91Juggling 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.
10A 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 »
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 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 »