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Go Back   The Trek BBS > Entertainment & Interests > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Doctor Who

Doctor Who "Bigger on the inside..."

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Old January 7 2013, 02:38 AM   #1
Dream
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Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Through some strange kind of luck I managed to borrow the entire two seasons/series of Torchwood and the two miniseries that followed. I want to start watching TW very soon, but am a little reluctant since I have no knowledge of the Doctor Who mythology or characters. Is a watch of DW require for me to enjoy TW?
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Old January 7 2013, 03:42 AM   #2
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Torchwood is a very different series from Doctor Who, aimed at a very different audience. DW is a family show, written with young viewers in mind but also enjoyable by their parents. TW is a "post-watershed" show (i.e. for airing after the kids have gone to bed) with lots of darkness, violence, profanity, nudity (almost entirely male), and heavy sexual themes. So undoubtedly its makers assumed that a lot of their target audience would not be Doctor Who viewers. Any DW references are kept subtle and vague, just part of the general mysteriousness of the lead character's past. There are elements of the two shows that cross over and fit together if you watch them both in the right order, but that's a bonus; you can follow either one without needing to have seen the other. Indeed, if you're a fan of one, you might not be a fan of the other, since they're aimed at such different age groups and demographics.

Indeed, in some ways the two shows don't really fit together despite allegedly being in the same reality. For instance, there are a couple of episodes of TW involving things that are frankly supernatural, while in DW, everything that appears supernatural is explained in terms of aliens or superadvanced science.
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Old January 7 2013, 04:09 AM   #3
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

I see. So they really aren't connect like Buffy and Angel were?

So Torchwood is to nuBSG like nuDW is to TNG?
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Old January 7 2013, 04:21 AM   #4
Alidar Jarok
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

It's a vague spinoff. I'm not sure what to make of your analogy, so I'll just use my own. It's like The Jeffersons and All in the Family. They both exist in the same universe, but they're capable of existing independently.
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Old January 7 2013, 04:28 AM   #5
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Just wondering, does the Doctor ever appear on TW?
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Old January 7 2013, 04:43 AM   #6
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

To answer your original question, I say yes. I hadn't watched much Dr. Who-I can't recall if I had ever seen a full episode of Dr. Who before watching Torchwood. I liked Torchwood quite a bit, particularly the first three seasons. Season Three is called Children of Earth. I'm currently watching Season Four (Miracle Day), but it's not keeping my attention.

From what I remember, Dr. Who did not appear on Torchwood. But his companion Martha Jones was on the show for several episodes, I think in season two. You don't have to have foreknowledge of Jones' role on Who while watching Torchwood but it is a bonus.
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Old January 7 2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Alidar Jarok wrote: View Post
It's a vague spinoff. I'm not sure what to make of your analogy, so I'll just use my own. It's like The Jeffersons and All in the Family. They both exist in the same universe, but they're capable of existing independently.
Also like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street.
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Old January 7 2013, 04:52 AM   #8
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

NO.

But Torchwood appears in Doctor Who.

Season two of Doctor Who was all about "What is Torchwood?"

Almost every episode, had some sly remark or off the cuff negative space stuff about a secret spy agency that was/is hunting aliens humorously just beyond Doctor Who's earshot and... But that would be telling.

Of course that was evil Torchwood before the Doctors friend took over, well actually there were 5 Torchwoods and... That would be also telling.

If it saves time, Torchwood is just a remake of Captain Scarlet.

PS

"Torchwood" is an anagram of "Doctor who"

In the real world, because of the secrecy of bringing back Doctor Who from the dead in 2004ish, "Torchwood" was the code name they used for Doctor who for production/bookkeeping purposes to keep the monkeys and the press in the dark about what was really happening.
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Old January 7 2013, 05:07 AM   #9
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Torchwood is a guilty pleasure for me apart from the third series which is genuinely excellent and the fourth series which is genuinely awful.

It's generally a deeply stupid show that desperately wants to be Buffy or Angel. Owen was a really cool character though.

