Sunday, September 11, 2011

Torchwood: Miracle Day - Final Review

Alrighty then, seeing as How Torchwood: Miracle Day has come to its end, I thought I'd give you a review of the series.  (Fortunately, the three-day eviction notice hasn't arrived yet — I expect it to any day now, but until it does I have a bit of time.)

As I said in the last review, series creator and head writer Russell T. Davies doesn't disappoint us.  One day, nobody dies.  They keep getting older, they still become sick and injured, but they don't die.  Everyone on Earth has become immortal, while Captain Jack Harkness has lost his own immortality.  He reteams with Gwen Cooper to stop whatever is causing this catastrophic event as world society begins to collapse.

Inserted into this mix is convicted child rapist and killer Oswald Danes, whose role in this drama forces Captain Jack to deal with his own guilt over the death of his grandson, which he caused at the end of Torchwood: Children of Earth.  As the series unfolds, we learn that Danes is searching for the cause of the Miracle, too, for reasons of his own.  CIA operatives Rex Matheson and Esther Drummons find themselves thrown into the action along with Doctor Vera Juarez, an emergency room physician whose efforts to deal with the Miracle's devastating consequences inadvertently lead to horrific actions by the world's governments to contain the population overflow.

After watching the final episode today, I can safely say that there is a planned Series 5.  How can there not be, with things left up in the air as they are?  Rex, who was mortally wounded in the first episode, finds himself changed in ways he never imagined.  Jilly Kitzinger, a professional propagandist working for Phicorp, the shadowy business involved in the Miracle, is almost certain to return in a future series.  The three families responsible for the Miracle remain free.  With all those threads left untied, you just know Davies has more in store for us.

As for the Miracle itself, what it is and how it came to be are unknown.  It's simply there, and as far as MacGuffins go, that's enough.  I have to say I'm torn as to how Davies chose to deal with Oswald Danes.  It's obvious he got the fate he wanted, but why he wanted it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.  Given the nature of the character, maybe that's appropriate.

I guess my favorite part of Torchwood: Miracle Day is how the character of Gwen Cooper has evolved.  Davies wrote her, and Eve Myles portrayed her, as "a working mother" wracked by guilt but soldiering on because she has to, because who else will?  Gwen has become the quintessential mother figure of the series, responsible not only for her own nuclear family, but for her extended Torchwood family as well.  How she handles the illness and death of her own father simply rends one's heart, making the character and her job that much more easy to sympathize and identify with.

Overall, I'd have to give Torchwood: Miracle Day an A+.

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