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[personal profile] lizzieladie
So I watched Torchwood earlier this year. Children of Earth was amazing. The rest...let's just say that I was not impressed by half of the plots being driven by Jack being completely incompetent at running a secret organization. I nominate him for management, common sense, and ethics classes.

1.) I think that this has been said elsewhere, but if your organization was founded by the queen of your country, and has official government authority to take over police investigations, you are by definition not, "Outside the government, beyond the police." You are, in fact, part of the government and police hierarchy.

2.) When signing up employees for a super secret organization, it might be a good idea to inform said employees that one of the conditions of employment is that their bodies and possessions will become the property of the organization after death. That's kind of a non-standard part of an employment agreement, and might be a deal-breaker for some people.

2a.) It might also be a good idea to inform the loved ones of said employees that the above is going happen, as these people might cause a fuss if they can't bury their spouse/child/ect. in the family plot or keep joint possessions after the death, and wiping their memories so that they forget their loved one is just cruel.

3.) It might be a good idea to get emergency contacts from your employees, and store that information somewhere where the employee can't delete it if they leave the super secret organization in disgrace.

3a.) It would also be a really, really good idea to actually contact these emergency contacts in the fairly common event that an employee dies in your service, so that their family members don't think they've just gone missing.

4.) It would further be a good idea to run a basic psychological profile of employees, and to identify the important people in their lives, if for no other reason that to have a good sense of who is likely to be blackmailing them and what is likely to cause them to go off the deep end. If you're going to insist on crazy invasions of privacy like keeping their bodies after death, it would also make sense to do some initial invasions of privacy that might be more effective in the long run.

5.) Hiring a general psychiatrist who can evaluate your employees over the long term and make sure that they're not being driven completely crazy by the job its the secrecy requirements would also be a good management choice. This is also a good way to get a warning sign that an employee is about to go off the deep end.

6.) Regular inventories of your vaults doublechecked by multiple people, so that if, for example, one of your employees has stashed a cyberman conversion unit in them, you have a protocol in place to discover this fact before the cyberman in the unit wakes up and tries to kill your entire staff.

7.) When on a mission, it is probably a good idea to fully brief your staff on everything that you know about the subject of the investigation at the outset (for example, fairies and their powers), instead of slowing giving them cryptic information as the investigation moves along.

8.) Similarly, it's probably a good idea to train new staff in the basic things that they should not do around alien technology before you take them to a site with said technology and put them to work.

8.) It's also a good idea not to leave people who are likely to become the next victims in a case that you're investigating without a guard.

9.) When using mind altering drugs to keep the general public unaware of the details of your organization and what you study, it is probably a good idea to both test said mind altering drugs in extensive studies and monitor the people you've administered them to, on the off-chance that one of the side-affects is becoming a raving lunatic murderer. This also gives you the advantage of knowing that your specific mind altering drugs are not the cause if they happen to be found in the veins of a person who has recently become a raving psychopath.

10.) Have a set policy regarding office sexual harassment and office dating, and enforce it. The fact that you hit on everyone within ten feet is a sign that you need extra rules about these things, and it's especially not charming when your employees don't even have the option of leaving the organization and working somewhere else if it gets ridiculous.

Doctor Who can get away with completely nonsensical plots because of its whimsical tone. I don't think the shift in tone with Torchwood gave it the same license, which is why I largely don't think the series worked. Children of Earth does a lot better because it engages with the kind of questions that suit darker works, and uses a much more solid plot to do it.

My other issue with this show is that Russell T. Davies equates sex with adulthood, apparently to the exclusion of things like maturity and responsibility. Sex is only one part of adulthood, and watching characters fumble through with the same sense of ethics and maturity that I see in shows about teenagers is just frustrating for me, especially when I know that the show was designed specifically to be an adult alternative to Doctor Who.

In short: I can take a completely ridiculous plot when it comes packaged in funny, but when you're trying to be serious I expect the plot to hold together.


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July 2012

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