The plot was more Sun than Sunnydale and exhibited the blend of cheesy innuendo, cloying sentiment and dirty aliens coming over here and stealing our minds/women/orgasms that Russell T Davies is becoming famous for. There is a lot of rapid cheesy sex, some wanking, a couple of gay snogs (one drug-induced, one alien-induced) and an alien that can only get the energy it craves from a male orgasm (perhaps because Mr Davies has never been personally privy to the awesome power of a female one). The new recruit is celebrated for being in a happy couple and is tediously 'caring', though her laboured and poorly scripted intuitive humanity is at least leavened with a touch of police procedural competence. Having the Torchwood crew implicitly bewailing the fact that none of them have a partner or normal life is a masterstroke. Their various neuroses and inadequacies are there presumably to give the programme an edge, but their social inadequacy will undoubtedly enable the hardcore of the geek fanbase to identify with them.
I missed the Dr Who episodes with Captain Jack Harkness and was horrified to discover he is American. I wondered if this was a deliberate ploy to make the series more marketable in the states. This is doubtful, though, as it is so Welsh it will probably need subtitles. He's very cute, a bit like a gay Hugh Grant mixed with a straight Tom Cruise, but is working the charismatic bi-boy alien charm a little too hard, so there is something a little bit knitting-pattern model about him. He is charismatic but has been let down badly by a script too dependent on one liners so light on wit and heavy on innuendo they should be accompanied by a swanee whistle.
Aside from Jack and Gwen, none of the rest of the crew are particularly convincing. Killing one of them off in the first episode was perhaps a waste. There would have been benefts to establishing her character more firmly so her departure more impact and to delaying the attchment of the new girl to the crew which would have given better scope for a more paranoid and edgy feel (as per blue_condition's excellent suggestions. The date rapist - who is clearly being marked for going over to the dark side or a very unpleasant demise - isn't complex enough really. I suppose I woud like him to be more Avon-ish. The oriental geekchick is so uninteresting the gadget she stole was merely a souped up scanner.
I did enjoy it much more than Dr Who and shall definitely continue watching, not least for the familiar Cardiff scenes and faces. I just wish I could watch Buffy and think 'Oooh, I taught her' and 'Oh, I think I might have shagged him'.