Torchwood: Miracle Day

Torchwood returns - bigger, flashier and more American than before.

The boyos are back in town: Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper and John Barrowman as Jack Harkness in Torchwood
The boyos are back in town: Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper and John Barrowman as Jack Harkness in Torchwood

"So, what is Torchwood, anyway?" asked CIA agent Rex Matheson, moments before a traffic accident saw him kebabbed by a lorry load of pipes.

Most people watching last night's opening episode already knew the answer to that; they've known the answer for a few years now. But Rex is an American, you see, and you know what the yanks are like when it comes to arriving late for the party.

This new series of Torchwood is co-financed by a US channel, and it certainly showed: bigger, louder, flashier, glossier, and more American(er) than before. Hence the need to explain the whole thing all over again for the newcomers across the pond.

There is a fascinating idea behind this new run: death isn't what it used to be. In fact, death isn't around at all. It's left town completely and everyone is immortal. That's great if you're Oswald Danes, an odious child killer being given a lethal injection; not so great if you're a suicide bomber who's been left looking like a piece of burnt toast. You can have your head cut off and you'll still be alive.

Well, you will be unless you're Torchwood's Captain Jack Harkness, a man whose teeth and hair will probably feature in Professor Brian Cox's next series of Wonders of the Universe.

Captain Jack ended the last series by feeding his grandson to a mysterious alien force (long story) before leaving the planet (long story) and now he appears to be the only person on earth who can die. And this is a novel development for someone who was previously the only immortal in the universe. (Long story. Look, it's late, I'm tired, and I'm not even going to attempt to explain it all.)

"This whole situation, worldwide, that's exactly the kind of thing we used to investigate," Jack explained to CIA investigator Esther Drummond before wiping her memory. (Long story - look, just go and watch it on the iPlayer, eh.)

So Captain Jack decides to put the band back together. Except it's going to have to be a duo these days as there's only one member of Torchwood - Gwen Cooper - left alive.

Gwen's hiding out in an isolated house by the sea in Wales. She and her husband spend their days raising their child, growing vegetables, painting the living room and being incredibly rude to passing walkers seeking directions.

They're also armed to the teeth and being tracked by a mysterious helicopter. Rex Matheson arrives on their doorstep just in time for explosions, guns, Jeep chases along Welsh beaches and rocket launchers. You can certainly see where the producers have spent the extra cash.

There's even a reason for Captain Jack to run away from all the dangers now.  I could never work out why he bothered in the past because nothing could hurt him. He was immortal so anything could happen to his body and he would reform, like some cosmic version of The Rolling Stones, and carry on exactly like before. You just couldn't get shot of him.

Now, however, he's mortal. He bleeds, he gets hurt, and that's a bit of a problem because somebody's trying to kill him. (He's still got perfect teeth and hair, however.)

Torchwood is, of course, utter tosh, but it's terrific fun and zips along like a finely tuned Mercedes.  Whether of not it can keep up this pace over the remaining nine episodes remains to be seen, but you'd be a fool not to tune in to find out.

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Comments for: "Torchwood: Miracle Day "

Adam Dewitt

Although i liked tghe Torchwood episode last night,I think that its completely and utterly stupid that the producers and others felt that it was necessary to move them to the USA, the one great fact about Torchwood was that it was british and was filmed in the UK we could whatch it and say thats the one things that i like about the BBC science fiction it's with us, now they've made Torchwood in to another american show with a few British actors.

I have nothing against upping the budget but when Torchwood has been a part of the UK for three years and now it americas star it's like they created it completly reimagening the story line that made us enjoy Torchwood.

I'm just wondering about any new seasons of Torchwwod will they all be set in america now will the new Torchwood Hub be under Washington DC or the Statue of Liberty where will it end with Gwen dying next with Jack finding american's to help him or will Jack die and Gwen has a new team of all Yanks

I will be watching the new season but i hope things go back to normal soon.

Pete Winnard

It only got moved to the USA because the screenwriter/producer moved to the USA and has stated that any shows he now makes will now be US based.. this and any future torchwoods will be based in the USA ..which is GREAT as the production will be MUCH bigger with a bigger global feel to the show.

Darren Dean

Whats the problem with the americanisation of Torchwood. It's bigger better, the script excellent. If it's Miracle day though would love to see Jantou (have I spelt his name right) back?

Brenton Gardiner

well when things become american i becomes not as rich in characters and story.And Americans are so violent and and arrogant and just plain tacky .

David Douglas

Very impressed with episode one and can't wait for the new series to get underway. Of course it's 'utter tosh' but it is also compulsive viewing.

