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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

Torchwood: Miracle Day: Episode 10: “The Blood Line” (review)

Torchwood Miracle Day Eve Myles and John Barrowman

Previous: Episode 9: “The Gathering”
Can you feel it? The nothingness?

Cuz I sure can.

Worst. Ending. Ever. So rushed! So cobbled together! So laughably ridiculous! But hey, at least it was crammed full of Blessing and Three Families info-dumping. Because that’s what I want out of the big finale to a major, world-changing story. I want manically villain giggling

Torchwood Miracle Day Frances Fisher

accompanied by some “let me tell you our evil plan” monologuing. Even better is when the evil plan has mostly already been figured out, purely by preposterous random chance, by pretty much everyone else.

I can’t shake the feeling that Russell T. Davies and Jane Espenson, as they sat down to script this final episode, suddenly realized that, oh shit, they better figure out what the Blessing is. And then they said, “Fuck it, we’ll just have everyone say it’s a mystery.” Yes, it just happens to be the biggest geological structure on planet Earth, and yes, the geologists have just happened to overlook it. It, um, has a perception filter all around it, okay? But the Three Families can see through it.

It’s just one of those stupid lameass Torchwood things, okay?

This just doesn’t work on any level. Miracle Day hasn’t worked on any level for almost its entire run, but right here it’s all disastrous. All the emotion is misplaced, for starters. Gwen’s story about her dad being accused of stealing money is nice, but it doesn’t jibe with what’s going on. First of all, they don’t know that whatever they’re going to do if or when they reach the Blessing will end the Miracle, because they still, even at that late point, have no idea what the hell the Blessing is, or what it has to do with the Miracle, or anything at all. Second, she’s not killing her father. The heart attacks killed him. He should be dead. He is suffering. Death will be a release for him. She cannot possibly want him lingering in this hell. If Gwen has reason to believe he is about to get that release — which of course she should not have — she should be relieved. She might say, “Today is the day on which I lose my father.” But she doesn’t say that. I mean, I understand Gwen’s complicated feelings, but it seems that Davies and Espenson didn’t trust that we would without having it all bashed into our heads so unsubtly, so hamfistedly.

Hoorah for Rhys saying, “Let him die.”

And hey, good thing it’s now easy to get into an overflow camp, so Rhys could be there just as Gwen’s dad did finally die. Cuz there doesn’t seem to have been any other purpose to Rhys’s excursion. Oh, and I guess his trip was also so that Gwen could take a personal phone call from him in the middle of what she surely must have considered the biggest, most important Torchwood mission yet, one that absolutely could not go wrong.

I would complain about Gwen and Jack taking tactical advice from the likes of Oswald Danes, but it seems they maybe have needed it.

Ah, Oswald Danes. He really didn’t have a damn thing to do with anything at all, did he? I’d say he was the gun on the mantlepiece that everyone has actually been carrying around with them, just waiting for the moment to use it for ten episodes, except Oswald wasn’t even required for his big explosiony scene at the end. The freakin’ place was already wired to explode. But at least he got to stand around and tut “My my my my” at Frances Fisher. That was some incisive drama right there.

Torchwood Miracle Day Lauren Ambrose

Even Jilly Kitzinger is stunned to see Oswald with that soldier guy. Though she’s probably relieved that there’s a character who’s had even less reason to be around that she turned out to have.

God, this was all so embarrassing to watch. Of all the pits in old Shanghai, Torchwood had to walk into mine.

Jack’s “I’m from the future” bit was painful. Oswald did make an intriguing point when he noted that even Jack’s friends seem to fear Jack. But they don’t fear him because he’s “from the future.” And even not, I think, because Jack had been immortal. “I’m from the future” is so reductive of Jack’s literal awesomeness, which is an enormous and sometimes contradictory package of bravery and cowardice, desperation and determination, loneliness and compassion, and reflections of our own misunderstanding of and longing for the past and dreams of the future. Jack is like the Doctor in many ways… and when Jack mentioned the Doctor again (and UNIT!), they seemed really, really out of place, because nothing about this has felt anything like Doctor Who. Not that I expected it to, but when it treads into that territory and gets it wrong, I don’t think it’s unfair to lodge the complaint. Miracle Day suddenly steered our attention toward an awesomeness of Jack’s that it didn’t know how to explain because it has been entirely absent.

Instead, this Jack has been about fetishizing That Coat. For Christ’s sake, I don’t see that Jack wouldn’t show some respect by changing out of it for a damn funeral:

Torchwood Miracle Day Jack coat

Yup, funerals, because everything’s been reset and folk are dying again. Amazing how back in Episode 7, when Gwen asked Jack what really bad thing he had done somewhere in the past that was making someone want to kill him now, Jack just happened to randomly flash back to the Angelo story, which turned out to be exactly where it all began, and how it might end. Amazing. And what a lucky coincidence that Esther collecting all that blood from Jack turned out to be the best thing they could have done, even though they had no evidence to support such a bizarre activity. Whew!

And then:

Torchwood Miracle Day transfusion

It’s the ol’ “transfusin’ the blood into the guy who can’t die from walkin’ around with the wrong blood type because otherwise the blood might get blown up” trick. Gets ’em every time. Zing!

Jack could have died. In a better-written version of this story, Jack’s death could have been the “fine and noble” one the Three Families lady snarks about. But Jack has been so empty a character here, despite the long history we kept hearing about (but not feeling), that it wouldn’t have worked. (Kinda like how Esther’s death is so meh.) So it’s probably a good thing that:

Torchwood Miracle Day John Barrowman

But seriously, the only thing that might have redeemed the otherwise irredeemably awful Rex is his death. But now he’s immortal, too?

