For a television event, hell, even a feature-length film, it had everything it should. It went out with a bang (well, kinda), I laughed, I cried, I screamed "YOU [BLEEP]ING SUCK!" at the television. Other people, far more eloquent than I have discussed what made it such good television to watch. And I agree with them 99.99%. There's just a teensy tiny part of me, about .01%, that is just a little resentful that we had to have such great television at the expense of what was, at least for me, a fun and decent show.
The part of me that is a writer respects that RTD had the chops to go through with some horrible, series-altering stuff unflinchingly, and absolutely tear my heart asunder in the process. But as a viewer... I kind of feel a little cheated. I have no idea how to describe it but... the first three episodes feel like a completely different story than the final two. I really don't know what exactly I mean by that, except that maybe I feel that the character moments and storylines that we were introduced to in the first three episodes were dropped, cut short, or overshadowed by the necessity of wrapping up the plot in the final two.
...okay, I officially have no idea what I mean.
Okay, maybe I do a little. It feels like the end of season two, where we had all kinds of wonderful build-up that took a sharp left turn and while it was resolved... it wasn't really resolved in a satisfactory way for me. YMMV.
Funny thing is, I'm okay with Ianto dying. Saddened, yes (he was my favorite character after all), but ultimately okay with it. Probably because I was expected him to be the victim in the season two finale, so I guess I'd already emotionally distanced myself as it were.
I guess I'm having some sort of cognitive dissonance over all of this. We never got an emotionally satisfying conclusion to Ianto's sexual identity crisis, I feel like we got a cop-out on Gwen having to choose between the life of Torchwood and her pregnancy. And Jack... oh, who am I kidding? I just feel bad for Jack, but teh other two... it really felt like they got the shaft in favor of scathing social commentary. Commentary that I appreciate, (I really do, it was chillingly well executed), but maybe... maybe they needed a few more episodes than five to tell this story? Maybe seven? I know that in life all of our personal storylines get cut short by tragedy and larger events, but damn it, I expect better out of my fiction. You can kill my favorite characters, rip my heart out and stomp on it a few times--but just dropping a story thread because you accidentally used up too much time? Lazy. Writing.
I think the writer in me would still admire RTD's chops for "going there" with Jack and his grandson, killing off Ianto, and effectively ending whatever we've known of the show. As someone who liked to watch Torchwood? I feel a little unsatisfied and unsettled. And yet, if this is the end of the series, then it works for me, because it most definitely feels like the end.
Even if in a way, it didn't quite feel like a Torchwood end? Hrm, I don't know (having a hard time sorting out my thoughts.) I don't think Torchwood could end anywhere near happy (in hindsight, a very good thing Mickey and Martha couldn't make it for this mini-series *clings to them*), but I think the involvement of the government and shadowy conspiracy theorists... maybe that's what's bugging me. Torchwood has always been the conspiracy, fighting themselves as well as the aliens. Here, they seemed to drop the "inner demons" for the external demons... yet, we got some great scenes from those. (PC Andy and Ianto's brother-in-law leading a fight they can't win... oh man, I got chills, and I was rooting.) Hrm... or maybe I'm just in denial that I'm simultaneously happy and horrified by the mini-series. And that I recc'd it to people. (Part of me wants to take back that rec, part of me doesn't.)
But yes. I think that if the series were to end, I'd like it to end here. I just don't think I could watch the show if it comes back for any future seasons. They've changed it beyond what it felt like to me at the beginning, which was more of almost a police investigation type show, rather than the big "saving the world" type stories. Don't get me wrong, they did an awesome job with this one, but... I don't know. It's just not what I was expecting. That doesn't make it bad, it just makes me a teensy bit out of touch with it.
But then again, series tend to do that. I mean, look at Supernatural. The show in season four is definitely not the show I started watching, and a large part of me resents the creators for taking it in the direction its gone. No, I haven't stopped watching it, but I like the series a lot less now. I think Torchwood has hit that point too. (I'm watching you Doctor Who... then again, they've got Steve Moffatt, who is hilarious and can scare the pants off of me and make me like him for it.) Hell, even SGA took my favorite character in a direction that made me start twitching because of the huge loads of cognitive dissonance. So, really, it's not like this is anything new for me.
But such is the life of a television watcher. We consume the stories, we do not make them. At least, we don't make the official ones that the world will remember for years on. As a fan, sometimes I think I might get attached to a series, and feel almost as invested in it as the creators. I've got backstory in my head, occasionally on paper, I've filled in the gaps and plot holes with plausible explanations. The greatest television for me does more than tell a story and engage me for the duration of an episode, it engages me in a way that I'm thinking about it when I fall asleep. It doesn't let me go.
I still have no idea where I'm going with this. Perhaps in circles.
So, even though the main series is over now (for me anyway), I think I might still be able to get my Torchwoody fix now from the remaining audio dramas, audio books, and a certain ficverse that I've really been meaning to finish reading.
My, my. That was certainly a ramble. Did any of it make sense?