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Torchwood Future Discussions

Despite fairly strong ratings for Torchwood: Miracle Day, the immediate future for the show following the season remains uncertain. Chris Albrecht, the CEO of Starz (the US network for the current season) has recently indicated that its future is linked to what Russell T. Davies would like to do and isn’t necessarily something they will produce new episodes of year after year, while RTD has been giving hints that he probably needs a break from writing sci-fi, and reportedly now has a show entitled “Cucumber” in development with another cable network, Showtime. So fans will have to wait and see (although there’s still another six episodes to go for the currrent season of course).

How have people been finding the re-launched Torchwood? How are you liking - or perhaps not liking - the new members (such as Rex Matheson, played by Mekhi Phifer, pictured above)? We don’t do reviews for episodes of the various Who spin-off series on the blog as a matter of course, but feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

12 Comments...

Well, I know a lot aren’t (it seems mostly those who were never overly thrilled with Torchwood in the first place) - but I’m enjoying it.
I will admit there are some things I haven’t liked, but there’s still enough there that’s pulling me in and making me think.
The overall idea of the story is quite brilliant…not just that ‘nobody dies’, but how society and especially the world governments deal with it (or choose not to deal with it, based on the most recent episode!) It’s shocking, but sadly not beyond belief.
The ‘americanization’ of the series, although obviously expected, has been imo a bit over the top.  As is typical of most US dramas, the new American characters are the ‘perfect-looking on the outside but flawed or hurting on the inside’ types, leading to quite a contrast between the Brits and the Yanks onscreen (besides the obviously silly jokes about what things are called and driving on the other side etc).  Gwen and the high heels summed it up for me!
Love Gwen and so pleased we still have Rhys as well.

Rex is annoying (as he’s supposed to be) and goes way beyond the typical ‘brash American’ but after the first couple of episodes I warmed up to him.  Esther is a stereotype of a different kind - not the sharpest knife in the drawer and possibly not the most emotionally stable either, but I’ll hang in with her for now.
Unfortunately Vera (who I liked the most of the newbies), now appears to be gone…although I suppose in this story nothing is definite. 
Oswald Danes is a bit of an enigma…I’m utterly disgusted by him, but due to the excellent job Bill Pullman is doing, I can’t help but be sucked in at times (I guess in the same way some of his new ‘followers’ have been).  However I have found the way they’re trying to integrate his story into that of the Torchwood team to be a bit awkward…some of the reasons given for Jack’s fascination with him haven’t struck me as entirely plausible.

Jack is of course, Jack - although he has done a few things that seem to be written as gratuituous scenes more for the public ‘shock value’ rather than essential to the story.
Since it appears that he is somehow central to this whole miracle thing, I am interested to find out how it all ends up.

There have been a few nods to Who (“it’s bigger on the inside than the outside”, and Jack calling himself “John Smith”).
I know it’s not perfect, but we’ve still got half the story to go, and I’m definitely hanging in there.

Posted by Julie  on  08/07  at  12:59 PM

For my money, episode 5 was the first of the series that has motivated me to be keen for the next episode to roll out.

It’s not that Miracle Day is bad, it’s far and above seasons 1 and 2 of Torchwood.  Yes I know, that’s not saying much.  Most TV is far and above seasons 1 and 2 of Torchwood…

But following from CoE, Miracle Day is (so far) dissapointing.  I’ve not felt compelled to watch the new episodes, I do so when I get around to it (which usually means after I’ve seen the new True Blood and Damages).

And Julie is right, The ĎAmericanizationí of the series is a bit over the top.  From the filming style, to mimicing the worst of US action music (woe is the music when Jack and Ester leap to the fountain pool) to the not quite working humour level (are we supposed be laughing with the show, or at the show?).

All that said, episode 5 was a big step up.  There is still time for Miracle Day to pull up its socks.

Posted by Andrew  on  08/08  at  02:32 PM

Agree with you Andrew. Ep 5 was definitely a step up, more in the COE vein than anything so far.

Posted by Julie  on  08/09  at  02:17 AM

Disappointing,sadly made for the American market-stating the obvious and so slow. Just get Dr Who to do his magic and bring back Ianto…...

Posted by Jazza  on  08/13  at  11:37 AM

I’ve been disappointed with the reaction from some fans. Putting aside the inconsolable ones who for whatever reason fell madly in love with Ianto and can’t accept the show without him (I’m sure Doctor Who lost a few Tenth Doctor lovers too), the fact there seems to be so many out there who don’t understand what a 10-episode storyline is. It means you don’t reveal everything and resolve everything in the first hour, or the 5th. You usually reveal all in the 9th and spend the 10th resolving the issue. Or, you wait till the end of the 10th before revealing all. This sense of “instant gratification” is something I didn’t expect to see, especially with all the harping about Torchwood becoming Americanized. Yet British TV is what gave us Doctor Who from 1963 to 1989 in which you had to wait anywhere from a month to 12 (or 14 if you consider Trial of a Time Lord one story) weeks for a story to be resolved. If anything, Miracle Day is more like a British-style series than Doctor Who is right now.