Torchwood Miracle Day Mekhi Phifer


And Rex will be back. Because

Torchwood Miracle Day Plan B

“Trial run”? “Plan B”?


Next: ???

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  • Vardulon

    Worst cliffhanger ever:

    Cliffhanger A: The most unlikeable character on the who will now be around literally forever!

    Cliffhanger B: An evil conspiracy has recruited a PR person!

    WTH, Russel Davies?

    Also, here’s a great idea for the next phase of your plan, ‘Three Families’: Jack’s still alive. Get more of his blood, switch the world to immortal again, and then kill him this time. It worked once, no reason it can’t work again.

  • Vardulon

    “On the show”. Wow, that was typed too fast.

  • Beccity98

    I think someone ought to go to Comic-con or some such next year and simply ask RTD and JE, “WTF?”(The actual words, not the letters.) It would be even better if they were on some really big talk show, and the host asked that.

  • Beccity98

    I don’t always agree with your point of view on reviews, but yes to this one. This season has been so lame, it hasn’t felt like Torchwood at all. Such gaping plot holes, I wondered briefly if I’d missed some episodes, or fallen asleep or something. And ONE alien for all of 5 seconds,the whole season? Definitely not Torchwood. “Most terrestrial thing of all” my ass. Dumbest line ever.

    Although the whole “What?” “What?” What.” thing when Rex was resurrected made me laugh a bit at the reference to David Tennant-era Doctor Who season finales.

  • Knightgee

    This was painful. I mean I knew it would be bad because there were so many unanswered questions going into the very last episode, questions we should have known the answer to already, but for them to get to the Blessing only for us to have the question of “What is The Blessing?” answered with “Beats the fuck out of me!” is a colossal slap in the face to the viewers.

    This confirmed it. The entirety of this event could have been solved within a single Doctor Who episode. How many times has the Doctor solved global conspiracies and crises stretching back decades in a single or two-part episode? His dealing with the Silence in that two-parter  had been a global conspiracy occurring since the beginning of human existence theoretically, but Jack and the gang need 10 just to figure out that there’s a giant gash in the Earth that apparently is composed of nothingness, something that apparently no one else has ever come across in the entire history of human geological explorations?

    And what exactly is the follow up to this supposed to be? What was the next phase of the plan that the Miracle was but one part of? How did they intend to restart civilization and how does making everyone immortal play a role in doing this? How did they even know introducing immortal blood would have the effect it did given that they know nothing else about the thing?

    Also, I’m calling shenanigans on Jack’s blood working in any way to cause the world to become immortal. He says in plain English that there is nothing special about his blood numerous times when it is suggested as a potential cause of this. So either we are meant to believe that the Three Families know more about the limits of his blood than Jack does or the writers just gave up.

    And what was the point of the panel Angelo had that negated immortality? It was introduced and then nothing. It ultimately served zero purpose. So many plot threads that just didn’t go anywhere.

    Just. Ugh.

  • Knightgee

    RTD feels himself beyond reproach when it comes to dealings with the fandom, if his previous interactions with fans are any indication. He’d probably scoff and act like he made a masterpiece that no one understands.

  • Clay

    Thank you for saving me lots of time. Right now I’m watching all of The Wire and current seasons of True Blood, Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Futurama. After the first handful of Miracle Day episodes left me feeling cold (especially the anti-gay material with the flight attendant, bizarre for a show with such strong gay/bi/omnisexual characters), I’d check your Torchwood reviews to see if it ever got better. Glad to know I didn’t miss anything and could focus on good TV instead. Sad to see it get so Americanized and explosiony.

  • Henry

    It was long and many times painful.  But I watched it to see Gwen & Jack again; my guess for the last time.

  • cal

    I am not convinced that you can blame the Americanization of this show for its badness. I watch plenty of American TV and it’s been ages since I sat through anything this bad.  Maybe ‘Miracle Day’ is such a colossal disappointment because TW used to be good and has fallen so far away from that.  I just don’t even know when I have witnessed something so amateurish and hideously bad.  Even your average episode of ‘Power Rangers’ is more satisfying.

  • cal

    To clarify: You could be right, Clay…something tainted and damaged this show and maybe it was the move to America. God knows, Mekhi Phifer probably would never have been cast as the charmless and pointless Rex if all filming had taken place in Wales. It may have been the choice of Americans who actually wrote and produced it, too. Too bad someone like the Fringe or Supernatural showrunners didn’t get a crack at it. I doubt it could have been worse.

  • Meg

    As bad as this series was, I was thrilled to see Esther get shot. Maybe I’m a bad person? Yes, I am and she is gloriously dead!

  • Jack Deth

    Hello, all:


    Evidently, I’m not the only one who thought ‘Miracle Day’ stunk on ice!

    Started losing interest half way through Episode 2, but kept watching just to see how bad, bad could get.

    Episode 10 was what some in the auto and aircraft repair business: ‘Beat to fit and painted to match’. A jumbled mess of loose end slapdashedly nipped, knotted and tucked away at the last moment to make everything all right.

    The one glimmering ray of hope was the constant and consistently annoying Rex catching some lead in the 10 Ring. Just to have him come back to life a few moments later.

    A glaring reminder not to watch ‘Torchwood’ should it ever rear its ugly head again!

