Posted: 07/06/2011

 

Torchwood: Miracle Day

by Jef Burnham



Premieres July 8, 2011 at 10pm ET/PT only on Starz!


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Nobody’s dying; and an unexplained word sweeps across the internet, bypassing the U.S. government’s security protocols: Torchwood. Then, just as mysteriously as the word had appeared, it’s gone. And nobody’s dying. For an entire day, nobody dies. It’s a miracle day. But the miracle persists. On the next day and the next day and the next, nobody dies. They grow older, they get injured, they get executed, and they just keep on living. But the miracle becomes a curse, for how can the Earth’s resources possibly accommodate the resultant population boom? The answer is simple: it can’t.

Thus begins Torchwood: Miracle Day, the latest original series from Starz. With high stakes, smart action, complex characters, and interplanetary mystery, Miracle Day will have you setting and triple-checking your DVR or rushing home on Friday nights each and every week during the series’ 10-episode run. Because frankly, it’s everything American television ought to be… except that, in a way, it isn’t really American television at all. After all, while Torchwood was originally a UK series, Torchwood: Miracle Day is not just another American remake or a reinvisioning. It is a direct follow-up to the UK’s original Doctor Who spin-off series. In fact, Torchwood creator/executive producer Russell T. Davies and Children of Earth executive producer Julie Gardner have returned to oversee production of Miracle Day with Davies personally penning the series’ premiere episode.

In addition, John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Kai Owen, and a handful of others return with Davies and Gardner, reprising their roles from the original Torchwood. Picking up where Torchwood: Children of Earth left off, Gwen Cooper, along with her husband Rhys and their 6-month-old daughter have gone underground, living in seclusion on the coast of Wales. And Capt. Jack Harkness has yet to make an appearance on Earth since his self-imposed exile at the conclusion of Children of Earth.

Joining Jack and Gwen in the investigation are potential Torchwood team members Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) and Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) of the C.I.A. Both captivating characters in their own right, Rex is determined to uncover the link between Torchwood and Miracle Day after surviving the near-total destruction of his heart in a car accident; and Esther, although sweet and unassuming, is incredibly resourceful, if in way over her head. But by far the most intriguing of the new additions to the cast is Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman), a convicted pedophile, rapist, and murderer, whose survival of his court-ordered execution marked the very first of Miracle Day’s miracles. What role Oswald will play in the proceedings of the Torchwood investigation and whether or not he’ll join some sort of newly-formed Torchwood America is as yet unclear; but one thing is for certain: with but a single speaking scene in the premiere episode, Pullman’s performance will haunt you long after the credits roll.

And just as each season of Torchwood UK stood head and shoulders above the last, Miracle Day is shaping up to be the best season yet. Davies leaves us asking all the right questions, and there are indeed a lot to be asked. And as result, it’s going to be hard for this writer at least— nearly impossible, in fact— to wade through the seven arduous, Torchwood-free days between each installment of Miracle Day.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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