Torchwood and the surveillance society

I watched a couple of more episodes of Torchwood, which I was a bit disappointed by a few days ago.  I'd say it gets better, though Gwen is still nothing like a cop (or--let's be clear here--she is nothing like a cop like I have seen portrayed in other books, movies, and TV shows.  My actual contacts with actual police are limited to automotive contexts).  She lets a suspect escape in episode 2, and only a magic device saves the situation. In episode 3 she has clearly never even picked up a gun.  Now, maybe UK cops are still unarmed, but presumably they receive some training. She accidentally kills someone by having slow reflexes (and despite having been warned that something like it was going to happen).

But the main thing that strikes me in watching these episodes (and it really has been only these three) is the prevalence of surveillance, and the casual way in which it is accepted and used.  The Torchwood team has access to security cameras everywhere. They track suspects, rewatch tapes of incidents in dark alleyways, and can actually look at things that happened in a bathroom at a dance club the previous night. They get access to private medical records and discuss the contents with no sign that this might be even remotely confidential. The show portrays the UK as a place where privacy of any kind is unknown. From my other reading, that is pretty much the truth.

Again, I find the conflict between the Torchwood team's vision of themselves and the actual impact they have on the world to be the interesting story (particularly as they never actually figure anything out--they seem to run around for a while, and then store the alien gizmo away in a secure location without ever understanding how it works or where it came from).

As always, works that fail in some way are more useful to me than works that fully succeed.