  • CasualCostumer

    Yes, yes, yes.  Half of the characters on the show ended up having no purpose; for someone who weaves such intricate character stories, I didn’t care about ANY of the characters except Gwen, Rhys, and Jack (however, this was the first time I cared at all about Gwen, so at least that’s something).   But, I feel like someone new to the series wouldn’t really have a reason to care about the main characters.  Half of the events had NOTHING to do with the end – that little thing that Jack stuck in his pocket and got shot over?  They never went back to that.  Unless I missed it when I was blinking or something.  The whole morphic fields thing was never really explained.  And what exactly was the point of Angelo?  This whole thing could have been done in a two-parter, but no, it just kept getting dragged on and on and on.  I kind of felt that Children of Earth didn’t need to be five episodes, either; I know RTD was disappointed that they only got five, but five was plenty.  I don’t know why he keeps wanting to do these one-story series.  But what everything comes down to is that nothing got wrapped up, everything was highly disjointed; as individual episodes, they weren’t bad, but when you try to tie them all together, nothing makes sense.  Seriously,  I need someone to explain why people were staggering around with broken necks and getting crushed in cars but still being conscious in the second and third episodes, but by episode 4 or 5, you have a heart attack and you are suddenly Category 1?  What happened to being “SO ALIVE?”  What happened to the whole “we are Angels?”  We only saw the Soulless in one episode.  Nothing ties together.  Were the writers even aware of what the story arc was?

    I actually cried when Rex came back to life.  Because RTD crushed my soul.  Miracle Day was terrible as a whole, and Rex’s resurrection was the last straw.  I don’t enjoy Doctor Who since Moffat took over, and I was looking forward so much to Miracle Day.  And now I feel like I’m disappointed in everything in the Whoinverse, and even knowing what happens in Miracle Day kind of sours me on the rest of the series.  I do NOT want another series, unless they can resurrect Tosh and Owen and Ianto and bring back the Hub and make it like it was before.  Torchwood was never a GREAT show – it will never be Doctor Who – but it had some really great episodes, and it was a lot of fun.  I can’t say that Miracle Day had any standout episodes, and it was FAR from fun.  I thought Children of Earth sucked, too, but at least it had Ianto and Wales.

    I really, really could have done without all the Americans.  I’m just so disappointed, and I know it’s stupid to be upset over a TV show, but I don’t watch a lot of TV and I am very invested in the few shows that I do watch.  I love the extended universe material from Torchwood (radio plays, books, etc) but I just need to pretend like Miracle Day never happened.

  • CasualCostumer

     *Expanded* universe.  That’s the second time I’ve done that today.  Brain and fingers don’t seem to be cooperating on that one.

  • Jeromy

    I dont get why if most of you didnt like the show then why would you keep watching it. I really really loved this show and i hope a 2nd season of miracle day will happen. I am praying they will make a second season for true fans and hope whatever plan b is that it will bring esther back she is one of the many reasons i loved this show.

  • Even I can answer your question, and I not only didn’t watch Miracle Day, but gave up on Torchwood during the first season.

    People keep watching it because they liked it, they’re emotionally invested in it and its characters.
    But liking a show doesn’t mean they suspend their critical faculties.
    They hope it’s going through a bad patch and will return to its former qualities. 

    Isn’t it obvious?

  • bmcgr4092

    OH Stop the Bitching!  It was a TV show.  Either you liked it (AS I DID) or you didn’t.  If not, don’t watch the next one.  I think the actors were FABULOUS for this type of entertainment.  HURAH to them.

  • I’m just going to pretend this never happened.

  • Sarahproudandtall

    Yes, MaryAnn, it’s just a TV show. It doesn’t need a proper story line, or characters who act consistently, or to make any damn sense at all and, frankly, it’s pretty damn rude of you to even attempt to review it here on your reviewy type website particularly if you are going to criticise it, rather than just posting a page of randomly CAPITALISED words about HOW FABULOUS it was which is what a PROPER television critic would have done even if they didn’t like it.

  • Serious question: Why do you read review sites?

  • I kept watching because I hoped it would get better. I kept watching because I hoped what seemed like inconsistencies and idiocies would come to make sense. I trusted in writers whose work I have enjoyed before and who had given me reason to trust.

    I’ll ask you the same serious question I asked another commenter above: Why do you read criticism? Why do you think “true fan” means “uncritical”?

  • You know when you start a new job it takes like a week maybe even a month to get used to it because its drastically different? The first point to that is before RTD and Co. only had the BBC to work with, now they have this randy ass american cable network to try and please. Im sure it was very different working with Starz AND the BBC, when Starz is hoping the show is going to be the next American Idol for ratings. Also Torchwood Season 1 and 2 were not great, maybe some of season 2 but nothing will ever compare to Children of Earth. The gap between COE and MD was large but I think a lot of people wanted another COE. Was the season perfect? No. Was it as bad as you made it out to be, I dont think so but its your opinion and I respect that and I can openly debate your opinion. I just would have liked to read why you thought it was bad. Providing parts of the storyline you didnt like doesnt mean it was bad. Was it production value, holes in the writing, acting etc etc? I never watched TW before MD Ep 1, after that one episode I frantically watched the other 3 seasons. By doing that I could see a very drastic difference in the writing, acting, quality, everything. Granted it was a 5 year gap but still the show is growing and trying to find its place, and MD will determine a lot (especially if it comes back or not) and think opinions for MD were too high due to COE. K all done, sorry for the wall of text

  • VanessaDK

    Thing is…I can’t figure out why it was so bad. I honestly think if you gave me the synopsis of the series I would think it sounded brilliant and look forward to it very much.  Something happened on the way to the Emmys.

    You can’t blame RTDs poor understanding of Americans and American TV, because he had outstanding American co-writers like Espenson with proven track records.

    You can’t blame the Americanization of it, and American lack of understanding of what Torchwood is, because the whole creative team (Davies, Gardner, and Tranter) were producing.

    You can’t blame Starz for making it too long, because reports are that they asked Davies to cut down from 13 episodes to 10.

    You can’t blame budgetary considerations because the cross-national collaboration pumped lots more money into the production.

