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'Torchwood' on Starz HD - Page 3

post #61 of 602
TV Review
'Torchwood: Miracle Day' (Starz): 'Doctor Who' spinoff makes viewers ponder existential issues
By David Hinckley, New York Daily News - July 7th, 2011

The ongoing "Torchwood" spinoff of the Brit classic "Doctor Who," retooled in midstream for Americans, spins some serious sci-fi for fans of that genre.

It may ask casual viewers to think a little more deeply than they prefer on Friday nights.

The key for anyone who doesn't know "Doctor Who," and who hasn't followed the first three Brit seasons of "Torchwood," is to focus on the "Miracle Day" part, not on "Torchwood."

Miracle Day turns out to be one of those "be careful what you wish for" deals.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
It's a day when nobody dies. Followed by another day when nobody on Earth dies. And so on.

What sounds like the answer to all our prayers soon morphs into a nightmare. When we think of living forever, we envision ourselves young and in good health. But what if we were old and in terrible pain from some awful illness and we had to live forever like that?


"Miracle Day" does not accentuate the positive.

Moreover,
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
a zero death rate combined with a normal birth rate means mankind will quickly exhaust all the planet's resources.

So it behooves earthlings to discover why no one is dying
, which brings us to the strongest element of "Torchwood": the gang of five who are involved with that investigation.

This includes the two central figures in the Brit "Torchwood," Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper. Eve Myles, who plays Cooper, could be arrested for the number of scenes she steals, and no viewer will ever again hear the phrase "I'm Welsh!" in the same way.

Despite some mutual reluctance, they are joined by Americans Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer), Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) and Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman).

Harkness and Cooper both hail from Torchwood, a mysterious British organization that seems to be involved with the whole "Miracle Day" business. Matheson and Drummond work for the CIA and they're trying to get answers that Harkness and Cooper don't seem to have.

Danes is the odd duck here,
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
a calculating, loathesome child murderer whose good luck was having his execution set for the date that death went on holiday.


A specious technicality has now set him free, providing one more downside to this

The four good guys work together wonderfully. Harkness is a bit James Bond-ian. Cooper is exasperated and tough. Matheson is an ambitious career guy and Drummond is a young sponge soaking it all up as she gets drawn further in.

The "Miracle Day" mystery itself feels, at least at first, hopelessly tangled. Viewers may be willing to give it some time, though, because the action provides an entertaining ride.

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY
Friday at 10PM on Starz
Rating: ★★★ (out of five)


http://www.nydailynews.com/entertain...istential.html
post #62 of 602
Imagine how popular this thread will be once the show actually airs!
post #63 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

PS: OTOH, you should realize by now, that there's much more to the series than cheekiness, if not, get thee to your cardiologist ... stat. If you didn't feel anything at the end of that episode, something is very wrong.

I didn't feel anything. O_o But like I said, it was hard for me to get past the bad acting (major hurdle in getting me to care for these characters) and the puppetry. Hard for me to take anything with puppets seriously really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post

My advice would be to put the "Cyberwomen" episode out of your mind ... every series has one or two weak episodes (boxing/MuTai episodes from B5 and BSG for example.) Very often, these episodes occur during the first season while the show is getting its "sea-legs" on. That being said, "Cyberwomen" should make more sense later on ...

I loved the boxing episode on BSG.
post #64 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by moob View Post


I loved the boxing episode on BSG.

Well that pretty much explains everything then ...

... talk about softballs.
post #65 of 602
TV Review
'Torchwood: Miracle Day' (Starz)
By Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter - July 7th, 2011

Although Starz is trying to make a splash in the pay-cable arena by taking on HBO and Showtime, the channel proved with the cancellation of Camelot that it won't fund series with weak numbers. And so it is that the success of Torchwood: Miracle Day will probably have less to do with what die-hard fans think than attracting new ones who have zero idea about its past.

And there is a past, of course. The sci-fi series, created by Russell T. Davies (Doctor Who, Queer As Folk), follows a group of people enlisted into the secret Torchwood Institute by the British monarchy to fight aliens and other unexplained phenomenon. The first two 13-episode series aired on BBC America after their run in the UK and created quite a cult following. The third season was trimmed to five episodes and titled Torchwood: Children Of Earth, which increased the popularity.

