Finally got around to watching the first episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Wasn’t rushing, as Starz sent out the first three episodes for review to the usual privileged assholes, and i’d heard the start drags a bit, but it definitely builds. I can be patient; Torchwood: Children of Earth was nothing less than the second most brilliant teevee series i’ve ever seen, which ought to earn a sizable reservoir of goodwill.
Yes, it lacked the urgency of COE (Miracle Day will have twice as many episodes), and the story suffers a bit from having to reintroduce itself to new audiences, but fuck it’s wonderful seeing Captain Jack Harkness and Gwen back together. And in the first hour it’s clear Russell T. Davies and his writers have thought out the central concept of the season, the death of death, and i suspect before it’s all done they’re going to take it in some pitch dark, thoroughly unexplored territory.
If it’s true that we grow into the faces we deserve, then maybe there’s something to the stories i’ve heard of what an asshole Bill Pullman is. He looks fucking scary here, befitting the murderous pedophile he’s playing, but if you’ve got Zero Effect and Lost Highway on your resume, i suppose you’re entitled to act however you like.
Also, i want to savor each episode -drag it out the way Dahl described Charlie Bucket eating a Wonka bar, as who knows if there will be any more after this. Despite delivering record ratings, Starz just opted not to renew the great Camelot (fueling rumors Eva Green may be showing up with Christopher Eccleston next year on the second season of Game of Thrones…in which case i’ll have to go back on my vow never to give HBO another dime.) So i intend to enjoy this ride, wherever it goes, for as long as it continues.
More after the jump…swiped the best, most eloquent review of the new series i could find, and my guess as to who’s behind it all.
Got sent this: a brilliantly written assessment of the Torchwood franchise that showed up on Aint-it-cool.com by a poster named elgato73.
“People talking shit about Torchwood and Children of Earth. Seems to be a fucking pastime for a lot of people. Guess they get off on it. Fuck’em. Look, season/series 1 of Torchwood had about six pretty great episodes while the rest were good to poor. Season/series 2 got better though with Jack’s backstory being revealed. And both seasons ended spectacularly. But Children of Earth completely and totally killed. That is one of the best Doctor Who stories ever and it doesn’t even have the Doctor in it though when his name gets mentioned in episode 5, the context will utterly destroy you. COE is THE story about the repercussions of living in a world where you have a renegade Time Lord going around the universe and sticking his nose in things. Yes, he’s trying to do right and he’s a hero for it, but that makes for a universe where anything and everything can happen. And sometimes like Davies and Moffat have told us, even the Doctor cannot do a damn thing to help. The 456 and their addiction to children is a direct result of the Doctor being Earth’s champion. You think some evil fucked up species like the 456 is going to leave Earth alone even if the Doctor is protecting it. Hell, no. They want to take the kids and blow Earth up, just like the Daleks, Cybermen and the rest just to piss him off and get him involved. That’s what’s so fucking great about COE in the context of Doctor Who. I’d rank it right up there with Genesis of the Daleks, The Big Bang, The War Games, and The Dalek Invasion of Earth as one of the best. Hell, it is one of the greatest television series you will ever see and it falls perfectly in line with classic BBC science fiction that has nothing to do with the Whoverse. Watch Quatermass and the Pit and you’ll see what I mean. It is riveting from the first minute and it is absolutely devastating once the final credit sequence runs. Miracle Day has got its work cut out for it. With episode 1, The New World, they got it right though and are on track right from the get go. I didn’t think I would like Pheifer’s Rex Matheson but he’s just as crazy as Jack, Gwen, Owen, Tosh, and even Rhys for getting in way over his head. But what is so compelling is that the entire human race has been afflicted with Owen’s “living death” or Jack’s totally fucked up, I was exposed to the time vortex thanks to Rose, immortality. It’s all the “bad” aspects of being a Time Lord turned on the human race and that makes for a story that is definitely going to get horrific as we go along. And knowing Davies with what he did with Children of Earth, I guarantee there are going to be more haters and cunts who despise this series for being more dark and utterly hopeless than its predecessor. Or for calling it bullshit because it doesn’t fit their limited view of genre television.”
Could not agree more, even if i only know one of those Doctor arcs you referenced, and have no idea what a Qurtermass is. And while i also have no idea where the Miracle Day story is going, if i were to put money down, i’m betting we see this guy again.
Bilis Manger, the ever so creepy Time Lord-ish villain of season one, who went completely unexplained. Mostly because he’s a way to introduce time travel elements into the story, without involving The Doctor, and i still want to know why he’s wearing Jack’s shirt and ascot.