A quick preface: Over the last few months I’ve watched 4 seasons of Doctor Who and all of Torchwood. I know I was late to the game. I actually managed to avoid spoilers during that time and so, I’ll put a spoiler alert in here just in case you’re like me and took your time getting here.
About a month ago as I was watching I forget what episode of Torchwood, I paused the TiVo and declared to the Geekboy, “I like Gwen Cooper.” (I do that sometimes. Spontaneous declarations. It wasn’t an argument or anything. I was just overwhelmed with the like and so I decided to say something)
From across the room, I hear a chuckle and the long time Whovian and Torchwood fan that is the Geekboy answers, “Oh…there’s a lot of people who don’t. You’d be surprised.”
So, I watched further. I even watched trying to figure out why people didn’t like her. People not liking Owen, that I could understand. Heck, there are days I wanted to kick Tosh in the teeth. But Gwen?
I asked Twitter and, yep, the responses came back. Negative over positive pretty much 2 to 1. They didn’t like her. For a number of reasons. The cheating definitely came up. Her thoughtlessness. Some people think she’s whiny, others just don’t like her and didn’t say why.
And I can see where everyone’s coming from. I can. But, in a way, all of those things envelop back into why I like her.
She does all the things real people do. All the screwed up, “non-thinking but gut reaction” things people do. Real people cheat on their fiance’s because they feel more “alive” with someone else even if they know it isn’t going to work. Real people forget they might step on toes when they suddenly come into a situation and they have a better feel for how to handle it. Real people go from the gut and feel and can be sensitive to one person while totally stepping all over someone else.
I’ve cried more because of things Gwen did or said because I understand them on a gut level, I suppose. Her unwillingness to postpone a wedding even when preggers with an alien because she wasn’t going to let one more thing get between she and Rhys? I loved that. Actually, I loved “Something Borrowed” on a number of levels.
There’s a moment in “Exit Wounds” when Gwen takes over in the police station that Rhys looks at her and says she’s “brilliant” as he’s watching her take control of the situation. I thought pretty much the same.
And let’s just say it. Yes, she has a thing for Jack. How could she not. How could anyone with a heartbeat not? But Jack’s someone you have a thing for, because you just can’t help but love him. You don’t postpone a wedding for him and you don’t forget that you love your fiance for him. But, yeah, you have that moment somewhere before you say “I do” where you smile to yourself and you wonder “what if?”
Like I said, human.
I’m not even sure why I wanted to have this conversation. I know I just wanted to write it. Maybe to change a mind or two. Maybe to get feedback from people as to why they dislike her so much.
I actually think Russell T Davies looks to make a lot of people human. From the way they love to the way they fight, to the way they struggle with being human. It seems to me he has a plan. Actually, I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s for another post entirely.
Okay, back to this post.
I guess, in a way, I just wanted to share the Gwen I see. And maybe to ask other people why they dislike her so much.
I’m human. I have to ask ;-)