lesbiassparrow: (Rose)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I will be buying this DVD but I am not sure I can ever watch it again. And I can't imagine what watching it would be like if you had children.



I think what most impressed me is that the show never backed off. It just got darker and darker and darker. And while aliens may not be your thing this was essentially a show that was more about how people will happily throw others under the bus without a second thought. And will throw other people's children under a bus and sleep at night by saying that they wouldn't have been productive members of society.

In the last episode there were four things that really gripped me:

1. The revelation that the 456 are using the children as a drug. All the people in charge have already decided who should be called upon to sacrifice for the greater good (without telling them, of course) and are very good at making that sound reasonable to themselves. But you still think that when this revelation is made that someone will say something. Because no only are you shipping off your children to be used for hundreds of years but you know that the 456 will eventually be back for more. And more.

2. Captain Jack's decision to use his grandson as the conduit, knowing he would kill him. This is just the choice of the higher ups on a smaller scale. And you can say 'well, it's one child for millions' but it's still the same choice and it's made for someone else. Jack sacrifices something he has no right to, knowing it's wrong and knowing he is partially responsible for it all in the first place. I should say here that I've always hated the 'greater good' argument, because in the end it's never really about the greater good, is it? It's about your good. Or that of people like you. And if people can't make an honest choice about whether they want to die for the greater good then it's not such a 'good' is it? And I think that this mini-series did a brilliant job of stripping away the clap trap that surrounds the pious presentations of this argument. And Jack has a lot of experience with both ends of that now.

3. Gwen's policeman friend taking off his uniform and fighting the army to save the kids along with everyone else from the estate. And it not making a blind bit of difference.

4. The Frobisher resolution. It could have been too much, but I don't think so. Because in the end although he thought he'd been promoted to the first rank, he was just cannon fodder.

Altogether I thought this entire mini-series did an amazing job of (excuse the cliché) of looking at how banal evil really is. And how quickly people not just do horrible things but come up with justifications for them so easily. And how that never changes: the sort of people who want to be in charge are always the same. I've heard people talk about Harriet Jones and how things might have been different if she were still in charge, but I don't think so. There was not one protest around that table apart from Lois' (and I would watch a Torchwood with her, Gwen, policeman guy, and Rhys) and I think it just rammed it home that essentially they're all the same.

The second thing I really like was how thoroughly it deconstructed the whole hero love affair SciFi often has. Because the only person that is the traditional hero type is Jack - and he can't sacrifice himself, but does others. And that just runs against what we are told heroes do in a very profound way. And at the end he's destroyed by it - as he should be. I really hated Jack in this, though I am now much more interested in the character than I ever was before. So I'd really like to see him come back, but maybe to a Torchwood that had no space - physical, emotional, or moral - for someone like him.

Er, that got way longer than I intended.

Date: 2009-07-25 08:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalliopeia.livejournal.com
I'd never in a million years watch a Torchwood without Jack, especially not if Gwen was running the show. I can't hate him for the decision he made.

One of the things I find so sad about the end is that Jack would have taken Stephen's place in a heartbeat if he could have. He's demonstrated his willingness to die for something he thought was necessary twice before, when he wasn't immortal. But Jack doesn't get that luxury, ever. No one else who was justifying sacrificing millions of children would have, I bet. I still want to bash in the heads of everyone at that table. Except Lois.

It's a pretty interesting contrast. The politicians justify giving away millions of "undesirable" children, all the while making sure that their families are safe. They would sleep just fine at night, having convinced themselves they couldn't do anything else. Jack sacrifices his grandson (and the love of his daughter) for the millions, and doesn't try to create any illusions for himself about the fact that it was his decisions (at least partly) that led to that moment.

Gwen's policeman friend is named Andy. :)

Date: 2009-07-26 01:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
He's demonstrated his willingness to die for something he thought was necessary twice before, when he wasn't immortal.

This is true but there's so much backstory that we hear about in this episode that suggests that he has also made deals like this before - the initial 12 children. for example. Certainly he wasn't the only person involved, but it's more appalling because he is technically the hero. Or as closes as TW gets to one.

I am conflicted: I agree with you that what Jack did was different in many ways from what the politicians did, but it still operated on some of the same principles. And when his daughter is screaming 'Daddy' - well, that the cherry on top of the misery cake. I think this was the most interesting thing they could have done with the character and I am glad in a way that they did - a lot of his actions in the past acquire a much darker hue.