Joe

I thought last nights episode of torchwood was good. I'm not a total patriot of the uk so am not bothers by a simple tv program being "americanised" American tv is good any way. I must say well done to the director s/he had some amazing shots last night.

bradley a. steele

I'm just happy it's back on, dont care where its filmed, altho i did like bbc locations, but back on is the main thing..i loved farscape and wished they brought it back..my wife and i are very happy to watch Torchwood again...Thanks for the return of torchwood

dave Ward

Another outstandingly british creation gets Americanised. next we will be having commercials 30 seconds into the program regardless of the channel and every 5 minutes afterwards because americans have the attention span of a goldfish. I am utterly sick and tired of all the trashy US Dramas were forced to watch and my fear is that with US backing that Torchwood will go the same way. The plot has this CIA Burke STEALING torchwood from us under some Directive that gives him carte blanche to carry a gun on OUR streets OUTSIDE his jurisdiction and arrest British and canadian citizens on OUR soil ..who the Heck do America think they are to even dramatise such a thing. This is just another instance of Britain going down the Pan when we cannot afford to carry on with a great creation like Torchwood on our own terms with our own actors under our own budgets its time to take a look at the crap were importing from the States stop paying for that and start channelling it back into UK based productions. As an ex cold war warrior we won but frnakly the more i look at the states these days I wam erring to the Russians as a long term partner because America is insidiously creeping into every aspect of UK life now ..its like we are the 51st State

Pete Winnard

Being a Brit living in america i think your're being a little bit biased towards the USA..if you spent some time over here you'd realise that it's a much better lifestyle than living in the UK. That being said if you knew anything about Torchwood you'd know we're lucky that it is even being made, the screenwriter/executive producer Russell T.Davies moved to the USA after producing Torchwood:-Children of the Earth and at that point torchwood was pretty much dead, which is why so many characters were killed off. Whilst in the USA he got new ideas for Torchwood and he managed to get backing from TV giant STARZ and in conjunction with the BBC, Miracle day was brought to life, this is why the characters and plot lines have moved to the USA as Davies is now based in the US.

Julie

Pete

'It's a much better lifestyle than living in the UK?'

Speak for yourself mate. I'm extremely happy here with my wonderful family, lovely work colleagues, fantastic neighbours and quirky weather to boot.

If I wanted to be told to 'have a nice day' repeatedly, I could pitch a tent outside McDonalds.

Americans are incapable of sorting problems out without resorting to guns, lawyers or therapists.

You are welcome to it. Just don't assume it's something we'd all want. I personally couldn't think of anything worse.

I'm off to get myself a nice British pint. Now that's something you wouldn't get over there!

Pete Winnard

Just what an Uneducated brit would think. I too have a wonderful family, neighbours, work collegues and quirky weather (try living in Florida in the summer the weather can turn at a moments notice)

I too can get a GREAT british pint as there are plenty british pubs serving genuine british ales.

as for laywers and therapists.. no one i know of has ever seen a therapist..laywers well yes i'll give you that one and that one only !

As for the McDonalds and "have a nice day" believe it or not NO ONE says that here ...

See it's all about what we're fed in the media ..when i was a resident of the UK i thought the USA was all Guns, crime, lawyers, therapists and have a nice day too..

whereas here they think everyone in the Uk lives in some country mansion, crime doesn't exist coz the cops dont need guns and they think the country is so small that i must have at least met paul mccartney or the queen at least once.

Coz thats what they see on the TV here all the time.. most americans love watching keeping up appearances and gordon ramsay..

So they think everyones either like mrs bouquet or a loud mouth ..it's all what we're fed by the media and it couldn't be further from the truth !!

Tony

I agree whgy spoil a good prog with American second rate actors theres actors ovver here that out of work it was a british show should keep it a british show

UKTWFan

Totally agree with Americans takin all our stuff. They always want the good stuff we have, we got Royals, they want em, we got history, they want it, we got good british telly, they buy the rights and trash the whole bloomin lot.

I did enjoy last nights episode but you can absolutely see it's rapidly turning into yet more american nonsense.

Pete Winnard

Yes it has been americanized but thats because the producer/screenwriter Russell T.Davies moved to the US.

colin

I'm sorry but I was not that impressed with last nights episode.Why the BBC seems to always equate quality with big money productions I dont know. The plots seems to have got lost on this one even before its started, I got bored half way through and switched off. Please,PLEASE, BBC dont ever think of colaborating with BBC America on Dr Who.

Lunaskya

Why did Torchwood move to the US? One word: money. From what I understand, the BBC is under huge financial (and political) pressure right now. So if you don't like the US stealing British shows, stop your government from cutting BBC's funding! I think fans on both sides of the pond would be happier.

Pete Winnard

Wrong it moved to the US because the screenwriter/producer Russell T.Davies moved to the USA

ttrob

has the government cut funding to the bbc?

I thought it was funded by the tv licence

Paddy

Do members of Torchwood get gold plated pensions?

ph7

Only Capt Jack lives long enough to get any pension. As he has been around a couple of hundred years his accrual rate must be pretty good!

Powys Geezer

Anyone else think that Eve Myles looks like Ruth Jones's slimmer little sister? Crackin'!