    You can’t blame the BBC because…wait…maybe we can blame the BBC.  No reason–but there was no reason in this silly fiasco anyway.

  • Maybe the problem WAS the american addition to this. I don’t mean that they “americanized ” it too much. I mean they gave them a bigger budget . They gave them more rope to hang themselves with . Some of the reason some British tv shows and movies are so good is because of the lack  of funding. You have to have good , tight writing  with characters you can invest in to make up  for  some of the things you can’t do due to budget.
    It is like RtD and the bunch suddenly tried making torchwood  and had so much freedom they didn’t know what to do with it. 
    Sometimes even the most brilliant and creative people need to be reined in at times.

  • VanessaDK

    I have to add one more observation–
    The blonde “mother of the Blessing” or whatever she is, was so similar to the blonde  female villains in some of RTDs Doctor Who episodes (Partners in Crime, and Next Doctor spring to mind) that I found it to take me even further out of the episode.

  • VanessaDK

    Where’s the retcon home-kit?

  • You sound like you’ve never watched an episode of Torchwood before.  The final episode of Miracle Day was the ONLY installment that wasn’t a huge disappointment.  Things in your article that you say they did for no reason just shows that you half watched if at all any episodes of Miracle Day.  You should be ashamed of writing this article.

  • considering she reviewed every episode  just after it aired … how can you say she never watched any?

  • Will there be a Season 5?  I am hooked.

  • Patrick

    So how did these different threads of the narrative in Miracle Day come together in your mind? Because MaryAnn’s critique of this series is not radically different than the critiques that are popping up on other outlets and in the Torchwood/Doctor Who fandom.
    Instead of making ad hominem attacks against a critic because you disagree with how she interpreted the series, why don’t you explain how it made sense to you? If you are capable of doing that without having your rationalizations for 95% of Miracle Day’s plot unraveling on further consideration, you might have a leg to stand on.

  • ohiopokey

    Please someone explain to me what you mean by Americanization of the show.  What is it and why is it good or bad?

    Ditto that The Doctor could have figured it/fixed it in one or two episodes.  We know that, but it  would have been better to relegate it to “don’t look in the closet” writing, except that Jack brought him up.  Ooops.  Let the cat out of the bag that our superhero is….sightseeing in Appalappachia?

    An episode comprised of gratuitous sex and full-backal nudity was unnecessary, gay or straight.  I do get the feeling that it’s a “let’s celebrate Jack’s omnisexuality” kind of thing.  I wanted to see him with Blue in Utopia.  But we didn’t need such lengthy (no pun intended) flesh-baring scenes.  Unless Ianto had been there, which I would have celebrated.

    Jack was wearing the Vortex Manipulator, was he not?

    I thought Jilly Kitzinger was the Da Bomb, and loved every moment she was on the screen.! The red lipstick, the huge gaping mouth…loved seeing her get bashed by Gwen.

  • LaSargenta

    I don’t need one ’cause I didn’t watch it! Nyah, nyah, nyah.


  • Clay

    That’s a fair point, since “Americanization” isn’t always a bad thing. I loved the US versions of Shameless and The Office, though I haven’t seen their British counterparts. By Americanized, I was more referring to Miracle Day’s resemblance to the disposable Hollywood action/techno-thrillers that feature hot blondes at fancy computers while some dude is running away from explosions somewhere.

  • TheRaft

    I agree with everything you said – except for the fact that I loved COE – It had me on edge – MD was just plain bad.

  • CasualCostumer

    As someone who has watched the first three series at least four times, read almost all the books, and listened to all the radio plays, I can tell you that Miracle Day didn’t feel at all like Torchwood. I don’t know if it was the Americans, the complete lack of aliens, or what, but this is not the Torchwood that it used to be.

    Most things that were introduced were never resolved. The characters were mostly unlikable . Read my comment below if you need to know more.

  • CasualCostumer

    I’m not sure that “you shouldn’t have had big expectations” is a good defense.

    And yes, one reason I thought Miracle Day was bad was because there are gaping holes. The individual eps were okay, but it felt to me like there was no cohesion from episode to episode, half of the characters were pointless, they threw in a lot of stuff just to throw it in, the characters were weak (except Oswald). Mostly I felt like I was watching CSI, not sci-fi.

  • CasualCostumer

    It wasn’t so much “omni” as “homo”. I love that Jack will shag anything that stands upright, and the fact that they only focused on his relationships with men was incredibly disappointing.

  • not true… they don’t have to be upright. Any position will do

  • Taffy

    And then tell the questioner he/she was one of nine hysterical women on the internet, to go read poetry, and to go watch Supernatural since all they were watching for was pretty boy action. 

    No, I don’t think he’d give an answer that actually answered the question.

    I know that many people think COE was the best thing since sliced bread, but it, too, had huge plotholes and OOC action by the TW characters.  I would have enjoyed it much more without TW shoehorned into the political thriller it was.  I think the reason it got such good acceptance was that it was aired in one week, and people didn’t have time to sit and think about what was going on.  With MD, we did have the time, and the non-TW bits weren’t as focused and tightly written.

  • Mhawke76

    People like you need to stop hating on this series. If you don’t like it, don’t watch it. A ton of sci-fi fans love this series and want to see what plan b is. Your probably the same person who gives thumbs up to star gate: Atlantis.

  • CasualCostumer

    People are allowed to have opinions about the shows that they watch.  Don’t tell us what we can and can’t watch.  I seriously have never heard so many people saying, “don’t watch it”, “stop whining”, “you’re not a real fan”.  Jeez.  If you wanted the people who don’t like it to stop watching, the ratings would plummet and there would be a guarantee of no more Torchwood.

