October 9, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day (2011)



I'm still ill so I watched season four of "Torchwood" on Netflix. I didn't even know that there even was a season four until I clicked on the link by accident as I gave up on everything "Doctor Who" related after David Tennant left and was replaced by that bow-tied gonk.

"Torchwood", however, has always been aimed at adults and, since it has often contained some borderline horror scenarios among all the bullshit sci-fi adventuring, I thought I'd better watch the entire ten-hour movie in one go.

Yes, unlike all the other seasons of "Torchwood", this one really did look and feel like an extremely dragged out movie. I didn't get too bored with it but I'm sure the story could have been told in half the time with no detrimental effects.

It also needed to have more Gwen in it. Call me superficial, but Eve Myles is my main reason for ever watching "Torchwood" in the first place. Although she makes me happy, she makes me sad at the same time too. I suppose it must be love.

The things which make me happy when I'm watching Eve Myles play Gwen Cooper should be obvious to everyone. Just look at her! She's gorgeous and everso slightly rough enough around the edges to almost be obtainable. Unfortunately, her character is inconsistent and bizarrely married to the loutish Rhys (AKA "Backstory Barry") who I find pointless and can't stand. Every interaction that she has with the moron makes my flesh crawl.


But enough of that. You probably want to know what "Miracle Day" was about, don't you? Well, basically, death was taken out of the world in a "Twilight Zone" fashion. Everybody had immortality without health or eternal youth, as in "The Asphyx" (1973) or the Greek myth of Tithonus, apart from Captain Jack Harkness who became mortal instead.

It was a great idea but I couldn't help but feel like I'd seen it all before especially with Owen Harper's story in season two. To be completely blunt about it, the brief glimpses into how the world was changing, outside of any hospital scenes with all their gore, didn't really work either.

I liked that some movie actors were involved in this including Bill Pullman, C. Thomas Howell, and the guy who played "Q" in "Star Trek: The Next Generation" whose name I can never remember, but not enough was made of any of them really. Bill Pullman played a convicted paedophile and murderer who had been saved from execution by the "miracle" and did a great job in places, but far too much emphasis was placed on the limited TV actors around him which restricted his performance, not that he's ever been the greatest actor in the world either.

As usual for "Torchwood" there was an abundance of gay sex, gay innuendoes, and, just John Barrowman being even more gay than the bisexuality originally intended for his character. Another thing which Russell T. Davies always does which annoys the piss out of me is setting up characters as the "Emperor's new clothes" and getting others to praise their physical beauty when they clearly have none. Some of the lines used to achieve that end were absolutely cringeworthy.

Apart from that, it was all as predictable as you can imagine. Captain Jack was, ultimately, both responsible for the miracle and, of course, its solution with various flashbacks to explain it all. John Barrowman was really looking his age too but there was one flippant remark which indicated that he was supposed to be in his forties now so I'm forced to let that plothole slide. Maybe being mortal for a few days aged him? Watching ten episodes of "Torchwood" back-to-back certainly aged me.

I really hope that there isn't a fifth season of "Torchwood" as it can only get worse now especially as it's become very American and lost most of its gritty British charm as a result.

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