As for Torchwood continuing, once again in the UK it’s not uncommon for shows to take a year or more off between seasons, and Torchwood has never really been a year-to-year series anyway. I guess this does mean that RTD isn’t planning to give it to another producer. And if Torchwood takes another couple of years off that’ll give Doctor Who time to get Jack involved in a 50th anniversary storyline.

Posted by Alex  on  08/14  at  04:59 AM

My sense, Alex, is that your read of the fan reaction is slightly skewed. I’m likely reading the same forums as you and my impression is that the disappointed fans are well aware of the potential of a 10 part series, and we recognize how badly Miracle Day is making good on that potential.

It’s nothing to do with instant gratification. Ask Damages, Dexter, even the 20 hour Dannish Killing, and multitude more of 12+ ep series, and they all illustrate that you can hold the reveals to the end as long as you provide a gripping beginning that keeps the audience coming back. For most of Miracle Day, I’ve only been coming back out of habit.

And I worked out what it was about the “Americanization” that wasn’t sitting well with me. It’s not Americanized exactly, it a British view of what Americanized is, and the result is a bit of an uncomfortable mash, leaving you laughing at the show when you used to laugh with it.

Still, hoping for an improvement as it enters half two.

Posted by Andrew  on  08/14  at  05:46 AM

Andrew - yes I tend to agree about the Americanization, and that’s sort of where I was coming from with my brief comment above about Rex and Esther’s characters - I originally typed a lot more but then edited for brevity lol. So here it is.

Rex comes across to me as an incredibly stereotypical American ‘action hero’, almost to the point that if I was American, I’d be insulted.  Which got me thinking (since I haven’t seen anything about this on any of the US fan sites I’ve read): do the American viewers really not see this at all?
It’s as if RTD set out to write - intentionally or not - the most rah rah flag-waving American character contrasts to the Brits on the show as he could (and I’m including Jack with the Brits for these purposes).

The same for Esther - also somewhat of an American stereotype (perfect, pretty blonde, never without high heels, book-smart but naive, prone to tears at the drop of a hat blah blah), however she’s at least shown us a few more layers.  Unfortunately Rex just keeps waving his flag and shouting.  And then shouting some more, with the occasional anguished expression thrown between the rants.  It’s a pity, because there have been some scenes where he could have had more depth, but imo they’ve just come off flat. 
Sad to say, but could even be just as much the ‘fault’ of the actor who’s playing the role as it is the way he’s written, because now I think back to watching Mekhi Phifer on ER, Rex and Dr Pratt are almost interchangable.

Vera is (was?) the ‘reverse stereotype’ of Esther (the dark-haired girl is the smart and more sensible one).
Jilly is more a caricature then a stereotype, as was awful Colin Maloney - but I think in those cases they’re supposed to be and the Americans are seeing it too, so that hasn’t grated on me so much.

Anyway, reading back over this now I realise that any of our US friends to the south reading this may be terribly put-out by some of what I’ve said, but please be assured I don’t mean it to come across as American-bashing at all.  Rather, I mean to convey that I am fully aware that most of you are NOT the stereotypes we are seeing portrayed here.

All that being said, I’m still enjoying Miracle Day as a whole.  I find that if I think of it as ‘a new series that happens to have my favourite Torchwood characters in it’ instead of constantly comparing it to CoE or the better eps of Torchwood’s earlier series, it comes off much better.  Because really, that’s what it is - a completely new programme…at least so far. 
However, I have been a bit dismayed at the lack of Jack having anything useful to do in the last couple of eps (I had to laugh at something I read online about when he was senselessly running around the corridors for Oswald to follow - they said “he’s like a character running around in search of his scene”).  He’s supposed to be the ‘star’ of the show and yet was barely in it.
However the previews for next week appear as though we’ll get back to some Jack/Torchwoody-centric stuff for next week, so things may be looking up on that front. smile

Posted by Julie  on  08/14  at  10:55 AM

Well said Julie, and absolutely agree!

PS: in addition to Jack doing little, am I the only one a little distracted by Barroman’s facial touchups? He’s a little plasticy sometimes…

Posted by Andrew  on  08/14  at  01:46 PM

Yes I’ve noticed that too, although I find the extra-spikey hair more distracting!

Posted by Julie  on  08/15  at  02:23 AM

Cucumber…  Is Russell T. Davies going to revive the old moose and beaver show?

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It was pretty good. Torchwood has long been a series with multiple personality disorder and Torchwood deals with the wonderful, strange and inexplicable. Thanks for sharing with us.

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