Torchwood: Miracle Day 9 - Bill Pullman
The Bill Pullman show this week © BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz/BBC 2011

It is now 2 months since the last episode. Jack and Esther are in Scotland, while Gwen is back with her family in Wales, and somewhere, off screen, the world is in trouble…

Once again, there is absolutely no atmosphere to this scenario. The world is supposed to be in crisis, with an ever-growing population. Yet we see wide open spaces, and an amazingly empty Shanghai. Is everyone camera-shy?

Rex (Mekhi Phifer) is back in the bosom of the CIA, and is doing some rather nifty detecting, finding a possible route to the Families. But he is thwarted by a mole, who makes so may furtive glances and asks too many questions that surely someone would have noticed!

Torchwood: Miracle Day 9 - Alexa Havins, John Barrowman and Eve
The Torchwood team, Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins), Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), back to looking at a computer screen © BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz/BBC 2011

Gwen (Eve Myles) and her family are still trying to deal with her dying father, who is being hidden in the cellar. A zealous, and rather obnoxious, administrator is trying to find him, but doesn’t find the hiding place.

Then a stranger arrives, the killer Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman). It seems his face is now known over the world. I wonder why? Surely the rest of the world has better things to think about than a child killer from the states? (And how, therefore, did he manage to get from the States to Wales?) However, he turns out to be the most interesting character this week, being given the best lines of dialogue and being about the most intelligent. At last his character seems to have some purpose.

I’ve never been very happy with the dubious morality shown in this series, and never more this time. It seems that because Oswald Danes killed a child it’s OK for Gwen and hubby (Kai Owen) to beat him up whenever they feel like it. No one bats an eyelid… Shameful.

Having said that, the writers missed a trick here. When the aforementioned administrator triumphantly finds Gwen’s father it would have been entirely in character for Gwen to viciously beat him up, and in doing so make him a candidate for “Category 1” and suffer the fate he was happy to dole out. There’s irony for you.

Torchwood: Miracle Day 9 - Lauren Ambrose
Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose) meets one of the Families in a deserted Shanghai © BBC Worldwide Productions/Starz/BBC 2011

There are even more surprises, as the uninteresting Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose) finally gets a purpose – two people getting a purpose in one episode! Well I never! It seems she has a gift for dealing with the media, something we’ve not seen one bit of evidence of. Never mind. What’s most important about her is that she takes us to The Blessing…

And what is the Blessing? Well we don’t know exactly yet – it doesn’t look very interesting – but I’m sure some comic will soon be referring to it as “Jack’s Crack.” And it seems it goes right through the Earth from Shanghai to Buenos Aries – it must be made of stern stuff to survive the heat and pressure.

So, after 9 weeks we’re close to the end. I hope that will also include some answers, and good answers after all the time invested.

But I’m not holding my breath…


[Rating: 3]

Jan Vincent-Rudzki

UK editor of Film Review Online