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Published on August 4th, 2011 | by Thomas Spychalski

Escape from L.A.

There are times that a piece of fiction, whether it be for television, film the printed word, is judged more by what it did not say rather then what it did. Torchwood: Miracle Day seems to be falling into this category as although the over all concept and plot are pretty dead on and quality, the pacing and abundance of needless scenes rob us of what is at ti’s heart a very good continuation of the Torchwood series.

The scenes themselves are fine, some are the very trademarks Russell T Davies does so well, such as the excellently written conversations between Rhys and Gwen as they miss each other from afar while Gwen’s dad is one of the afflicted left to never die in the health care system. The same can be said for Esther’s heartbreak at her sisters family’s plight with The Department of Human and Family Services in the wake of a worldwide crisis. These are things that should be strengths, but in my opinion because of the scale of the whole series is so huge that this feel likes padding. I would rather be shown more and told less.

That is not to say that this series is not still worth spending an hour with a week, with the Oswald Danes character becoming more then just a poster boy for the miracle with his sudden involvement in events making him more of a well rounded character and also much more of an interesting foil for the newly thrown together Torchwood team.

Also of high praise is how this story wanders in the direction of showing us how evil and callous and cruel mankind can be as a race as we are shown to be ready to trap the sick and un-dying in horrible conditions for eternity. This does make the plot a bit meatier, it makes you think while still holding your attention. Truth be told, the absence of anybody being able to die is a concept that has so much value in terms of what you can imagine from that point on that I’m sure we will see more of this kind of thing as the series rolls on and that is not bad at all.

John Barrowman and Eve Myles are still the show stealers here though I’m afraid as far as the currently gelling ‘team’ that is coming together. Rex Matheson is a little too card board cut out for me in the terms of how he reacts to things most of the time, and Esther Drummond seems like she is only doing this till the craziness ends then it’s good bye to her being involved with such dangerous situations.

Hopefully this is an area that the longer format can help in, perhaos Rex and Esther will grow on me my the time Miracle Day ends.

Torchwood: Miracle Day reminds me of a roller coaster in the sense that I think we as an audience are going to be drawn up a large incline, hearing the loud clicks of the chains as we rise into the sky. This part may be boring at times, but I have a feeling the first few drops maybe coming very soon, perhaps even a upside loop or two as well.

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About the Author

Tom has been a Doctor Who fan since the early eighties and has developed a deep love and admiration for the show and its universe in that time.




3 Responses to Escape from L.A.

  1. ChrisL says:

    The main thing that strikes me after watching the first four episodes is how Jack’s character has changed. He seems diminished somehow.

    Now, whether this is a deliberate development after the events of “Children of Earth”, or is just my imagination, I’m not sure. However, he just doesn’t seem to be the same man.
    In the earlier Torchwood series’ he had a more omniscient presence. The feeling of “everything will be fine when Jack appears” (sort of a poor man’s Doctor in many ways) is most definitely missing this time and he sometimes looks a little boy lost outside of the comfort zone of the Cardiff Hub.

    Hopefully this was a planned element of the plot and not either just my imagination or RTD becoming disenchanted with the character. If the latter I fear this could be the last we see of Capt Jack and that wouldn’t do at all.

  2. David says:

    yeah, Jack has lost more than his ‘special relationship’ with life – he has lost his connection to the Whoniverse. I just cant picture the TARDIS and The Doctor turning up in this show. Big problem. Sure it has to find its own way, but it seems Torchwood has now left the building entirely. Like Jack, I cant quite put my finger on what has happened, or what has gone, but I know its not there anymore, and it feels unnatural.

  3. Bob James says:

    I’m going to reserve my ultimate personal judgement until the whole saga unfolds, but I wanted to offer a few thoughts. “Bigger” is almost never conducive to “better” in and of itself. I found RTD and Julie Gardners apparent need to involve Starz to accomodate a “larger” vision for Torchwood a bit bullshit actually. We didn’t need to see this season “top” Children of Earth, we just needed to see Torchwood continue to grow and evolve as it always has, and the incorporation of US money, and don’t be fooled for a moment, US television interests may have more than a little to do with the above expressed disenchantments. I fear that this has more to do with our erstwhile producers furthering their interests and careers in the USA, and less to do with the further evolution of Torchwood. The term and concept of “Springboard” comes to mind, as in a launch to bigger paychecks and nicer weather. I’ve said this before, in so many words, and now again: this might not have been the best decision for Torchwood and/or its future, if it still has one. I hope I’m very wrong………..

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