1. I read the news today oh boy, 200 weevils in the sewers of Cardiff.
One of the delightfully dotty things about the old paternalist ITV (mid 50s to mid 80s) was the way that, whilst the majority of the prime-time drama was provided by the big five companies, the smaller ones also got their turns from time to time. Because the companies were supposed to have a local focus and employ people locally etc. you would get some slightly bizarre series. Imagine it is Border TV's turn, they commission 'Rinse and Repeat', a police drama starring John Thaw as old school Jack Rinse and Haydn Gwynn as fast-track recent graduate of a Home Office Scholarship Robyn Repeat. Unfortunately, this is set in Berwick Upon Tweed, so in the first episode John Thaw has to convince the audience of the plausibility of this by giving the 'you may think this is a sleepy back-water repeat, but with the proximity of the A1 and the Tweedmouth docks this is a major centre for international crime syndicates' speech.
I was reminded of this when Captain Jack gave his 'like Men in Black but in Cardiff because of the rift in the space-time continuum' speech. Slightly desperate, I thought.
2. Smoke me a welsh-cake, I'll be back for breakfast.
Am I the only person to be reminded of Ace Rimmer by John Barrowman's portrayal of Captain Jack? More specifically a 50-50 mix of Ace Rimmer and Ecclestone's Dr. Who
3. Other parallels...
i) the first scene with Gwen and Captain Jack seemed very reminiscent of the first scene with the Doctor and Rose.
ii) Gwen's husband is basically Mickey crossed with Rose's mum
4. Have I mentioned 'like Men in Black but in Cardiff'?
Oh yes, I have.
5. Pouty Mc-Pout-Pout
There is a school of thought, to which Russell appears to subscribe, that all heroines of SF series must pout. Buffy, The Pouty One In Aliens and Waitresses (Maria), Faith, Max in Dark Angel. Gwen is up there in the pouting stakes. I would say about 450 miliFaiths of pout (The Faith, like the Tesla is inconveniently large unit). At least she is not as busty as Eliza Dushku so the running around is unlikely to do her permanent ligament damage :-)
6. Production values
i) the usual lack of polish we expect from BBC drama (apart from that, of course, set in the past and based on a novel in The Canon).
ii) some scenes showing a reasonable budget and amount of flair, some poorly lit interior scenes that wouldn't have looked out of place in Holby City.
7. The Initiative, er, Institute
Implausible unaccountable organisation unnoticed in the middle of a populated area, mmm, where have I see that before?
These are all minor quibbles compared to my major quibble, which is that after 2 episodes I don't care very much.
Obviously, given the BBC's hatred and despising of SF I was not hopeful and actually it was not as bad as I was expecting, particularly given the hateful alternate-world-Torchwood in the 2nd series of Dr. Who.