I tried to structure the questions to address the issues that have been cropping up in the internet discussions and see what people are thinking who aren't immersed in our little corner of cyber-space
What did you think of the show itself as a whole? Did the plot hold together? Was there suspense? Did you care about the non-TW characters? Did you feel there were major plot holes that ruined the whole thing.
I loved it. It did what any great entertainment is supposed to do and that's take the viewer on a journey. And the show had so much emotional character to it. I mean it made me giggle, fume, get irritated, just go "awe", sniffle (I don't cry but this was close), get angry and want to get "an injustice to one is an injury to all" tattooed on my arm. The non-TW characters were well done in as far as they did their job. Obviously the main guys are the ones I'm focusing on. If I wanted to get nit picky I'm sure I could ruin my experience by seeking out plot holes and continuity errors but, the whole 'Doctor Who' universe carries a big hunk of suspension of disbelief. There was nothing so glaring that it took me out of the ride.
Did you feel like it was still Torchwood?
Yes. I knew it was going to be different since most the cast is dead. But, I think the Torchwood feel was there.
Did you like the writing/direction/acting?
A thumbs up to all of them. I might be upset by some of the plot though I have to say it was written well. And there were a couple of times that (I think it was more through set up and direction then acting) I said "Okay, reel it in guys. Losing believe ability here".
Regarding the Torchwood characters, prior to seeing CoE, did you have strong feelings (positive or negative) about the three main characters remaining from the first two seasons? Jack, Ianto, Gwen. Did you like or love them, hate or merely tolerate?
Gwen I've mostly thought of as a plot vehicle. She has always been the one who is seeing things for the first time that let's us understand what is going on. I liked her more in 'Day Five' than in any other time in the series.
Ianto and Jack are my guys. Jack is always fun and because of the characters' history he always has such a different perspective that you just have to love him. Now, Ianto I think is actually the most interesting character on the whole show (not just because he is my future baby daddy). His girlfriend cum cybernetic distructo bot history then his relationship with Jack even though he doesn't have centuries of sexual ambiguity built into his culture like Jack. Yeah, and did I mention he loves me.
Did your mind change about any of them during the course of the five episodes?
I actually care about Gwen now. And Jack . . . Jack. . . oh, Jack. . .
Regarding the Jack/Ianto relationship, prior to CoE, did you think they had an emotional relationship or that it just sex or something in between. What did you think of Jack's relationship with Gwen? Was it only a friendship or did he feel something more for her?
The Jack/ Ianto relationship was more then just sex. Not let's go protest so that we can get married one day but, more then sex.(except of course that Ianto is secretly in love with me)
Jack is friends with Gwen. Flirting and the like are just a part of how Jack is built.
Did your mind change about either of those during the course of CoE? Did Jack's treatment of Ianto bother you in any way?
Jack's treatment of Ianto just showed his issues with relationships. And the relationship with his daughter and grandson showed a good reason why.
Specifically, regarding Ianto, how did you feel about the "coming out" scene with the sister, especially the line about "not men, just him?"
First, you're miss quoting. I distinctly heard "not men, just him . . . and Ben the Bartender". Just so you know.
Okay as far as that goes I kind of liked it. Human beings aren't built out of cookie cutters. Sexuality is a very broad spectrum and Ianto's letting himself fall in love with someone regardless of gender AND have a good sex life with him was fantastic. The show shouts enough positive queerness to satisfy my political side. I really liked how that was handled.
Did you think that the show had a homophobic bent with the fact that Ianto was referred to as "gay boy," "bender" and "taking up the arse" by his family, as a "queer" by Clem and that after he was dead, Andy asked if he was gay?
No it was not homophobic. His brother-in-law makes fun of him just before he embrasses him. Poking fun is obviously how the character expesses affection. That was a very realistic reaction. Not all coming out scenes should be either fag bashings or Lifetime cry-a-thons. It seemed to me that the writer/ director and cast were very comfortable with dealing with sexuality. The brother-in-laws reaction was very what guys do. Now, Clem was a bit of an ass. Again realistic and speaking from his generation.
G-d knows that if I put on gay cologne and walked through my hometown a little "that boy smells queer" would be the least of my worries. And smelling someones queerness is freaking funny. I wasn't offended at all. Since I am gay I am hypersensitive to these issues in film and I focus on them. Anyone who thinks this was homophobic in any way should really reead more queer history, experience more life and maybe smoke pot or something because they are kind of lacking in the humor department.
Do you think that Ianto's death, reflected the "Bury your gays" trope? Did you feel his death had a purpose within the plot? How did you feel about Jack not saying "I love you" during the death scene?
I don't know if Jack loved Ianto the same way the he loved Jack. And not saying "I love you" back is setting Jack up to be not so much of a hero anymore. Ianto's death was not "bury your gays" just for the simple fact that almost all of the rest of the cast was already dead. It's just like when Joss Wheden killed off his character Tara in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not to get uber geeking but. . . well). Lot's of people thought that it was an anti-gay statement when in reality he was treating his queer character with no prejudice and looking at the character not her sexuality. To be homophobic would be to treat the character, either demonize or idealize, based on their homosexuality instead of who they are.
Was Jack so broken up because it was Ianto specifically or another member of his team (following Tosh and Owen) who's death he was responsible for. Would the death scene have been dramatically different if it had been Gwen?
The only issue I had with the death scene was that I thought there could have been more build up. And Ianto should have confessed that he was really in love with me instead of Jack.
Do you think that Gwen/Rhys' happy relationship was contrasted negatively with Jack & Ianto's? (Did Gwen not losing Rhys or the baby seem unfair to you.)
It was a good contrast from a story point of view. I didn't think that Gwen keeping the baby was unfair. I mean there does have to be some hope in the end and since the whole mini series had to deal with children it seemed apropos if a bit cliche.
Episode 5-Which was more painful/disturbing to you-What happened to Steven or what happened to Frobisher and his family?
Ooooo, hard call. I guess Steven. He was betrayed by his own grandfather and Frobisher was a tool who collaborated in the attempted murder of millions. Whether or not they were going to be his kids he was a monster.
Which is more devastating to Jack, Ianto's death or Steven's?
I don't know. I just don't
Do you think Jack is irretrievably broken, or that he'll recover?
Since he is going to become the 'Face of Boe' thousands of years from now he has to recover somewhat. Although I don't think he will ever be the same. Maybe this is what starts to turn him into a wise old floating head.
If the next time we see him, on Dr. Who or a season 4 of Torchwood, he seems to be his old flirty self, would you find that acceptable, or do you think he needs to be seen mourning?
He shouldn't be seen as his old self. That would not be something I would watch.
If there is a Series 4 of Torchwood, without Ianto, i.e. Jack/Gwen and new characters, would you watch? If they ever did a Jack/Gwen relationship, would you be willing to accept it? If they found a way to bring back Ianto, would it "devalue" the meaning of his death.
It would be really tricky to do another Torchwood series. I'd rather see a Martha Jones UNIT series with Gwen guest starring as the new head of Torchwood.