2MTL 234: Torchwood: Wrapping Up "The Gathering," "The Blood Line" and Miracle Day

It's catch-up time as we take a look at the concluding episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day, and render a verdict for the series. And demand that one of this year's debuting characters meets the Eleventh Doctor.

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  1. I wasn't happy with the first half, not because it was slow, but because I felt the writing was sloppy. The dialogue was forced, certain devices used to draw the characters into caring about the situation bordered on trite, and, overall, there was just too much 'telling' and not enough 'showing'. There were also structural issues I could quibble with in the storytelling, but that again goes to sloppy writing. Once episode six began, I found myself cursing RTD's name less and less, and eventually settled into being happy with finally getting to where the story actually started.

    Up until The Blood Line, I was able to put aside my general distaste for RTD's American pop vision of Torchwood. However, the reveal of Rex's immortality was not only predictable, it was vexatious. A quick review of The Parting of the Ways confirms my recollection that Jack's 'immortality' is a gift of the heart of the TARDIS/time vortex as it possesses Rose – the same exposure that is purported to be responsible for the creation of the Time Lords as a race. Therefore, it should be impossible, short of exposure to the vortex itself, for Rex or anyone else to inherit Jack's immortality.

    The continuity chasm of the Jack/Rex arc and the unpolished handling of the story as a whole leaves me in the camp of lamenting the lack of a fourth Torchwood season.

  2. Well, as Jane Espenson tweeted, we do have a fairly clear in-story explanation: the Blessing DID offer a final gift. It's not that Rex inherited Jack's immortality directly, so much as the Blessing registered what was going on in Shanghai and Buenos Aires, and as long as it was flipping a switch for Jack, might as well do the other guy too. We can then hand-wave over why it took so long to have an effect on Rex.

  3. Not having access to the Starz network I held on to your podcasts until that "future day" when I could at last see the complete series of Miracle Day. Well, I say that tongue and cheek since it was a bit edited by BBCA as one might expect. Overall it was good but rather odd in places. While as you say it sits "uneasy" within the Who-niverse the one thing that Children of Earth had going for it over this was the short time span and requirement of rapid resolution. The cast, evening knowing about the Doctor, just couldn't wait for him to show up and fix things. They couldn't take the chance. Here while things are explained and given to exposition that a normal series wouldn't even try, the odd two month gap leads me to speculate just how did the Doctor get kept away from his favorite planet for so long? I mean Amy and Rory only had to drive crop circles and he showed up almost before they finished. Two months???
    The most unsettling part to me was the constant shift of the bad guys. There was a group, then another group controlling them, then another group controlling them but there were this one guy that group didn't trust and somehow he's the only one ever to have figured out how to at least slow them down but he might be a bad guy, you just can't tell? In a word, huh? Don't get me wrong, it's better than most shows on TV these days, but the constant need to create plot within plot within plot at some point becomes unsustainable and leads to a series implosion. And I won't even get going on killing off almost every single person we meet, let alone characters we might actually care about. Perhaps somewhere is this mishmash of a series is the proverbial "jumping the shark" for Torchwood. Maybe a reboot is just what the Doctor ordered?
    To sum up, a B minus. Good enough to keep the ball rolling but not enough to move it far enough to warrant more, at least not without some serious use of high explosives.

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