Adventures of a Modern Day, Middle-Aged Hero, on the Glory Road(to family security)



As we continue to chew our way through the series offerings on Netflix, a few weeks ago, my wife and I, having developed an interest in British television programs, could no longer ignore the ultimate British series…Dr. Who. 
It’s not bad…as with any series that has been around as long as Dr. Who, it has it’s highs and it’s lows, but on average is a highly entertaining show.  The Doctor is a very neat character, and I like the way David Tennant plays him.  One of the things that intrigue’s my wife and I are the women on British T.V. shows…Billie Piper and Freema Agyeman, who play the Doctor’s Companion’s on most of the episodes I have watched so far are both attractive young ladies, that is not up for debate.  However, neither one of them is as overly sexed up unbelievably attractive as you would expect to find on in a similar American show…just look at Yvonne Strahovski, the lead actress on ‘Chuck’.  She is a classical version of the leading lady on an American TV show…and compared to her The Companions are ‘attractive in a quirky way’ other than bombshells.  And Dr. Who is not alone in this…most of the BBC stuff we have watched is like that…maybe they just don’t have that many pretty girls in Britain, although Page 3 would test this theory.  This isn’t bad…it actually causes me to go that old guy standby where an 8 ‘seems more obtainable’ than a 10. 
Since we were enjoying the Dr. Who we were watching, and in particular had liked the character of Captain Jack Harkness, we started watching the Dr. Who spinoff, Torchwood.  Torchwood follows the Torchwood Institute’s efforts to control the alien threat here on Earth, and use recovered alien technology to defend the Earth into the 21st Century…because that’s when it will all change. 
In my own humble opinion, Torchwood, which kind of has a bit of an X-Files feel to it, is about 17 times better than Dr. Who.  The character of Captain Jack Harkness(much, much less annoying than captain jack sparrow) played by John Barrowman, is one of my 10 ten favorite TV show characters.  Due to something that happened to him on Dr. Who…Captain Jack can’t die.  This doesn’t mean he can’t be killed, because that happens quite often, but his body regenerates and he awakes with a gasp each time it happens.  This causes Jack to have a different life-style…and I kind of think the character ends up feeling a bit like Lazarus Long …gruff exterior, but he does care about people, even though his long view on things causes him to have to make some very tough decisions, decisions that he has to live with, because even blowing his mind out won’t make his ghosts go away.
In a somewhat interesting twist, it turns out that Captain Jack, who was very much a flirt and oh-so-cheeky on his Dr. Who run, is a Modern Day Man Whore, and that in pursuit of his love life, Jack is an ‘Equal Opportunity Employer’.  You wouldn’t see this on American TV, even though it’s just kind of taking Captain Kirk’s sleeping with green alien women one step further…if a green alien is okay, why not a human person…or whatever else it takes you make you happy.
The supporting characters on Torchwood are a good bunch of well fleshed out folks.  The female lead, Gwen is played by Eve Myles, and she is a tasty Welch dish(hey, a strong female role model is nothing to complain about).  At the beginning of the show, she is a beat cop who kind of happens into Torchwood, kind of like Will Smith in ‘Men in Black.’ By the 3rd season, she is obviously the 2nd in command, and much more the action type than even Captain Jack.

Now my wife and I are bummed…we have watched the three seasons on Netflix, and find ourselves in the same dilemma with Torchwood that we do with Bones and Dexter…new shows are coming out, and because we are not paying for full cable, we can’t watch them.  Season 4 of Torchwood begins July 8th on the STARZ network…not sure if they will have it online through them after it airs on TV like AMC did with Walking Dead, but we can cross our fingers and hope. 

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