Will I like Torchwood if I never saw Doctor Who?

Discussion in 'Doctor Who' started by Dream, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    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?
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    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.
     
  3. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    I see. So they really aren't connect like Buffy and Angel were?

    So Torchwood is to nuBSG like nuDW is to TNG?
     
  4. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    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.
     
  5. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2001
    Location:
    Hotel Transylvania
    Just wondering, does the Doctor ever appear on TW?
     
  6. DarKush

    DarKush Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    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.
     
  7. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 10, 2005
    Location:
    Mr. Laser Beam is in the visitor's bullpen
    Also like Law & Order and Homicide: Life on the Street.
     
  8. Guy Gardener

    Guy Gardener Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2000
    Location:
    In the lap of squalor I assure you.
    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.
     
  9. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    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.
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2001
    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.)


    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.


    One part of him did, but was never identified as such.
     
  11. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2001
    Location:
    Mr. Adventure
    In fact, it might increase your chances for liking it. :)
     
  12. shivkala

    shivkala Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Patrolling Sector 2814
    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.
     
  13. C.E. Evans

    C.E. Evans Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2001
    Location:
    Ferguson, MO, USA
    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.
     
  14. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location:
    Moonbase Alpha
    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.
     
  15. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    As others have said you don't really eed to know much about DW in order to watch TW.
     
  16. Takeru

    Takeru Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    I always thought Torchwood was a really juvenile show, all this violence and sex was so ridiculous all I could think was a bunch of 12 year old must be sitting in front of the tv, giggling because they're watching an 'adult' show witch boobs and cursing. The only time Torchwood was good was Season 3, must have been accidental because after that it went back to being awful.

    The worst part was that Torchwood never realized it was ridiculous, the actors played it completely serious and I'm sure the director's had curse counters and boobiemeters to make sure enough cursing and/or sex appeared in every episode so that the audience knows it's a serious show for adults with sex and stuff.

    God, I hate that show (except season 3 and a few episodes of season 2), so much potential and almost all of it was wasted.
     
  17. MacLeod

    MacLeod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2001
    Location:
    Great Britain
    Well Season 4 has been debated a fair bit on this forum, it might have worked beter as a 5 parter seasin like CoE, but it was stretched to fill 10 episodes when the story couldn't support that many episodes.
     
  18. gastrof

    gastrof Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    May 11, 2001
    Location:
    New Vulcan
    Okay...

    THAT one I'd like explained.
     
  19. DalekJim

    DalekJim Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2009
    Location:
    Great Britain
    You're far from alone, most Doctor Who fans feel this way. Personally I can't even stand to look at John Barrowman a lot of the time. One of the most intolerable people on television.

    I got very tired of RTD's obsession with camp by the end. Miracle Day is one of the laziest pieces of writing I've seen on TV for a long time which is a shame as it had so much potential.
     
  20. Alidar Jarok

    Alidar Jarok Everything in moderation but moderation Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Norfolk, VA
    Well, those were two separate shows with the occasional cross-over. That's not quite the same thing.