Monday, July 11, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 1 - Was It Good For You Too?

Before I dive into my thoughts on Torchwood: Miracle Day, let me stipulate a few points in order to stop some of the more obvious comments I may get.

  1. I work for Starz.
  2. I am a Brit, born and raised. I moved to Uncle Sam 10 years ago.

There. So now that that's out of the way, and everyone knows where I am coming from, and where I've been, let us wade into deeply into Torchwood's fourth outing.

Having been raised on a steady diet of Doctor Who (Tom far my favorite Doctor, and a voice you may have heard on Little Britain), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Red Dwarf and more recently, Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, I am used to the heady concoction of humor, sci-fi and all around bizarreness that a lot of British TV serves up.

What I saw in the first episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day was definitely birthed from those roots. The premise itself -- one day, everyone stops dying -- demands attention and conversation.

What would you do if you could live forever?
Who should live forever?
Who should definitely NOT live forever?

But quickly, we see that the Miracle is soon becoming anything but. People don't die, but they live on through fatal wounds or illnesses. They feel pain, they hurt, they suffer. This is a darker reality, one that Children of Earth touched upon so well.

Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) is one of those people in constant pain, still alive after being pierced through the chest by a steel pole that looks like one of Godzilla's toothpicks. He should be dead. He lives on. Pass the Ibuprofen please.

As one thing leads to another, it's clear that Torchwood should be brought into the fray. Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) is as suave and quick-witted as ever, and Gwen (Eve Myles) has never looked like a tougher mother as she straps her baby to her chest and fires shots at all who threaten her family.

Then there's Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman), who pretty much establishes himself as a lower form of life than pond scum within the first few minutes. He should be executed, it doesn't work, and that's that. A free man, walking around, his death sentence carried out.

The action was fast, the scope was bigger than any of the previous incarnations of Torchwood, and the whole thing felt like the series has been taken up a notch. The dialog from Russell T. Davies was as sharp as ever, and the first episode finished in a way that left you begging for more.

I really enjoy what I do. And when I'm working on shows like Torchwood, I enjoy it even more. Here's to episode 2, and if you can't wait that long, make sure you check out the Torchwood: Web of Lies app, voiced by John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Eliza Dushku. 

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