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  1. #1
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    Default Episode 9: Random Shoes

    After last weeks undead shenanigans, as well as the Ghosts of Ghost Machine and the reanimated people in Cyberwoman, it's time for a total change of pace as Torchwood deal with a Geek Ghost. Would that be a Gheest?

    Should be a cracker!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  2. #2
    Dave Lewis Guest

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    I'm hoping that the episode features the phrase, "Careful with that axe, Eugene".

  3. #3
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    I think Torchwood is missing that Rentaghost vibe. It would be so much better if Suzie dissappeared every time she sneezed. Owen could be that Jester guy... who else?
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  4. #4
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    I'm still trying to work out the episode title - what does Random Shoes even mean?

  5. #5
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    "Eugene's shoes are too wide and camp. Enough with the frikkin' Hush Puppies already! I'd love to get stuck in about Chinball's smug face with a big pair of random shoes!!"

    It's written by Rachel Kominski from EastEnders, isn't it?



    Edited to add: Still too CBBCish for my liking.
    Last edited by Milky Tears; 10th Dec 2006 at 10:55 PM.

  6. #6
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    I thought that was a bit rubbish to be honest, seemed very much like they were trying to do their own version of 'Love and Monsters'. I found it very dull, seems like every episode is about death, it's getting a bit depressing. I didn't entirely understand what was going on either.

  7. #7
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    Well, that was certainly a bit different! For the first 10 minutes or so, I didn't think I was going to like it too much, but I found myself warming to it and ultimately found it very touching (especially his Dad singing Danny Boy at the funeral) and warming.

    I guess this could be comparable to Love & Monsters, with the obvious link of the self-narration and the flashbacks style, and I'm going to guess that as with that episode, opinion could well be divided on this one! Being first on here at the time of typing, I have no idea of what anyone else is going to make of it, and am quite fascinated to see some other opinions!

    Loved the Starman bit and the zoom through the universe/galaxy. Good performance by the chap who played Eugene - and by all the actors who had to effectively ignore his presence - the scene where it looked like Gwen was about to kiss him in the motel room was quite eerie.

  8. #8
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    Yes, I got that sort of 'Love & Monsters' feel as well, Martin. To be fair, I thought it was OK, and quite entertaining in an inoffensive sort of way... until the Dad got up at the funeral and started singing "Danny Boy" (BTW, am I the only one who always thinks of that as a traditionally Irish song?). That just didn't convince at all, because I don't think that in the real world people ever, ever do that sort of thing. From then it just went downhill, because surely the end of the story really ought to have been that - the theme being that in life, there aren't always goodies & baddies, and Eugene's Dad was just an ordinary bloke who made a mistake. As the coffin dropped down to be cremated it would have been an obvious moment for Eugene to fade away as the eye burned, with the suggestion being that at least with Eugene's death, his family has been reunited and the father has learnt from his mistake...

    If they'd stopped there, I could just about have overlooked "Danny Boy" - but then we got what felt very much like 'quick, tag some more on, we're 10 minutes short' (the same feeling I got when watching "Speed" the first time, when there's that absurd second-ending with the tube-train). And what was all that about anyway - Eugene's dead, then he's solidly back alive, then he's floating up in the air, presumably dead again... Inexplicable, uninvolving, absurd drivel, and unfortunately that last ten-fifteen minutes has dragged down my opinion of the whole episode.

    Next week looks good though!

    P.S. What's happened to Gwen's boyfriend?

  9. #9
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    Just seen Jonno's post after posting my own post (if you see what I mean) so fair-dos, maybe the Danny Boy bit has a different effect on different people. (It's the Androzani effect all over again!)

  10. #10
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    I bloody loved it!

    A superb change of pace, seeing Torchwood from the outside again, excellent narration. Definately the Torchwood 'Love & Monsters' episode. I thought the whole episode was presented in a fantastic and gentle way that made it different from the rest of the series.

    One point, does this episode jarr with the rest of the series 'atheist' stance? Where was Eugene floating off too at the end?
    One Day, I shall come back, Yes, I shall come back,
    Until them, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties, Just go forward in all your beliefs,
    and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine!

  11. #11
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    I think I'm just getting more sentimental in my old age, Andrew!