  • CasualCostumer

    Okay, so COE didn’t suck, but there was something about that I didn’t like as much as the first two series – I think because we saw so much of minor characters.  Still, it was orchestrated much better than MD.  And it was terrifying.  MD is neither fun nor terrifying – they gave everything away through Jilly and other “minor” characters, so that by the time the Torchwood team discovered it, the audience already knew what was going on.

  • Patrick

    It’s amazing how this particular review has drawn a new set of people,
    whose only argument is “Don’t you dare criticize MY show, it’s MINE!!” And they say that people have lost the ability to communicate effectively.

    At least make a decent attempt to explain your positions. The reviewer has made her position clear, and has brought up both the good and the bad that she saw in Miracle Day. I advise you to read her past reviews for Torchwood, Dr. Who, and various films.
    I personally watched Torchwood through Children of Earth, then saw part of this current run. I gave up on it, because I didn’t see it going anywhere. I’m relieved to know that I am right after the fact, because it turns out that there was essentially no advancement. I still consider myself a fan of the franchise, and the best way to show that I’m concerned about its direction is to tune in or tune out. At the end of ten episodes, no one actually understood what they were doing. However sad it may be, the fate of Torchwood has likely already been decided, and not by anyone here on this site.
    Both Starz and the BBC made an investment on this project, so now the best indicator of any possible future installments is whether the networks (primarily Starz) saw a significant return on that investment. I do not know what the figures on new subscriptions to Starz were, or how many of those are projected to last, but I have seen the estimated viewer numbers. They don’t scream success. The critical reviews of the series have also dropped in approval the longer it went on. So maybe, Torchwood will be brought back, maybe it will buried and the BBC-Starz deal will take some new shape. For using ten episodes as an introductory segment on the assumption that everyone would just go with it, both RTD and Jane Espenson deserve to get (proverbially) slapped in the face.

  • Ben

    I liked the last three episodes.  I didn’t care for the “to be continiued” style ending, though.  And I thought that too much of the first seven episodes was boring and or filler.  Considering all the important questions left unanswered, it’s amazing how much time was wasted in this series. Were the Oswald Danes and Angelo characters at all relevant?

  • Oh my god, I just realized something – The Miracle was caused when they exposed the ‘Blessing’ to immortal blood, thereby convincing the world that its template for humanity was wrong, and resetting it as immortal humans?

    Like when the nanomedbots thought the template for humanity was scared little boys in gas masks, and started changing people accordingly?

    Or when the Master used a world-altering medical computer to convince the world that the correct template for humanity was his DNA?

    Is this seriously the third time RTD has used the exact same plot?

  • Barb

    Worst.series.ever.   Three quarters padding (with many unnecessary characters especially Oswald) and barely one quarter story and now Rex is immortal.  Sorry, but I would have done without Miracle Day totally and left it with the three series.  This was not the Torchwood I’ve enjoyed in the past.

    Otherwise, keep all aspects on the UK side (leave the Stateside writers out of it totally since they always muck things up – now they want to Americanize a contemporary Sherlock Holmes – why why why) including location.

    I think I’ll re-watch my discs of the real Torchwood to get over the bad aftertaste this one gave me.

  • theoncominghope

    This season was so disappointing that part of me hopes that the show dies a merciful death.

    But if it doesn’t, here are my 5 wishes for any future series:

  • cal

    Okay, I know what you mean now. I tend not to watch those kinds of programs/movies, so they don’t register in my consciousness when I think of the standard American productions should be held to. However, I do know of them, and they are quite popular, just not with me. I can see how they would be representative of our country outside of it.

  • Christopher

    I think that annoyed me beyond worlds was Charlotte Willis. Let me see: Shapiro, Noah, Rex and everyone involved in the office knows there is a mole. Charlotte is involved with every aspect and they don’t suspect her??? The clincher was when she asked Noah what the trace was. Let me see, Noah: how about answering, “Sorry, Charlotte, that is restricted information to all except Shapiro.” Nope. They needed a way she could blow things up.

    Which brings me to the whole Three Families storyline. So these families has, what was it…8 million members, that they have erased any trace of BUT they are everywhere and in control and absolutely ruthless. Hell, the mafia only has a few thousand real members and they get stoll pigeons all the time. Sorry, the whole, “we all keep our mouths shut” plot point doesn’t hold water. And exactly how have they benefitted from The Blessing prior to Jack? Yes, they know it’s there but I didn’t get any idea how they directly benefited prior to his blood.

    As to the Americanization: I think the problem mainly lies in noise. Too many American shows get drowned out by big budget noise that stunt character development. Compare the American version of “Being Human” to the British version of “Being Human”. The American charatcers are flat. (I think British series also tend to have a little bit more of that dry humour that says ‘we’re having fun making this’ while too many American series are so damned serious!!!

  • Christopher

    Btw, sorry for the typos. Little more tired than I realized. Oops!

  • You obviously didn’t watch it properly Rhys was able to get in to the overflow camp because he got a police permit and then that nurse or whatever she was said he could stay till the patients were gonna be transported so yeah he was able to be there. Also when Gwen was on the phone to Rhys she wasn’t really doing any part of the mission she was waiting for Jack and Oswaldto turn up.

    Seriously,  wish I hadn’t wasted my time reading your crappy review, and no I’m not just saing that because I like Torchwood, I’m saying it because it’s true you obviously have no idea what your going on about. I could point out more things wrong with what you have said but I really can’t be bothered to try when you have no idea, but one more thing I will say is yes Torchwood is nothing like Doctor Who but if you were a Doctor Who and/or Torchwood fan you would know ots not meant to be like Doctor Who and also its meant to be an adult series unlike Doctor Who which is for all ages.

    Some advice watch things properly and when you understand them then write about them, don’t write about something you have no clue about.

