What if no one could die? Illness, disease, accidents left a person on the brink of death, but they could never pass that point. Torchwood’s newest season deals with just this question.
It isn’t the most original question. Many shows have delved into this idea (Xena the Warrior Princess and Supernatural both come to mind offhand). What makes it so much more unique and compelling here is that the show really delves into the extremes of such a situation. What if you cut off a person’s head? What if they blow themselves up? What if a person given lethal injection still lives? Instead of sticking with the obvious–overpopulation issues and people in extreme pain–the show goes further to look at the legal issues, new hospital procedure, and wider ramifications worldwide.
Plus there’s another important thing to consider: what if Jack, the one immortal person in the universe, could suddenly die?
The show is great for a number of reasons. It never shies away from difficult or controversial issues. Jack is the only out and active bi character I have ever seen on TV who we have watched actually BE attracted to both sexes (rather than just saying “I’m Bi” but showing no indication of it). And though the show has come to the US, the producers don’t intend to change this, which is a big step forward for American television.
My only issue with the pilot is that I don’t believe the way Jack and Gwen were forced to come to the US. It doesn’t really make any sense. The US can’t extradite British citizens (so Gwen in this case because Jack actually is American) or even their own citizens at a whim. They need arrest warrants for one thing.
Otherwise, I can’t wait to see where this season goes. The show has really hit its stride with these season-long arcs (instead of the original case of the week issues).