Home Reviews Torchwood: Miracle Day: Episode 2 Rendition – TV Review

Torchwood: Miracle Day: Episode 2 Rendition – TV Review

Torchwood: Miracle Day 2
Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) momentarily co-operate © BBC/BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz 2011

A packed episode where Jack is poisoned, and cured, on a flight to the USA, Dr Juarez talks to other doctors and the CIA has a secret organization working inside it. Oh! That was it, more or less…!

I feel quite sorry for Eve Myles. All her character, Gwen, does is over-react whenever possible. It’s all just too over the top.I suspect it’s the writing, but who can tell? Gwen really does seem pout of her depth for most of the time, but that’s her trick; she doesn’t realize what she can or can’t do and so blunders her way in and out of situations because nobody expects her capable of anything!

Torchwood: Miracle Day 2
Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) concocts a cure for Jack's poisoning © BBC/BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz 2011

The interesting character this week turned out to be Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer). For at least the first half of the episode I thought of him as a rather unpleasant thuggish man, who seemed, somehow, to have flown to the UK from the States at a whim and flown back with two citizens. But following that dislike I feel under the spell of that dramatic trick of putting someone in peril and so the audience starts to sympathise with him or her. (And that was used rather well this episode in the simple-minded way the Americans seem to completely change their opinion of paedophile Oswald when he did a bit of crying) So as it turned out Rex was put in peril by his so-called colleagues he became more interesting, and a bit likeable – although I’m not quite sure if I should be thinking that after he snaps a neck!

Torchwood: Miracle Day 2
Who knows what's going on? Dr Vera Juarex (Arlene Tur) maybe getting closer to the facts... © BBC/BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz 2011

The series still lacks any focus. It’s all far too bitty, with various plot strands ambling along. I’ve no doubt – well, actually I’m really hoping – that these strands will come together and that they prove more interesting than the clips we’ve seen in the preview. One notable omission, and this is one of Torchwood‘s trademarks, is that we never see people in authority. We are concentrating on a small group of people, but what’s happening in the Big Picture? What are governments, and maybe the military, thinking, and planning? This wouldn’t niggle me so much if the scripts dealt with that in some way – not an impossible task. I would be impressed more by the government hearing that people were still aging, rather than a revelation in some room, somewhere…

Torchwood: Miracle Day 2
Unwell Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) © BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz/BBC 2011

At the start of this review I summed the episode’s plot as not having much to it, more or less. That is a bit simplified, but that is how it felt at the end of the episode. We keep being told of the problems that are going to occur, but it’s all talk, and more talk – we see nothing. In fact, what we do see of the world seems quite normal! There were some good moments this week, but it was all too episodic, and so felt laborious. Jack’s poisoning scene just kept on going, on and on.

There was a bit more substance to this episode than last week’s offering, but it still has some way to go before becoming essential viewing.


[Rating: 2]