TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY
Episode 8 - The End of The Road

456 Classification - Sensitive Information Revealed

So The End of the Road eh? An early finish for this fumbling series?... No such luck - we've another 2 hours of this nonsense to go yet! But Sweet Jesus, how I wish it was over, for the only miracle I can discern in this series of Torchwood is how no one turned round to old RTD and said 'Look Russell, this is shit!'

I would apologise for such a bile-soaked opening but I'm reaching the end of the road too with bloody Torchwood, and no one can say I've not tried to be fair and even handed in my critiques. Indeed some would say, I've been overly generous in giving this series the benefit of the doubt. Hell, I even liked last week's episode, which apparently bored the arse off most of you, who felt it should have been shrunk down to a ten minute flashback!

And while it is true that the strengths of Immortal Sins, the stronger story telling, decent performances, period detail etc. were pretty much cancelled out by the fact that they only served to highlight firstly what was wrong with the rest of the series and secondly the shoddy story structure, at least I didn't come away bruised from the plot holes I'd fell down and bleeding from where the clumsy dialogue has tripped me up and right out of the show.

However, this week's dollop - I'm not going to call an episode as that would imply some narrative cohesion - seemed specifically designed to right the karmic balance and be at least as twice as annoying and irritating as usual. So frankly I feel like if there's any apologising to be done, it should be from the production team for putting together this half-baked mess.

Now last week ended with the promise of revelations as the still living Angelo knows how the Miracle started. Except we discover he doesn't really - the team learns that the three mysterious fellows are the Families mentioned earlier and that it's something to do with morphic fields and Jack's blood. All well and good but the audience knew all of this already, so yet again we have pointless info dumps where the characters tell each other what we the viewers are already aware of.

The big reveal for us is that Angelo is behind Jack's new mortality thanks to some Null-field alien tech which he apparently salvaged from the ruins of the Hub but Jack never thought to bother mentioning before. Yeah, great, thanks for that... Mr Logic was off ill again when this was scribbled I presume, for surely you would have thought that Jack would have been digging in those ruins for this handy gizmo as soon as he found he could die and suspect morphic field manipulation was behind it.

Also on the choppy to the point of inducing seasickness plotting was the sudden reappearance of Friedkin who has played no part in all of this cobblers for the last half dozen episodes. And as quickly as he came back, he was conveniently blown up so the team are back in the CIA's good books. Also picked up again was the plot-lines about Danes and Ester's sister which have left unceremoniously hanging for several weeks too. I honestly felt in danger of whiplash from the number of plot thread suddenly flapping back into life.

And if dodging blows from the flailing plot wasn't bad enough, you also had to keep constantly ducking cluster bomb attacks of shoddy dialogue and unnecessary, unfunny quippage from all concerned. Yes, the show might be picking up the pace but just running about aimlessly, ironically like a headless chicken that doesn't realise it's dead, just isn't going to do the trick.

Frankly at this point, I just don't care anymore and evidently the script editor didn't either. What so annoying is that you can see there is a good story in here. But at every turn it's missed the mark, focused on the wrong elements and seemingly done all it possibly could to avoid telling it's story properly.

Now despite all the vitriol above, Torchwood isn't the worst show on TV, however it's one of the most frustrating. Each week it's like watching a band where the singer's off-key, the drummer's off-beat and the guitars are out of tune. The series just hasn't found its own rhythm and there's not enough episodes left to find it.

So sad to say, but a safe bet that it's not going to get any better - I'm totally expecting the grand finale will be horrid - best case scenario at this point looks like more pointless running around, a few bad guys shot, and Captain Jack pulling a big switch marked "Off' and saying "T-t-that's all folks!" And that's the best case scenario! I fully expect the last two parts to deliver some far worse drivel that will have eyes rolling out of sockets up and down the land. I'm stocking up on gaffer tape now and as your attorney I advise you to do the same...

Further reports to follow... Although I am tempted to hop on a plane to LA instead and go all C Thomas Howell on all concerned....

Click here to go to the report for Episode 9 - The Gathering


JIM MOON, 1st September 2011


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