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Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: VC-1
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Discs: 12
  • Studio: BBC/Warner
  • Blu-ray Release Date: July 19, 2011
  • List Price: $129.98

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Torchwood: Complete Original Uk Series (12pc) -

Purchase Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Series

[Rating:4/5]

This set brings together all three seasons of the original UK series of Torchwood. A hip, edgy, risqué, and definitely more adult spinoff of the sci-fi series Doctor Who (the name Torchwood is actually an anagram of Doctor Who), the series is anchored by the stage star John Barrowman. Set in Wales, it revolves around a secret government agency known as Torchwood, setup by the British government in the 19th century to fight off alien invasions and investigate all unexplainable phenomena. Torchwood is headed by the vintage military coat-wearing Captain Jack Harkness (Barrowman), a humanoid alien with a mysterious past who also happens to be immortal. Captain Jack, as fans of Doctor Who already know, has appeared on that series and as a special treat, we eventually get a glimpse as to who Jack may actually be when reference is made in one episode to him at one time in his long life being referred to as The Face of Boe, yet another Who reference. Torchwood starts off in its first season setting itself apart from Doctor Who immediately, killing off Torchwood team member Suzie, played by the sexy Indira Varma. Into the team steps the unknowing but charming and rather sexy in her own right Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles). Other team members include Owen (Burn Gorman), Toshiko (Naoko Mori), and Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd).

Seasons One and Two each comprise thirteen episodes while Season Three: Children of Earth, is really more of a mini-series, consisting of 5 episodes each covering one “day.” While the first two seasons don’t particularly have a tight story arc and cover all sorts of things from evil fairies, cyberwomen, a nymphomaniac alien that kills with sex, and cannibals, Children of Earth is a tight story arc that deals with an alien race that has come to take away the children of planet Earth as part of some grand bargain, into which Torchwood must intercede.

All three seasons make for good sci-fi viewing and should definitely be checked out by anyone who wants to catch the new Starz/BBC co-production of Torchwood: Miracle Day that is now airing on Starz network in the U.S.

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

All three seasons of Torchwood were originally captured in high definition at 1080p/25 and they arrive Stateside in 1080i/60 high definition VC-1 encodements from BBC/2 Entertain. Apart from a few motion judder issues from what I assume is a conversion from a 1080i/50 source and a little bit of softness here and there, Torchwood looks rather good. Its sleek production comes across well with a lifelike presentation, showing deep blacks, spot on flesh tones and rather extended shadow detail. Video noise can sometimes be a minor issue in darker scenes, but the series looks far better than it ever has on broadcast television here in the States, that’s for sure.

Audio Quality

[Rating:3/5]

Torchwood is given a DTS-HD High Resolution 5.1 soundtrack for all of its seasons in this collection. It may not be lossless, but it is high-bitrate and apart from edgy-sounding high frequencies it does a decent job with the material. None of the seasons make very good use of the subwoofer, leaving the overall sound a bit thin and shrill, which is unfortunate given the constant use of techno and Euro-pop in the series’ soundtrack, but there is are good ambient effects and a nice balance of sounds between the surround and front channels.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

For the supplements you get the various Torchwood Declassified featurettes from the previous releases that are all rather promotional in feel, but offer bit more time with the stars if the series, as well as some commentaries, delted scenes, outtakes, and various other featurettes dealing with the series’ numerous villains, aliens, set designs, special effects and more.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • Torchwood Declassified
  • Featurettes
  • Commentary

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:3.5/5]

A strong science fiction series with a less goofy and more adult appeal than its parent Doctor Who, Torchwood’s first three original UK series, initially released individually, are brought together in one package for those who haven’t gotten around to picking any of these up yet. My recommendation? Get it and make a long weekend out of it – it’s that good!

Additional Screen Captures


[amazon-product align=”right”]B0050UEVFU[/amazon-product]

BestBuy.com:
Torchwood: Complete Original Uk Series (12pc) -

Purchase Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:3.5/5]
The Series
[Rating:4/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:3/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

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