Now Davies and Starz are teaming up for the 10-episode fourth season, Torchwood: Miracle Day, while attempting to infuse the Welsh-skewing original concept with a heavily American new twist. And that's a challenge that will test both old and new viewers.

Torchwood's original fans will be happy to know that the two mainstays, immortal (and bisexual) Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), the world's most dangerous new mother, are holding down the center of the series.

New viewers, of course, will know little about those characters and so the Torchwood writers are working overtime to repeat elements die-hards already know without seeming heavy-handed about it. They are simultaneously inserting references to the past in a way that will please older fans without confusing new ones.

The success of both endeavors falls somewhere in the middle. The series opens with
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Gwen in remote exile with husband Rhys (Kai Owen) and their newborn daughter, Anwen. Jack is, well, who knows. But there's trouble in the world when all of a sudden nobody dies. Even when they should have. Case in point - the lethal injection being carried out on convicted pedophile and killer Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman), who flops around like a flounder but survives. Or: the accident that sends rebar flying through the windshield of cocky CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) which should kill him but doesn't.


It's Miracle Day. And that's not a good thing for the psyche of the world's population, not to mention the world itself.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
If you can't die, why be good? And what will that mean for your retirement plan? There's a neat conceit in the premise: Even if you don't die, you can still be in pain, ala Matheson, whose chest is still bleeding and who is in constant need of pain relievers. This nobody-in-the-world-dying thing is complicated.


As the CIA investigates, the interwebs are flooded with one word: But before intrepid CIA analyst Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) can figure out what it means - poof - the word vanishes. That is essentially what sets the Americans - in the form of Matheson and Drummond - on a collision course with Torchwood, in the form of Jack and Gwen.

So there's your meshing, though it produces some difficult to overlook glitches. While it's funny to see the irritable Matheson bitch about all things Welsh (a nice wink), new fans may think that Jack's random mention of a boyfriend (and a full on gay sex scene that follows) may seem on odd turn of events. That's because they don't really know he's been around this world for a long, long time and bisexuality sort of made a lot of sense.

As these disparate entities merge, it's also pretty clear that Drummond is more like an American damsel in distress compared to Gwen's bad-assedness. Likewise, Matheson seems like a stereotypical, one-dimensional loud-mouthed authority figure, while Jack is suave and multi-layered.

And this much has to be said, because it becomes glaring at times: Phifer seems to over-act while Havins pushes against the boundaries of her talent in her role. That contrasts badly with the seemingly effortless excellence of Barrowman and Myles. (To their credit, Pullman's work and a wonderful cameo turn from Lauren Ambrose help level the scales a bit.)

These might be nitpicky complaints about Americanizing a Brit franchise, since many parts of Torchwood: Miracle Day do compel viewers to stick with the series.

The actual mystery is a good one. How is this happening? And Torchwood does an excellent job of contextualizing the issues at hand, both through science and medicine without ever making the scenes drag on. (Maybe that's because the series has more than enough bullets and rockets in the first episode to allow for wordy exposition.)

Curiously, there's a decided lack of fiction mixed in with science. That is, even though references to Torchwood's past bring up aliens and such, Miracle Day seems overtly grounded in our world (though there are a lot of hints that this miracle could only happen
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Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
through paranormal activity and may be caused by a species more evolved than us humans
).

If there are sci-fi fans who haven't found Torchwood before, they may come to Miracle Day with their eyes filled with excitement and their minds filing away a message to rent the first three seasons. What Starz will need going forward is an influx of non sci-fi fans who can make the numbers work, ratings-wise. The trouble with that is there isn't much sci-fi at all in Torchwood - until there is. And then it might seem out of place. Honestly, there's a scene where
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
a woman is walking with her head turned all the way around the other way
that jars you into the realization that, until that scene, Torchwood has been pretty conventional.

It's difficult to guess at which audience may find Torchwood: Miracle Day compelling enough to stick it out. Die-hards might not like the American infiltration and newbies might sense there's more wink-winking and missing back story than they can handle.

But when Torchwood gets the balance right (
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Spoiler  
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
the rising paranoia, cults, rewritten rules of human behavior
), it becomes a rousing, enthralling half-breed.

