Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Doctor Who - New Series, new species part 11

OK well Doctor Who has returned to our screens, but just before it came the finale of Torchwood, which was a dramatic and powerful ending to a much improved series. Should the whim take me I may discuss the series as a whole, but for now I'll just get on and discuss the various creatures Jack and his team encountered in the final episodes.

The Night Travellers

The Night Travellers were interesting, and a reflection of how Torchwood seeks to express the unexplained as much as the tangible. These weren't the first species capable of existence outside the corporeal world nor will they be the last I'd imagine. Much remains unexplained, such as how they were able to come into being in the first place if they were so dependant on human knowledge for existance and why they have such a desire for water - but nonetheless they were fascinating villains and it was cool to see them taken down in true Doctor Who fashion when Jack taped over them!!

The Night Travellers were an intriguing race, appearing human they banded together to form a travelling show that enticed humans so they could suck away the moisture and contain it for their own purposes. Where they came from is uncertain, as is how or why they came to Earth, but the fact that they were dangerous is certain. They existed in rumour, but few visited the show and ever returned, but the prospect of a travelling show was always enough to draw crowds and victims. During the heyday of the travelling shows Jack Harkness joined another show to investigate the travellers, but was unable to track them down, though he learned a lot about them. The group were fixated with water, esoecially one names=d Pearl who immersed herself in water and always thirsted. They took moisture from victims and also held their "last breath," keeping the victims in a semi-dead state so they always had an audience. Eventually the travelling shows lost their popularity and so the Night Travellers faded from existance as no one came to see the shows - all that remained of them were images captured on film, but that was enough. Many years later a film clip was shown containing images of the Travellers, having an audience once again the ringleader, known as Ghostmaker, was able to reenter the world along with Pearl, collecting more "breaths" and eventually freeing the rest of his band. The Torchwood team fought back and though most of the human lives collected by the Travellers were lost they saved one, and were able to defeat the creatures by sealing their images on film once more and then destroying the film. The team had won, but Jack warned there might be more footage out there somewhere.

Alien Parasite

This was a brief encounter showing more of Owen's past and how he obtained his cynical and selfish atitude towards relationships and encountered alien life, bringing him to Torchwood. The idea was good and well executed, though it woul have been nice to know more.

This species latched onto a host body and grew inside it. One has been encountered in a human brain, though it may not necessarily need brain tissue to survive. The effect on the mind it inhabits is similar to Alzheimer's 'causing memory loss and disorientation. If threatened or exposed, for example by a group of surgeons trying to extract what they thought was a tumor, it released a cloud of toxic gas, deadly to all in close range. One of these creatures inhabited the brain of the fiancee of Owen Harper, prior to his membership of Torchwood - it is unknown what happened to the creature after, presumable it was extraced and destroyed.


This species appeared as part of the Torchwood Alternate Reality Game "Torchwood Needs You" in which viewers could log on to become a freelance member of Torchwood and help take down an alien threat, running parallel with the show's storyline. The game was well executed and while it has yet to be able to compete with the staggeringly good ARGs of Lost and otherbig hit American shows it is a good effort and it is great to see Torchwood pushing the medium into British TV. The aliens were great too, not truly revealing themselves until the very end.

Virulents are a species of DNA based aliens able to infect and control other forms of life. Several members of the species came to Cardiff, possibly through the rift, and set about starting an invasion at the molecular level. Controlling key members of New Eden research foundation, Venus cosmetic clinic and Dark Talk pirate radio show they set out a plan to bring their species to Cardiff. First more of their alien DNA was created at New Eden, then it was implanted into cosmetic surgery patients at Venus, lying in wait until the right moment. But some of the Venus patients activated too early and died, causing an investigation that caught Torchwood's attention. Through freelance agents they tracked down the DNA and discovered that it would be activated by an ultrasonic signal sent through Dark Talk's transmitter. They went to investigate Dark Talk, which frequently mentioned them and speculated on their activities, and discovered that Abigail Crowe, the host was the leader and planned to start the invasion immediately. Thanks to a signal jammer activated by the Freelancers the invasion was stopped and the active virulents captured or killed and Cardiff was saved once again.

The following species are ones mentioned in Owen Harper's list of Torchwood vault occupants, they haven't appeared in series, but i will briefly mention them here.

Silicate Beast

Along with another creature named Lyle this beast was retained from the old cryogenics system. Owen expressed concerns that it might be regenerating.

Invincible Vampire

Presumably blood sucking creature that could reconstitute itself no matter how many times it was destroyed. It was frozen in the vaults as a means of stopping it, and no one has since explored further means of termination.

Intelligent Bear

Found in Snowdon, no explanation for it's intelligence or location has been found.

Blobby Thing

Dumped in the vaults by Torchwood One in the 80s, Owen was keen to be rif of it.

And that, my friends, is it for Torchwood. But a new set of Doctor Who reviews will be on their way before too long so hang tight for now. Apologies for lack of images by the way, left it a bit too late for the ARG pictures.

No comments: