Torchwood: Something Borrowed

The Torchwood episode “Something Borrowed” connects with religion in two very direct ways, both related to conception. The story focuses on Gwen getting bitten by an alien not long before the day of her wedding. Unfortunately, the alien is one that inseminates the one bitten with its offspring through its bite, and as a result, [Read More...]

Torchwood: A Day in the Death

The episode “A Day in the Death” from the second season of Torchwood has not just vague religious themes or overtones, but explicit reference to the story of Jesus. And so it makes for an interesting starting point for a discussion of religion and science fiction. The story focuses on Owen Harper, who died in [Read More...]

Doctor Who: Spearhead from Space

When Doctor Who returned to begin the era of the Third Doctor, with the episode Spearhead from Space, it really started with a bang. This episode introduced the Autons and the Nestenes, and I am struck by the fact that when Doctor Who started up again after its long break, the writers and producers chose [Read More...]

Torchwood: Dead Man Walking

As I continue to watch through Torchwood, I am struck by how much this darker, raunchier, more pessimistic spin-off of Doctor Who focuses on religious themes, imagery, stories and symbols. In this episode, “Dead Man Walking,” we learn that a church had been built on top of a site where a resurrection glove had been [Read More...]

Torchwood: Meat

The Torchwood episode “Meat” touched some more sensitive nerves and emotions than even some of the most powerful and touching episodes thus far. Initially, we simply became aware that someone was selling alien meat. Then, we discovered that they were keeping an alien imprisoned, and cutting pieces off of it while it was still alive [Read More...]

Torchwood: To The Last Man

The Torchwood episode “To The Last Man” from Season 2 marks my return to watching my way through the series from the beginning. I am not sure whether this episode had a different composer score the music, but it was far more striking to me than the music has generally been in the past. It [Read More...]

Torchwood: Sleeper (What It Means To Be Human)

The Torchwood episode “Sleeper” focuses on an idea that was much more popular during the Cold War: the idea that there could be sleeper agents among us who appear to be like us, even a loving spouse, but who can be switched on by a command from our enemy and immediately become a ruthless, murdering [Read More...]

Torchwood: Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, “Capt. Jack Harkness”

The first episode of season two of Torchwood makes good use of Jack Harkness’ absence, which quickly ends, but nonetheless is posited and allows for the rest of the team to become much stronger and remain less in Jack’s shadow. The episode, “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,” focuses on a previous partner of Jack’s (in more [Read More...]

Torchwood: End of Days

This last episode of the first season of Torchwood, “End of Days,” focuses on precisely what it sounds like: the strange things that have been happening as a result of the rift in space and time becoming more active are being interpreted by religious groups as portents of “judgment day.” Ianto reads from Daniel, and [Read More...]

Torchwood: Weevil Fight Club

The episode “Combat” revolves around the Torchwood team’s investigation into a mysterious group that has been capturing weevils and in some way causing or allowing other human beings to be harmed or killed by them. The episode, for most of its duration, might well have seemed to have little that is of direct interest to [Read More...]

Torchwood: Invisible Eugene, Out of Time, and the Soul of Sci-Fi

The ninth episode of the first season of Torchwood, “Invisible Eugene,” is full of poignant double entendres and symbolism. The title itself reflects the life of an individual who, after failing in a math competition, was abandoned by his father and ignored by most people as he followed a trajectory that involved entering into possession [Read More...]


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