The Blue Box Blog

Emma Lou's adventures in Doctor Who fandom

Torchwood: Miracle Day “The Gathering” Review

Posted by emmahyam on September 8, 2011

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS DETAILED SPOILERS FOR ALL OF TORCHWOOD

Welcome everybody to the review for the penultimate episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day and its been quite the journey thus far hasn’t it?  In the run up to this show I’ve had quite a few chats with my fellow viewers across the interwebz and the consensus seems to be that if Torchwood can  just pull off a competent end to the “Miracle Day” arc then maybe it is not beyond salvation. Despite exceedingly negative reports in the preceding week I tried to maintain some optimism, all this individual episode had to do was not be too stupid and deliver a few revelations in order to set the scene for next weeks finale.

Well, it kind of delivered on those expectations but it felt oh so unsatisfying. The overwhelming feeling of going around in circles that pervaded last week rears its ugly head again as the episode for some reason chose to focus on Gwen’s ram-raiding shenanigans, prescription drug sale racket and the Cooper families desperate attempts to hide Geraint from the entirely too gleeful government official. I understand the need to tie up loose ends in the run up to next weeks final show but why make this the main thrust when you still have the massive elephant in the room of “The Blessing” still to be addressed? If this was a massive plot problem the logical thing to do would have been to have Gwen fail in her attempt to liberate her Dad from The Overflow Camp surely? Miracle Day’s general ability to fill 50 minutes with talking and running from place to place and lots of “serious face” pulling but yet leave the viewer with an overwhelming feeling of nothing having been achieved is quite remarkable. Once again I found myself wondering if the budget from Starz was spent entirely on set dressing as we spent the majority of yet another episode in offices, living rooms and cellars.

Yes The Blessing was revealed… and frankly I’m none the wiser. It appears (at least to Jilly as the Mysterious Blonde Lady seems to imply that you perceive The Blessing according to ones particular hang-ups) as, theres no way to put this delicately, a giant vagina. Make of that what you will. We learn that this is something to do with Jack’s blood as The Blessing appears to be draining Jack’s “life force” as he gets closer to it. Now I consider myself a fairly intelligent person, I can usually follow a plot but to be honest dear reader you find me utterly lost. I have no idea what “The Blessing” is, even though I’ve been shown in explicit detail, why this has got anything to do with Jack, why Jilly has been singled out to run the PR show, why Oswald Danes is still around, what a crappy pulp fiction writer has to do with any of it and most of all why any of it is happening at all. What does anyone get out of this? World domination? Profit? Enlightenment? Will we find out in the finale? I’m not holding my breath frankly.

Taken on its own “The Gathering” isn’t an awful episode, it was moderately entertaining if you can find it in you to excuse yet more forehead slapping gaps in logic. Ester managed to get Jack, shot in the guts, across the Atlantic, to Gwen and then on to Scotland totally undetected. Gwen is able to hide herself and her family with great efficiency but apparently can’t hide her Dad from the poor mans Gestapo, she doesn’t have contacts that could fake her Dad’s records? Ram-raiding a pharmacy in disguise? Make sure you rip off your disguise in front of a witness before you leg it. Oswald Danes is a problem and has given up all his useful information? Then by all means cart him all the way to China rather than, I dunno, smack him on the head with a shovel and drop him in the sea. Taken as a part of a whole then all “The Gathering” achieved was to kill any momentum gained in “End Of The Road” stone dead and obfuscate the truth for yet another episode just to meet its numbers.

I’m now honestly dreading episode ten “The Blood Line”, I do not see any possible way that Miracle Day can come to any sort of satisfying conclusion. Its such a shame that every week I turn on BBC One hoping just for some sort of competently told story, delivered in an entertaining fashion and nearly every week to date I have been disappointed. Actually, roll on  the 15th of September and lets get this while sorry mess over with.

 

 

 

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