When I heard that Torchwood was going to get picked up with a new season being produced in the US I was ecstatic! MORE TORCHWOOD! Then I gathered my thoughts and realised: more Torchwood from America. Would Hollywoodizing our favourite Doctor Who spinoff actually be a good thing? And now that we’ve seen two episodes of it, I think the answer is ‘No, not really’.
Torchwood: Miracle Day is essentially a 10 part miniseries/season four of Torchwood, where the first three seasons were produced by BBC. In contrast, the new season is a join production between the US network Starz as well as BBC Worldwide. It takes off where Torchwood: Children of Earth ended, with Gwen Cooper as the last known surviving member of Torchwood (although technically a civilian) and our Captain Jack Harkness disappeared. While some things still happen in Wales, most of the action seems to be taking place on the other side of the Atlantic where Rex Matheson, CIA operative, finds out about Torchwood when the whole world (himself included) suddenly decides to NOT DIE. He follows the Torchwood trail to Wales, recruits Gwen Cooper and runs into ever lovable Captain Jack Harkness.
Miracle Day seems to be a decent successor of Children of Earth, but I have to admit that I start off a little bit prejudiced against the series. I like my BBC programming, and as much as Russell T Davies, John Barrowman and Eve Myles is in it, it annoys me greatly as to how US-centric the new series is. I miss my hokey special effects and one-liners, and while there is the odd smattering here and there (from Gwen and Capt Jack), most of it seems too bland for me. It seems less like torchwood and more like a X-files/24 spinoff guest starring John Barrowman. And the hokey weirdness (making EDTA from airplane juice and cleaning fluid) just seems to clash a bit with the rest of the show.
I still love watching John Barrowman and Eve Myles (they’ve got some good lines in there), and I like seeing Dichen Lachman again (I’ve missed her since Dollhouse). But while Miracle Day right now seems pretty okay (it’s entertaining enough and I’ll continue to watch it), it lacks that je ne sais quoi in some of the previous Torchwood eps. Hopefully future eps will get better. But as it’s the only thing that’s currently scratching my Dr Who/Torchwood itch, I’ll take what I can.