Dana's TW4 Blog - Barrowman Day
29 days left and we're continuing on my countdown to Miracle Day Torchwood re-watch! I'll be watching an episode a day and blogging bits and thoughts. With any luck this is gonna read like an episode guide and commentary. Let's dive right in!

Episode: Cyberwoman (Series 1 Episode 4)

Written By: Chris Chibnall (who by the way has written 8 episodes of Torchwood, 4 of which are amongst my very favorite. He's awesome.)

Original Air Date: 5 November 2006

1 Sentence Sum-Up: The team discovers Ianto is hiding his cyber-converted girlfriend in the Hub.

New Characters:

Dr. Tanizaki (Togo Igawa): An expert in cybernetics that Ianto contacts to help him reverse his Cyber-girlfriend's cyber-condition.

Lisa Hallett (Caroline Chikezie): Ianto's girlfriend and current member of the Cyber-race. She worked with Ianto at Torchwood One and was half-converted during the battle of Canary Wharf.

Favorite Quote

Ianto: "I'm ... not giving up on her. I love her. Can you understand that, Jack? Haven't you ever loved anyone?"
Jack: "You need to figure out whose side you're on here. Because if you don't know ... you're not going to make it out of this alive."

Never Noticed:

The first time we see Lisa you see a close up of her hands. She's wearing silver metallic nail polish. I almost put this in the WTF moments but I haven't ever noticed it and really if you think about it, it makes perfect sense. While it's unlikely she happened to be wearing perfectly matched silver varnish the day she was converted, it's just like Ianto to paint her nails to be color coordinated. And I think it's just the right touch without clashing. I can so picture that scene, Lisa passed out on pain medicine, Ianto sitting there talking to her and painting her nails. Quick, someone write that fic. Please.

When Jack realizes someone is inside the Hub and Tosh is trying to defend the security system Jack says, "Looks like our system needs to be upgraded." That line went completely unnoticed by me. Upgraded, that's genius and horrible right before he finds out who the intruder is.

In the scene where Jack is ordering Ianto to execute Lisa you can see the clock in the Tourist Information Office is set to 9:24. Useful for estimating Lisa's time of death. If you needed to...

WTF Moments:

When Lisa is able to breathe on her own, Ianto is alerted to the team returning and needs to get her hidden before they find AND KILL HER. Stubborn woman that she is doesn't want to be helped, she wasn't to walk herself. I mean they made it in time, but priorities! If I was Ianto I would've put my foot down on this point. I guess you pick your battles.

Gwen! What are you doing? Why, when you see the Cyberwoman, who both Owen and Jack have said is as evil as evil gets, both of whom are terrified of it WHY do you try to reason with it? And why, when she is slowly inching toward you and showing no signs of comprehension or compassion do you not try to take her down? Or move back a bit? Or incapacitate her in any way? You have a gun pointed at her head why are you just standing there waiting to be attacked? I swear Gwen had it coming. I almost think she should have been converted. I think maybe Gwen is an alcoholic, or a drug addict. In four episodes she's completely messed something up because of her slow reaction time. W.T.F. You guys, I am trying. I am watching again, I am keeping an open mind but all the ridiculous screw ups Gwen has been a part of are reminding me why she has such a capacity to annoy me. Again, I love Eve, brilliant actress, but sometimes that Gwen. Grrrr.

When Lisa is on the loose Jack says, "Find anything that resembles a weapon" . And I'm trying to figure out, what happened to their weapons they already had? Someone pointed out that the Hub was on lockdown and so they couldn't get to the various weapons but what about the ones they were carrying? They had them in an earlier scene...this seems a bit off. I don't know, someone tell me if I'm wrong.

Ianto totally cursed. It's not a bad thing, it's actually very good and he does it so sparingly that it really has an impact when he does. But it was a shock value moment.

Random Rants:

Oh my God Ianto. Ianto, Ianto, Ianto. When I watched this episode the first time it completely caught me off guard! I did not see that coming. Until this episode, Ianto was that gorgeous Welshman with great one liners and not much more. I really was curious as to weather he would ever have a bigger part and I was so glad when he did. I will say that when I saw the title of this episode the first time around I was put off. I do not care for the Cybermen as villains and so I was prepared for the cheesiness that accompanies their stories in Doctor Who as well as their grating metallic voices. To my delight, Lisa was just converted enough to be interesting. She wasn't completely robotic voiced and she did have the appearance of emotions. it was very well handled and the way she tortured Ianto was agony. This whole episode is the epitome of Torturewood, testing the mettle of the characters. Metal woman, testing the mettle of a man, oh that's funny. Ianto's character instantly went from curious to deeply layered and interesting.