    And yes, Danny Boy is a traditional Irish song, so I was a bit surprised at its inclusion - but then, Eugene didn't sound Welsh to me!

    Edited to add - nice one, your Lordship! Glad it's just not me with some positive vibes!
    Last edited by Jonno; 10th Dec 2006 at 11:21 PM.

  12. #12
    Wayne Guest

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    Ok, but nothing special. Nothing really wrong with it as such, but it was just a bit on the side of dull, IMO.
    Watchable, but average. Especially compared to the great stuff Torchwood has been giving us lately.

  13. #13

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    Oh I thought it was brilliant! Went a bit soppy in parts as well but then that's probably cos I'm a girl

  14. #14
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    I wonder of Mr Lindsay appreciated the CBBC Logo that was onscreen for the first tem minutes.

    I have no idea what to make of that episode. It was, as Andrew says, very like Love & Monsters, and it was different to the normal style of the episodes but I really find I can't say if I liked it or not. There were some great moments and some rather odd moments... but overall it was probably just a bit...ermm.. random.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  15. #15
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    CBBC

    I was thinking about this episode on the way to work this morning. When it was being an intriguing murder mystery where Eugene was trying to work out who killed him, it was quite good. When it became a life-affirming journey that was heart-warming and beautiful, it was absolutely terrible! The whole thing struck me as someone trying to copy RTD's style of writing with the mentions of chips and fast moving life, but making it sound utterly trite and adolescent.

    It left me asking questions, too.
    Why does Gwen fall in love so easily? As a motivation for being interested in Eugene's case, it seemed over the top.
    Why in the name of all that is believable were Torchwood investigating his death? I can understand them being informed, maybe visiting the scene, but I don't buy into them taking his body back for autopsy.
    How did Jack instantly guess it was a Dagon Eye?
    What did the shoes have to do with it? I thought there was going to be a clever reason why he took those photos, but in the end he just takes them.

    Sorry. I've changed my mind. This episode was well directed, had some interesting moments, but overall it reminded me of a different show. It didn't feel like a spin off from Doctor Who. It felt like a spin off from Crime Traveller. Utter garbage.
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  16. #16
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    I have to agree with Mr Curnow on this (I think it was Andrew anyway), in that the episode was ok but the last few minutes made no sense to me at all.

    Im not saying that we should be spoon fed explanations all the time, in fact normally Im against that, but I sure could have used an explanation for the end of this episode. I just dont get it at all what on Earth was going on?

    Eugene was dead throughout the episode (excluding the flash backs) then his body was cremated then he was alive again I mean solidly alive did his body not burn? Did the ghost like body suddenly become solid?
    Then he died again either that or he became Mary Poppins and floated off using his umbrella?????

    Did I miss something????

  17. #17
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    I've mixed feelings on it, I liked parts of it, but found myself bored at other times...I thought the guy who played Eugene acted the role really well, and was really sympathetic towards him, and it's been the first time in a couple of weeks that I've liked Gwen again.

    Eugene's dead, then he's solidly back alive, then he's floating up in the air, presumably dead again... Inexplicable, uninvolving, absurd drivel, and unfortunately that last ten-fifteen minutes has dragged down my opinion of the whole episode.
    But yeah, I have to agree with Andrew here, it just seemed to run out of ideas by the end, and it all went horribly wrong, and was completely at odds at what last week's episode seemed to be saying about life after death. (Oh, and I wonder where Gwen's boyfriend disappeared to, too Andrew!).
    "RIP Henchman No.24."

  18. #18
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    This is typical of the reason why I'm finding it so hard to get into Torchwood just when you get a good episode like last weeks you then get a dud like this one. there was simply nothing in it to really grab my attention and interest there was no real plot to it and I found it so boring so much so I started clock watching after about 10 minutes..

  19. #19
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    just when you get a good episode like last weeks you then get a dud like this one.
    As a Doctor Who fan, you should be well used to that though, Larry.

    To be honest, if you were that bored with it why didn't you switch off/over? I would have done.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    To be honest, if you were that bored with it why didn't you switch off/over? I would have done.
    I keep sticking with it in the vain hope that it will get better..

