The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Torchwood: Miracle Day “Rendition” Review

Posted by emmahyam on July 21, 2011

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS FOR ALL OF TORCHWOOD

“UP NEXT: TORCHWWOD” proclaimed the irritating squashed in advert on the BBC HD channel as we settled down to watch the second installment of Miracle Day. I silently prayed that this typographical boo-boo wouldn’t be setting the tone for the evening, sadly it seems the big man upstairs wasn’t in the listening mood, he was probably watching “New Cowboy Builders” on channel 5 instead.

“Rendition” took the uneven pace of last week  and liberally mixed it with sheer boredom, the first 25 minutes was a series of seemingly endless scenes of people having conversations in rooms, info-dumping left, right and centre. The episode managed to be full of exposition yet be baffling as new characters popped out of nowhere without so much as a by-your-leave to ruin our heroes days. Has the boat load of cash from Starz run out already? Because this episode had “cheap” stamped all over it, after all the ‘splosions and gun fights of last week we get the excitement of the worlds easiest escape from an office building (just wander out through the car park apparently). The thing that very much stuck out to me was the efforts of the episode to move the tone back to the Torchwood of series One and Two with quips at the expense of the camp as Butlins air steward and Gwen’s reaction to The Lady Who Startlingly Resembles A Siamese Cat “Death Becomes Her” moment. For me all these bits did were grate as they bumped uncomfortably with CIA shenanigans and Oswald Danes blubbing on the news, all it does is rub in how much Torchwood has been taken from it roots and twisted into what currently feels like the worlds most generic action/cop show with a token Brit in it. I also felt that the acting was particularly sub-par this week, John Barrowman’s delivery of the line “whatever is happening to the human race it is massive”  would have shamed a primary school panto, even Eve Myles caught the disease, playing Gwen at her screechy, hysterical worst, Mekhi Phifer just stuck with holding down the button marked “smug douchebag” and Arlene Tur was stuck endlessly reeling off plot points in a montone voice in dark rooms.

The episode also committed the sin of having the best bits of the show in the trailer, Gwen punching out The Lady Who Startlingly Resembles A Siamese Cat being pride of place in the BBC summer drama showreel and the whole making an improbable cure for arsenic poisoning was lovingly showcased in a teaser. While this was by far the best of the episode and I did giggle at a couple of bits my other half pointed out how it was also a massive rip-off of The Doctors “detox” scene from the episode “The Unicorn and The Wasp”.

I understand that Miracle Day is meant to be a slow burn, that introducing new characters and concepts takes time but that is no excuse in my book to put out an episode two this dull and uneven. Torchwood must step up its game in episode three or it’ll be waving goodbye to the 4.8 million who tuned in for “The New World”, and maybe even me.

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One Response to “Torchwood: Miracle Day “Rendition” Review”

  1. Mary said

    I wasn’t chuffed either 😦 I was pleased to see Lauren Ambrose in it. I love her and want her hair. I thought the acting may have been a little patchy but there were good bits as well. It’s the story I’m really not ‘getting into’ at the moment. I hope it gets better but I’m no longer holding my breath…..

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