Torchwood: Miracle Day 7 - John Barrowman
Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) gets a lesson on the downside of immortality © BBC/BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz 2011

While Gwen kidnaps Jack to save her family, we are shown a series of flashbacks that may, or may not, go towards explaining the origin of “The Miracle”.

A strange episode this, in so many ways. Perhaps the strangest of all is that it is actually a rather good episode in itself, the trouble is, it isn’t in the context of the story unfolding over 10 episodes. The main thrust of the story concerns Jack meeting Angelo Colasanto (Daniele Favilli) in Depression New York, but what is not clear is whether Jack is actually remembering all this, or if it is being added in for the benefit of the viewer. It’s almost as if the writers have suddenly realized they’ve forgotten to add some important plot point and so have shoved it in here. It’s not very subtle.

Maybe it’s all a red herring, just here to make us think (but probably not too much). It seems the alien creatures we saw in last week’s trailer were just a tease. The series does seem to be full of people and events that seem to have little later relevance, but we live in hope that it will all make sense by the end. Well, we can hope.

The idea of Jack meeting a homosexual Catholic Italian and forming a relationship with him is handled rather well. Although, seeing John Barrowman in “sexy” mode is not something I would choose to see, or think about. On the flip side of that we have Jack being repeatedly killed – maybe we should dub this series ‘Torture-Wood’. This was an interesting, and disturbing, look at the consequences of ignorance and superstition. And frankly, I don’t understand why such a horrific series of events didn’t unhinge Jack, or even drive him to insanity. After all, each time he dies it does hurt – which also made his dumping of Angelo by jumping off a building a rather strange thing to do. Maybe he is mad…

Torchwood: Miracle Day 7 - Eve Myles and John Barrowman
Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) kidnaps Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) to get her family back © BBC/BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz 2011

To say the least, it was far too easy, and quick, for Gwen’s family to be rescued, and it stretched the plot somewhat for Rex and Esther to come to the rescue at the very last minute. The “oh my god” moment of saying that Angelo was waiting for Jack was hardly a surprise after the episode’s focusing on the two of them. Yeah, we could see that coming.

So here we are with three episodes to go, and our little group still seem disconnected from the rest of the world. The overwhelming sense of doom and vast events inexorably moving on are still missing. There is still no atmosphere to this.

But I did notice that some of Jack’s blood was taken during the death scenes, and the three mysterious men who showed an interest in him formed a triangle (the sign of the unknown organisation) with their hands. So we may be close to finding an answer about the nature of The Miracle. I just hope it, and its resolution, are worth waiting for…


[Rating: 2.5]


Jan Vincent-Rudzki

UK editor of Film Review Online