MVC (Most Valuable Character):

Without a doubt it's Ianto. It's a Ianto-centric episode and we find out for sure that Ianto is a wonderful character we love. We didn't stand a chance, he's gorgeous and tortured, heartbroken and strong enough to push on and endlessly endearing. The whole episode and from then on you just want to give him a hug! He's a hopeless romantic and he cannot help but loving the people in his life, even if it's to his detriment as it often is. He's loyal and he always cares for others, putting everyone else before himself even when it hurts him greatly to do so. A full-fledged deontologist, bless him. I love Ianto, you love Ianto and I think this is the episode most of us realized that fact.

MVA (Most Valuable Actor):

For the first time in this re-watch I'm awarding the character and the actor to the same person. Gareth really rises to the challenging script and content in this episode. It's a very physical portrayal with very high emotional demands. And what's most impressive is his ability to completely take on the devastating history of the character without having acted any of it out (with exception of the Canary Wharf flashback). He made us believe, he made us care and he added clever touches throughout. I especially liked how every time he rejoins the team he straightens his tie and you see him slip back into Butler mode. It's a blink-and-you-miss-it moment but it's the little things that make the character so fully developed. Ianto wouldn't be Ianto without Gareth portraying him. And he does it so well. That being said John really held his own in this episode, they had a lot of great moments playing off each other and they developed an instant on-screen chemistry which is part of why so many fans, myself included, got invested in Jack and Ianto's relationship. Just stunning work all round.

Episode Grade:

I can't imagine a way to make this episode better. It's brilliant. Perfect. The writing, the acting, the authentic feel of the situations and the reactions to them. A phenomenal job by all the actors and incredible story. What they managed to accomplish in one episode is truly outrageous and it's easily one of my favorite episodes. Not that I could ever choose a true favorite.

Tomorrow's Episode: Small Worlds (Series 1, Episode 5). Remember I'll be live tweeting my re-watch on the @BarrowmanDay twitter at 12:00am PST (US - West coast) and 8:00am GMT (UK). Hope you all can watch with me and chat.

That's it for today! Hope you enjoyed my run down. What did you all think of this episode? Did you notice anything new? What grade would you give it? xx


All "Countdown" Blogs

6/9/2011 16:46:04


6/9/2011 18:11:46

It's amazing, Ianto had been so in the background until now, almost invisible, and BANG, he's been keeping this big secret. And he saw the carnage of Canary Wharf, how dangerous cybermen are. Still he wants to save Lisa. His love for Lisa is amazing, he's willing to do anything.

This ep again could have been really silly, the girl in the metal bikini etc. And I feel that they came veeeeery close to slipping into ridiculousness with the squirting of the bbq sauce. But not quite.

Ahh, and we see the lust developing between Owen and Gwen.

Location: Did you notice, that the room where the conversion unit was, was later used, if I remember right, in one of last Tennant-era eps of Doctor Who. "The End of Time", I think. I recognized the groove thing in the floor. Obviously Cardiff and environs have a limited amount of places to use as filming locations and it's fun to spot places that do double duty in TW and DW. Most notable I think is British Gas building, the glass-fronted office building in KissKissBangBang, that also served as Adipose Industries HQ.

Dana, thank you for your very insightful blog!

6/10/2011 02:06:21

Ahhh cyberwomen *grin* lol...errrm sorry! I am so very sorry for a momentary gay outburst there! lol

Ianto: "I'm ... not giving up on her. I love her. Can you understand that, Jack? Haven't you ever loved anyone?"
Jack: "You need to figure out whose side you're on here. Because if you don't know ... you're not going to make it out of this alive."

What that qoute does miss out on is Jacks expression and the very preganant pause! lol

Ha! I never noticed the silver nail varnish either...will look for it next time!

Oh I'd noticed that before "Looks like our system needs to be upgraded." Hahaha now DWs "Journey's End" pops into mind and the Time-Lock Tosh had created that saved Ianto and Gwen from a Dalek attack!!!

Love your 'Gwen Rant' in WTF...it is true..she can be a right dimwit at times! lol

The using the swearing sparingly thing does work. I don't sware much and boy does it shock when I do! lol *grin* So with Ianto it does have a great effect! As it would with Jack as he also doesn't swear...or have i just missed him swearing? lol

Random Rants: Yes it's a great episode. It could have so easily been a pile of mush...Somehow Cyberwomen seems a huge Cliche, but it worked great and gave us a chance to see Ianto in a different light and to enjoy some great acting from all the cast, especially Gareth.

I agree with both MVC and MVA...And the grade too! Brilliant episode and Cyber-Lisa looked great too! lol

Mickie x


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