8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6
BBC America (Comcast Ch. 114)
After our gushfest last week about the joys of BBC America (specifically about our current guilty-pleasure fave “Hotel Babylon”), you kinda knew we weren't going to be able to leave it alone without telling you more, didn't you? This week, we'd like to bring your attention to their show “Torchwood.” Produced by the same folks who brought you the “Doctor Who” series, the show revolves around the adventures of a secret team of paranormal investigators, led by American Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), a former World War II intelligence operative who might just be immortal (that isn't quite clear as of yet… part of “Torchwood's” snowballing, “X-Files”–like mythology that's carried over from show to show). Using goodies scavenged from downed UFOs, the group battles what goes bump in the night from a base underneath Cardiff, Wales. Smart, witty and clever, with loads of chemistry between the lead characters, “Torchwood” might be the first supernatural-themed show since the early seasons of “X-Files” that had this writer hooked from episode one. If you've got primo dish or cable, check it out.
7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 10
KTHV/CBS (Comcast Ch. 10, Broadcast Ch. 11)In his 1729 pamphlet “A Modest Proposal,” the poet Jonathan Swift suggested that poor Irishfolk might rise from poverty if only they'd sell off their children as food for upper crust Englishmen. These days, we've got something like that, only our version involves renting our tykes to a major television network, in order to feed the skull holes of middle-class couch potatoes. But seriously folks, we've seen the first episode of the new reality show “Kid Nation,” and we're here to say that other than the child labor violations, psychological damage and horrendously dangerous living conditions, it's a hoot. In a nutshell: 40 kids are shipped off to a desert ghost town for 40 days and told to make their own society without the input of adults. After every episode, one of them gets $20,000. Of course, given that these are human beings — albeit young ones — the first order of business was to figure out who's going to be cleaning the toilets and who's going to be dining by candlelight on foie gras (is it any surprise that the best looking kids end up making all the rules?). This week: Piggy gets killed with a rock for his fire-giving spectacles.