Torchwood: End of Days

Here's my reaction to Torchwood's Season 1 Finale, End of Days. Contains spoilers!

On reflection, it wasn't a bad season ending, in the sense that it didn't break any of the characters. My initial reaction, however, was a howling "What in all the hells was that crap?".

There are two points I'm really, really annoyed by. The first was the huge bloody biblical monster stomping all over Cardiff, which didn't fit with the rest of the series, the continuity, the episode, or even the suspension of disbelief. I actually laughed out loud when I saw it; it was so stupidly over the top that it was offensive. It's pretty clear, I think, that the creature in The Satan Pit was so successful that they decided that it would be perfectly valid to repeat it, no matter how difficult it would be to wedge it in. I'm not sure any more if "they" is Russell T. Davies, or some pin-headed executive someplace, but someone involved really has to learn that repeating the good stuff doesn't actually make it any better, and may make it worse.

The fact that there was a little bit of foreshadowing with the "out of the darkness he is coming" routine doesn't really offer much comfort; you could present almost any monster and claim that that was foreshadowing for it. Also, the foreshadowing implied pretty heavily that the monster was coming for Jack specifically, and ol' Abbadon there didn't even notice Jack until he was yelled at. It wouldn't have been hard to throw in a few biblical references in previous episodes, or refer to a pit in connection with the rift, or any of a few thousand good approaches.

The second bit that is bugging me is Rhys' death. As I understand it, the logic was that when the rift opened, everything that was in the wrong time would go back to when it should be. That is, everything that was out of its own timeline would return. However, Rhys was in his own timeline. He wasn't removed from it at any point, so unless Bilis Manger fetched a future Rhys and killed him, the body shouldn't vanish. Either there's something I'm not getting here, or that's a plot hole you could sail the QEII through.

And after those two, I honestly find it difficult to muster much enthusiasm for the rest.

Posted by Drew Shiel at January 2, 2007 12:00 PM

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drew shiel, thick or something "out of the darkness he is coming" coming for jack, aka this is jacks destiny he is coming for jack and he does he comes jack has to kill it also killing himself this is his purpose.

coming out of the darkness this is his destiny coming for him, not the monster percifically

Posted by: fos at January 2, 2007 1:17 PM

Did anyone find a significance for Bilis Mangers' name? It sounds too convoluted to NOT be an anagram...but I can't work a good one out.

Posted by: MattR at January 2, 2007 4:28 PM

I ran it through an anagram generator, but didn't get anything in English that looked likely. It could be an anagram of another name, of course.

Posted by: Drew Shiel at January 2, 2007 4:45 PM

Season finaly was realy cool as they brought in elements of Doctor Who, and now that jake is gone with the doctor, just hearing the doctors theme tune at the end of torchwood was brill.

Russell D you rule

Posted by: Claire Lennon at January 2, 2007 7:04 PM

couldn't agree with these comments more only to add that the whole way through al you are waiting for is the doctor to come and save the day. maybe the same pinhead refused to alow them the budjet.

Posted by: Lance at January 2, 2007 10:19 PM

I remember that Count Iblis (Bilis, Iblis, similarity anyone?) in the original Battlestar Galactica series was supposed to be a fallen angel, and/or a personification of the devil. And apparently his name was a reference to that too, so I'd imagine this was a similar thing.

You'd have to look up the relations to the name specifically though as I've forgotten what the link was.

Posted by: Tomalak Geret'kal at January 3, 2007 1:58 AM

I have used 5 anagram generaters and could only get "grim lesbians" lol

Posted by: james at January 3, 2007 3:13 AM

I suppose the fact that Bilis Manger himself would have been sucked into the rift or destroyed when Abaddon (his master) was didn't register?

Surely Bilis being some kind of supernatural being rather than the normal time-travelling man he claimed to be when he died his works would go with him? I mean being killed by a time-hopping madman / subdemonic entity isn't what I'd consider a normal part of his timeline.

Also - initially I thought Abaddon would be naff, because I was expecting him to munch people like the Chewits monster which would have been unbearably corny. But the shadow thing was really cool. They could have done him ten times the size and it wouldn't have been effective as watching people just die in his wake.

