Torchwood is back for a fourth season. Now it has the subtitle ‘Miracle Day’ and will take place largely in the US. The new season sees the return of Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) as the remaining members of Torchwood. This season they will be accompanied by Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) a CIA agent and Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins).
The new season/series storyline revolves around the premiss that the entire world has stopped dying. Despite the initial jubilation at this ‘Miracle Day’ things quickly get gloomy when the full repercussions become known. Of course both Rex and Esther quickly make the connection with Torchwood and are thus set up to meet Jack. Together, and despite Jack’s initial hesitancy, they set out to find Esther who is now living comfy on the coast. Despite not being able to die plenty of bad guys have alternative thoughts and quickly track the gang down revealing ultimately what viewers knew from the first moment they saw Jack in this episode….. he is mortal!
This episode is the quintessential prologue, the episode that is made to set the tune for the rest of the season. It does this well both story wise and technically. Both some story elements feel too contrived such as Jack’s sudden appearance and Rex’s mortal wound at the beginning of the episode, from which of course, he never dies!
My main gripe with this episode is that is doesn’t explain enough. Sure the big questions can’t possible be answered in the beginning but at least some of the smaller ones could have been. My fear is that Torchwood: Miracle Day could take the route of “The event” by moving away from a reality that we encounter daily and become increasingly a world that fewer viewers find either plausible or engaging. Fringe for example has despite its engaging story arcs lost viewers during its third season that may have been retained with a mid series reboot.
The subtext of Torchwood: Miracle Day (immortality) is probably not going to outlast this season.
Averall score: 7.5/10.