Well, we finally saw the blessing, and it looks like……
….well, never mind what it looks like. I mean, I know what it was supposed to be, but goddamn if my brain didn’t instantly see a giant, bald…..
The good news is all of our plot lines have finally come together, though there weren’t any answers to be had, exactly. At least ones that didn’t spawn more questions. Though the real disappointment of the episode was that, now that we’ve seen The Blessing, we know something very important. Unless there is a very unlikely reveal next week, there are NO ALIENS.
I was fuming this to myself last night after watching the live stream on Netflix and pondering my recap options when I realised this was a funny thing to be upset about. Why did Aliens always have to be the bad guys? Why can’t the evil be something here at home, something the Earth itself has to offer, that when we mine our way down can ruin our lives as we know it. Why can’t the true evil be man’s insatiable curiosity and his inability to know when to stop digging? How is that a bad place for science fiction to explore?
Yet, I’m 100% certain I am not to only recapper whose knee jerk reaction to these revelations will run from “NO ALIENS??!!” to “Lame!” to “Seriously, so this is all because Jack slept with the wrong dude?”
Pending next week’s outcome, I will have more thoughts on this. For now, let’s rejoin our heroes, two months later….
Due to unforseen medical circumstances we are experiencing a disruption in blogger schedule.
Project Runway recap will not be seen here today. It is currently rescheduled for tomorrow, Saturday September 3rd, at 12noon
Torchwood recap will bump forward to Saturday at 4pm. Dr Who should appear at its regular time, Sunday 12noon, and after that we’ll be back on track. Monday posting will probably be light due to the holiday.
This episode rightly could have also been entitled “Return Of The Guest Stars.” We’ve had a couple of weeks focusing solely on the adventures of the Americanized Torchwood team, and then last week’s gift to the fans (but ultimately plot stopping) Episode from Jack’s Past. This week was a reminder that Torchwood shelled out good money on guest stars that Science Fiction fans would recognize, and then used some fancy pyrotechnics to blow them up.
This week’s episode is going to piss off a lot of people. As for me, it reconfirmed my doubts about Davies returning to a “one-hour, once-a-week” format. Despite being literally the same length, minutes-wise, Miracle Day is not nearly as good as Children of Earth. There was something about telling the story in five consecutive two-hour episodes that forced the entire series into a more immediate, tighter story. Each piece of the story was more fleshed out, since every episode was 120 minutes instead of 60; but the overall arc was more concise, since there were only five episodes. Returning to the “shorter-episodes, longer-arc” format has been a detriment to this series of Torchwood. There’s too much room to sprawl. We’ve been slowly losing narrative tension ever since the third episode “Dead of Night.” This week the story ground to a straight up halt.
Not that there wasn’t some good stuff in this episode. The flashback sequences reminded me why I had tuned into the Torchwood pilot in the first place, and why I had been so disappointed with the story they chose to tackle. Jack is immortal–a fixed point in time that never ages, and cannot die. He’s been on earth since the late 19th century, knowing how all of history should play out before him, yet taking the slow path to get there. I love me some period drama–I originally tuned in to Mad Men for the 1960s prop and costume porn it provided, and I still tune in to Masterpiece Mystery when they air the Poirot mysteries, to watch the 1920s and 30s brought to life. A series this rich in history should take advantage of that more often. Unfortunately, they were too busy doing Monster-of-the-Week to bother.
This week’s episode may have been the most “Americanized” on the series since Miracle Day started its run. There was torture, murder, daring escapes, trucks flying through gates, the most expensive use of pyrotechnics ever in the history of the Whoniverse, and Gwen flying away on a motorcycle. Yet throughout the bedazzlement, there was a sense of detachment from the proceedings. This was supposed to be the episode where “masks were ripped off” and “The Horror Exposed For The World To See.” But I wasn’t feeling it. Continue reading
After last week’s odd divergence into a Tea Party dead-end and some focus loss on the part of the series, this week we made a right turn into a tightly written, fast-paced episode that shot by in a flash. We learned what levels of life count as dead, and how to actually kill a person. Hold on, severe WWII overtones ahead!
Unsurprisingly, STARZ is not so thrilled about Torchwood’s failure to attract new subscribers.
Before stepping before reporters at TV critics tour, Starz CEO Chris Albrecht told EW he doesn’t envision the cult favorite as an annual event. The show’s 10-episode order was a large and unusual commitment for Torchwood partner BBC, he pointed out, and he hinged the pickup more on whether creator Russell T Davies comes up with a great new idea that can work for both partners. “Torchwood is not one of the show we went into thinking about a yearly return,” Albrecht said moments later to critics. “It’s about Russell T Davies … he has a lot of things on his plate. If Torchwood is at the top of his list, that will effect the future of Torchwood.”
I’m not really sure what STARZ thought they were doing here. Getting a cult show and hoping it forces people to buy your mostly redundant over-priced set of channels is an outdated model that hasn’t been in place since Sex and the City and The Sopranos went off the air. HBO can take chances with shows like Game of Thrones because they established themselves back when that model worked.
If anything, STARZ should have used this to promote the STARZ -Streaming feature on Netflix, which is the real future of these subscriber channels. (They also should have made all the episodes on-demand instead of just the first one, so that people could be lured in anytime during the ten week run.)
As much as I enjoy Torchwood, I think I’ll be ok with this being its final bow. Otherwise it really does risk going from Dr Who Does X-Files to Dr Who Does 24.
The theme of this episode was “Family and Love put you at Risk.” Also, that American Television really needs more George Eliot references. (Thank you Jack Harkness for making sure we’ve met our yearly quota. Quick, someone tell PBS they can stand down until 2012.) Continue reading
The following ran at the Torchwood Comic-Con panel, with heretofore unseen clips for the rest of the season:
This episode was when Miracle Day hit its stride.
Torchwood, for those not wholly familiar, was terrible during its first two seasons. Descriptions that I used to those who asked ranged from “The Dr Who team does X-Files” to “It’s ‘Waiting For Dr Who’ (and no, the Doctor does not show up.)” Not even crossing over old companions helped–if anything that strengthened the feeling you were hanging out with “extras shipped in from the Department of Back Story,”* and not a one of them very likable at that.
*Yes, I love that phrase.
Children of Earth changed all that. Yes, these characters still were Whoniverse, but no longer were we treading water with them during “Monster of the Week” stories. The tightness that the single story arc brought to the spin-off refocused the characters down to a point where you stopped missing the Doctor. It helped that two of the least likeable (Owen and Tosh) were killed off, never to return. Miracle Day has begun delivering on the promise of this refocus. I found myself glued to my laptop screen in a way that I have never been when watching something streaming over the internet. It was fantastic.