Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jul 7, 2011
    91
    A summertime winner here on the strength of strong acting, engaging writing and an immediately gripping premise.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 29, 2011
    91
    Juggling the themes of famine, fame, and family, Torchwood: Miracle Day--conceived by series creator Russell T Davies, with some episodes written by Buffy and Dollhouse vet Jane Espenson--makes a smooth transatlantic shift that will, I hope, broaden this marvelous, tense fantasy franchise's audience.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jul 8, 2011
    88
    For today, enjoy a home-grown version of a great series that's suspenseful, exciting and flat-out fun. That may not count as a miracle, but it's awfully good news nonetheless.
  4. Reviewed by: Lynnette Porter
    Jul 8, 2011
    80
    The most effective scenes focus on characters' interactions, the sorts of moments Torchwood always did well.
  5. Reviewed by: Matthew Gilbert
    Jul 7, 2011
    80
    The story line is expertly structured, especially after the first hour's exposition, as potential explanations emerge and the pieces begin to fit together. And the writers maintain an all-important sense of humor, not just with the one-liners among the team members but with shrewd social satire.
  6. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jul 7, 2011
    80
    Torchwood: Miracle Day is smashing entertainment.
  7. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jul 8, 2011
    75
    Lots of action, lots of shoot-'em-ups and lots of big explosions that don't kill anybody. It's also lots of fun.
  8. Reviewed by: Diane Werts
    Jul 7, 2011
    75
    For such a vast and important story, Torchwood: Miracle Day feels strangely confined and artificial. Here's hoping for more by Episode 4.
  9. It manages to remain faithful to the tone and lively style of the original. Newcomers really don't have to be well-versed in Torchwood lore or "Doctor Who," the series that spawned it, to get a kick out of sci-fi craziness of it all.
  10. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jul 5, 2011
    75
    The performances and characterizations are all top-notch, and the action sequences, especially in the first episode, are crisply directed.
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jul 1, 2011
    75
    The show is a bit of a junk heap--Fringe, Mission:Impossible and Death Becomes Her are in the pile--but it's a real adventure. [11 Jul 2011, p.34]
  12. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jul 15, 2011
    70
    Our heroes' new companions may be less than electrifying, but there's plenty of action to compensate--and, as always, sex (though Capt. Jack now asks about protection)--and a chilling adversary in Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman), a psycho killer who survives execution and becomes a perverse cult hero in the media.
  13. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jul 8, 2011
    70
    As a straight-ahead sci-fi tale, it's engrossing: how is this happening, who is doing it to us, and how does it relate to Captain Jack's own blessing/curse of immortality? The social aspects, however, are handled more hamfistedly so far.
  14. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jul 7, 2011
    70
    If not nearly as gripping, creepy or tightly constructed as the five-hour "Children of Earth," Torchwood's fourth flight nevertheless remains grand, intellectually stimulating fun--precisely the kind of smart popcorn fare Starz has stated its intention to provide.
  15. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jul 7, 2011
    70
    The vote here is to not only give Torchwood: Miracle Day a chance, but to ride out the bumpy parts and put some faith in Davies' unique take on storytelling.
  16. Reviewed by: Nancy DeWolf Smith
    Jul 1, 2011
    70
    As the series proceeds, the fiction of the bigger events--e.g. global immortality--is made believable or at least compelling by tiny touches that perfectly anticipate how society would respond.
  17. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jul 7, 2011
    67
    It aims high, and wide, and near and far, and if it doesn't hit all of its many targets, it hits several. And that's probably enough to justify the time and expense everyone put into bringing Torchwood more firmly onto American soil.
  18. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jul 8, 2011
    60
    The way to keep both casual and hardcore sci-fi fans in the fold is to tell stories that revolve around memorable characters, to take on compelling questions and to give the tales intellectual and emotional plausibility. Torchwood: Miracle Day doesn't quite have all those elements nailed down all the time, but it gets reasonable chunks of those things right--enough to keep me tuning in and hoping that the story gains coherence (and not just speed) over the course of the season.
  19. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jul 7, 2011
    60
    With any luck, subsequent episodes will find a sharper, cleaner stride. All the elements are there, it's just the alchemy that seems a bit off.
  20. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jul 7, 2011
    60
    The Miracle Day mystery itself feels, at least at first, hopelessly tangled. Viewers may be willing to give it some time, though, because the action provides an entertaining ride.
  21. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jul 7, 2011
    58
    The uneven 10-episode series shifts from pedestrian cloak-and-dagger to camp.
  22. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Jul 8, 2011
    50
    The chilling threat of Miracle Day involves a power strong enough to "force people into life," and one can only hope that in future installments, Davies and company are smart enough to realize that they shouldn't try to force square actors into circular plots.
  23. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jul 5, 2011
    50
    Science fiction often is at its best when it raises big questions, but early on it's unclear what the true source of Miracle Day is and where that will take this batch of Torchwood episodes.
  24. Reviewed by: Mike Hale
    Jul 7, 2011
    40
    The show has been slowed down this season and stretched out to fill those 10 hours, which means we spend too much time thinking about the story as it develops into a not very interesting allegory involving health care, death lists and big pharma.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 12
  3. Negative: 5 out of 12
  1. Jul 13, 2011
    10
    A thrill ride that actually makes you think. Torchwood is a British show that has lived a charmed life over the years but remains to be as resilient as its immortal lead character. After the hit and (largely) miss first two seasons the show exploded onto a much bigger, and critically acclaimed, scene with the five-part mini-series 'Children of Earth' in which the British government conspired to surrender 10% of its children to an alien species. Captain Jack Harkness (the immortal hero played by John Barrowman, star of Desperate Housewives among others) was forced to sacrifice his grandson in order to defeat the invaders in a shocking twist in the final episode. Torchwood had finally found its feet and discovered how to create shocking, thrilling, chilling and thoughtful drama and it hasn't looked back since. 'Miracle Day' starts with Oswald Danes (played by the thoroughly magnificent Independence Day star, Bill Pullman) being dosed with a lethal injection as punishment for the sexual assault and murder of a twelve year old girl but something goes horribly wrong. After a few minutes of writhing agony it becomes clear; he won't die. Mekhi Phifer's CIA character Rex Matheson suffers a similar fate when his is impaled after a freak car accident as it becomes clear that this issue has become a global one. Dark themes are explored here with solders, of whom are blown to bits, remain alive (even after being beheaded by a surgeon in a chilling/funny scene halfway through the premiere). Danes, the now immortal murderer, argues that he has been punished for his crimes and that now should be released; a wish that is granted by a local governor threatened by legal action. The Torchwood team, in ruins after the events of 'Children of Earth' come back into the fold to unravel the mystery in explosive fashion as Captain Jack leaps from a suicide bomber out the top floor of a tower block and Gwen Cooper (Welsh actress Eve Myles) blows up a helicopter with a bazooka, obviously. Torchwood is a mix of fascinating intrigue, sound acting, mind-blowing action sequences, chilling themes and impressive writing (from the likes of Doctor Who's Russell T Davies, House's Doris Egan and Buffy's Jane Espenson). Despite a few questionable moments, Torchwood is unashamedly magnificent madness which you'd be a fool to miss. Full Review »
  2. Jul 13, 2011
    1
    I confess that I started watching the 4th season without having seen any of the previous seasons, and without knowing much about the show's background (something about an anagram for Doctor Who?). So it's possible that I'm watching this show without the correct context.

