View Full Version : The Americanisation of Torchwood (Spoilers for all aired eps - inc US ones)

August 13th, 2011, 02:05 PM
Right-o chaps, just to clarify, before anyone jumps at me, the following points must be understood:

This is not a complaint.

This is not anti-American.

This is not a discussion of filming LOCATION.

Too often have I seen this topic descend into Brit's being arsey to the yanks, and the yanks screaming anti-American hate. It's not about that. I don't intend this topic to be a cross-continental pissing contest.

We ALL know that there are vast differences between British and American film and television, anyone who doesn't accept that is deluded. Every nation produces a unique contribution to world cinema, quality regardless. A British romance is likely to be quite different from a US romance, just as British thrillers/sci-fi etc tend to be different. It can come down to a lot, including filming techniques, lighting, etc etc etc.

I personally feel there are times, when Torchwood: Miracle Day feels quite American. Understandable, there are US writers involved, but I'd like to discuss this occurence properly, without it being dismissed as a bad thing, or 'Brits complaining'.

I kind of noticed it with some of the filming scenes, I think notably the Assasin and his introduction was very American, some of the camera angles and dialogue felt, to me, very CSI. I'd also say that the ending of Middle Men, with Gwen's motorbike escape was a particularly US moment, though in this case, because of what happened, not the filming techniques.

Obviously, I also think there's retainment of British techniques as well, so I'm not saying Torchwood has gone totally American...

August 13th, 2011, 03:02 PM
I haven't really had a chance to watch the show, so I can't comment on the stuff you're talking about. I would point out that artists will attempt to use techniques from artists of other cultures to improve their own work. Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, but it's perfectly natural and perfectly normal, and of course the process repeats itself as technique gets re-cultured and we get something new.

I'll give an example from the world of food. Tempura is a Japanese dish right? Well actually it was developed in Portugal and gets its name from the time when Catholics couldn't eat meat on Fridays. Anyway, the Portuguese merchants brought the cooking technique to Japan, where their chefs began altering it and modifying it to Japanese tastes. The result is Japan's national dish.

I hope what I'm writing makes sense.

August 13th, 2011, 03:48 PM
Yes... but...

Miracle Day is a joint UK-US production with some American writing staff on board. :P

August 13th, 2011, 04:49 PM
It has to some extent, the scene in Episode four when Esther went to see her sister and the assassin was sat in the car watching and then set off following her. Whether it's a bad thing or not it was a very american way of shooting that scene.

August 13th, 2011, 06:57 PM
Yes... but...

Miracle Day is a joint UK-US production with some American writing staff on board. :P

Same basic concept!

General Jumper One
August 13th, 2011, 07:06 PM
I don't feel as you do, I feel that it's still very British.

August 13th, 2011, 07:49 PM
hey, Rex said 'car park' last night.....so the script certainly hasn't been americanized totally :)

there are certain filming techniques that anyone that's watched a show or movie know even if they don't realize it....like foreshadowing the jagged stake in scene 3 that the bad guy will impale himself on in scene 34.

I do think that there is a different pace to BBC shows....largely cause they are made for (if i'm remembering right) a break at the bottom of the hour and a break at the top while US shows are made for a 'break every 7-10 minutes' pacing.

August 14th, 2011, 03:33 AM
I don't feel as you do, I feel that it's still very British.

I'm not saying it's TOTALLY American, but the scene that Icarus mentions is the one I was on about - highly American.

August 14th, 2011, 07:05 PM
i think, while the writing may be british, the filming techniques are american, so it's a hybrid

August 15th, 2011, 05:31 PM
I certainly think that the filming techniques have changed, especially from the first two seasons. Maybe it's just a higher budget or a bit more serious plot (something I felt that the first two seasons really lacked, just entirely too happy-go-lucky) but this season feels much higher quality to me, of course, so did Series 3

August 21st, 2011, 09:51 AM
i think, while the writing may be british, the filming techniques are american, so it's a hybrid
I completely agree with this, most of what everyone has said so far, plus Archaeis mentioning that the subject matter has gotten a lot darker. The subject matter still feels very British, at least in my American opinion. I'm personally very glad that everything still feels as British as it does, and it's certainly key that Gwen/Rhys stay on to have the physical British(Welsh) connection. Without the British flair, for lack of a better word, this show would run dangerously close to turning into a modern X-Files. (Not that I would mind, terribly, but I've always thought Torchwood was better than that.)

Matt G
August 23rd, 2011, 02:29 PM
Wheras I tended to see TW(particularly the early seasons) as a British X Files set in the Dr Who universe.

September 1st, 2011, 12:02 PM
I think one HUGE difference between British and American TV shows (as a general rule) is that British shows often use "everyday looking" actors and actresses where American shows more often use super models and macho men in almost every role.

This isn't always true, but if an average was taken and could be measured this would be true. I prefer British shows in this regard, makes it more realistic.

Angela V
October 4th, 2011, 11:07 PM
I saw it as a hybrid of the UK and the USA. Which I was expecting considering who's backing it money wise. I enjoyed this season as much as the other 3 seasons.

October 15th, 2011, 06:19 AM
the series is certainly different but i enjoyed the new and older versions it really dose not matter for me

August 29th, 2012, 05:10 AM
To me it felt very american, it is hard to explain what exactly it means but since I watch both American and British tv/movies you can always notice differences in film technique and style.