  • Michael Rosefield

    Well… At first, I really wanted to enjoy this series of Torchwood, and I did. When I read your reviews, I considered them to be overly picky and unfair. There was some good stuff in these shows, after all.

    But the more I watched, the more I realised how I was being picky and unfair in focusing on those few bright spots, elevating the perceived quality of the show as a whole on their basis. 

    So yes, you were right. There were too many things here that didn’t click, that didn’t make sense, that just didn’t work. 

  • Pbwalker

    Weeell, as a Brit Torchwood fan I expected to like this, and thought it would benefit from the bigger budget, but right from the off, the “nobody dies” premise… no. That basic premise didn’t work for me at all. Way too spun out, too many unnecessary characters… I’m thinking that the last person who should have scripted for American TV was RTD. Okay, we didn’t want just a rehash of X Files, didn’t want the transatlantic TW to be just another clone, but in the end, what was it? Can’t see the folks in the colonies taking to this. Slow, difficult, could have been cut down to 5 episodes, and should have been.

  • Patrick

    That is seriously your complaint? That the reviewer might have missed a detail that is largely irrelevant to the overall plot (or lack thereof).
    What you maybe should have considered is that it is conveniently inconsistent for the world to have devolved into fascist states, yet a man who has harbored a category 1 person, and even broken in and out of a military facility, is somehow granted access to that same facility. If there was any logic or attempts at realism on the parts of the writers, this would not have happened. Rhys, Gwen, and her remaining family should all have been arrested or executed. If you had read attentively, that would have been clear to you.
    Nor would there be international flights during an unprecedented crisis, surviving two months with a gunshot wound to the gut and minimal care, using Google and a globe to figure out a worldwide conspiracy, a pedophile and murderer becoming a revered figure (then suddenly not), the police forces and government agencies showing uniform incompetence, etc. Tearing Miracle Day apart doesn’t indicate malice or incompetence on the reviewer’s part, just a minimum requirement for logic and consistency in a show that claims to be making a great statement about our (real world) society. The script writers for this embarrassment have failed to show either quality. 
    Rather than whining about the reviewer, lay out what you saw as the bright spots or the counter arguments to MaryAnn’s review. Whining and unearned insults are the tools of children trying to get what they want. Show us that you aren’t one. 

  • Manjitdlay

    I sorry but I think you are wrong. The next season of Torchwood & Dr Who will join together because it is the 50th anniversary of Dr Who.

  • Henry

    2 things:
    1.  Captain Jack, not Torchwood, would come on Doctor Who simple because WHO is still basically a children’s show, as Moffat indicates below:


    2.  The 50th anniversary is in 2013, not next year.

  • Ebaramaj

    Why, oh, why the Americans had to be involved? I have nothing against the US of A, but Torchwood was … well, Torchwood because it was a British product! Bam! came the american entertainment industry and, in a reverse Mida’s touch, the show is turned into c#@p.
    It barely had a story, the end was laughable, 10 bl@@ody episodes for a story that could have been told in 3 (at the most!). Hadn’t it been for the familiar faces, I would have thought I was watching Lost on one of the Fox channels…. I wish I had one of those memory loss pills now….

  • Ebaramaj

    I do understand your feelings, it was really bad, so bad that I am puzzled: is it possible that no one in productions saw how bad it was???????
    Yes, I will definitively pretend that Miracle Day doesn’t exist and I never watched it.

  • Ebaramaj

    Like many of us, I continued watching the show hoping…  and hoping… and hoping until episode 10. By that time I already knew it was going to be bad but I though: I came this far, I might watch it until the very end. It wasn’t even so bad that it was good, only mediocre…..

  • Ebaramaj

    Yes! As soon as I heard the bit about the Blessing being exposed to mortal blood I though of “The Empty Child” which, btw, was the episode when Jack was introduced…. 

  • Henry

    I’m an American and I agree; the show shouldn’t have left the UK.  It lost some of it’s charm.  But to think that the move was the sole reason for the decline of the show is ludicrous.  There’s enough blame to go around for the disappointment that was this series.

    The executive producers for Torchwood are still Russell T Davies & Julie Garner, both from Wales.  They always have final say on what’s broadcasted.   So they are as responsible as anyone for the season’s disappointment.  And they didn’t feel a move to the US would impact the show at all: 


    The series was twice as long as it should have been.  At times it was poorly written.  They chose not to give more screen time to Captain Jack.  And I rarely ever cared for any of the new characters.  All this by decision of the executive producers.

    I wanted so much to like this series.  But I knew it was it was in trouble when I kept having to tell myself “maybe the next episode will be better”.  It’s been a major disappointment and I don’t believe I’ll watch it again. 

    I already miss Jack & Gwen.

  • Henry

    REVIEWS FOR TORCHWOOD …. for some reason the UK critics seem to like the series:

    Neela Debnath of the Independent:

    With twists and turns right up until the last minute,
    ‘Torchwood: Miracle Day’ was rounded off in supreme style. ‘The Blood
    Line’ mirrored the first episode of this series with continuous,
    edge-of-the-seat action. … The other
    surprising thing about ‘The Blood Line’ was the hopeful tone. Compared
    to previous series finales, which have been bleak and desolate, the
    conclusion to series 4 seemed to suggest that the team will keep
    fighting to protect the earth. … The
    Transatlantic nature of the show gives an all-encompassing feel and is a
    unique selling point which should be kept if possible. The future of
    ‘Torchwood’ looks bright. Let’s hope there will be more to come next

    Dan Martin of the Guardian:

    After 10 often-painful weeks, Miracle Day wheezes to a
    close. And you know what? It was actually pretty enjoyable. Let
    yourself go with the nonsense and at its finale this series showed the
    best of itself, with explosions, bloodshed and forced philosophical
    standoffs at every turn.

