Torchwood: Miracle Day was only ten hours long, yet it felt longer than most other days on record. Still, it’s all over, dust settled, cost counted, and we can start asking the ultimate question: was it really worth it?
More importantly, where does this series rank among the other Torchwood efforts? Should we document this using some kind of list? Are we not dorks?
Captain Jack Menstruates Backwards
Unsurprisingly, this final episode doesn’t lack incident. In fact, it rushes along from start to finish, dealing out first revelations and then punishment to our poor characters. The series may have dragged at times, but at least the ending feels heavy, especially upon the shoulders of long-suffering Gwen Cooper.
I muttered last time that the explanation for “Miracle Day” would struggle to live up to nine episodes of build-up, and I was right, it does, it’s exactly what it looked like being in episode seven. But lest we forget, this is a Russell T. Davies story, so the sci-fi premise is merely a mechanism to get us sobbing. (And, well, it’s also apparently a gigantic vagina built into the earth, which our heroes must defeat by pouring blood into it. I dread to think what the symbolism is meant to be here.)
So we get the bizarre explanation out of the way, then the heart-wrenching agony starts. Even background players Rhys and PC Andy get to suffer, and I was surprised how awful Oswald Danes remains, right up to the end. Oh, and the big character death: suffice to say, I called it.
Next Time, On Torchwood
One thing that did surprise me, though, is how much they trailed a possible fifth series at the end. Unlike Children Of Earth, which could’ve easily served as a climax to the entire show, Miracle Day teases us with both new villains and (kinda) new heroes to explore next time.
But speaking of Children Of Earth, I will give Miracle Day this: it didn’t suffer from the same anticlimax problem as its predecessor; the ending felt a lot more final. But taken as a whole, Miracle Day hasn’t worked as well, simply because it felt dragged out. At five or six episodes, it could’ve been good; they had a strong concept, but filling ten hours made it sag.
And if US network Starz elects not to continue with it, will they come back to the BBC and lose the new American characters? That would be a shame, if only because they’ve hinted at two of them playing major roles next year. But for now, Miracle Day is all over, it was largely alright but very slow. Now, back to concentrating on Doctor Who, where the explanation is more important than the crying. (Except for this week’s The Girl Who Waited, admittedly.)
So, yes, see the final episode on iPlayer, and indeed for now you can still catch up with the whole series if the mood strikes you. Let us know if you too think there was potential that didn’t quite work out, or if I’m being too kind?