Three episode in and Torchwood has managed not to suck.  They did dance on the razor’s edge in some parts but I think I can forgive them largely because now they’re exploring the mythos of the series.  Some time ago, in a stream of bile I wrote a list of things that Torchwood would need in order not to suck but they managed to accomplish one that I hadn’t thought of…

Previous incarnations of the organisation.

Torchwood has been around since Queen Victoria and the history of alien encounters is something that wasn’t even touched on in the first season.  This episode its like The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.  Well actually its not cause there’s no way its going to get that good, but then frankly, what is?  But they manage to use time paradoxes and the “Message in a Bottle” story to decent effect.  Also, the team members still aren’t batshit insane so that’s good too.  

I’ve gone on something of a DVD purchasing hiatus until I clear some series from my shelves.  It is quite astonishing just how many DVDs I have that I haven’t yet finished or even started.  First cab off the rank has been something I’ve had for about six months:  HBO’s Rome.  While I read the rave reviews and had seen the first two episodes, for some reason I just didn’t ever feel like watching it.  But once I picked it up again I just couldn’t stop.  Rome manages to surpass Deadwood in nearly all things save for the character of Al Swearingen.  In Deadwood, the story pacing was one day at a time, which worked for the tumultous Wild West, but Rome moves to specific periods of time, months and years in advance.  It boasts an incredibly tight and well woven story, engaging characters both non-fictional and otherwise, fantastic reproduction of Roman society and some bloody great moments of humour.  Also bloody great moments of, well, blood.  Get to Episode 11 – The Spoils and you will see some of the greatest violence ever unleashed upon television.

Of course, that said, it would have been of even more enjoyment if I could have seen one or two of the battles.  I mean the writers do a great job writing around it while lending it gravitas but it is a trick that unfortunately gets used one too many times.  I also think that something at the start to mark the passage of time (Yes there is a Roman calendar but its not something immediately recognizable to me) would have provided context.  But that is the only thing I can think of by way of a flaw.  And even then its kicking pebbles.

Scanning IMDB I note with esteemed pleasure that Kevin McKIdd is rumoured to be playing Thor in the upcoming aforementioned film.  And while its a rumour with a likelihood of Karl Urban taking the lead role, I would be so very happy if Thor was played by Lucius Vorenus.  And, in a delightful twist of fate, Ray Stevenson who playes Lucius’s Odd Couple partner, Titus Pullo is playing The Punisher, again in the aforementioned titled movie.  Very pleased about all this as I wasn’t taken with the first Punisher movie at all.  If Garth Ennis was an excellently aged single malt scotch (not an unreasonable comparison) and The Punisher movie was tap water then legions of Scottish and their dead ancestors would rise up and kill us all for the crime of combining the two.  The Punisher should have at least aimed its violence level at the bar set by Kill Bill and gone from there.  Hell even John Travolta’s usually excellent villainish character portrayal was drowned under this murky tepid water of an action movie.

I’m hoping that the creative team in charge looks at Rome as the benchmark for the success of this film.

Now the only question left is, do I finish the Sopranos Season 6, continue with the TV series of The Flash or start with Season 1 of Kung Fu?

I got told about a role playing game that has a theme so amazingly beautiful and simple that I may just relinquish what precious time I have to myself just to play.  Vikings in Space.  Space Vikings!!!  The sheer scope of such a simple sentence makes me wonder, if I claim to be a writer, why I never came up with that before?  To make up for it, I’m scanning what the internets has to offer by way of Viking beliefs and traditions.  I’m also re-reading Wolfskin


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