Friday, January 25, 2008


I caught the BBC editions of the first two episodes from the second season of 'Torchwood' last night, courtesy of my Who-buddies Mark & Michael. (I could have waited until Saturday night, when BBC-America brings the second season to America, but that version will be edited for content and time constraints. I'll still be DVRing to check out those differences, but I want the full experience.)

The first episode, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", contained plenty to work with as far as Toobworld references, Zonks, and connections go. "Sleeper", the second episode, only contained a few, but at least both of them so far are well above the quality level of last year's first season.

So here's your word of spoiler warning to look away and come back after you've seen both episodes if you don't want it ruined for you.

And here we go.

First off, to delay just a wee bit longer, I just want to protest that opening tag line about the 21st Century being when everything changes. The same could have been said for the 20th Century, probably for every century as they approached.


We'll start off with the season premiere, "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang".....

Captain John Hart told Jack that their former employers, the Agency, had been shut down. As he also said there were only seven agents left, it sounds like it had been destroyed. Perhaps this happened during the Time War? RTD has stated that he only wanted one time traveler about, and that would be the Doctor, which is why they decided to eliminate this important part of Jack's background.

Still, the previews and a final comment by Captain John hint at the probability that this history may be addressed during this season.

I'm thinking the Agency was the same group for whom Phineas Bogg worked in 'Voyagers!' And if most of the Agency was wiped out during the Time War, it would provide a pretty good splainin as to why we don't see Phineas and Jeffrey Jones anymore.

I kind of like the idea of Captain Jack Harkness and Phineas being VERY chummy when they were working together as Time Agents. Of course, with the death of John-Eric Hexum about twenty years ago or so, this will probably only come about through fanfic fever dreams.

If I remember correctly, Captain John Hart introduced himself to the others in Jack's Torchwood team (Not "Excalibur", not "Blizzard", not "Bikini Cops"). If that wasn't his real name, then Jack was willing to go along with the deception. After all, Captain John was going along with the fact that Jack's name was an alias - up to a point. But then, Team Torchwood already knew that.

If he took it as an alias, or even if it was his real name given him by his parents, it could be that it was chosen in tribute to the actor who played 'The Lone Ranger' on TV in Toobworld.

That's an important distinction. Back in the Antediluvian past of the Tubeworld Dynamic, I worked out this splainin in which the Lone Ranger looked like an actor named Clayton Moore. But within the "reality" of the TV Universe, Toobworld had its own TV series about this legendary, "historical" figure of the Wild Wild West. And he was played by the actor John Hart.

So when we saw Clayton Moore as the Lone Ranger, we were watching the actual events of history. When we saw John Hart as the Masked Man, we were watching TV show episodes from Toobworld. And that's why John Hart showed up in episodes of 'Happy Days' and 'The Fall Guy' as the actor who played the Lone Ranger.

So it could be that Captain John Hart was named after him. Hey, we don't know what era that escapee from the Lonely Hearts Club Band actually came from! He could have been recruited into the Time Agents from the 1970s or 80s....

It turned out that Captain John Hart's true mission was recovering an Arcadian diamond for which he killed a woman in some other galaxy. We never saw the word spelled out, so it could have been "Arcadian" or "Arkadian".

Here's a Wikipedia entry for a connection to parent series 'Doctor Who': "In the 2006 Doctor Who episode 'Doomsday', the Doctor mentions being 'there at the fall of Arcadia', where Arcadia is insinuated to be an unspecified area of possible strategic importance in the Time War, unlikely to be the Arcadia of Greece."

And we can make a connection to 'Star Trek' as well. Here's an entry from a great Trek research site, Memory Alpha: "The Arcadian system is a star system that contains at least one inhabited planet, Motherlode. It is possible that the Arcadians have some connection to this star system. The USS Enterprise visited the system in 2269 while attempting to locate Harry Mudd. (TAS: "Mudd's Passion")"

The fact that this entry is from the Tooniverse is only a minor stumbling block. I think it's a given that everything that happened in the animated series also happened in the live action main Toobworld; we just weren't privy to seeing it.

As for those pesky Arcadians: "Arcadians are a humanoid species and members of the United Federation of Planets. Arcadians are distinguished from most humanoid species by the large, broad heads with two parallel lines of hair running front to back on the top outer edges of the cranium. In contrast, the bodies of Arcadians are slim and delicate. Their nose protrudes very little from the face and their ears are large and pointed. They have wide-set eyes that are particularly brightly colored, and do not have eyebrows. Arcadians were represented on the Federation Council in 2285 by two ambassadors. (Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home) The name for this species comes from the FASA Star Trek IV Sourcebook Update book, however, this information has never been mentioned on-screen."

The first case we saw the Jack-less Torchwood team tacking upon their return for the second season concerned a "blowfish" driving a sports car. Okay.....

His species and planet of origin were not named, so allow me the opportunity to place him in the firmament of the Toobworld galaxy. He was a different species that developed on the Antedean planet, whose ambassadors were seen in the 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' episode of "Manhunt". The planet Antedes III must be a water-world in which several species of fish evolved to humanoid form.

Captain John Hart sent a holographic message to Captain Jack to meet up with him and ended it with "Help me, Obi-Wan; you're my only hope".
The movie franchise of "Star Wars" is accepted as such in Toobworld; Seth even got to meet with George Lucas in an episode of 'The O.C.' However, at the same time it's an established part of Toobworld. Luke Skywalker and friends have appeared at 'The Muppet Show' theatre; the droids have gone on to have a very pervasive presence in blipverts and PSAs; and then of course there's that infamous holiday special from 1977. (Deny it all you want, Mr. Lucas, but once broadcast, forever a part of Toobworld!)

The dichotomy between these two standpoints can probably be chalked up to a similar situation as with 'Star Trek'. The far, far away galaxy in which "Star Wars" takes place actually exists in Toobworld. Somehow George Lucas learned of it and created his movie empire based on it.

When Jack and Ianto searched an office for the missing third component to Captain John's "treasure", all of the computers featured the symbol for Starfleet as their wallpaper.

Again, 'Star Trek' actually will take place in the main Toobworld centuries from now, and at the same time it's considered a TV show by the citizens of Toobworld today. Somebody from the Future must have come back in Time to give the televersion of Gene Roddenberry all of the details so that he could create the TV show (including images of the personnel involved so that casting could be as accurate as possible).

Now, as for the second episode, "Sleeper".....

The Torchwood motto is "If it's alien, it's ours." But not everything that Torchwood has access to fell through the temporal rift in Cardiff. Some of it came from confiscated technology that was developed right there on TV Earth.

And I think the mind probe used on Beth can be included in that inventory.

I don't know specifically from which TV show that device came, but two leading candidates would be 'The Avengers' and 'The Prisoner'. I'm leaning towards 'The Prisoner' of course, but then - it is my all-time favorite TV show!

Owen's sarcastic remark to Gwen can't be considered a Zonk, even though 'Murder, She Wrote' exists in the same TV Universe as does 'Torchwood'. That's because by this point in the Toobworld timeline, Jessica Baines Fletcher is an internationally known, well-established author of mystery novels. (Her most famous would be "The Corpse Danced At Midnight".)

So when Owen cites her, he knows Gwen will pick up the reference to the author, and not to any TV show.

Well, that just about does it for these first new episodes of 'Torchwood'. If you read this far without having seen them, then I hope you'll find them still to be interesting when BBC-America airs them beginning this Saturday.

Toby OB

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