Friday, July 24, 2009

Chilling and politically correct -- the good kind.

I've been a Torchwood fan since the day I was sitting on Rebecca's couch answering emails in England. She turned on Torchwood and I was hooked. Odd, since I usually don't get hooked on science fiction. But this was science fiction with a cutting edge. I liked the characters, the plots, the drama, and the sense of humor. For the next couple of months we watched the show every week and when I headed off to my apartment in Berlin, Rebecca set things up so I could watch her cable box over my lap top, so I wouldn't miss an episode. (Thanks Bex!)

For some odd reason the third season of Torchwood is being shown on five consecutive nights, in five episodes. That has put a kink in my schedule. Even when my movie-mate, Amy, called I told her I was busy and couldn't chat. Torchwood had priority.

What was interesting in the four episodes that have been aired so far, is that Torchwood actually delves a bit into politics. And it's ugly. But then politics and government is an ugly thing no matter how you dress it up.

From the prime minister down to the lower level bureaucrats you see politics for what it is. There are candid discussions of how to lie to the public. There is a cover-up of immense proporitions. You see the prime minister setting up a lower level bureaucrat to take the fall if necessary, saying he "expendable." There is a discussion of the most horrific kind imagineable and you see the British cabinet agree that they, their children, and their grandchildren, will be exempt from the monstrous thing they are about to do. They will not subject themselves to the rules they are willing to impose on others. And what they demand, is so awful, that they discuss how to trick the public in co-operating with them.

While I doubt the show's creator and writers are libertarians, the way politics in portrayed in this series is perfect, from our perspective. You simply can't get a good view of politicians watching season three of Torchwood. And I like that.

I am a strong believer that we need more libertarian fiction. That is one reason that I loved Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. And while I have loved Torchwood for non-political reasons, season three has given me a new appreciation because of the politics in these episodes.

As odd as the way the entire season is being shown in one week, is that the fact that Torchwood, season three, will be out on DVD next week. If you haven't seen the show, or this season, then pick it up. Enjoy it. I'll be watching it again myself.

PS: I have to say that I'm not sure the show can survive to season four, given plot developments (I won't spoil it for newbies or those behind in the story). It is difficult to sustain a show when you remove elements that attracted viewers for the sake of drama. So I wonder if this is the end of Torchwood. If it is, well, it sure was a bumpy ride.

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