Removing Jack at the end was also a brave move. I'm guessing Owen will head things up for Series 2. Shame we don't get to learn any more about him though - other than the stuff we already know from Doctor Who.

Posted by: Tim at January 3, 2007 3:32 AM

Really enjoyed the whole series although one or two episode were weak. Sorry but I'm not getting the whole kissing men bit in the series finale. Did Jack have a secret relationship with Ianto? Were there not extreme simalarities between Jack and Jesus?

Posted by: Mr H at January 3, 2007 7:05 PM

Well , i have my own therory , that jack disapeared in the same way as Doctor Who ... seen as we heard the sound of Doctor Who's traveling thing ...... any way read this i put a post on this 2

Posted by: James at January 4, 2007 3:16 AM

I wonder whether Bilis was secretly the Master, or maybe one of the Fairies from earlier in the series...?

Also, did anyone else get utterly fed up with the constant bisexulaity/homosexuality themes? I know I got sick to the back teeth of it!

Posted by: rob at January 4, 2007 12:43 PM

I agree with Drew, twas' a bit OTT, the pounding, stamping, screaming demon was a bit out of character with the series-I would have used a simple shadow falling over the land, no beasts, no horned terrors, just a shadow, simple and scary...

I can't see the series surviving without Jack, his enigmatic past is a real strength of the show-we STILL don't know him! If Owen becomes the new top man, then Torchwood will resemble Ghostbusters, lots of action, guns, explosions, opening the rift so he CAN get to the Off Licence before it closes...

Bilis IS a "fallen Angel" isn't he, Balaam, seems to be a connection there. I have to say, I have rarely seen a man who looks so much like an alien!

Hopefully Ianto will play a bigger part in series 2. Something about him, he's more than the "teaboy"...

Posted by: Ed at January 4, 2007 9:43 PM

Has John Barrowman confirmed he will not be returning for the 2nd season?

Posted by: Louise at January 5, 2007 1:42 PM

We know Jack is in Dr. Who series 3 - Barrowman has confirmed that in interviews. I suspect he'll back back for Torchwood 2 as well. I was waiting in tense anticipation for how Jack was going to vanish (given that he was in who 3, he had to vanish sometime). Although the whole 'our leader's has gone' was a bit end of Angel 3 for my liking.

As for Abaddon - was he not named "Son of the Beast" by Bilis (sure he'll be back too). I think there's more to this than just some random big scary monster. I think he's related to the Beast from Who 2 - and I think it'll be back in Who 3 in some form. They never did translate that old writing from Satan Pit and the description of Abaddon's imprisonment was just too similar to the prison the Beast had.

Though on the review, as an individual episode and season finale it wasn't awesome. The beast thing seemed a bit random and out of place, but then much of Torchwood has been "incomplete" - you don't get a full nice tidy explanation in the 45 minutes. That's because the producers and writers are really focusing on the characters, rather than the plot. For them this is life, and life never wraps itself up easily. It's never tidy.

Wow - can I become a philosopher please?

Posted by: MJ at January 5, 2007 11:24 PM

1. cant have Torchwood without jack- afterall who else in it knows about the alien stuff?

2. I Loved the series - of course people don't like parts, people are just too fussy :D afterall aliens ARENT always going to be the same small controllable things, they need some variation and some oomph for the finale! In my books it worked purely because of the plot around it...yes i would like to have seen somethin more original(not out of Dr.Who) but stil...

3. The concept of the sexuality within this is refreshing although disturbing in some ways...throughout there has been chemistry between Jack and Ianto, but maybe the full kissing was a bit OTT still at least it keeps things interesting, it is a part of life and people ned to accept it (btw i am straight-though i have friends who aren't, hence the strong views) It gives the characters depth and even if it doesn't always go the way you want-thats life isnt it!

