings are somehow more emotive than that of great poets?  The man’s arrogance is bigger than the TARDIS is internally.

 

On the subject of realism, Davies states that it is unlikely that all of the team would emerge alive from such an encounter.  Wake-up!  It’s fantasy!  If realism is the watchword try this – how likely is it that one bisexual character is killed 6 times then emotionally disembowel, another is cut and bruised and killed, while the straight character is uninjured and gets to play happy families?  Damned unrealistic I’d say, and bordering on the homophobic.  The meaningless way Ianto died is one of the points that fans object to, especially as Gwen remains completely unscathed.  As for Jack, he seemed almost passive until he goes shouting at a lethal enemy with no plan B.  He has been many things in previous books and series, but never a complete moron.  Realistic?  I don’t think so!

 

Davies refutes the backlash from his casual, pointless killing of Ianto as just a few fans writing in.  46000+ hits on the saveiantojones website, online petitions, comic con protests and, best of all, over £3000 so far going to Children in Need – and there have certainly been more than 9 lots of coffee sent to BBC Wales.  Can someone not count?  Or are the BBC as indifferent as Davies?  How dare RTD negate the feelings of fans!  It is our licence fee that supports his shows, our watching that has raised him to the exalted position he holds today and our withdrawal of support that will bring this egomaniac down.  I do not exaggerate.  I have taught children from the ages of 4 to 16 and Davies has definitely not yet left the egocentric stage – ‘I am right!’, he cries! ‘Your input is not wanted!  Your feelings are immaterial!  If you disagree with my assessment you are wrong!’  Grow up!  

 

He had a point to make after all; it is only TV.  He chose to go about it by demeaning fans in contrast to GDL who has behaved with complete professionalism.  Yes RTD, it is my choice whether to watch Torchwood minus Ianto and Janto and I am afraid that I won’t.  27.4% of the TV audience will likewise fail to watch TW4 (statistics via Digital Spy).  I applauded the BBC for initially making the lead male character bisexual – very unusual in the TV genre.  It also introduced a gay relationship into the macho world of sci-fi – rare indeed.  Put the two together and I think the Janto relationship may even have been unique.  It certainly knocked stereotyping for six.  What a great example it was to present to those teens who are convinced all homosexual males are camp and cowardly; regrettably there are still all too many of them, almost exclusively boys in my 15 years teaching experience.  Now RTD has casually thrown away a wonderful relationship merely to punish the character of Jack and wrote off any fans disagreeing with his decision as immaterial.  There are several people in response to his ravings on EntertainmentWeekly. com that have stated that they will no longer watch anything penned by RTD; I’m in complete agreement. 

 

I sincerely hope that the attitude of the BBC does not mirror that of this obnoxious man. If it’s attitude to the people who fund it is as disparaging as that of RTD then I am appalled. Already at least a quarter of the general populace have decided not to watch TW4.  Once you add to that all of the fans currently campaigning for Ianto’s resurrection plus all of the people RTD has now alienated, is it really worth filming?

 

An ex-fan of RTD,

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

P.S. I’m one of those fans and I am not a nutter, (I hold a B.Ed dammit!).  I’m just disappointed that the most complex and original character is written out in favour of an adulteress.  What sort of example is ‘adultery pays, integrity dies’ to demonstrate to my pupils?  My views are as valid as that of the DG so BBC, RTD do not confuse me with a simpleton or again infer that I am shallow.  I take extreme offence.


Why?


Why was Ianto Jones’ sexuality in Torchwood Children of Earth suddenly and totally unexpectedly, pushed to the forefront? 

Ø  Episode 1; Ianto is referred to as ‘gay boy’, bender’ and it is suggested that he ‘takes it up the ass’.

It should be noted that in the previous 26 episodes there was no homophobic language and no focusing on sexuality and these episodes were on after the watershed.   Neither was there any focus on orientation in radio plays, novels or audio books, published by the BBC, also created for the adult market.  Yet when Torchwood moved to BBC1, suddenly sexuality becomes apparent and an issue. Ianto’s orientation in series 1 & 2 was clear and matter of fact; he was bisexual.  Yet Children of Earth made him appear ambiguous and uncertain. In episode one It was made to appear that Ianto was usually straight ‘It isn’t men, it’s him, only him’, he tells his sister so initially it seemed that the BBC was playing down Ianto’s sexuality.  By the end of the series, however, Ianto had been labelled the ‘gay boy’ who ‘takes it up the ass’, ‘bender’, ‘pervert’ and ’queer’. 

Ø  Episode 2; Ianto is called a pervert for attempting to help a child

The child was in playground and had just been chanting in unison with several others. Ianto tries to question the child and is called ‘pervert’ by the child’s mother.  What was the purpose of this comment if not to brand Ianto further.

