Torchwood Miracle Day
In terms of plot, pathos, build-up, expectation and
good old fashioned story telling. The Last Season of Torchwood
Children of earth was really going to be hard to top.
So instead of going back to the classic series
formula Russell T Davis and co decided to up the ante, make Torchwood a
genuine trans-Atlantic spectacular set both in Wales and America and an
American co production. Theoretically with the generous injections of
cash (and the writing talents of former Buffy/Angel/Firefly writer Jane
Espenson) this entailed and the options of filming in America and using
known American stars this should have made Torchwood bigger and better
But the problem here isn’t the production values. The
characters that are left from the original series are Gwen, her long
suffering husband Reece, Captain Jack and……oh and that’s it. The formula
for the original Torchwood was simple; Captain Jack was its immortal
brain, Janto was its heart, Owen was its genitals, Tosh was its eyes and
ears and Gwen was …..I dunno, what…Liver? Appendix? What’s an organ
that’s always getting into trouble and cheating on its boyfriend?
Without those dynamics whilst introducing new
characters that aren’t very good means that this Torchwood is behind the
eight ball from the start.
The set up for Miracle Day is simple. People on
earth have stopped dying and are becoming crazy mixed up zombies…sort
of. Whilst you don’t die, there seems to be little to no zombification
going on and even less clamoring for brains. People are just not dying.
No-one knows why but the real world ramifications of this are
explored…to a point. The world’s population is skyrocketing, demand for
pain relief is through the roof. The Torchwood team is getting back
together (such as they are) but in a re-run of Children of Earth, powers
that be want them stopped and put out of commission. Also Captain Jack
seems to be not immortal anymore. Hrm... I wonder if that will be
important to the plot?
Enter Agent Rex Matherson and his protégé Ester
Drummond. Agent Matherson is a hardnosed detective who hasn’t got time
for any of that weird stuff and isn’t a very nice person. Involved in a
car crash that should have killed him obviously being made immortal will
make him a better person right? Or at least a more likeable character.
The addition of a plethora of actors famous for
sci-fi series like John De Lancie (Q from Startrek TNG), Nana Visitor (Kira
Narice from Star Trek DS9) and C. Thomas Howell (Soul Man) make things a
little more interesting but the overall feeling here is that this is a
good idea strung out to too many episodes, consulting with too many
writers and there’s a lot of filler here. And then when you get to the
end it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense (especially what happens to
There’s some making of’s and commentary on two
episodes (1 and 10) as well as the I-Tunes introductions ahead of each
episode which for the most part entails Jack Barrowman and Russell T
Davis yelling at you about what the episode your about to watch
There is also a “Motion Comic” which is apparently
jargon for “Unbelievably Bad Animation” and even the fact that it stars
Eliza Dushku (Faith from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) can’t save it. (I
couldn’t get all the way through it and I couldn’t work out where it
fitted into established Torchwood Chronology.)
Video: Video is crisp and clear all the way through.
It’s the most consistent thing about the series.
Audio: Audio is presented in glorious 5.1 Dolby
digital, which is used sparingly throughout the series, in Episodes one
and two you really notice it, in later episodes they seem to have
forgotten about it.