June 30th sees Captain Jack and the Torchwood team’s second run of adventures arrive on DVD. As was clear on original transmission the series has improved a lot since the first run (although that had a number of good moments) and seems to found the right tempo.
The thirteen episodes are all present and correct and accompanied by cutdown episodes of Torchwood De-classified plus The Lives and Deaths of Captain Jack, a 20 minute feature on Jack’s story plus some deleted scenes and out-takes.
It’s a pity there’s no commentaries but to be fair in most cases there’s probably not much more any of the cast and crew can to add to what’s already said in the De-classifieds.
The Lives and Deaths of Captain Jack is a pretty comprehensive look at Jack’s personal history starting with his first appearance in The Empty Child and covering his recruitment to Torchwood, his lost loves and his ultimate evolution into the Face of Boe. There’s also a contribution from series composer Ben Foster discussing the music for the show and the origins of Jack’s theme but
For me the highlight of the feature was a rather nice splicing together of the Torchwood series 1 scenes where Jack hears the Tardis and what is essentially the other end of that moment when, in Doctor Who’s third series, he runs to catch the Doctor before he takes off again. It’s a true fanboy pleasing moment.
Outtakes are something you either love of loathe and the ones here call for you to find Barrowman and the gang’s messing around funny so if you’re one of those odd people who feel the Torchwood and Doctor Who crews enjoy their work too much the outtakes here will probably just infuriate you. For everyone else they’re a pretty playful look behind the scenes of the show.
The deleted scenes show just how much of a show’s soul can be lost just to meet the demands of a transmission slot and some of the little moments shown here would added a slightly deeper and meaningful layer to the final episode.
If you can manage to ration yourself to an episode a week this’ll be a good way to fill the gap between the end of Doctor Who’s fourth series and the Christmas Special.
Torchwood: The Complete Series Two is available to pre-order from the Seen it store.