Sunday, July 17, 2011

Ten Statements About....TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY Episode One 'The New World' (2011)

I don't know...I'd almost bet on Gwen Cooper kicking Sarah
Conner's ass in the Sci-Fi Mom Sweepstakes...
".First I knew they were calling from the morgue, they were laughing. They said, 'what's happening up there, you all on strike?' Turns out no one had died. 24 hours since this hospital had a death. Not one. Not from old age, not from injury, not from sickness. All day long."

1) I have a really, really bad feeling that Mekhi Phifer's Rex is going to never rise higher than being The Ugly American. Except for a couple of moments (one of which we'll cite below), he's so broad in his 'fuck Wales, fuck everything, I'm the man' attitude that it takes away from the flow of the story.

2) God, how I missed the interaction between Eve Myles (still looking hot-but-approachable) and Kai 'The Jason Segal of Wales' Owens. Those two, and their interactions with the other supporting cast, have always been the secret weapon of this show, and seeing them still having that divine chemistry is a joy. Even if Davies has decided to Sarah Conner the both of them....

3) What's more annoying that someone saying the name of a movie in the movie? Several people saying the name several times over the space of ten seconds...just like when you have everyone mention know, 'cause this is about Torchwood, right?


Get used to this face...'cause this is pretty much the only
emotion Mekhi Phifer is allowed to have.
4) Jesus Christ...I feel so sorry for Bill Pullman, who is a good actor, playing this thoroughly one-dimensional monstrosity. He seems to be in this season for much the same reason Billy Connolly's charcter was in that awful X-Files: I Want To Believe--giving him this extraordinary status solely so that Davies can have people rail at him for being a child-killing monster and make everyone in the show seem better for disapproving of him.

5) I do give Davies credit for having the courage to keep Captain Jack offstage until the twenty minute mark, and not playing him right away in a positive light. Hell, I know the history of the character and even I found his first appearance here borderline creepy.

6) I'm beginning to think that Davies strength is not characterization--because I find almost all of his characters broad and ill-formed, lacking any sort of subtlety--but his ability to spot people who have the right qualities, both alone and in concert with others, to bring those characters the depth he in incapable of giving them. Seeing John Barrowman's Captain Jack interact with Alexa Havins' Esther Drummond brings her character--up until that point a very bog standard innocent bystander--to life, and gives both of them the same sort of vitality that Gwen and Rhys have.

7) Okay, that autopsy scene? Veeeeery creepy, and helped by the very quiet cutaways to Mekhi Phifer's reactions to what was going on. It's prolly the high point of the episode.

That blur at the bottom?  The single creepiest thing in this
8) I know I talked about her above...but God, I hope the greater distribution of this will show the world what Eve Myles is capable of, and get her more work. Lots more work. The scene with her parents, where she goes from comedy to tragedy seamlessly but logically is brilliant.

9) Admittedly, the idea that the one thing that puts fear in Captain Jack is the fact that he can be injured is pretty cool.

10) The final action sequence that brings our cast together again? Pretty. Damn. Choice.

Overall...this thing seems to be a step down from the nearly pitch perfect 'Children of Earth, and suffers from an extreme need to remind us over and over about what this series is about. It smacks a bit more of Season Two, which was uneven but got better as it went along. I'm not ready to throw up my hands and walk away just yet, but I'm not exactly

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