Plus i completely agree with all MJ's points


Posted by: -x-Bee-x- at January 7, 2007 5:11 PM

course he's back for series 2 the doctor wouldn't take him from his colleges and saving the world from alien attack/invasion

Posted by: inside info at January 8, 2007 5:18 PM

Question answered thank you guys!

Posted by: louise at January 9, 2007 12:14 PM

hi i would like to say that reena silva which was the password for the torchwood thingie is an anagram for "A SANER EVIL"

Posted by: andrew jay at January 15, 2007 9:35 PM

I'm confused - the way I remember it - Jack came back at the very end of the beast episode - didn't he? Am I forgetting something? BTW - totally agree about the beast bit - But part of the problem could be that the Computer Graphics were so lame - looked like a video game.

Posted by: at January 20, 2007 3:35 AM

reena silva is also an anagram for "reveal a sin"

Posted by: alex at January 23, 2007 8:55 AM

well RTD and colleges just wanted something bazzar and they managed it, a great devil monster stomping over cardiff!!!!!!!!!!! - don't say it wasn't a good episode because that would be lying their all fantastic


Posted by: inside info at January 31, 2007 5:08 PM

i think torchwood is fantastic i agree that some episodes were so boring like "out of time".
jack is coming back for the second series he sais it in an interview and it is also write on some of the websites that i have been on.

Posted by: hannah at February 19, 2007 12:59 AM

(1) Jack's vanising with The Doc at the end, was obviously a temporary thing - no way does a serial about an investigative unit end with the investigators not having done a number on the disappearance of their own leader. I'm sure he'll be back.

(2) Abbadon - I felt it was done on the *real* cheap - all that stomping on Cardiff and not a single sign of collateral damage, not even the results of his passing, except a few bodies lying in the street in one brief take. Why is this series not given the cash it clearly deserves?

And now a question - I can recall having seen a clip in which Jack tells Gwen that he is from the 51st century, but I don't think I saw it broadcast in any of the episodes, it seems to me it was only in one of the trailers. Anyone see this clip and can tell me more?

Suspend your disbelief, guys, this stuff is *fun*

Posted by: softwizz at April 6, 2007 3:36 AM

I agree the gay stuff was a bit, well you know, a bit too much, but i think season 2 is gonna be great, so many people are coming to cardiff now that this has kicked off its un believable. Give Torchwood a load more funding and this could be one of the TV greats and why not bring in some Dr Who past characters? and hurry up season 2

Posted by: LeeInWales at April 22, 2007 1:08 PM

it wasa bril seris but its "out of the darkness he is come" i think !! forgive me if i am wrong !

Posted by: torchwood roxs! at May 30, 2007 11:10 AM


Posted by: Tom at June 7, 2007 11:33 PM

I can't believe people get so bent out of shape about some kissing between men.

Posted by: God of Biscuits at June 10, 2007 3:28 AM

i think jack is from another planet himself and he went home!

Posted by: noldon at June 25, 2007 8:10 PM

OMG how hot is jack lol i hope he somes bak 4 season 2 not like ill see it coz it isnt gonna show an australia anymore =( im so sad il buy it on dvd lol whenit comes out anywhere can u post it pplleeaassee and i hope jack comes backkkkk!!!!!!! bubi
p.s i lvoe torchwood 4 evaaaaa illl neva miss an ep i can u think jack and gwen will get together???

Posted by: kelly at September 12, 2007 5:42 AM

GOD JACK IS SOOOO HOT!!! I think the kissing is fine, no one would complain if it was Jack and Gwen would they!! If it was up to me the guys would be up to ALOT more!!

Posted by: MrBee at September 22, 2007 10:31 PM

I'm a recent new fan. For a fact Torchwood would be huge in the U.S. ...absolutely no doubt about it. They've definitely got something there. Great casting, definitely room to grow and flourish.
So could someone write me at
and tell me how many shows have come out so far who live in their programming area?
I've seen 13 episodes thus far. Any more? I saw on that they will be selling the first season on DVD in January. Glad to hear their gonna do a second season. They'll be dropping the ball big time, if they dump this series. Will be a HUGE mistake.

Posted by: David Mustoe at October 18, 2007 12:10 PM