    Gavin Fuller of the Telegraph:

    Certainly by going Transatlantic Torchwood: Miracle
    Day was a distinctly different beast from previous series; it had added
    production gloss and a more epic scale but did lose something of its
    distinctiveness in the process. At 10 episodes it was arguably overlong,
    and the attempt to meld science-fiction with something of a
    political/espionage thriller wasn’t entirely successful either.
    Nevertheless given that there is little enough drama in this sort of
    genre on television made for decent enough, if not as spectacular as
    might have been hoped, viewing.

  • Hmsljj

    But I tend to agree with the review from the LA times:

    Todd VanDerWerf of Los Angeles Times:

    The biggest problem with “Miracle Day,” ultimately,
    is that the premise wrote checks the execution couldn’t cash. The idea
    of a worldwide mystery about just why everybody abruptly turned immortal
    is a good one, but the actual process of solving that mystery was
    unspeakably dull and filled with red herrings that didn’t amount to
    anything. For instance: Angelo’s story line was undoubtedly moving, but
    it ultimately had so little to do with anything else that it was
    obviously a way to kill time before the final two episodes. …
    “Miracle Day” is obviously made by people who have interesting ideas
    and lots to say. But it’s also a show that bit off way more than it
    could chew. Just the central idea could have easily fueled a cool
    10-episode story. But that idea had to be mixed with unsubtle politics,
    largely pointless side trips, and new characters that never took off. In
    the end, for all the shouting and forced excitement, there was nothing
    human at the core of “Miracle Day.” The best works of Russell T. Davies
    may be messy and too ambitious, but they also have a recognizably
    emotional core. “Miracle Day” strived to find that center at all times,
    but it always fell just short.

  • CasualCostumer

    I’m also a very disappointed American fan who wishes it had stayed in the UK, but from what I can tell from Jane Espensen’s tweets, RTD had the final word on all of the scripts.

  • CasualCostumer

    It’s almost like he’s channeling Steven Moffat.

  • Owen Smith2010

    Torchwood is alien related… and unless I missed somehing this had nothing do with that premise. Bring back Tom Baker and all is forgiven… Holy moly, at least when the doctor does something like this, he has flair, this wasn’t just droll it was damn right insulting to the incredibleness of the first three seasons.

  • Joanne

    It was also written by Steven Moffat, so the argument kind of falls flat. I think Miracle Day is flawed, but I don’t think its problem is in originality or lack of – it’s in the execution. Every story ever told has similarities to other stories, after all. Tropes and themes are everywhere in fiction, and RTD tends to use a lot of them. Given that he’s a fairly prolific writer, I don’t think using a similar (not identical by any means) plot detail is too much of a problem.

  • Joanne

    That’s disappointed me too. It’s a big change from early season 1 TW, when he referred to several het relationships (eg fairy-obsessed Estelle) as well as gay ones. Although he does eye up that girl on the fire escape in “The Immortal” episode (shortly before shagging Antonio, of course).

  • Joanne

    Angelo, not Antonio. Duh.

  • Joanne

    My reaction’s sort of mixed. I kind of enjoyed Miracle Day in parts – but the promise of the first episode, which I thought was pretty strong, did not play out across the series. There were some powerful moments (Vera’s death, for instance) but some deep flaws too. It all solved itself a bit too easily; Esther was obviously the team member set up to die, having completed her Journey from Innocent Wallflower to Tough Secret Agent Gal; and I totally called both Jack and Rex’s resurrection from the moment the blood thing was set up. And I don’t buy that it’s Jack’s blood which makes him immortal, it’s the Time Vortex, dammit, and Rose and Bad Wolf and stuff, and I don’t want him to have someone to share immortality with. He’s more fun jetting around on his own.

    I did think the performances were solid across the board though. Eve Myles was superb throughout and of the supporting cast I particularly liked Lauren Ambrose (even if she ended up being a bit pointless). Shame that there wasn’t more scope for using Kai Owen and Tom Price – I miss the Welshness of old TW.

    Oddly I don’t mind that there wasn’t much alien stuff. Some people have commented that alien stuff was the essence of TW; there I disagree. Jack Harkness is the essence of TW and the craziness he seems to draw around him. He’s a magnet for chaos in many ways. What I think Miracle Day could have done, which was what CoE did so magnificently, was use the chaos and the weirdness as the magnifying glass through which you can view humanity. Miracle Day alluded to that a lot, but it was all on the surface and never got below it really (what happened to the rest of the people on the medical panels? Why did people like the horrid Colin agree to run the horrific camps? Why did more people not rise up against the camps?) Unlike in Miracle Day, where you had Lois and Bridget and Johnson and Rhiannon to show different facets of reaction, there wasn’t anyone here really to do that. Nobody was playing the everyman because all the characters were invested in what was going on at quite a deep level. And I didn’t care so much about the supporting characters (except perhaps Vera, and she died too early) as I did about Frobisher, for instance. In CoE’s finale I sobbed. In Miracle Day’s finale I giggled quite a lot, gasped when they shot Esther, and said “yeah, I knew it” at the end. So it was kind of enjoyable but very much on a surface level. Unlike CoE, or any episode of Doctor Who, for instance, I don’t particularly have any urge to go back and rewatch. That’s a shame.

  • If Gavin Fuller liked it then it must have been shit!

  • Hey, have you heard about this great movie called Tree of Life?

    You should give it a look. I’m sure you’d love it.

  • if you were a Doctor Who and/or Torchwood fan


    Did you literally look at not one single other page of this site? I suggest you at least check out my review of “Children of Earth.”

  • I sorry but I think you are wrong

    What am I wrong about?