Ø  Episode 3; Clem, who has already detected Gwen Cooper’s pregnancy by smell, claims ‘He’s queer, I can smell it.’ This after already asking ‘Who’s the queer?’

‘Who’s the queer?’ Ianto is obviously angered at this statement, apparent in his sudden whirl around and cry of ‘Oi!’.  Yet he receives no back up from Gwen Cooper or Rhys Williams whom he had saved from capture and probable death less than 24 hours earlier.  When Clem goes on to proclaim,  He is queer, I can smell it’ Gwen simply smiles tolerantly as if Clem’s assessment is acceptable.  It was not.  Why does Clem not brand omnisexual swinger Jack ‘queer’?  If Ianto has only ever been with Jack as the BBC intimates, then why is he singled out when the promiscuous Captain Harkness escapes labelling? 

There is no discernable difference in the detectable hormonal smell between straight and gay men, unlike pregnant and non-pregnant women.  James Moran was asked in interview if Clem could smell Jack’s sperm on or in Ianto.  If the statement is inviting comments like this, imagine how some of the LGBT community, their friends and relatives felt when hearing it.  It was cruel and unnecessary and made no point towards the plot other than to further set up Ianto as the gay to bash or make fun of.

Ø  Episode 4; Ianto, dying in his lover Jack’s arms says ‘I love you’. 

Omnisexual Jack, who has previously boasted of his copious boyfriends and girlfriends, his alien sexual partners and his liking for innovative sex, is apparently is not willing to return this favour.  Jack is a charmer, a con man who has lost countless friends and lovers, outliving them all due to his immortality.  Yet he cannot say 3 words to the man he had been faithful to for 3 years?  Devotees of the show know that Jack loved Ianto; the Captain admitted to himself in ‘In the Shadows’ by the BBC.  Why then could he not say the words?

Ø  Episode 5; On the way to Ianto’s sister’s house to inform her of her brother’s death, PC Andy Davison asks ‘Was he gay?’

The police are trained in grief management.  In a previous episode in series 2 (Adrift), Andy shows himself to be caring and considerate of others and yet his only concern on the way to inform a sister about the death of a brother is ‘Was he gay?’   Ianto is dead and the BBC is still ‘outing’ him and in a way designed to be ‘funny’?  Why?

Not because this was an adult program with adult language, so were the last 26 episodes and spin-off stories.  Only one reason makes sense.  In order to sell the series to less tolerant markets, the BBC and Russell T. Davies set up Ianto Jones as the ‘gay one’ in order to divert attention from Captain Jack Harkness who suddenly stopped all sexual boasting , flirting and innuendo apparent in previous Torchwood media.  Jack lost his boyish charm, his man-eating, womanising ways and his masculine tenderness. 

And then the BBC took the series from progressive right back to the 70’s by ‘fridging the queer’.  I still remember when the only LGBT characters were comic caricatures, angst ridden and in the closet or written in to a program to be killed.  That is what Ianto became.  From a Mr. Fix-it with an eclectic memory to a plot device to destroy Jack, a gay boy to bash and eliminate. Ianto was a character with an extraordinary potential who was shamefully underused and underdeveloped just like his complicated relationship with Jack was.

The new obsession with labeling the "gay" character was a betrayal of Torchwood's previous attitude, and the fact that people think the "smells queer" was funny is deeply sad. Why destroy Torchwood to make a plot-holed remake of old sci-fi shows? I loved Torchwood back when it was fresh and progressive, when characters weren't being branded and betrayed.   Now Russell T. Davies has spoilt it.


I won't

 

You know, I loved that quirky little show that dared to have an all-action hero in a relationship with another man.  I admired the fact that it dealt with dilemmas by focusing on the personal aspects of the problem, as opposed to Doctor Who which centred on saving the Earth every other episode.  Team Torchwood characters were flawed, imperfect and oh, so human, a fact that I related to, a fact that drew me in.  Not only that, but the Welsh setting gave it a vibrant individuality, unique in the Sci-Fi genre.

Torchwood had wit, humour, hope.

Now Torchwood is mainstream, boasting 60% mortality amongst its team and a smoking hole where the Hub used to be; and to me that Hub was as intergral to the show as the Enterprise was to Star Trek.  It deals with child abuse, government conspiracies and helpless heroes.  It sits in the 'real world' in which loyalty and courage equate to an early death and unpleasant characters thrive.  Yes, I know in reality it happens, but I watched Torchwood to escape from that.

Would I have stuck with Lost if 60% of the cast had died over 5 episodes and The Island had been vaporised?  No.

Would I have watched Stargate if 60% of the cast had been eliminated and the Cheyenne Mountain base reduced to rubble in the space of 5 episodes?  No.

