Okay, time to geek out.
Everyone who talked to me on the subject knows how down I was on Torchwood. How horrible I found the first series, not managing even half of the episodes before tossing it out and deciding it was schlock trying overly hard to masquerade as edgy, but felt like the writers had been told they could be adult and went about it the same way as a 14 year old boy - sticking in a bunch of violence, swearing and graphic sex of all kinds totally at odds with the source series and trying way way too hard.
I wrote it off. I couldn't care less.
Then somewhere along the line, the international market took off. Torchwood proved to be a more successful export than the show it spun off of - Doctor Who. Suddenly the BBC had a success on their hands. And they could have just delivered more of the same, knowing people would be satisfied.
However, they seem to have realized they had a potentially even bigger hit on their hands because I can honestly say I've never known a series to turn itself around so rapidly.
The worst you could say about the second series of Torchwood is that it had two average episodes.
Overwise the second series of Torchwood was stunning. Instead of the emo, selfish characters from the first series you had... well, okay, so there was some emo and some selfish but you finally saw why these guys were both heroes and a team. Every character was made infinitely more likable and the performances slicker. I don't like to single out individuals in what became a real ensemble piece but Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori both came into their own this series, Burn Gorman making good on the performance he gave in Bleak House and showing an even greater range.
And these characters broke my heart, made me cheer and put me on the edge of my seat. Stronger writing all round, much stronger characterization and some brilliant twists as well as worthwhile guest appearances from James Marsters, Freema Agyeman and Kai Owen really getting a chance to shine as Rhys (a character I loved from the first), I have to admit it...
They only bloody well went and did it. They only went and made Torchwood unmissable.