  • That the reviewer might have missed a detail that is largely irrelevant to the overall plot (or lack thereof).

    Except I didn’t “miss” a detail. I understand, of course, the excuse in the narrative for Rhys’s access to the overflow camp. I’m complaining about how preposterous that excuse is. As you note, how could it really be so easy for the husband of a member of Torchwood who has made so much trouble *in that very camp* to get into that camp on any pretext or with any sort of paperwork? It’s ridiculous. And on top of that, there’s no reason — no reason at all — for Rhys to be there. It serves no purpose either in within the context of the story or thematically: Rhys as an ostensibly real person in this ostensibly real world might want to get in to see his father-in-law, but he shouldn’t be able to do so. No one should be able to do so, certainly not someone on police radar like Rhys is. And what purpose was served, from the perspective of the storyteller, in having him there? It adds nothing. It’s piss poor writing.

    That Rhys’s presence at the camp is irrevelant to the plot is certainly true.

  • Cat Renee

    I started out being really excited that Torchwood was coming back because I had watched it from it first airing. But as the slow dragged on and made no sense, I lost my enthusiasm.  This show was way too long and RTD needed to really edit it down, and cut some of the people in particular Oswald.  The fact that its obviously being set up for more crap along the same lines is not good.  The number one bad thing is that Rex, Rex!, is still alive and immortal.  Hate.

  • Patrick

    Sorry, I must have expressed myself poorly. I never thought that you had missed a detail in the story, and was trying to point out to the first person (Rach…) who criticized your review that the detail was irrelevant due to how absolutely ridiculous it was.
    For her to jump on your questioning how Rhys got into the camp saying that Rhys had been granted permission to be there, and that by some weird extension, you were not a fan of the series or the Who-verse, simply showed that she utterly failed to see how illogical the storytelling was. 
    I really don’t understand this idea I see popping up that if you criticize a show, then you aren’t a fan of it. It’s not a marriage or a job; if the show pisses me off, then I will criticize it when asked my opinion, and compliment it when it is good. I don’t give blind allegiance to 30-min. or 60-min. increments of TV.
    Miracle Day wouldn’t have bothered me nearly as much as it did if the producers, writers, actors, etc. had not kept up with the refrain about this being serious, adult, drama, or how brilliant they were because it just didn’t pan out. At every chance when it even verged on having a valid point on America, health care, the Tea Party, or other things it shot itself in the foot. Mostly I’ve just felt like my intellect has been insulted by this, whereas the previous series of Torchwood didn’t irk me much. I could take them for the simple entertainment that they were. Maybe it’s really better to say that it shot itself in the face, as I doubt the Torchwood franchise will really survive this.

  • CasualCostumer

    Jane Espenson had to explain via her tweets that it was The Blessing that makes Rex immortal – it was the gift of life for his sacrifice or something.  The fact that it had to be explained via tweets means that they didn’t do a good job explaining in the show itself (I’ve only read one review where the person understood that Rex got his immortality from The Blessing, I had assumed it had something to do with Jack’s blood, too).  Also, I would have liked for his immortality (if he HAD to be immortal) to have a different aspect, and NOT be exactly like Jack’s immortality.

  • cal

    I thought it was Jack’s blood, too, but how sad is it when you have to use social media to adequately explain your plot points after your show has aired? If another series of this show is commissioned, I hope that they spend a lot more time on continuity and editing. Someone who is not in love with their own words needs to come in and shear away all the useless garbage that adds nothing to the story (except time.)

  • Braindeadpj

    problem is it can’t be the Blessing as it’s form of immortality does not heal wounds…

  • It had its good and bad points as a story but overall I appreciated some of the intriguing ground covered philosophically/ethically, and thought the ending did not disappoint.

    The idea of ‘The Blessing’ (big gap – right through the planet!) not being known to Time Lords and therefore the Doctor, but something somehow never noticed or commented on in any previous Doctor Who or Torchwood story, seemed absurd. But I will anticipate interesting follow-ons from the open-ended ‘Families plan B’ and ‘Rex is immortal’ twists.

  • J.T. Dawgzone

    Think I might actually PAY you to do this.

  • J.T. Dawgzone

    Of course none of these people ever come back to enlighten us with respect to the way they think. It will forever be a mystery.

  • Seattle Who Fan

    So: Jack’s a vampire?

    That’s what this  season was all about?

    I stopped watching Torchwood mid-Season 2 because of the awful implausibilities (not the least of which was, that a top-secret all-access government agency was staffed by incompetent, emotionally unstable amateurs). I heard enough good things about Children of Men that I gave MaryAnn’s review a read–I respect her opinion, and based on what I read there and in the comments I might give it a go.

    But this mess? I respect MaryAnn’s community, too, and the comments have been vicious. And from what I could glean from the episode reviews (I read them all), the whole season comes down to Jack having immortal blood, and it’s his blood that can turn other people into immortals.

    So Jack’s a vampire.

    Sigh. He was such a cool character in Dr. Who. Torchwood ruined him.

  • Type For Tea

    I see that I’m not the only one who was disappointed by this series. As a story line it could be edited down to about 3 episodes and be a lot more watchable; not that it would make any more sense. On the whole, though, it was a pile of dreck and has probably killed the chance of any future Torchwood episodes dead in the water.

  • The least likable character becomes immortal and available for the next season? First, I thought that was a bad thing, but …. 

    How about BBC licenses the name “Torchwood STARZ” to Starz, they make their own show with their own immortal. The money will allow BBC to produce  “Torchwood: The Original Series”, the series returns home to Wales and we can forget about all the sexism, Christian mythology and immature treatment of the Holocaust. 

    I hope this petition will fare better than the Wall …

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