The vote here is to not only give Torchwood: Miracle Day a chance, but to ride out the bumpy parts and put some faith in Davies' unique take on storytelling.

TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY
Friday at 10PM on Starz
THE BOTTOM LINE: Despite some trouble inserting American actors into a British franchise, "Torchwood: Miracle Day" has enough compelling elements to make both newbies and die-hards stick through the bumpy parts for the payoff.


http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/rev...takes-a-208915
post #66 of 602
And yet another person incorrectly describes Captain Jack's sexuality. Jack is omnisexual, not bisexual. Comments on Doctor Who and Torchwood have made it very clear that Jack has had relationships with men, women and aliens.
post #67 of 602
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditagain View Post

And yet another person incorrectly describes Captain Jack's sexuality. Jack is omnisexual, not bisexual. Comments on Doctor Who and Torchwood have made it very clear that Jack has had relationships with men, women and aliens.

Then.... wouldn't he be trisexual?
post #68 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Then.... wouldn't he be trisexual?

But aliens could have numerous sexes, not just M/F.
You'd need to consider him, at least, multi-sexual.
He's pretty high on himself, too.
post #69 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditagain View Post
And yet another person incorrectly describes Captain Jack's sexuality. Jack is omnisexual, not bisexual. Comments on Doctor Who and Torchwood have made it very clear that Jack has had relationships with men, women and aliens.
That's British television for ya; always cramming that stuff in your face. I find it annoying, personally. Hopefully there is far less dudes on dudes and women on women in "Miracle Day."
post #70 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditagain View Post
And yet another person incorrectly describes Captain Jack's sexuality. Jack is omnisexual, not bisexual. Comments on Doctor Who and Torchwood have made it very clear that Jack has had relationships with men, women and aliens.
Is the reviewer wrong, or just a sloppy writer? I vote for the latter. I noticed he used the wrong tense of "phenomenon."

I tell ya, the world is going down the tubes when high-class periodicals like The Washington Post and The Hollywood Reporter are written at the middle-school level.

Doug
post #71 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post
That's British television for ya; always cramming that stuff in your face. I find it annoying, personally. Hopefully there is far less dudes on dudes and women on women in "Miracle Day."
To be fair... I would prefer less sex of any kind (be it hetero, homo, or omnisexual)... I don't watch science fiction for that. I have Cinemax and can watch adult films for that...

I have zero problem with Jack being omnisexual or whatever... just like I have no problem with John Barrowman being gay in real life. I treat sex in TV or movies pretty much the same no matter whoever is having it... it usually gets in the way of the story and brings the plot advancement to a halt.

Every once in a while you get sex that arguably is part of the character or the story... and I'm ok with that... but that is truly rare.
post #72 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTVChallenged View Post
Well that pretty much explains everything then ...

... talk about softballs.
That was like the slowest pitched softball ever.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post
To be fair... I would prefer less sex of any kind (be it hetero, homo, or omnisexual)...
You're a guy right? I think that's the first time in the history of dudedom that that's been said.

That doesn't really matter to me, but the series has been getting pretty middling reviews thus far. I'll still check it out, but I'm going in with lower expectations.
post #73 of 602
Well I'm psyched for tonight. It's a very rare event for me to wacth TV live. But those are my plans for Torchwood tonight.
post #74 of 602
Nuance, have you watched the first three seasons of Torchwood? Or the episodes of Doctor Who featuring Captain Jack? The BBC were most definitely not "cramming" Jack's sexuality "in your face." Many of the references and jokes about it were either subtle or very funny, and one story in S1 about one of the women he dated many decades ago was very touching.
post #75 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditagain View Post

Nuance, have you watched the first three seasons of Torchwood? Or the episodes of Doctor Who featuring Captain Jack? The BBC were most definitely not "cramming" Jack's sexuality "in your face." Many of the references and jokes about it were either subtle or very funny, and one story in S1 about one of the women he dated many decades ago was very touching.

No, not the first three; just the first one. I had never even heard of it until I saw the Miracle Day trailers. In season one, in the second to last episode, Jack has a whole gay dance and kiss scene; there was nothing subtle about that. In fact, in season one he never makes comments about wanting a woman, just men.

