Wednesday, September 12, 2007


[Even though I'll be discussing the first episode of 'Torchwood' which just aired on BBC-America, there will be spoilers for the rest of the show's season, as well as for the last block of episodes of the latest season of 'Doctor Who' which have yet to air here on the Sci-Fi Channel............]

I covered 'Torchwood' when it first aired over in the UK (beginning
here), but televisiology is a never-ending subject and there's always something new to learn.

That first episode of 'Torchwood' was titled "Everything Changes", based on Captain Jack's assertion that with the 21st Century, everything changes. (Pretty vague - it could be said for every century as it arrived.) But like the proverb says, the more things change, the more they stay the same. 'Torchwood' might be taking place in the middle of the first decade of the 20-hundreds, but it was utilizing alien Toobworld technology from over forty years ago.

That first episode linked back to several episodes of 'Doctor Who':

"Invasion Of The Dinosaurs"
"The Christmas Invasion"
"The Empty Child"
"The Doctor Dances"
"Boom Town"
"Bad Wolf"
"Parting Of The Ways"
"The Unquiet Dead"

But it also linked to a sci-fi oriented sitcom from the mid-1960s....

During the 'Torchwood' pilot episode, Owen Harper sneaked an atomizer of alien cologne out of the Hub to use for his own purposes later that night in a pub.....

OWEN HARPER: Can I buy you a drink?

LINDA: No, thanks, I'm fine.
OWEN HARPER: Am I wasting my time?
LINDA: I dunno, are you?
OWEN HARPER: Look. I've got to be up early and I've got hell of a day tomorrow and I really can't be bothered with all the chat.
(Owen takes out the atomizer and sprays the alien cologne on his face.)
OWEN HARPER: So ... do you want a drink or what?
(Linda throws herself at him and locks lips with Owen.)
LINDA: Bloody hell fire! You're coming home with me, you are. Right now!

However, as they're leaving the pub, a complication arises in the form of her boyfriend, Colin.....

COLIN: Oi, you bastard, come here! Linda, what are you doing with him? What the fuck do you think you are doing?!

LINDA: I'm taking him home and I'm having him, now piss off!
COLIN: What the fuck d'you think you're doing with my girlfriend? You bastard!
OWEN HARPER: Hey, I didn’t know. She was on her own. She never said.
COLIN: You tosser. You fucking tosser.
LINDA: Colin, button it, he's mine.
COLIN: Do you want to have a go, do you? Do you want to have a go? Come on then mate!OWEN HARPER: Well, if it makes it easier ...
(Once again, Owen sprays himself with the atomizer. Colin is overcome with desire and kisses him.)
COLIN: I am so having you.
LINDA: I'm having him first!

That "rape spray" (as I've seen it described) was the property of Torchwood, and the Torchwood motto is "If it's alien, it's ours." So if that spray was extraterrestrial in origin, where did it come from?

I'm saying it's from Mars.

Here's the description of an episode of 'My Favorite Martian' which first aired on my tenth birthday:

6/6/65 "Green-Eyed Martian"
W: Phyllis & Robert White D: Oscar Rudolph
Wanting to help Mrs. Brown find a new suitor to replace Brennan, Martin plans to use a Martian "Irresistible Spray" on a likely candidate, but before that happens, Mrs. Brown uses the spray on herself.

Jack Harkness was around during the 1960s, and not just because he was a time agent. So it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that he met Exigius 12½ (the true Martian name for Martin O'Hara) and he was able to grab that formula away for his own uses. (Although I'm sure he believed he'd never need it. Owen Harper on the other hand, whom I think could be a descendant of 'Doctor Who' lovebirds Laszlo and Tallulah like Sal the Pig-boy on 'The Chronicle', needs all the help he can get.)

Now, although I believe the spray was Martian in origin, it doesn't necessarily mean that Captain Jack had to meet Martin O'Hara. There were other Martians living on Earth, and of the same species as Uncle Martin. (There are several species of sentient life on Mars.) Phobos and Deimos are two such Martians, who conducted the "Controlled Experiment" on 'The Outer Limits'.

And it could be that the Martian atomizer may be of a more recent vintage, that it came to Earth in the last forty years after the departure of Exigius 12½. It could have been brought by some other Martian posing as a human.

Then it becomes a question of who among the Toobworld population could have really been a Martian, and who would need that "rape spray" to make them irresistible to humans.......?
Just sayin', is all......

Toby OB

'Doctor Who'
'My Favorite Martian'
'The Outer Limits'
'Will & Grace'


Anonymous said...

You've said in the past that 'Doctor Who' and, I guess by extension, Torchwood take place in an alternate dimension from Toobworld. So does that mean you're giving up 'My Favorite Martian' to that dimension as well.

Toby, buddy, you're going to be the Neville Chamberlain of TV shows!


Toby said...

Not at all! 'Star Trek' has alternate versions in other dimensions; the same goes for 'Hercules', 'Buffy', 'The Twilight Zone' and of course, 'Sliders'. The same would hold true for 'My Favorite Martian'.

And it works both ways - the 'Torchwood' we're watching is from some alternate Toobworld. But the main Toobworld has a Torchwood organization still to be seen, which would have shown up if that 'My Favorite Martian' episode had a sequel.