My rewatch of Torchwood has finally drifted into series 1 episode 4, Cyberwoman by Chris Chibnall. I was unsure about it on transmission and I’m still unsure. I will try to explain why.
Meanwhile in the Torchwood cellar…
It’s time for Ianto to be the focus. So far he’s been the quiet one, good at arranging pizza and little more. We learn he survived the battle of Canary Wharf, more than can be said for girlfriend Lisa.
The team goes out leaving Ianto to a bit of whatever he does. This is looking after a partially cyber-converted girlfriend (Lisa). Cue a strange visitor, fascinated by Cybermen and his attempts at reversing some of Lisa’s cyber-conversion and the start of a bloodbath. The base goes into lockdown, Jack dies a few times, the flying lizard gets into a fight and a pizza delivery girl gets killed. At least she survived longer than the cyber-specialist.
Lots of shouting, flashing lights, running, shooting and some Gwen/Owen snogging. More on that later. Excellent focus on Ianto and his failure to look past love and seeing Lisa is really already dead and his loyalty is tested and then found wanting. Powerful stuff and I really wondered what ending Chris Chibnall would go for. In the end Ianto didn’t do the right thing. Different if unexplored further.
I know it’s not Doctor Who but I still felt this needed toning down a notch. Maybe two. On rewatch I wondered if I’d get any insight into Chris Chibnall’s use of Cybermen in general. Not really, apart from making the whole creation / charging more than a little classic Frankenstein. It doesn’t help (I don’t think) with Villa Diodatii so never mind.
Gareth David-Lloyd is excellent in this but, and given Suzy can get killed (more later) I expected Ianto to not survive or leave Torchwood at least for a while. Instead he stayed and good for us that he did. What do I know about drama!
I still don’t really like the episode — there’s not enough consequence. The base gets cleaned up, the dead cyberspecialist is still dead and the pizza’s gone cold. Never mind the family and friends of the dead pizza delivery girl. I think I take this stuff too seriously.