    However, as a NEW viewer, and under the impression that the seasons were more or less self-contained, I was intrigued by the premise. A world where no one dies, and the agents that had to track down the source of this mystery: it sounded like it could be interesting.

    So boring.

    So ridiculously bland and uninspired, I was amazed at how much they'd spent on the marketing. With that kind of budget, you'd think they could have hired some decent writers.

    The revelation "miracle day" event is really dry, and the exposition is completely unimaginative. A nurse tells a CIA agent that she's checked with other hospitals, and no one's died. People just won't die. Even in the UK, no one's dying. It's a miracle. I thought it was luck, but obviously something is interfering with life. No one's dying. And on and on and on for a few more minutes.

    No one bothered to do any kind of fact-checking, so you're continually "taken out of" the show by the obvious inconsistencies made by the production team. A CIA agent spells Torchwood over the phone (to another agent), letter by letter, rather than using the phonetic alphabet (which I'm pretty sure the CIA uses). The fluid in a lethal injection IV is neon green, since we're all too dumb to understand that clear liquid could be poison. A rifle with a gigantic suppressor on it is just as loud as the rifle firing back at it (without a suppressor). The list goes on.

    Did I mention how boring the show is? The dialogue is wooden, the actors try way too hard (or not at all), and any sense of danger or suspense that might be generated by the many action scenes is lost because we don't know who these characters are, so there's really no reason to care if they live or die. And they can't die, so now there's even less of a reason.

    The characters are lifeless, all attempts at intrigue or suspense fall flat, and even the "what if no one could die" premise starts to feel played out by the end of the first episode.

    If you're new to the show, do yourself a favor, and don't waste 51 minutes of your life on this.
    Full Review »
  3. Jul 13, 2011
    8
    A good start to season 4. Obviously after the amazing 3rd series, a followup would be hard to muster up. Some complained it's been a bit too "Americanized" but I think it shows potential to be a great season. Full Review »