Xander

The husband rates the latest Torchwood

The husband says, "Better than Teacher's Pet. Not as good as Inca Mummy Girl."

Another classic horror plot, and there's nothing wrong with that. The classic plots are classic for good reasons, and it's the execution that matters. I enjoyed seeing the famous ACD fairy photo used that way.

Introducing a character important to Jack's life only to kill her five minutes later is, um, well, frankly, it's one of my signs of bad writing. Payoffs are more powerful when they are separated from their setups. Set up Estelle in this ep, kill her off three eps later (or a whole season later), and it means something. As it is, cheap attempt to tug my heartstrings that is meaningful to the writers only as a vehicle for Jack backstory revelation. Bah.

Husband says that it felt rushed to him.

The Lahore 1909 incident is interesting. Was he American? Or are we supposed to read him as British? (What would American troops be doing in UK territory?) How old is Jack supposed to be in the American military records in WWII? Estelle thought he was 30-ish. And I note that Gwen has twigged, which is good, because otherwise I'd begin to worry about her.

ETA: So I suppose how I'd summarize it is: We were interested in the monster-of-the-week plot, and we were interested in Jack's backstory, but the two were not meshed well. We'd like more of a sense of an overall plot arc, or the sense that the writers realize they can delay their payoffs. The series could yet give me all that, but I'm not yet certain it will. My trust in the writers is still developing.

Is all television going to be disappointing after Joss Whedon?
Yes.
Why has Joss not done another series yet? Is he still in mourning for Firefly? I understand that, really I do, we've yet to take down the black curtains around here. But I'd still love to see something new from him.
No idea what he's up to. There's a Buffy comic coming out in January that picks up where season 7 left off, allegedly. (We'll see how mad it makes everybody.)
LOL - nope. TV is not going to be disappointing after Joss - I'm one of those who thought a certain Mr Whedon either lost the plot in season 6 and 7 of Buffy or handed over too much control to other people. I also disliked Firefly! Shoot me now.

"Torchwood" is getting there. Most first seasons are a bit dodgy but at the moment I prefer it to the last series of Dr Who - and last nights was written by the guy who did Sapphire and Steel. I think the writers are also dropping hints as to Jack - keeping us interested - the thing I'm worried about is that the payoff will be in Dr Who and not Torchwood. And that would suck for all the little kiddies out there unable to watch Torchwood.
Oh, I totally agree, seasons 6 & 7 tanked. Though there were parts of season 6 I enjoyed. Whedon, he ain't perfect, and allowing Marti Noxon to write anything was a dreadful lapse in judgment. And yet, seasons 2 & 3 of Buffy are perhaps the best television I've ever watched, and that's all Whedon.

And I'm willing to give Torchwood a shot. We are enjoying it, criticism aside.
Ahh lol - you see...you're missing the ONE show that beats Torchwood, Dr Who and all the current shows hands down.

It's totally awesome. Great characters. Great plots. It's topical and current. It's Spooks! Lord help me, I watched the finale of season five tonight and bit my nails damn near up to my elbows.

Television watching can be very bad for your health!
I wasn't all that keen on Firefly either, but I thought the movie Serenity was fantastic. Tighter plotting, maybe. I think I may have resented Firefly because I was wrapped up in Buffy. I felt like all the good stuff about Buffy was dumped to make us be more excited about Firefly. The series opened poorly with too many characters to care about and it didn't actually move at all. Not enough backstory to interest me fresh out of the box, so to speak. My husband and I watched it together and decided it was very missable.
We came to Buffy from Firefly! We saw the show on DVD, like so many people, and were tantalized and depressed by the untimely cancellation. I think I have told the story before, but my husband was going through this insane phase, last December, of watching Serenity over and over and over. To break him out of it, I stormed out of the house and bought the first season of Buffy on DVD. "Here!" I said. "We're going to watch the show that made this Whedon guy famous."

And we, uh, liked it.

And later on I came to resent Firefly for stealing Whedon's attention away from a languishing Buffy. Thus ending up where you began.
I empathize with the hubby. I've watched Serenity like 20 times. I just like it. And if Firefly got you into Buffy, then there was a purpose to it after all!