Thursday, 28 July 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day- Episodes 1 & 2 Review

Having missed out on the dates I set myself for reviews for the opening two episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day, The New World and Rendition, here's a double review to make up for the delay. First, episode 1: The New World.
4.1 Miracle Day: The New World Review
There were lots of doubt about whether the British/American co-production struck between the BBC and American premium cable channel Starz (hello, lucky Starz viewers! Enjoy episode 4 tomorrow) to resurrect Torchwood for a fourth series, and I'm sure that many people still had those doubts after the ending credits of The New World rolled. However, I didn't have many doubts in the first place, and all of those doubts were eradicated on watching the episode. Russell T Davies served up a fantastic script (up with Army of Ghosts/Doomsday as his best yet) with a right mix of humour, action, gore (a lot of gore, the burned body was DISGUSTING), sci fi stuff, and disturbing stuff (yes, I'm looking at you, Bill Pullman.) The returning actors- John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Kai Owen shone as Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, and Rhys Williams, and the new actors (Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Arlene Tur and Bill Pullman as Rex Matheson, Esther Drummond,  Dr. Vera Juarez and Oswald Danes) were all great, especially the underused but utterly creepy Bill Pullman. Gwen and Rhys' baby Anwen didn't do much, being a baby, but was very cute :) So, overall, the first episode of Miracle Day was a resounding success!
4.2 Miracle Day: Rendition Review
Into the second episode of the season, and it's a slight drop in quality, and pace. The first episode felt exciting, and filmic, and Rendition is, well, more like a typical US sci-fi episode. However, despite the faults in this episode, it was still gripping telly. The main event of the episode, Captain Jack's poisoning, was a thrilling sequence but felt a little like padding out an episode that was never truly necessary to the plot arc of Miracle Day. The scenes on the ground fared a little better, with some intriguing discussions about the ramifications of Miracle Day involving Vera Juarez, and the introduction of the brilliant Lauren Ambrose as the evil PR, Jilly Kitzinger. Elsewhere, Alexa Havins proves that she can really act as she realises that the CIA are turning against Esther, the character of Rex acts like a bigoted idiot sadly, and Bill Pullman makes Oswald Danes that but more creepy, with a riveting performance. Overall, it's a step back but Torchwood: Miracle Day is still top-notch TV- sci-fi that non-sci-fi fans can enjoy too.
Tomorrow it's the Dead of Night review

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