To answer the OP's question, you will understand TW just fine without seeing Who. Although a brief Wikipedia research of Jack Harkness's 5 episode stint in Who before TW started would be recommended.
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Old January 7 2013, 05:14 AM   #10
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Dream wrote: View Post
I see. So they really aren't connect like Buffy and Angel were?
Not like Buffy and Angel were when they were both on the WB and had regular crossovers, but kind of like they were after Buffy moved to UPN, the crossovers became much rarer, and the shows diverged stylistically even more than they already had. They're in the same universe, there are occasional connections or Easter eggs that you catch if you watch both shows, but you can follow either one as a complete story by itself. The two were designed to stand separately since they were aimed at such different audiences.

Actually the modern Who universe has three series aimed at three different demographics: Doctor Who for families, Torchwood for adults only, and The Sarah Jane Adventures (now sadly defunct due to its lead actress's death) for younger viewers. Although there's a lot more distance between TW and DW than between DW and TSJA. Each show crossed over into DW (and the Doctor appeared twice in TSJA), but you'd never see TW and TSJA overlapping with each other, because there's just too great a stylistic mismatch there.

(There's also the unofficial Australian spinoff K9, which can exist because freelance TV writers in England retain ownership of the characters they create and can use them elsewhere as long as they don't reference anything from Doctor Who overtly. It's kid-oriented like TSJA, but nowhere near as good.)


So Torchwood is to nuBSG like nuDW is to TNG?
Stylistically? Kind of, except TW goes farther with the profanity and nudity than BSG was able to do on television, since the broadcast standards in the UK are different. Maybe more like Game of Thrones, although I've never seen that.


Dream wrote: View Post
Just wondering, does the Doctor ever appear on TW?
One part of him did, but was never identified as such.
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Old January 7 2013, 05:28 AM   #11
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

In fact, it might increase your chances for liking it.
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Old January 7 2013, 05:40 AM   #12
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

As others have said, having seen Doctor Who is certainly not a prerequisite for watching Torchwood.. That being said, as Guy Gardener said, season 2 of nuWho set up Torchwood and the two-part finale introduced it, however it introduced a very different Torchwood than you see on the show (which is explained on both shows).

The main character, Captain Jack Harkness, was introduced in season 1 of nuWho and spent several episodes travelling with the Doctor. The end of Torchwood's first season dovetails with the end of Doctor Who season 3, though you can find the clips on YouTube, but they aren't necessary, if you're fine with a character disappearing and not knowing where they went.

A first season episode features a classic-Who villain, which most Who fans hated Torchwood's take on. It's directly linked to the season 2 finale of Doctor Who. A late season 2 episode fills you in on the characters and how they came together to work at Torchwood, which has a few nods to Who, but nothing blatant.

In short, having seen Doctor Who will fill in details, but it is not necessary. It compliments Torchwood and may increase your enjoyment, in terms of understanding things, but Torchwood is not that complex, that missing that knowledge will hurt your understanding or enjoyment of the show.
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Old January 7 2013, 05:53 AM   #13
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

I'm one of those ancient types that still records Doctor Who episodes on tape and edits out the commercials while doing so. Anyway, while I agree that both Doctor Who and Torchwood generally stand apart from one another, I did record the Torchwood: Children of Earth series between two episodes of David Tennant's run, and while his Doctor was noticeably absent during CoE (and a point was made of that), it was a fine case of Doctor Who and Torchwood fitting seamlessly together and gives backstory to what Captain Jack was doing moping about that alien bar in Tennant's final episode, IMO.
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Old January 7 2013, 08:51 AM   #14
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

There was a woman at my work who really liked Torchwood, but didn't watch Doctor Who. When Captain Jack returned to Doctor Who at the end of series 3, she happened to catch one of the episodes one Saturday evening, and on the following Monday, she asked me why the man from Torchwood had been in Doctor Who. She genuinely had no idea that Jack had originated in Doctor Who and that Torchwood was a spin-off from it. So it seems it is possible to appreciate the one without the other.
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Old January 7 2013, 09:36 AM   #15
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Re: Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

As others have said you don't really eed to know much about DW in order to watch TW.
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