Jack Harkness -
Gwen Cooper -
Rhys Williams -
Rex Matheson -
Esther Drummond -
Vera Juarez -
Oswald Danes -
Esther Drummond -
Jilly Kitzinger -
OTHER TORCHWOOD SERIES
Children of Earth
OTHER JOHN BARROWMAN SHOWS
Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston)
Doctor Who (Christopher Eccleston)
OTHER DOCTOR WHO PAGES
Doctor Who (Tom Baker)
Doctor Who (Sarah Jane Smith)
OTHER DOCTOR WHO SPIN OFFS
Sarah Jane Adventures
EPISODE 1 - First transmitted 14th July 2011
All of a sudden nobody on earth can die. It doesn't matter how much damage is done to their body, they just will not die. There was only one man in history who this applied to and that was Captain Jack Harkness, the head of the UK agency known as Torchwood. That was disbanded, but two people survive and top CIA operative Rex Matheson wants them.
TORCHWOOD struggled through two, at best, patchy seasons before CHILDREN OF EARTH blew the roof off by being the best show on TV that year. As a result, hopes were high for the latest instalment of Cardiff's finest alien hunters.
Fortunately, this opening episode proved to be more hit than miss, though it didn't reach the heights of its predecessor. This is partly due to the necessity of introducing Torchwood to an American audience, a feat managed through centering much of the story on Rex Matheson, CIA superman and his assistant Esther.
The concept of nobody dying is a compelling one, but not enough to hang a thrilling narrative. Thus it is the backdrop to the hunt for the Torchwood trio of Captain Jack, Gwen and Rhys. Bill Pullman's odious killer paedophile Oswald Danes will no doubt come into the plot more in future weeks.
So, the mystery has been introduced, the characters have been introduced, it has been intimated that this has all been done to make Captain Jack vulnerable once more, but what of the episode itself. Well, it's fast when it wants to be, though the action can make little sense in places, but it's still early days. There are some gruesome moments as investigators try to determine how much damage a body can take and still be alive, though this is not as shocking as the mental tortures that were visited on the characters in the last season. Finally, the wit and charm of the UK show lives on in the Welsh characters even if the Americans are somewhat lacking in the humour department.
All in all, it was a good, solid and occasionally excellent start to the new season.Top
EPISODE 2- First transmitted 21st July 2011
Jack asks some awkward questions about why nobody is dying and someone decides that he should. Poisoned with arsenic, he is now capable of dying, but Gwen isn't about to let that happen and with Rex set about creating an antidote from only the things they can find on their transatlantic flight. Meanwhile, Rex and Esther are being set up.
This feels a lot like padding since nothing happens that moves the plot forward at all. The entire episode is spent with the race to save Jack's life. Dr Suarez continues to commentate on the less pleasant aspects of the new situation and Oswald Danes starts to amass an audience, but we're no closer to finding out what is going on.
That's not really important just yet because though it might be filler, it's entertaining filler with energy and some very funny lines along the way. Rex Matheson's character goes back a pace and turns into a humourless thug, but everyone else remains likeable and and fun.
Things aren't helped by a really appalling CGI effect that will turn heads, but not in a good way, but on the whole, this is watchable if not yet really exciting.Top
EPISODE 3- First transmitted 28th July 2011
In America and on the run now, Torchwood and their new allies go on the offensive. They uncover links to a giant drugs company Phicorps that has been stockpiling drugs for more than a year and who are recruiting sponsors to their cause, specifically Oswald Danes.
After a dodgy second episode, MIRACLE DAY pulls itself back onto the rails with a tight storyline that concentrates on the mystery of what, or who, caused the end of death. If it turns out to be simply a drugs company looking to rule the world then that will be terribly disappointing, but the threads are coming together rather quickly now.
That does not mean that there isn't time for character developments. The counterpointing of Rex and Jack's love lives is clumsy at best, but the confrontation between Jack and Oswald Danes is electrifying in all things that are said and those that are left unsaid.
In terms of action there's a daring computer hack operation, but a sincere expectation remains that the best is yet to come.Top
EPISODE 4- First transmitted 4th August 2011
The team continue to dig into the activities of Phicorps and decide that they need to hijack a computer server from one of the most secure places the company has. Unaware that they are being tracked by a killer, they watch as Oswald Danes is challenged in the press stakes by a woman with some very serious views.
The global situation is deteriorating. There is now a drive to put the living dead into segregated camps and Oswald Danes is the unlikely saviour. What happens to the woman who threatens to usurp his media coverage follows the trend for nasty undeaths established in Children of Earth.
The overall view is more interesting than the story of Torchwood's breach of the computer complex, which could have been lifted from any number of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE episodes. It's slick and well done, but not anything that we haven't seen.