Date: 2009-07-26 03:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kalliopeia.livejournal.com
It's not so much that it's a different thing he did that gets to me, but that he's not hiding from the horror of what he's doing. He's not creating a story that he can tell himself so that he can feel better about it, you know, not removing himself from it the way they did.

I might be more inclined to feel the way you do if I didn't hurt for Jack so much. I mean I always have. The idea of immortality is really kind of horrifying if you're the only one, and I've always really found Jack to be so tragic. This just intensifies it.

Date: 2009-07-26 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
He's not creating a story that he can tell himself so that he can feel better about it, you know, not removing himself from it the way they did.

Oh, I totally agree with you about this. And my reaction to Jack is so mixed up in my horror of all the other people who made decisions about 'expendable' people in 1965 and in the present that it's hard to know to draw the lines. Normally when I hate a character I just want them to die horrible; here it's different. I hate him and want him somehow to find a way to redeem himself even if it's in the long from now future.

Date: 2009-07-26 01:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Andy! Thanks - I never could remember.

Date: 2009-07-25 09:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chelseagirl47.livejournal.com
I thoroughly agree -- I was very angry at Jack by the end, and it's hard to imagine liking him again, but that was part of what made it so interesting.

Date: 2009-07-26 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
I can't imagine seeing him happy and not wanting to smack him. I guess his fate is horrible enough in the end that maybe I am satisfied by thinking of it.

Date: 2009-07-26 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinuvielberen.livejournal.com
I think what Jack did was at least a little bit different to what the politicians were planning.

They were ready to sacrifice millions of children, knowing the 456 would be back for more.

Jack sacrificed one child in order to repel the 456, in order to keep them from coming back, ever.

He didn't sacrifice his grandson for his own selfish motives. I think he would have gladly sacrificed his own life, if he could have. Unlike the politicians.

Date: 2009-07-26 03:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Oh, I think it different. But at the same time there isn't such a huge gap between Jack in 1965 and Frobisher et al in the present day. Jack went along with something that was horrifying on a smaller scale, but still horrifying. And it paved the way for all that happened after; so even if he was back into a corner with his grandson, ultimately, he is part of the same sort of thinking that got them into this mess.

But he is not even close to the same scale as all the others at the cabinet - they're pure evil. And pure evil that makes up lies that it will happily believe and justify till the cows come home.

Date: 2009-07-26 02:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fable.livejournal.com
2. Captain Jack's decision to use his grandson as the conduit, knowing he would kill him. This is just the choice of the higher ups on a smaller scale. And you can say 'well, it's one child for millions' but it's still the same choice and it's made for someone else. Jack sacrifices something he has no right to, knowing it's wrong and knowing he is partially responsible for it all in the first place. I should say here that I've always hated the 'greater good' argument, because in the end it's never really about the greater good, is it? It's about your good. Or that of people like you. And if people can't make an honest choice about whether they want to die for the greater good then it's not such a 'good' is it?

I agree with this SO MUCH. Also, another scene that I thought was absolutely brilliant was when Frobisher's secretary went to the prison and was talking to Lois about Frobisher, about how he was such a good man and a hard worker and etc.

Date: 2009-07-26 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
What I really liked is that you get to see the stages in quick motion of how people go from being just your average politician (slimy, but not evil, one hopes) to being just ready to do horrific things without even breaking a sweat. And Frobisher who presumably has already gone through all of these stages a long time ago in the end being forced to face what it means when it's you. And Jack too. It had to be his grandson because in the past he's had a bad habit of turning over other people's kids, hasn't he, without I think reflecting on that choice.

Date: 2009-07-26 11:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nyssa23.livejournal.com
I can't imagine what watching it would be like if you had children.

Yeah, that's pretty much what my other friend who saw it told me when it came out, so now I guess I will never be able to watch it, or at least until my kids are safely past puberty. *sigh*

(edited for html fail)
Edited Date: 2009-07-26 11:17 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-07-27 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
Yes; I wouldn't put this on if I had young children unless you want to be properly horrified. And never, ever let them go to school or be 'innoculated' again.

Profile

lesbiassparrow: (Default)
lesbiassparrow

August 2011

S M T W T F S
 1 23456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 21st, 2017 03:58 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios