Tuesday, July 5, 2011

'Torchwood' week: Important questions answered

With this week's return of the fantastic British sci-fi series "Torchwood," it's time to help newcomers jump in on the fourth season by answering some crucial "Torchwood" questions.

What is "Torchwood?"

The Torchwood Institute is a top secret government organization that investigates all things alien. It was based in Cardiff, Wales sittting on top of a rift in time and space.

Over the years its makeup has changed, however, recently it consisted of a small group of specialists, headed by former time agent Captain Jack Harkness.

Who is Captain Jack?

Captain Jack Harkness is a former 51st century time agent turned con man, whose life was changed when he began travelling with The Doctor. During a battle with the Daleks, Jack became immortal. When he tried to find The Doctor, his vortex manipulator burned out and he was stuck on Earth 100 years early. He began working for Torchwood, eventually taking over new year's eve 1999.

Despite the fact that much of Jack's past has been revealed, he is still a mystery, with an ever evolving history.

It is also worth noting that Jack is an omni-sexual flirt. He is attracted to men, women, aliens, basically any available species. He has fallen in love several times over the years, but his immortality makes it difficult for him to ever truly commit and often results in broken hearts for he and his lovers.

Who is Gwen Cooper?

Former Wales police officer Gwen Cooper stumbles onto Torchwood during a routine murder investigation. She ends up joining the team, challenging them to care about how the alien problems they fight effect humanity.

Gwen started out naive and uninformed, but has developed into a kickass action heroine. With the deaths of Owen, Toshiko and Ianto, she and Jack are the last of Torchwood.

Though she and Jack care deeply for one another, she is devoted to her husband Rhys. Her work with Torchwood has challenged their marriage, but recently he has become a real team member. At the start of "Miracle Day" she and Rhys have a baby girl.

Where is Torchwood now?

Following the devastating events of "Children of Earth," Jack fled Earth and Gwen went into hiding. Torchwood is now a myth, a mysterious legend that exists as an internet rumor.

That covers the basics that will get any newcomer started. Next up: pivotal moments in "Torchwood" history.

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