As a Torchwood fan, it was with eager anticipation I awaited the latest series, titled ‘Miracle Day’. It was the first glimpse of Torchwood since the dramatic conclusion of ‘Children of Earth’ and Torchwood’s first series shared between the BBC and Starz in the US.
Unfortunately, overall, I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed with the 10 episodes which make up ‘Miracle Day’. And here’s why.
Pace and Length
While for the most part, the plot felt like it was really dragging and struggling to fill the full ten episodes there were times when it raced along almost uncontrollably.
Just as Torchwood run from the CIA and Jack is dying in the back of Esther’s car and things get exciting, we’re given “2 months later”. Equally, when Torchwood discovers The Blessing is in Shanghai, they are there within moments with seemingly little to no obstacles preventing an entry for Oswald Danes and the team into a country which had apparently shut its borders.
By contrast, Gwen’s poor father requiring constant being rescuing and saving which slows the main plot right down. While it was important to demonstrate the Miracle’s effect on the wider world and part of Gwen’s character is her background and family life, too much time was dedicated to this unnecessary plotline.
Ten episodes is a very short series for an American drama where series are upwards of 20 episodes long. Torchwood, which in ‘Children of Earth’ was just five episodes, felt like it was being dragged out at times so that it was long enough for American audiences. The debate over the benefits of Starz inclusion in the making of Torchwood is likely to rage on.
With just Gwen and Jack remaining from the original Torchwood series, it was inevitable the team would need some new recruits. I thought Esther stepped into the breach excellently, a really interesting down-to-earth CIA agent who the audience could really connect with and truly grew during the series. It’s a great shame to see her go, but death is part of Torchwood.
I was not so sure about Rex. Starting off as a macho CIA agent, he seems to swing between CIA and Torchwood allegiances a little too often, before becoming a hero at the end.
As for Jilly Kitzinger and Oswald Danes, I’m not really sure what, if anything, they added to the plot. Neither did anything spectacular towards events, with their main role to give the audience a break from the main action of the Torchwood team. In the bigger picture, it shows the contrasting fortunes of “ordinary” people from the miracle but this took away from the action of the main events.
After eight episodes, I suddenly realised there was only two to go. Only 120 minutes to answer all the questions and tie up all the loose ends which had so far taken 480 minutes to create and build up!
In the end, it’s very frustrating to still not know the answer to the following questions: What is The Blessing? Who are the families? What will happen to a now immortal Rex? And most importantly, just as we thought everything had come to a nice neat close what is the families’ plan B?
After ten episodes, the mention of a plan B suggests that the storyline has only just begun. I don’t know whether this is great news or immensely frustrating.
What did you think of the latest series of Torchwood? Let us know by commenting below.