Would I have watched Star Trek in all its incarnations if Roddenbury had killed Sulu, Uhura and McCoy, exploded the Enterprise and left Kirk and Spock to wander the Galaxy?  No.

As far as I am concerned, that is what RTD is asking me to do with the 'bigger, bolder'  Torchwood.  And I won't. 

I won't grow emotionally attached to Red Shirt characters.

I won't watch another show in which the Earth is in dire danger AGAIN.

I won't watch a show which threatens to bring me Gwack. 

I loved Torchwood 3 and Janto; they were sacrificed on the altar of mainstream TV and I have no intention of viewing the 'explosive fun' offered by the man who wielded the knife.
 


Thanks RTD (sarcasm)


So here it is, the (Almost) All - American Torchwood.  Bigger!  Better!

Says who?

Not me for one.  I loved Torchwood in its original manifestation, the team banter, the ‘one monster a week’ format RTD decries.  Because, let’s face it, that format was so unpopular with fans of Star Trek, Stargate, the X-Files and, oh yes!  Doctor Who!  Torchwood, for me, worked because of that format.  Generally avoiding the Big Global Catastrophe that Doctor Who resorts to so often, here were a bunch of realistic characters, flawed, human, battling (relatively) small problems, like all of us do in our day-to-day real lives.  OK, we don't fight aliens, but we do face battles every day and deal with them as best we can.  Torchwood, I could relate to far more than most other Sci-Fi shows.  It even had the temerity to abandon the standard shooting locales and base itself in Cardiff and that Welshness brought a fresh, vibrant approach to what could have been a very standard show.

In writing Children of Earth, RTD destroyed everything that made Torchwood unique.   It hitched a lift up the M4 to London.  The Hub went, the SUV, Myfanwy.  And there, approaching rapidly over the horizon, showing its clichéd teeth once more, was The Big Global Catastrophe.   I read with increasing despair, the description of S4.  It sounds suspiciously serialised.  It sounds rather like the world will be in dire danger – again!  And it sound like Torchwood has gone almost all American.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love American Sci-Fi.  I have seen Star Trek in all of its incarnations.   I loved Lost and I count Stargate SG1 and Atlantis amongst my favourite shows.

But Torchwood is Welsh.

That’s one of the facets adored by the fans.   It made it an original, a one-off in a genre dominated by the US.  Now that distinctive aspect is being, at the very least, diluted.  Why?  Well it means that the ‘hard-up’ BBC can save a few quid by sharing production costs.  But pennywise, pound foolish?    Since CoE, the Torchwood magazine has had a dramatic drop-off in sales, a phenomenon very possibly repeated with other Torchwood merchandise.  How will fans react to this new show?   Americanising Torchwood has received a far from whole-hearted acceptance.  Will enthusiasts take to the new Team Torchwood as they embraced Tosh, Owen and  Ianto?

I think not.

Why?  Well firstly, what is the point in taking a new team to your heart when you know damn well what happened to the last one?   Welcome to Torchwood Ladies and Gentlemen!  Jack is immortal, Gwen in invulnerable, you lot are – target practise!   And therein lies another problem.  Jack and Gwen cannot die;  Jack is eternal and Gwen, as we all know, is under the protection of RTD.  You know that it has to be a New Team Member who is for the chop.  Takes a lot of the excitement out of watching a show,  knowing that.

Add to that all of the Torchwood fans out there who have yet to forgive RTD and the BBC for killing off Tosh and Owen and there’s a market lost.   Now add in all of the fans who will never, as long as they live, forgive RTD and the BBC for destroying Ianto Jones and the possible earnings decrease a great deal further.  And let’s face it, should Jack give his heart to anyone but Gwen, then they too will probably soon be for the chop.  In Jack and Ianto’s relationship, the BBC had something unique, adored by fans, favoured on YouTube, inspiration for a myriad of fan art - but it had to go.  Again. why?

Was Ianto in the way of RTD returning to his original plan, making Gwen Jack’s true love?

Did he steal too much limelight from the show’s ‘stars’?

Was a gay relationship just too hot for a prospective US buyer to handle?

Or did RTD have a hissy fit and turn on his former favourite, GDL?

Who knows?  Well someone does, but they are not saying.

All I know is that Torchwood for me is S1 & 2.  The Hub and SUV, the team tearing round Wales, sorting out alien menaces that caused dilemmas rather than global disasters.  Torchwood was Tosh and Owen’s unrequited relationship, Gwen and Rhys’ struggle to the altar and Jack and Ianto’s love for each other.  RTD took Torchwood away and replaced it with a nightmare vision of abused children.   

Whatever he creates now will not be Torchwood; I suspect it will be my idea of Hell.