Review: Torchwood Miracle Day

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Torchwood can’t be killed! And neither can anyone else in the world for that matter…

The Miracle Day. A day that sparked an incredible phenomenon. Absolutely no one on planet Earth can die.

No matter what. Car accidents? Gun shots? Explosions? Diseases? Poisons? Hunger? Every one survives. Maybe forever.

But what the hell is Torchwood?

First, a history lesson. Torchwood is an institution affiliated with the british government that stands on the vanguard between us humans and the otherworldly threats lurking around the corner. Threats that are kept at bay and kept secret by Torchwood. The leader of which isCaptain Jack Harkness , who made his debut as a companion to the titan of british sci fi pop culture, Doctor Who. Played by the insanely charming John Borrowman, Harkness, wrapped up in his trademark civil war greatcoat, is a bisexual ex-time traveling immortal. Yeah. I know. Awesome. I don’t think I have to go over why it is so goddamn important and amazing to have a bi-sexual main character in an ongoing TV series (Although, maybe I do… but that’s a whole other article…)

A staple in the organization is the tough as nails Gwen Cooper. Played quite wondefully by Eve Myles. Gwen was a character made so the audience has someone to relate to when the crazy shit goes down. So she’s grounded and empathetic. Yet quite militant and badass. She is famous for her realistic personality and human complexities. Instead of being a typical paragon. She is self-righteous, has slight egotistical tendendies and has had a few moral failures. She is like a mix of a noir detective, an 80′s supercop, and a firey girl next door.

Torchwood was a TV show in jolly ol’ England that lasted three seasons on the BBC and died. With it’s last season being a 5 episode movie-like series called Children of Earth. Killing off most of it’s main characters other than Harkness and Cooper. Miracle Day picks up after the fall out of Children of Earth and fans will be excited to see Jack and Gwen come back together. What’s super cool about Miracle Day is that you don’t have to watch any of the first 3 seasons to follow what’s going on. Awesome. Why? Because this show gives you several new characters that are about to find themselves slowly forming a new Torchwood out of the ashes of the old.

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The mystery of the world-wide deathlessness leads no-bullshit CIA agent Rex Matheson on the trail of Torchwood through an enigmatic email with the organization’s name in it. He begins the seires by getting impaled through the chest in a car accident and not dying. Rex, played by Mekhi Phifer sees things in a super black and white, good and evil, right and wrong. Which clashes with Captain Harkness’ very, very grey scaled vision. Agent Matheson and fellow CIA Watch Analyst Esther Drummond investigate this strange lead. Putting her into the arms of Jack Harkness. As they jump out of a window to escape someone trying to blow them off the face of the Earth. And leading Rex to Gwen, who has been in hiding with her husband and their newborn daughter in a remote seaside villa.

And then a hellicopter shoots missles at them.

Saucy and super clever hispanic surgeon Vera Juarez (played by Arlene Tur) is called upon by Rex to assisst him in his investigation. After she treated him for his mild case of impalement. Vera is a genius that sees a bunch of different angles on this situation, taking into consideration every aspect of this new deathless world. And even being such a mediacl expert that the government puts her on several think tanks on the matter.

The series also deals with the media and the political perspective on this. Oswald Danes, a convincted pedophile and murderer who was sentenced to death (Bill Pullman plays Danes and really acts the shit out of this role). Oswald was “The first” to NOT die. After his execution, he is released from prison and of course becomes a media superstar. Almost half the series so far is trying to figure out how he fits into the bigger mystery.

Helped by the adorably evil P.R. agent Jilly Kitsinger, who works for an ominously evil pharmacutical company (Aren’t they all?). Jilly is played the lovely Lauren Ambrose (who I’ve had a crush since Can’t Hardly Wait. So maybe that’s why I think she’s “adorably evil”… Hmmm)

The plot of the show also revolves around the mystery of why people are trying to kill Gwen and Jack. Some shadowy and well-funded force is trying to eliminate anything having to do with Torchwood, all evidence of Torchwood, and anyone who has any knowledge of it at all. How does this tie into the Mircle Day? Who stands to gain from no one dying? How can every one on the planet become immortal? Even a crispy burnt torso still blinks with recognition. How is this possible? Who or what is behind this? Each character is used as a template to examine the variety of different effects that the situation has on the world. from small to large scale. From broken limbs to diseases, to the problem of having to rewrite laws on assault and murder.

The show is co-produced by the BBC and Starz. Featuring executive producers Russel T. Davies. (Ex-Show runner on the 2005 Doctor Who series and one of the humans responsible for it returning to TV, and creator of the Torchwood series) and Julie Gardener (The other human responsible for Doctor Who and it’s spin-offs, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures). The series writers, beside Davies, include Buffy alumni Jane Espenson (Other than writing a ton of Buffy episodes, she has also written for Battletar Gallactica and the unbelievable Game of Thrones) John Siban (who wrote for X-Files, The Lone Gunmen, Star Trek: Enterprise, and Breaking Bad.) Doris Egan (Dark Angel, Numb3rs, and House) and John Fay (Torchwood and several other British television shows including Coronation Street and Mobile). Quite an impressive list of talent if you ask me.