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Torchwood Magazine #1

Torchwood Magazine #1
Torchwood Magazine #1
Torchwood Magazine #1 is published every four weeks, the brand new Torchwood magazine will bring you the latest from the hit BBC show, with in-depth star interviews, exclusive reports behind the scenes and brilliant original fiction. A 13 issue subscripion includes 12 regular issues and 1 special.

Torchwood Magazine Website

Past Feature Reviews
A review by Sandy Auden

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With the universal success of the new Doctor Who -- which has managed to attract families from all walks of life, as well as the hard-core genre lovers -- it's no surprise that a spin-off series has arrived so quickly.

Following the adventures of Time Agent Captain Jack Harkness and his outside-the-law, alien-investigating elite team, Torchwood has become a firm favourite in both the UK and the US.

Now, Titan have launched the Torchwood magazine to take you behind the scenes and introduce you to all the who's and how's that make Torchwood tick. The first issue wastes no time. There's major interviews with the actors, a detailed view from the makeup chair, its own exclusive comic strip and Torchwood team profiles. But is it worth the monthly £3.75 price tag? Let's take a trip through the contents and have a look…

First up is the news section and although there's talk of the upcoming online Torchwood experience and action figures being released later this year, there's nothing in the way of exclusive, can't-find-this-anywhere-else type news -- which given the magazine's unique access to Torchwood cast and crew seems a shame. Let's hope it's just a first issue glitch.

Next, the Preview section looks at episodes two to six and gives the episode writers their chance to comment on the stories. Surprisingly spoiler free, it's refreshing to find television writers explaining their thought processes and sharing their opinions. It's an insightful and interesting addition to the magazine and leaves you pleasantly anticipating the next instalment.

Then we have the article at the heart of this first issue -- a double-headed interview with both Captain Jack (John Barrowman) and season two's first episode guest Captain John (James Marsters). Both interviews are candid and in-depth. Marsters' interview is the lighter of the two and focuses less on Torchwood and more on Marster's past history and hobbies. The one question I expected to see Marsters tackle was about the snogging scene in his episode but for some reason this wasn't actually covered. The one fact I didn't expect to discover was about how John Barrowman entertains the crew between takes with comedy flatulence! An excellent section and one that easily delivers more than the usual interviews elsewhere.

I didn't expect to enjoy the Grand Designs tour around the Torchwood set. At first glance, it seemed big on photos and small on words. But I was wrong, and as Production Designer Edward Thomas walked us round the various rooms and locations within the Hub, you start to appreciate the incredible care and attention that goes into all aspects of the Torchwood production. A hidden gem, this one, from the painted dragon on the wall to the Tardis that Jack is growing out of coral on his desk.

The next few pages pass pleasantly enough amid interviews with the guest actors in "Sleeper" and the first comic strip yarn written by Simon Furman. It's a fast paced story with artwork characters that resemble the cast relatively well (supplied by SL Gallant) and one character who has a spooky similarity to Bill Bailey. After that, there's brief profiles of the main characters (no new information though) followed by a photographic diary about the creation of episode one's blowfish alien. This article takes you from conceptual sketches, through the layers of latex and glue, to the final scene as he takes a bullet between the eyes. It's a familiar tale from prosthetics workshops everywhere.

Closing this premiere issue is the first in a series of interviews that try to get inside the psyche of the cast members. With questions like "What is the last dream you can remember?" and "What drives you mad?", you'll know a lot more Naoko Mori (Tosh) by the time you finish reading.

Overall then, this is a solid first instalment. You'll discover lots of new facts about your favorite show, its cast and crew; and it'll enhance your viewing of the upcoming episodes without spoiling the stories. It does all this with a clean-looking layout and a definite sense of fun that pervades the entire magazine -- from the "John Barrowman gets lippy…" cover headline to the playful use of words in the introduction to the "Blow by Blowfish" article.

So is the Torchwood magazine value for money? Just about, although it does cover similar ground to the Torchwood Declassified TV program and I'd have liked to have seen a glossy finish on the pages like other magazines in the same price range. But hey, if you're serious about this one, then at least there's the option to save some money with their 30 percent discount on subscriptions.

Copyright © 2008 Sandy Auden

Sandy Auden is currently working as an enthusiastic reviewer for SFX magazine; a tireless news hound for Starburst magazine; a diligent interviewer/reviewer for Interzone magazine and a combination interviewer/reviewer for SFSite.com and UKSFBookNews.net. She spends her spare time lying down with a cold flannel on her forehead. Visit her site at The Auden Interviews.


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