  21. #21
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    Hmmm, this one was quite enjoyable, and arrested the slide the series has taken in recent weeks, imo. Still managed to spoil it a bit with the ending I thought. It was also a bit cheesy, and still not attracting the best supporting actors/actresses. Next week's looks like a better crop though.
    “If my sons did not want wars, there would be none.” - Gutle Schnaper Rothschild

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Vale View Post
    Still managed to spoil it a bit with the ending I thought. It was also a bit cheesy, .
    funnely enough despite me not being overly impressed by this episode I actually thought the ending was the best bit of it..

  23. #23
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    I fell asleep before the end and missed the last 15 minutes.

    It wasn't that it was so boring I couldn't take it, I was just tired and warm and snug on the sofa and I drifted off. I regret it now as I was enjoying the episode and we didn't tape it but at least it'll be out on DVD soon.

  24. #24
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    I really enjoyed it. The biggest failing, I thought, was that it was a copy of "Love & Monsters" - an original idea, done twice. Like L&M it was about "yer ordinary bloke" harassing the lead characters (who wern't in it much), having an experience, and concluding that life is great so appreciate the "chips and loft insulation".

    However, I loved the notion of Eugene being dead and trying to work out what happened. To answer a few peoples questions about what happened - the "shoes" photos were because in the heat of the struggle over the Eye, he accidentally took a volley of photos capturing his friends shoes. The photos didn't mean anything, hence the episode title - "Random Shoes". I suppose the photo wound up representing how random and meaningless his life was.

    I didn't mind the ending, unlike a few people, I thought it was lovely. There wasn't any true logic to the very last bit, but it was just a bit of magic. A reminder that this show IS fantasy, and not everything we see has to be possible or unexplained. Like in "Ghost" at the end where Molly sees her husband just before he dies, up until that point everything has been technically possible in a "we just don't see it" way, but there is room for a little bit of something amazing and Eugene gets to say goodbye to everyone. Anyway, like the fact his life was extended at all, it could all be down to the influence of the alien artifact.

    I agree it was a bit odd that Gwen (and Torchwood) seemed so interested in a hit and run, but I don't think she was in love with Eugene. She just grew to care about him as she found out more about his life, and wound up getting very involved to the point where she felt an emotional attachment to him. But it wasn't a love story.

    I thought the episode meandered a bit, and didn't explore Eugene's post-death state quite enough. Why didn't he make more out of the moments when he could almost make Gwen hear him? Why wasn't he shouting or trying to push things over? The "Danny Boy" bit was a bit cringey and it was a shame this was so derivitive of L&M. But on the upside, the tale of someone surviving after death was told very charmingly, I loved the clever way his story unfolded as he worked it out and the ending almost brought a tear to my eye.

    Also I've been thinking about the whole "contradiction of previous atheism" thing and perhaps it doesn't. All the people that died last week could quite believably have gone to hell - perhaps that's what the eternity which Suzie talked about is (it certainly sounded like it). Maybe there is Heaven in "Torchwood", and that's where Eugene went. I like to think so.

    Si.

  25. #25
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    An odd little episode, quite nice but not classic by any means.

    but I'm having trouble with the central concept now, and it seems some of the writers are too.

    Torchwood started off as a secret organisation. In The Christmas Invasion Harriet Jones was not supposed to know about it, and the UNIT major was aghast that she even suggested involving them. In Army Of Ghosts it's implied that no-one outside the organisation knows it exists, Canary Wharf not publicly known as Torchwood headquarters. Now I may be wrong, but I'm sure the first episode of Torchwood has Jack describe it as a 'secret organisation', and they even have a hidden headquarters with a dummy entrance and a weird exit out onto the streets of Cardiff hidden by some kind of perception field. Certainly they give people amnesia pills left, right and centre.

    And yet here it seems everyone knows who Torchwood is. They drive around in a car with Torchwood written on the side. The police knew who they were last week, even knowing Jack Harkness by name, yet in the first episode no-one in the police knew who Torchwood was and there was no record of Jack Harkness except as a disappeared RAF officer from 1941. Eugene, some random geek, knows who they all are by name, it seems. And on more than one occasion they seem to be doing stuff more applicable to normal police work. Why on Earth were they investigating a hit and run? They had no reason to suppose Eugene had any connection with aliens, as they had always brushed him off before.

    And we really don't need the opening narration about Torchwood every week.

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