The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Torchwood: Miracle Day “Dead Of Night” Review

Posted by emmahyam on July 28, 2011

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS FOR ALL OF TORCHWOOD

Its that time of the week again, Torchwood: Miracle Day is on, what will it hold for us this time?

Once again in my humble opinion “disjointed” is the watch word for this series and thats why I’m so immensely frustrated with the show right now.

To explain how I feel lets look back to 2009 and “Children Of Earth” by the third episode the plot was cracking along at a thunderous pace, the action coming thick and fast, the emotional punches landing squarely on the collective chin. It was funny, sad, shocking and thrilling. By the end of the episode I was left howling “noooooo!” at the TV desperate to see just one more minute of this fantastic plot. I had no idea how it would turn out, no one was safe, in the world of Torchwood the painful consequences of the 456’s arrival and Jack’s actions would change everything.

Cut back to 2011 and Miracle Day episode 3 continues to tread water, I criticized the previous episode “Rendition” for having “endless scenes of people talking in rooms”, I thought that they couldn’t possibly do the same this week but lo and behold once again the first 25 minutes is pretty much just that, only this time there were some added waving of guns and hissing of threats. Where is this money that Starz are supposedly putting into the show? It must be in the hiring of sets because it sure as hell isn’t in the action scenes. I say action scenes, this week we get driving, slinging a brick through a window, wandering into the worlds least well guarded painkiller repository and Oswald Danes lightly jogging away from some appalled members of the public. In my head while zoning out during yet another speech by Doctor Basil Exposition (Vera Juarez, thats the name I gave her because thats pretty much all the poor woman does), I renamed Torchwood “Talkwood”, because thats all the seem to do, talk and talk and talk. We hear endlessly about the chaos around the world when the hell are they going to show us? Presumably when that cheque Starz promised them comes through the post.

I’m frustrated because this should simply not be happening, of the three episodes we’ve had two shows of nearly pure padding. If you can’t fill 10 episodes with your story, think up another story or reduce the number of episodes. The “events” of the story so far could have all been dealt with in episode one. Miracle Day starts, introduce Oswald Danes, Torchwood are discovered and arrested, they escape and discover Phi-Corp, job done, onto episode two. The main plot concept is a great one, a solid sci-fi premise but it seems to me they’ve decided to keep it “down to Earth” by making the baddies basically the Illuminati with added painkillers, I can’t believe that the whole thread of “Miracle Day” is “we want to make a ton of cash selling drugs so we’re keeping everyone alive forever”. Did no one send the board a memo saying this is slightly impractical? Has no one pointed out the folly of having a gleeful child killer as their spokes-corpse?

Another issue is that Jack and Gwen continue to be side lined in their own show. Gwen basically there for some culture clash “comedy” rubbish (they seriously think UK residents do not know what an American is talking about when they refer to their pants?) and Jack is now cast in the role of a creeper middle management guy having a mid-life crisis, heralding the very unwelcome return of the Gwen/Jack sexual tension from series one and two.

The most frustrating thing at all is the glimpses of brilliance amongst the dross, Jack’s amusing post-one-night-stand dirty joke and the resultant giggles, Alexa Havins as the lovely Esther Drummond continues to impress, Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger, the devil in a red coat is doing a magnificent job.

The trailer for episode four at least look like were going to start seeing the effect Miracle Day is having on the population and the introduction of some interesting moral questions. Really all I’d like is for something to actually bloody happen. We shall see…

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2 Responses to “Torchwood: Miracle Day “Dead Of Night” Review”

  1. karode said

    Love the Talkwood idea!
    I agree with you, I think they should have made the series shorter so that they’d have to move along quicker.
    Same with the US English vs UK English jokes, it was funny the first time round later on it became cringe worthy and I hope they won’t do more of it.
    Looking forward to your next review as you put down on paper (or more to the point on screen) what I think… you just do it better than me 🙂

  2. Mary said

    I’m sticking with it because it’s only an hour a week. I take back my comments on the acting not being that bad. I’m beginning to loathe seeing Rex on screen. The two vigilantes were dreadful too.

    I can see that the slow pace is supposed to be character driven but it just isn’t. At this point I’m only interested in one character the Six Feet Under girl. The rest I feel need a kick up the arse to get moving. As you say the stereotypical US/UK clashes are me making me cringe. RTD can do so much better than this. I’ve loved his characters in other things. Is it writing Americans he finds difficult?

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