Despite the terror that can accompany working for the 'Torchwood' team, which investigates otherworldly threats to Earth, you get the impression that the former cop wouldn't have it any other way.
I recently spoke to Eve Myles, who plays Cooper, about Gwen's journey from Welsh cop to alien investigator to mother. Through it all, Gwen has remained the best friend of Captain Jack Harkness, which isn't exactly an easy gig -- and it sounds as though that role gets even tougher in 'Torchwood: Miracle Day,' which depicts what would happen if people on Earth were to suddenly stop dying.
The week-long, five episode mini-series has already generated enough spoilers here at TV Squad and around the web, so we'll take care to avoid repeat performances here. For now, stateside viewers can visit BBC America's video page to watch the first seven minutes of the third season's first show in which Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) dies of Ptomaine poisoning.
The first 20 minutes of the same episode were already available on the BBC America On Demand channel included with some cable services.
Series star John Barrowman griped last week about the BBC producing only a five-episode series for Torchwood's third season. But, the week-long mini-series turned the 2009 appearance of the Doctor Who spinoff into a TV phenomena desperately awaited by its fans.
Torchwood's move to BBC One more than doubled the show's season two ratings, and there's no telling how high those numbers could go for tonight's mini-series finale.
One of the many problems facing broadcasters as we move into the future is the proliferation of DVRs and their fantastic ability to allow people to blow right through all of those bill paying commercials. In the continuing effort to thwart quick fingered viewers, networks are turning to live commercials.
The idea being that the live commercial offers something different enough that it will be worth your time, while your 300th viewing of Cisco welcoming you to the human network no longer even registers. The New York Times has a good article on how this latest incarnation of what is a very old idea is being implemented. They talk about spots that Kimmel and Leno have done and also give a peak at Spike's plans for a live three-minute game show that would run during commercial breaks.
The cast and crew spent all season really fleshing out this team for us and making us learn to love and care for each of them; all of it leading to this stunning finale. Now the events herein could really resonate. Now you might be asking why such a generic Torchwood picture for such a key episode? I see it as a tribute. To what? Well, if you've seen the episode, maybe you know what. If not, what the hell are you doing here? Go watch it already.
What's so brilliant about the stories we get is that in most cases the back-stories are nothing like I would have expected for that character, and yet at the same time it so perfectly serves the personality and drives of each individual on the team. Suddenly, Tosh's meekness, Ianto's eagerness and Owen's boorishness make perfect sense in the context of their past experiences. Even Jack's cavalier behavior and obsessive dedication to Torchwood make sense considering his own history with it. What they've managed is to add more depth to our relationship with each of the individual Torchwood members just in time for all hell to break loose in the finale.
(S02E11) "Always room for one more. We could have used you an hour ago for naked hide-and-seek." Jack to Gwen after she walked in on him and Ianto having an intimate moment
Well, it was a vast improvement over last week's episode. And it actually revealed some significant information about the rift and its activities, but that's not to say the episode was without some logistical problems and "conveniences." As seems to be par for the course on Torchwood, there was at least one ridiculously convenient coincidence that the emotional hook of the episode hinged on.
Speaking of that emotional hook, you know how you can tell this is a British television show? Because it didn't get all wrapped up in the end in a nice, easy bow. This is a mainstream show in the UK. How many mainstream shows in the US would allow the whole show to get wrapped up in misery and shame and leave us there? Torchwood has always been the darker, more mature cousin of Doctor Who, and this episode lived up to that title.
It was cool to think of Jack exploiting his immortality by performing as "The Man Who Could Not Die" in a traveling freak show a hundred years ago or so. It would make perfect sense that he'd go into that line of work. But then we learned that he did so while investigating the "night travelers," but he wouldn't say for whom and why he was investigating. Another layer of the Captain Jack onion almost peeled.
(S02E07) The death of Owen Harper trilogy continued. But does death mean the same thing in the world of Torchwood as it does in our world? Do you really need to ask? Aside from an incredibly hokey introductory sequence in which Jack stormed into the above scene, struck a very theatrical pose and said "Nobody touches him until I return!" before abruptly disappearing again, this was a pretty solid episode. I do have to say that the point of Martha's continuing involvement is escaping me as she didn't really have anything to add to this installment.
(S02E05) If you're one of those people who believes what I tell you then I apologize. As was corrected in the comments last week, this episode was not the one that featured the start of Freema Ageyman's run on Torchwood, reprising her Doctor Who role of Martha Jones. That one is next week. Instead we got a fantastic one-off episode that not only got into the inner workings of the personalities that make up the Torchwood team, but that also showed us some of Jack's mysterious past.
Did you really think Captain Jack wouldn't be back? Now in its second series/season in both the UK and the US, we're going to do things a little differently with our Torchwood reviews this year. The fine folks on both sides of the pond finally got things squared away so that new episodes air much closer in the US to their initial UK airing. The third episode airs this Saturday, February 9, on BBC America, which is a little more than a week after the UK airing. To minimize any "spoilery" concerns, the episode reviews will follow the US airings.
But before we can get to that, we need to play a little bit of catch up, so look for an overview of the first two episodes of Series/Season Two after the jump. And about that image up there spoiling the first episode? Hey, that might just be a flashback sequence. That's right, I got you there.
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