After Torchwood: Children of Earth, I wasn’t interested in watching anything else Torchwood related. T:COE was compelling enough. I was highly entertained with the story and the action but Jack’s cowardly decision at the end and the death of Ianto left me frustrated with the show. I think I may have publicly vowed not to watch the show. I do that a lot but end up caving in just like I did with Torchwood: Miracle Day. I like to think of myself as a fair person so I decided to give T:MD a fair shot.
Enough time had passed between T:COE for me to get really excited about T:MD. I kept hearing news about some of the actors that would be involved in the show: Mekhi Phifer, Bill Pullman, John de Lancie, and Nana Visitor. STARZ handled the promotion of the show expertly. They’d made it mysterious and created anticipation. Because this would be an American production of Torchwood, no one really knew what to expect which also gave the show a sense of excitement and hope. I’d also had enough to time to realize that even though I disliked the events that took place at the end of T:COE that it was excellent television.
The premiere of T:MD was exciting. We got introduced to the new characters, we saw the old characters and they dumped us smack dab into the miracle. There was high-action with a shootout in Gwen’s home, an explosion in an archives office, a dive out of a 2-story building, a helicopter explosion, and a burned corpse that was still alive even after its head had been severed. T:MD felt totally divorced for Doctor Who. There was no whimsy, no sense of adventure, and no aliens. Everything was sober, official, government, and straight-forward with the exception of the miracle. It felt like X-Files and 24. I liked that. After the first few episodes aired, something bad started to happen. T:MD became unfocused and felt long. It felt like the story was being drawn out for some reason. It didn’t create a sense of excitement and mystery. I created a sense of confusion and I started to become disengaged and bored. The attempts at witty departures from the story like Jack going to a gay bar or Ester visiting her sister meanwhile leading an assassin to the team felt unnecessary to the story. Oswald Danes, the creepy, murderous pedophile makes no sense. Just because you don’t die during execution doesn’t mean you go free. It damn sure doesn’t make you a candidate for anyone to listen to you. Even with two episodes left, it still doesn’t make any sense for The Family to have used him as a spokesman. Jilly Kinsinger is great as a sleazy PR lady. I’ve met women like that I always want to get as far away from them as possible. Rex Matheson is delightfully grumpy and quite frankly is slumming it on this show. I’d love to see him on another if Torchwood doesn’t work out. Let’s face it, it won’t work out because it’s Torchwood and Torchwood loves killing off good characters. I’m calling it now, Rex will bite the bullet just like his sexy “friend with benefits” Dr. Juarez. Gwen Cooper has had standout performances throughout the show but I’m still not sure what she does exactly: organizer, hacker, bruiser, Jack-wrangler? Ester Drummond is the most useless character ever.
With just two episodes left, I’m still wondering what is going on and how this series could possibly be wrapped up with a powerful ending. The latest episode, ‘End of the Road’ help to make sense why we were forced to suffer through ‘Immortal Sins’. However, to find Angelo as an old man on life support and with no interaction from him feels like a letdown. Jack’s speech to him had the makings of something tender but was marred by his awkward handling of the equipment when Angelo flat-lined. Couldn’t we have found the ‘null shields’ some other way. I still wasn’t clear on why Angelo had them in the first place. Did he put them there? Where they put there so that he could die? Nana Visitor’s character was tasked to get Jack to come visit Angelo. After the fact, kidnapping Gwen’s family seemed like overkill. I think if she had said that Angelo was alive and had information pertaining to the miracle would have sufficed. We now know that The Family has everything to do with The Miracle. We know it has something to do with Jack’s blood but we don’t know what their ultimate goal is. We do know that The Family has a previously unknown mole in the CIA and we can only imagine what she’s done to foul things up.
I’ll be impressed if the last two episodes end with a tightly woven story. Even with all of the apparent missteps and awkward story elements, there are still things that are likeable about the series. Here’s to hoping for an ending that is worth all the set up.
Torchwood: Miracle Day airs Sunday nights at 10/9C on STARZ.