The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Torchwood: Miracle Day “End Of The Road” Review

Posted by emmahyam on September 1, 2011

Its that time of the week once again. Torchwood Miracle Day; seven shows down, three to go, so I went into this episode hoping at least for some signs that the story was starting to sow the seeds of wrapping itself into a nice package to end with in two weeks time.

Once again we are presented with an episode full of sound and fury but signifying nothing, while the show is happening in front of you you’re certainly being entertained, I enjoyed the guest performances this week, especially John de Lancie, even if he was just playing Q in a fancy suit and it was nice to see The Ghost Of Nana Visitor back even if only for a little while. The problem is once the credits roll at the end of the hour and you think about what you’ve just seen you realise that you’ve sat through another protracted run around (or stand-and-talk around in the case of Miracle Day) where it feel like the story has come on very little. Rather than feeling satisfying or interesting the revelations about Angelo and The Families only make me feel like we’ve been going round and round in circles for 6 weeks. You get the impression that the writers are just making this up as they go along, seemingly unable to settle on a consistent story they’re just chucking every half baked idea at the screen and hoping that the audience don’t notice. The Wikipedia page for Miracle Day says;

Miracle Day was developed through a collaborative plotting, with individual episodes subsequently assigned to individual writers. Gardner and Davies spent four weeks alongside their writing staff working through the complete story.

Really? Sure doesn’t seem that way to me, how the hell is this disjointed mess an example of “collaborative plotting”, the impression that I’m left with is that RTD had a good idea, realised it just would in no way fill 10 hours of screen time and started writing filler.

Case in point; Oswald Danes, returning after a two and half episode absence just to get told some home truths by a prostitute and then punch a couple of lumps out of Jilly, the reveal of the new “Category Zero” protocol and Oswald’s immediate reverting back to his character of episode one makes his whole arc feel like a colossal waste of time. To me the main “Miracle Day” story line suffered at the expense of giving Oswald Danes  air time in the early episodes. You were waiting for the big reveal of how Miracle Day somehow revolved around him or that he was involved with Jack somehow… yet nothing ever came. This wholesale shutting down of his story now feels like the writers acknowledging that this story line just does not work. When you’re writing a hierarchical story in this day and age you can’t afford any ‘fat’ on the bones of your show, anything that detracts from they main story line progressing forward just come across as padding, and Oswald Danes has been padding, pure and simple.

I give this episode credit for trying to get this story moving, if anything its now too much, too late. This should have been episode 4 of a maybe 6 part series, not episode 8 of 10, by leaving the introduction of Angelo and The Families until episode seven the narrative is left trying to impart an emotional impact or shock to us that we can’t feel because we simply haven’t had time to care about it. The writers are left info dumping on us from a great hight again because the events of “Immortal Sins” has effectively invalidated all the previous info dumps.

Once again the trailer for next week imparts little hope, looks like its Gwen Vs The Gestapo with some Jack shenanigans thrown in, in episode NINE for God’s sake! I really hope they’re is going to be an actual miracle. the Torchwood will somehow rise from the gutter and come to satisfying conclusion, but I sincerely doubt it.

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