Anyway, to each their own. If you want to watch men kiss go right ahead.
post #76 of 602
And in the context of that episode, that "whole gay dance and kiss scene" -- only 4 minutes out of the 50-minute episode -- was entirely appropriate and wonderfully acted.

I have no problem with different depictions of sexuality in the context of a program that has a good story and good acting, and I wouldn't stop watching a program I liked just because it contained a depiction of sexuality that differed from my own.
post #77 of 602
Thread Starter 
Really guys, 'Torchwood' is far more than whomever Cap'n Jack decides to have an affair with that week. It's not a huge part of the show, just adds some more color to an already colorful palette of elements. "Children of Earth" really redefined the show as something more serious and thoughtful than S-1 or 2 ever aspired to be. In that regard, the series has evolved in an unexpected-but-welcome direction. How many shows really get to do that? Expect the trend to continue tonight. Big issues! Big action! Big homo-and-hetero-erotic overtones! Torchwood!! Ain't nothing like it. Almost there now...
post #78 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by diditagain View Post

And in the context of that episode, that "whole gay dance and kiss scene" -- only 4 minutes out of the 50-minute episode -- was entirely appropriate and wonderfully acted.

I have no problem with different depictions of sexuality in the context of a program that has a good story and good acting, and I wouldn't stop watching a program I liked just because it contained a depiction of sexuality that differed from my own.

Cool. Enjoy your guy on guy action. I'll enjoy the many other aspects of the show.

70 Minutes until the premiere! Sweet!
post #79 of 602
OMG what a ride it will be!

Just watched the premier and loved every minute of it!
post #80 of 602
Awesome beginning. It was obvious this first episode was to setup the rest of the series for the new viewers, but it was great even for those of us who have watched from the start. I'm really looking forward to the rest of the season!
post #81 of 602
Well, this was pretty darn cool. I look forward to next week's episode!

So here's a question: should I quick catch up and watch seasons two and three? Is it worth it?
post #82 of 602
Snipes on a premium pay channel. Thanks for reminding me why I will never pay for Starz. I just called D* several days ago and asked for Starz for free for three months and they did.

Now that I got that out the way very good episode can't wait for the next one.
post #83 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

So here's a question: should I quick catch up and watch seasons two and three? Is it worth it?

Season 1 & 2 are much less serious than 3. Not to say that the early seasons don't have some extremely serious moments. Fun show to watch unlike season 3 which was deadly serious.
post #84 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

That's British television for ya; always cramming that stuff in your face. I find it annoying, personally. Hopefully there is far less dudes on dudes and women on women in "Miracle Day."

The beauty of modern television is that there's now a little something for everyone. But considering the number of shows featuring overt heterosexual behavior versus the number of shows featuring overt homosexual behavior, I frankly think your comment about "cramming that stuff in your face" is more than a bit over the top.
post #85 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Well, this was pretty darn cool. I look forward to next week's episode!

So here's a question: should I quick catch up and watch seasons two and three? Is it worth it?

I think it's worth it to watch Season 2 and 3. The show is pretty good. I liked this first episode of season four. I'm looking forward to the rest of the season.
post #86 of 602
Yeah baby! Torchwood is back!

Great first episode, but I have to say, I think there was probably one too many Wales jokes in there. On the other hand, the genius of Russel T. Davies at combining camp, humor and great action fun with a healthy dash of drama was certainly evident in this first episode.
post #87 of 602
I have one major question. Why do all brits want to kill Esther (the surviving Torchwood member)? Why do they want to kill any Torchwood member?
post #88 of 602
Had a bloody unscheduled Dish guide update sometime last night and nothing recorded. Luckily this is rebroadcast a few times during the week.
post #89 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuance View Post

Well, this was pretty darn cool. I look forward to next week's episode!

So here's a question: should I quick catch up and watch seasons two and three? Is it worth it?

So well worth it - invest the time!
post #90 of 602
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikey mo View Post

I have one major question. Why do all brits want to kill Esther (the surviving Torchwood member)? Why do they want to kill any Torchwood member?

Her name is Gwen and it has to do with the information that Torchwood has concerning the 456. Watch Children of the Earth and you will understand.
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