Much of Torchwood: Miracle Day has been derided, here and elsewhere, for moving slowly. “When is something going to happen?”, people said. “Isn’t this just repeating itself? How many more episodes must end with a melodramatic declaration by Gwen Cooper?”
Well, this episode definitely breaks the mould established by the last six. But in a good way?
A Torchwood/Torchwood Crossover
For anyone bitter that Miracle Day hasn’t felt like “proper” Torchwood, this is definitely the most Torchwoody effort yet. There’s angst, extensive (same-)sex and violence, almost no screentime for the new characters and, best of all, lengthy period flashbacks involving Captain Jack. Old school fans will be in heaven.
Of course, as outlined in the first review, I thought early series of Torchwood were often wretched, but the quicker pace and over-the-top antics here were refreshing after the slow build to date. John Barrowman does running, shagging and self-resurrecting a lot more comfortably than slow, heavy drama, and it was nice to have an episode containing a clear beginning, middle and end.
But it’s not all shallow action; the emotional sequences between Gwen and Jack worked on me too, playing up our investment in these characters. As I said, a good episode for the fans, there’s even a Doctor Who reference (in the episode with the most adult content so far, which is amusing).
Jack And The Ketchup
But although it is nice to have a sense of movement, there are flaws. Primarily, moving matters along by introducing something previously unmentioned from Jack’s past has become such a standard Torchwood plot that it’s practically part of the premise. Which Gwen does hint at during her angry rant at him, to be fair.
And the blood-spurting violence does get so over the top that it becomes comical, to tell the truth. At least it has been relatively restrained for much of the series, which gives it a little impact.
But even with nitpicks, this is still one of the best instalment of Miracle Day so far, certainly the most immersive since the first. This doesn’t say much for the American regular cast, all of whom are sidelined, but if we get a decent episode, I don’t really care. And, as ever, let’s hope they push forward with this momentum next week.
Check out the new episode on iPlayer, enjoy the gratuitous action and shouting, let us know below if you enjoyed it as much as me.