5 December 2018: It Takes You Away review added.
26 November 2018: The Witchfinders review added.
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FROM OUT OF THE RAIN
OK, this is just wrong.
We were bouncing up and down with excitement last season when we found we were going to get a story by PJ Hammond. Alas, Small Worlds turned out to be a good idea (the PJ Hammond part) dragged down by the Torchwoodiness (the, um, Torchwood part). From Out Of The Rain is along the same lines, but worse.
Take the PJ Hammond bit. We're all for creepy carnivals: Carnivale, The Greatest Show In The Galaxy and Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes are all excellent examples of just how scary they can be. Trouble is, other than the superb opening bit there really isn't a carnival in here, just a few assorted carnival refugees. It's kind of like in To The Last Man when all you see of timezones colliding is some blobs on a screen.
There's worse, though. Tsk, tsk: people emerging from film, leaving only the background, is a direct lift from Hammond's Sapphire And Steel episode The Man Without A Face. Sorry, that's unforgivable.
And despite all that, the Hammondness is the best part. Sadly, though, Hammond's brand of low-key yet terrifying drama, where nothing much seems to happen and nothing is explained but it gives you nightmares for weeks, is a terrible fit for the brashness of Torchwood. Instead of the powerful drama Hammond achieves in Sapphire And Steel, what we get instead is the impression of some fairly silly things happening (and not a lot of them at that). Instead of eeriness and mystery, we get Ianto tearing up over the miraculous survival of a tiny tot. Ick.
It's so frustrating: you can really see the potential here. If it wasn't a Torchwood story, this could have been a cracker. Add Torchwood, though, with its penchant for running round and leadenly explaining everything, and it crumbles to dust in your hands.
SINGING IN THE RAIN
Why doesn't anyone ever have an umbrella on TV?
SAY I DON'T BELIEVE YOU, WHICH I DON'T, BECAUSE IT'S BOLLOCKS
Gwen's awfully dismissive of Ianto seeing Jack in the film considering she works for Torchwood. Making characters disbelieve stuff for no reason other than to add dramatic tension = fail.
Since Owen can't feel anything, how does he take the girl's pulse?
FIVE MORE BEFORE BREAKFAST
"That's impossible." This from the dead man walking around.
Jack sends Owen up to the projection room - where he just stands there and knocks on the door. How courteous.