Critics Applaud Doctor Who and Torchwood after Bafta Success

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), April 30, 2007 | Go to article overview
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Critics Applaud Doctor Who and Torchwood after Bafta Success

Byline: By Hannah Jones Western Mail

Leading television critics have heaped plaudits on BBC Wales shows Doctor Who and Torchwood after they swept the board at this year's Bafta Cymru Awards.

Elaine Penn, features editor of TV Choice magazine, and the Sunday People's Gary Bushell, said the two programmes provided some of the best entertainment on the box.

Their comments came as the Welsh TV and film industry gave the two alien-busting shows a seal of approval when they "exterminated" the competition at the weekend's Bafta Cymru Awards.

Ms Penn said, "With the new series of Doctor Who being such a success, nobody was surprised when writer Russell T Davies came up with Torchwood.

"It's still filmed in Cardiff, still made by BBC Wales, and there's still lots of aliens in it.

"But it does show Cardiff in a vibrant new light. It's really sexy and quite scary.

"I don't let my kids watch it just yet, but I'm definitely going to get the box set on DVD and we can see how that goes.

"The second series, which is now being filmed in Wales, is going to be one to watch.

"I think it's going to come back with all its guns blazing.

"But Doctor Who is one show we always watch as a family. The kids get really excited when it's on and I'm not surprised it won so many Baftas."

The two TV shows went head-to-head in seven categories at the awards and went home with 12 gongs between them.

They included Best Actor for the Timelord himself, David Tennant, and Best Actress for Torchwood's gold-plated copper Gwen, played by Welsh actress Eve Myles.

Torchwood also beat Doctor Who to the prestigious Best Drama award but lost out on Best Design and Best Make-up.

By the end of the night, Doctor scooped a total of eight Baftas and Torchwood a respectable four.

But TV expert Ms Penn believes the tables could turn at next year's event.

"Doctor Who had better watch its back as Torchwood is gaining momentum," she said.

"Part of that is that when it came out at the end of last year, Torchwood was on BBC3. It had amazing ratings on there, but rumour has it that when it comes back it's going to go on BBC1, the home of Doctor Who. So it'll be interesting to see how it does there."

Ms Penn had tipped Doctor Who for Best Drama, but wasn't surprised that Torchwood won on the night.

"This was such a hard one to call because Doctor Who has got such a history attached to it," she said. "Torchwood is a little scary for younger viewers but came on screen with such a bang.

"Both were judged on two episodes, the final of both.

"And the reason I had thought Doctor Who would get this one was that it was the last episode starring Billie Piper as Rose and I just cried my eyes out at that."

TV critic Gary Bushell also said that Doctor Who is the only show "worth watching as a family these days".

He said, "Torchwood is amazing and it's great that it won so many Welsh Baftas.

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