Despite being thorougly entertaining, there is still a sense that the show has yet to really kick off.Top
EPISODE 5- First transmitted 11th August 2011
The team determine to find out what is going on in the Overflow camps, most especially the hidden buildings. Whilst Gwen tries to rescue her father in the Welsh camps, Jack tries to convince Oswald to do the right thing and the rest of the team go into their nearest camp.
MIRACLE DAY takes a trip to the dark side and dips into the same terrifying depths of humanity as CHILDREN OF EARTH. Whilst what is being done with the Category 1 patients is not as chilling as events in that earlier show, what it means for one of the major characters is every bit as horrifying as anything that the show has done before.
This takes the series to a whole new level this time around and whilst Oswald Danes declaring that we have all become angels is a bit ridiculous to say the least, it isn't enough to undermine what else is going on.
With this episode, MIRACLE DAY got serious and TORCHWOOD got great again.Top
EPISODE 6- First transmitted 18th August 2011
Now that they have discovered what is really going on inside the Overflow camps, the team have to extricate themselves, something that isn't going to be easy, or painless. Jack, meanwhile, makes contact with a hig official of Phicorps to learn that the conspiracy is much bigger than one company and involves something called the Blessing.
Following last week's shocking revelations and twists, this episode is a step down, though it does have its fair share of action and a bit of torture by pen. It just seems a bit more drawn out than the last episode and takes the show's foot off the pedal to slow down a bit.
The introduction of a new character for the sole purpose of giving Jack the next clue in the mystery is a little bit clunky, but we're willing to forgive it since the way Jack deals with him is rather fun.Top
EPISODE 7- First transmitted 25th August 2011
The camps have been closed down, but the shadowy individuals behind the Miracle have taken Gwen's family prisoner and want her to deliver Jack to them. In 1927, Jack meets a man on whom he will have a profound effect.
Nothing at all happens in this episode that moves the contemporary story forward. Gwen takes Jack prisoner and drives him to the place where they will be taking delivery of him. That's it.
Filling in the time is a series of flashbacks to a time when Jack met Angelo and they shared a whirlwind romance that ended badly. That's not much of a story to fill out the entire running time of the episode either, but it is clearly meant to be really important and every effort is made to acheive that.
What it isn't is fascinating. It could have been told in half the time and only when it descends into a really harsh torture scene does it really come alive (no pun intended). There are times when being Jack sucks.Top
EPISODE 8- First transmitted 1st September 2011
The people who wanted Jack worked for his old lover and only want to help. They have information to do just that, but the CIA move in and fail to make things better.
Considering the amount of time and effort spent in making Angelo critical to the show, he is pretty much thrown away in this one. He is there only for his daughter (a Nana Visitor in a short cameo) to hand out a lot of information in a clumsy info dump before being even more clumsily got rid of.
Even less interesting is Oswald Danes, who comes back into the story to show that he's still a bad man and disappear from it once again. It is to be hoped that with only two episodes to go there will be some sort of point to his subplot. The introduction of a new CIA man who seems determined to cut off every avenue of help open to him is just tedious no matter how crass his dialogue.
The cliffhanger comes none-too-soon in an attempt to save the plot which is drifting away from anything interesting.Top
EPISODE 9- First transmitted 8th September 2011
Six months later, Jack is still not back to full health and Gwen is attempting to keep her father hidden from the category 1 hunters. Oswald Danes shows up on their doorstep with information, information that leads them to two cities on opposite sides of the world. They're closing in on the Blessing, but are they in time?
It's the penultimate episode and it's time to make some progress in the case at hand and discover just what the miracle is all for. After the pointless meanderings of the last two episodes, things start to move a little more quickly, especially once the subplot of the category 1 hunters (clearly based on the jew hunters of World War 2) is dispensed with.
The justification for taking Oswald Danes along on the trip is thin in the extreme and pretty much unbelievable, but then his role in the whole thing has proven to be fairly pointless to date, so it's just more of the same.
And then there's the revelation of the Blessing at last and pretty underwhelming it proves to be. Hopefully the big finale will give it more significance.Top
EPISODE 10- First transmitted 15th September 2011
The team has split up to opposite ends of the earth. They locate the 'Blessing' and realise that to stop the miracle they must empty Jack's blood into both ends, all of it.
And so MIRACLE DAY comes to an end, both in the show and the show itself. There is a lot of talk and threat in this final episode, but it doesn't amount to very much since not very much is adequately explained. That the three families are going to rule over the whole world and impose their order by deciding who lives and how long, is about the most of it.
What the 'Blessing' really is remains a mystery beyond the fact that it's old and looks like a hole in the ground. Why Jack's blood switched on the miracle and can also switch it off isn't well thought out. Why Oswald Danes appeared in the show at all is a complete mystery.
Yes, there are shocks and twists to come, but they are all fancy parlour tricks meant to dress up the fact that this is a poor ending to a show that would probably have been a cracking five parter like CHILDREN OF EARTH, but which has been bloated by too many extraneous characters and pointless plot arcs.Top
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