Friday, August 12, 2011

Ten Statements About....TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY Episode Five 'The Categories Of Life' (2011)

I don't know which is more horrific--the fact that Dr. Juarez is
about to be burned alive, or that she has to spend so much time
with this dumb racist James Carvell lookalike...
"Whatever you're doing to fight this miracle, count me in. They just took control of life and death."

1) Look, I trust Jane Espenson as a writer--besides the many good episodes she contributed to Buffy, she co-created and wrote material for a show I rather liked called Point Pleasant. I trust John Shiban, who wrote some exceptional episodes of The X-Files. Did no one listen to what Russell T. Davies had in store for this bloated ten hour mess and say, 'Russell, you need to rethink some of these ideas. Okay, most of these ideas.'

Okay, all of these ideas."

2) I thought Gwen and Captain Jack were listed as of Episode Two as, at the very least, Persons Of Interest, and would have their photos pasted all over airports by The Mysterious Agents Of The Mysterious Vampi--CORPORATION! I Mean Corporation That Pulls The Strings Of The Miracle. And yet Gwen just waltzes back into Wales to have comedy flirty time with Rhys?

3) At this point, I think we really need to drop the 'Jack teases Rex with intimations he might be gay' thing. It was old about two episodes ago.

Lord knows I understand, Mr. Barrowman...I want to lie down
and die after watching this episode...
4) Okay, we get this big scene where Dr. Juarez says she wants in on Torchwood, she gets kinda, sorta inducted into the crew...and then, when she wants to flounce off and 'investigate' at the facility Rex went undercover to investigate, she starts saying she's not Torchwood. Is anyone reading these scripts for continuity? We're talking about contradictory information separated by less than ten minutes here!

5) My GOD, did they just pull a variation on 'Oh, you're a WOMAN Doctor' thing with Dr. Juarez and the Overflow Camp administrator followed by a Nazi joke? I'd expect that of Davies, who always displayed no sense of how humans interact in the real world, but Espenson?

Oh, wait. Look at statement one. Never mind.

6) You know what one of the major differences is between this and 'Children of Men'--besides of course this one sucking and the other one being the best thing Russell T. Davies was ever attached to? This one keeps forcing humor in at the most inopportune times...and every gag about Hillary Duff and bit of flirty-flirty between Juarez and Rex, or Esther and Jack, stops the flow of the story dead. Not only that, it dissipates the tension built up in the story prior....resulting in a show that has to keep re-earning its thriller status by rebuilding the thrills that made that tension in the first place.

7) I have this very weird sense that Davies is using the whole Overflow Camp angle to address all the panic some Americans had over 'death panels' when Obama tried to pass nationalized health care. While there is a proud tradition of writers using science fiction to address modern concerns in this country, Davies' ham-fistedness, tendency toward broad villains and inability to plot coherently may very well make him the last person I want trying to make any political statements.

"..and I promise you you'll be able to murder children and make
a killing in the real estate with no money down..."
8) So Oswald Danes has gone from child murderer to, what? The world's greatest inspirational speaker? Huh?

9) So now you're doing a whole Concentration Camp riff, Davies? Really?

10) At least Arlene Tur is now finally free of this thing, even though I'd categorize her end as overkill in the extreme.

Overall...I'm just dumbfounded at how this show seems to be getting worse and worse with each successive episode. My theory that Davies intentionally set out to create a season so dire to dare everyone to watch it remains intact. And thinking we're only halfway through this bloated turd makes my blood run cold.

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