Not to say much about the story - it's a decent enough premise, if a little safely produced compared to Torchwood of the past - but a couple of things jumped out at me:
* Why has it become the norm to not even try to approximate real news broadcasts and vox pops in drama? If anyone remembers RTD's Second Coming (on ITV, still boggles the mind), they had Richard & Judy and (I think) Krishnan Guru Murphy, but these days it always seems to be jobbing actors doing their very best serious telly news acting (the recurring American one on Doctor Who being another cringeworthy example). TW:MD even seemed to have a British anchor on an US-styled channel.
* Looks like we got the short end of the stick video-wise thanks to the cross-Atlantic production - a pretty poor conversion from 24fps for those who care about these things (which might just be me). Makes a bit of a mockery of HD, and brought back memories of the first block of the first series of Torchwood, when by all accounts the crew were still learning their way around HD cameras and didn't have them set up properly.
Yep - terrible motion artefacts. Looked very odd. Why not just do a 24->25 speed up? Or do you think the US bits were shot 24 and the UK bits shot 25 and nobody realised? Most odd. Pretty awful sets in the US (cheap...) and the make-up was noticably worse (John Barrowman's in particular)
The UK stuff felt a lot more confident - and looked better to me.
The news bits were terrible. Spooks did it a lot better. Interesting that the websites were much better - the fake BBC News and fake Wikipedia sites were a lot closer to the real thing. Also - why no British news channels?
Yep - terrible motion artefacts. Looked very odd. Why not just do a 24->25 speed up? Or do you think the US bits were shot 24 and the UK bits shot 25 and nobody realised?
No, I'm pretty sure it was uniformly awful - certainly the cottage interiors were. Why they didn't just do a speed-up I don't know - they'd have had to do some audio jiggery-pokery to stop everyone sound squeaky (not normally a problem but pretty noticeable if you're used to an actor's voice at normal pitch) but that can be pulled off pretty seamlessly these days.
and the make-up was noticably worse (John Barrowman's in particular)
I was really let down by this first episode of the new series. It seems that they have pandered to the American audience in they way it is styled, and we have lost all that was good about the old Torchwood. Hope Doctor Who doesn't go the same way.
Doctor Who has already strayed into this territory by having Rory use the word "gasoline" in the new series.
Wasn't that when Rory was in the US though? I'd use the words gas, elevator, sidewalk, trunk etc. when in the US, out of courtesy.
Doctor Who has always been terrible with fake news reports, none of them ever remotely convincing. Coronation Street's Tram Crash also had an atrocious fake news reporter.
The Torchwood stuff was a LOT worse than the previous Doctor Who stuff - and they weren't great.
It's not difficult to get it right. I saw a Norwegian film recently which had Joanna Gosling on the previous BBC One bulletins set reading stuff specific to their storyline, with genuine BBC News astons, which they also used over their own footage. They also used genuine Norwegian TV news studios (not sure about presenters). I think they were quite proud of having real-looking BBC News stuff as they used it. A lot. (The film was about Chechen separatists holding a TV talkshow crew and audience as hostages)
Well, I thought it was quite a good first episode, but I'm not sure how they can spin out this single storyline for a further 9 episodes.
I was initially uncertain about setting this series mainly in the US, but given that one of the central characters appears to be someone who survived being executed, it couldn't really be based in the UK, and I think the US is the main English-speaking country which still practices capital punishment.
American television and American television styles really annoy me generally so I wasn't expecting to be particularly enamoured with the new series. I would have expected the BBC to 'de-Americanise' the UK version of the programme by getting rid of those awful post-titles captions with 'produced by' then another 'produced by' then another 'produced by'...etc etc...but they didn't. I'd have expected them to get rid of those awful credits and titles (and theme tune) - they didn't. But I guess the cost of an edit suite for a couple days was too much for them. It's the little things like that which always annoy me!
From reading those awful credit I gleaning that it was an American who edited which I was actually surprised by as I thought the style of it actually still leant itself a lot to previous UK series.
News reports: truly appalling!
But, I think the story stands (or at least will) up for itself. They should have done it over 5x60minutes stripped over a week though again - making it more 'event' style it was made it work on BBC One last time, I don't think this scheduling approach will work nearly as well this time unfortunately.