Torchwood episode 33: Rendition (21/7/2011)
‘I’m Welsh.’ Less consciously epic than the first episode, but still a step up from much earlier Torchwood. This focuses on Jack and Gwen’s eventful extradition to the USA, where released child-killer Danes is now becoming a media darling following a dramatic TV apology. Like a lot of Torchwood, there’s a studied edginess to some of this – can a paedophile be rehabilitated and transcend his crimes? But so far it’s interesting.
Also interesting: working through the implications of immortality. Not only the ever-increasing population, as covered in the previous episode, but the consequences of getting ever-older without being able to die, as those with chronic health conditions or palliative care suddenly become breeding grounds for new strains of drug-resistant bacteria.
The showcase scene, though, has to be Jack’s poisoning on board the rendition flight. It plays like a serious version of the tenth Doctor’s similar poisoning in The Unicorn and the Wasp, with Gwen as desperate and determined as Donna to save her friend’s life. The sequence is tense, but has the best joke as Lyn sneers at Gwen being ‘the best England’s got to offer’. They also give us a glimpse of Rex’s potential beyond the arrogant SOB seen in The New World. Coming off the back of a strong opener, this is shaping up as the best Torchwood to date.
Next Time: Dead of Night