Friday, 8 July 2011

(Spoiler Free) Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode One

Well I caught episode one this afternoon, it airs in US at 10pm tonight (not sure what time that makes it over here) and in the UK next Thursday.

The UK version runs for an extra 3-4minutes and the US version contains more 'racier' action scenes (mainly around the character of Jack Harkness, as over here he is a childrens hero).

It holds nothing that 'Children Of Earth' did for me so far, but it's still a good, well written episode, clearly written by the pen of Russell T. Davies with lines knocking at the Welsh and their country.

There's also some clever writing, especially for characters like Bill Pullman, but Jack himself leads a lot to be desired. They are certainly taking him in an interesting and brilliantly new direction, yet he uses some old tricks and doesn't really get explored enough in this first episode.

Gwen Cooper and husband Rhys are fantastic, I'm so glad Kai Owen has a credit on the opening and for me he's the best actor in this opening episode, he gets some funny lines and some dramatic scenes as well. It's clear where the Starz budget has gone with some 'explosive' moments, cranking Torchwood up a gear.

I'm not enjoying the use of news coverage in the episode, as it's quite distracting, it feels like one of Russell's great 2005 ideas ('Aliens Of London') blown into overload. The new American characters haven't come into their own yet, which is a shame. We've known them for almost an hour so I should be liking them more than I do. Mekhi Phifer's CIA agent Rex Matheson is funny in places, but not hugely memorable as a character, more for his humerous lines. But Alexa Havins' Esther Drummond is a really poor repeat of a 2007 Gwen, making her pretty dull.

It's certainly not the strongest 50 minutes of television and it's not Russell's strongest script, but it's great to see the team back again and it's a decent opener, but it's not lived up to 'Children Of Earth' just yet.

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