Telly Checked*: Torchwood Miracle day

Posted on July 16, 2011 by


Even the poster is crap. What the hell is that? Seriosuly? And 'a starz original series'? Oh, well, don't give the BBC any credit whatsoever, then.

What the hell is this? It’s not Torchwood. It can’t be be. I remember Torchwood. Series 1 wasn’t very good, but it improved hugely with series 2, and then series 3 was pitch-perfect. This… What the hell is it?

Co-produced by the BBC and some American cable channel you’ve never heard of called Starz entertainment, something that’s always gone down so well in the past (Defying Gravity, anyone?) and I strongly suspect they are to blame for everything that’s wrong with series 4 of Torchwood- Miracle Day.

The premise is that one day, everybody just stops dying. And not in a nice ‘oh, it’ll heal up’ kind of way. You get blown up, for example, like one poor bastard, and you end up as a crispy splatter- that’s still conscious. There seems to be no way to kill anyone anymore. Which is kind of messy, given the very large number of people dying on a daily basis. The event becomes known as ‘Miracle day’ despite the event lasting considerably longer than a single day, and the fact that people not dying is very, very bad thing.

At the same time as the not dying epidemic starts, a message gets sent to all the American intelligence people (1- oxymoron, 2-why the Americans? Seriously?) saying one word- Torchwood. Of course, what with people wandering about when by all rights they should be all gross and corpsified, they have more important things to worry about than, and I quote ‘some old British thing’. Good, great, we’ll have Torchwood back then, please. You people are ruining it anyway. Of course, a couple of people decide to ignore the fact that all information on Torchwood has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, suggesting it might be a good idea to leave it the hell alone, and go looking for scraps of information. One is a blonde female data analyst (I think, they didn’t tell us what they were doing) and the other is a black male agent, whose defining characteristic is that he drives while using the phone and is an idiot. Oh, and he got a whacking great steel pole through his chest after crashing his car, but he’s not letting that bother him.

The Blonde has a brief encounter with Captain Jack, who reveals that he came back to Earth to destroy all records of Torchwood to protect its sole surviving agent, Gwen Cooper, who is in hiding in the ass-end of Wales. Jack exposits to her, reveals that while everyone else is suddenly immortal, he’s lost his own immortality. So naturally he throws himself into danger like he would anyway. Maybe he has a death-wish. Blondie gets memory wiped and the whole scene comes off as ‘this is the brief explanation of what’s happened over three complicated series of a British Sci-Fi show you Americans wont really care about’.

Gwen, as mentioned, is living quietly somewhere on the Welsh coast with her husband Rhys, and her baby, whose name is dumb and I can’t remember. Gwen is drawn out of hiding when she finds out her Dad had a heart attack, and only then does she discovered that people aren’t dying, because being in hiding means you can’t have TV, apparently. Some people attack them, it’s hard to say if these people are Americans, since Black Agent went all the way to Wales to get them, so why are these people attacking them? Who are they? Seriously? Did they just drop of the sky to make things a bit more exciting? Gwen blows up the helicopter with a rocket launcher that Jack gives her when he too arrives out of nowhere, and then Black agent arrests and expedites them to America, because god forbid they do anything important in Cardiff.

And all this is saying nothing of the bizarre subplot about a convicted pedophile who survives his execution and gets let free, where he develops a messiah complex. I don’t even know what the hell is going on there, but hey- Bill Pullman’s got work again at last.

Overall, this was a very weak opening episode. Repeating the same things over and over to make sure the audience got it, overblown action, generally bad writing, uninspired camera work, dodgy special effects, non-existent acting and plot points that occur because of the narrative instead of the characters, it was a mess. Oh, and for some reason, there was almost constant motion blur. Presumably because they felt like taking a step down after filming Children of Earth in high def. This is uninspired, lazy, cashing-in on a franchise TV. There are still 9 episodes to go. Whoopee.

Posted in: Comment, Review, TV