Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 3 – Dead of Night

Created by: Russell T. Davies

Cast: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Arlene Tur, Bill Pullman, Lauren Ambrose, Wayne Knight

Synopsis: Rex determines the cause of his current outsider status from the CIA is his boss Friedkin, from whom he learns that the latter has been in contact with someone involved with Miracle Day.   Esther and Rex are now somewhat enrolled in Torchwood, and the team has set up base to work the problem out.   They identify a warehouse that Friedkin had been protecting, and going there discover a stockpile of Phicorp painkillers, the same company that employs Jilly Kitzinger.

This may seem out of character for me since I have started doing television episode reviews.   I have been a consistent broken record, talking about great drama, building episodes to what promises to be a brilliant finish, and how each episode of the shows I have been watching has been equal or superior to what had gone before.   I regret to say though that with this episode of Miracle Day, the ball was dropped somewhat.

This is not to say that the episode was bad.   There were many entertaining moments, as well as enticing revelations concerning what we can expect later on in the show.   The Phicorp storyline starts to bring the separate threads of the story together finally, with them not only employing Kitzinger, who in turn has been soliciting the support of both Oswald Danes and Dr. Juarez, but also having knowledge of Miracle Day a year in advance and seeking to profit.   So as far as story is concerned, the progress is fine and at a good point at this still early point.

However, the episode still does not feel quite brilliant to me.   I feel a part of that is a question of tone, this episode perhaps leaning too far into the comic arena.   Some humour in a dark concept show like this is needed to introduce levity and prevent a very depressed audience, but there was perhaps a little too much in this episode, in particular Jilly Kitzinger, whom at this point is about as deep as a puddle after a sun shower.   Her character is not the only one to suffer, however.   Jack himself does not fare well in the character development stakes.   Her leaves for a moment of levity, leading to a sex scene interspersed with a Rex/Vera Juarez sex scene.   The fact that Jack’s  scene is with a man garnered some controversy, but for me the homosexuality is beyond the point.   The simple fact is the scenes did little to serve the plot.   Jack does experience some self realisation afterwards, concerning his relationship with Gwen, but even this feels unwarranted given that Gwen has clearly moved on.   Even if it was necessary for the plot to include this element, I feel there were other ways to achieve this.   Add that to Rex and Juarez, where the lead up to the sex is so rushed it stretches beyond the point of credibility, overall including sex at all in the episode was a poor choice.

So yes, I am a bit disappointed.   There were the seeds of another episode worthy of not only the opening of Miracle Day, but perhaps even equal to some of the best of Torchwood as a whole.   Some poor choices in characterisation and tone undid that potential however, leaving the episode at just being slightly better than average.

3 stars out of 5


Torchwood Miracle Day – Dead of Night on IMDB

Torchwood Miracle Day – Dead of Night trailer [youtube=]