We’ve now seen four of the ten-episode mini-season of Torchwood, Torchwood: Miracle Day. The plot is being revealed at a good pace, and the villains are even beginning to emerge.
I think the writers and producers learned a lot from Children of Earth about pacing and melodrama.
Miracle Day is not completely free of melodramatic moments, and some of them are still worth a few cringes, but for the most part, it really is improved over the last season. The tension is allowed to deflate periodically with slower scenes, and a few pieces of non-harried dialog.
I really like what they are doing with the Captain Jack character so far, making him the only mortal person on the planet has made for some interesting development.
Getting to see a side of Jack that we’ve never really seen before. He’s always had issues, but one of them was never fear for his own safety.
Of course it doesn’t really make sense with Jack’s back-story - in which accidental exposure to the core of The Doctor’s TARDIS fixed Jack in time - from the explanations in previous shows, we already know that there is nothing in the entire universe which can or ever will harm him.
Whatever is going on with Miracle must be pretty powerful to overcome that, but the only explanation we’ve got so far is that immortality must be like a switch, and turning it on in everyone else must have turned it off in him. Of course, that’s completely silly. I’m still hoping that they explain it a bit better, but I have a feeling they’re not going to. It’s just a plot device, and though it’s an interesting one, it does break the verisimilitude of the series, especially for those of us who have been following the stories in this universe for some time.
It was in the third episode that the writers finally take advantage of their uncensored status on the premium network. The one-night-stands in that episode were not much more than soft-core pornography, and worse, they were completely gratuitous. One of the pairings was literally random, and the other didn’t make any sense for this point in the development of the characters. It’s like they included some naked rolling around just because they knew they could, or perhaps they felt obligated because of the expectations of the audience of a premium station. I just hope they don’t start including a lot of this stuff because it hurts the story they are trying to tell.
The pairing of Rex and Vera actually bother me more than Jack’s random sex. I get that Jack is the kind of guy who would just pick up a random person from a bar with no impetus - though never at the expense of the mission before - but there had been no hint at all that a romance was developing between Rex and Vera until they were kissing in her bed. It was so awkward, and it makes me dislike the characters a bit.
The show as a whole doesn’t suffer for it however. Once the short scenes were over, I was able to pretend like they hadn’t happened and move on.
The next episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day will air on August 5th on Starz.