Yes – I like Torchwood. No, I am nowhere NEAR where Captain Jack Harkness comes into play in the Doctor Who Universe since I’ve started watching the series that aired in the seventies and eighties. (Click here to see what I mean.) Thus, my viewpoint if the Torchwood television show is finite to JUST Torchwood. As a litmus test of my level of interest for random readers: I LOVED Children of Earth. It was both disturbing and thought provoking which (in my opinion) makes for solid science fiction. With all that in mind, here are the two things wrong with Torchwood: Miracle Day.
1. IT’S TOO LONG.
A normal season (“series” for you hardcore Brit folk) runs 13 episodes. Children of Earth was a finite story told over 5 episodes and is considered the third season (series.) Miracle Day is the alleged fourth season.
In the normal seasons (one and two) you had a story arc, but you also had stand alone episodes for developing characters and telling individual tales. For thirteen hours of television, this makes great sense. This is why people fell in love with the show and it’s characters.
Torchwood (to me) always felt like a clever British mix of Angel and The X-Files. “Filler” episodes add flavor and give chances for characters to do more outside the main story. They also give the viewer an opportunity to gain insight and emotional attachments to people in the story. There’s a reason fans were so upset when (SPOILER) Ianto died. People were emotionally invested in the show via the characters.
I feel that Torchwood: Miracle Day could have been told in five episodes – just like Children of Earth. Ten episodes is just too damn long for a single story line the Torchwood Universe.
2. JACK IS TOO GAY.
Hear me out on this. In the series, Jack Harkness is allegedly “omnisexual.” He hooks up with men. He hooks up with women. He hooks up with the random ambiguously gendered alien form. He is, for all intent and purpose, a man whore. He lives life to that extreme because he has been alive (and will be) for so long. Sex makes him feel like part of the living and he enjoys that aspect of his existence.
I think the team at Torchwood were so excited at bringing a character to the States so openly interested in men that they have inadvertently turned Jack into a walking/talking gay man stereotype. Jack is more than that. For the sake of shock value, the writers have taken a deep character with a unique viewpoint of relationships on Earth and turned him into a two dimensional stereotype.
Torchwood’s development team has a chance to introduce their clever world to a broader American audience thanks to Starz, but it looks like they’re just killing a great concept in the process. I’m only eight episodes in, but Torchwood: Miracle Day already feels “Category 1” to me.