Stars: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Bill Pullman, Arlene Tur, Paul James, Marina Benedict, Brian Guest, William Thomas, Sharon Morgan, Tom Price
Writer: Doris Egan
Director: Billy Gierhart
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: July 15, 2011

I like the tone of this series for TORCHWOOD better than the dark, bleak, and sinister overtones of TORCHWOOD: CHILDREN OF EARTH. That third series seemed so devoid of hope, that there was no possible way to end it on an upbeat note, and it didn’t.

MIRACLE DAY is tense and engaging without giving us the darkness of the last series. The pacing of the story is relatively quick, but the single story format stretching over one series tends to make the episodes feel like they are all just one HUGE episode split up into parts. Funny enough this new TORCHWOOD feels more like classic DOCTOR WHO in terms of the serial structure to the storytelling.

“Rendition” picks up right where we left off with Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), Rhys (Kai Owen), and of course their baby being herded off to the airport for extradition to the United States. The scene of Gwen being separated from her family is amazingly intense, and just reminds me why I love Eve Myles so much. I think the fact that she is a mom now probably helps to add that extra special level of realism to the scene and gives Gwen Cooper the hysterical venom, which will no doubt pan out poorly for CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer). Gwen has always been a character to keep her word, and she vows to kill him off so let’s see if she does!

Gwen and Jack get put on the plane where Jack is promptly poisoned by an evil CIA agent (Dichen Lachman) who answers to a part of the higher powers that might have instigated the whole “miracle” such as it is. There’s some great down time for Gwen and Jack before Jack gets dosed, with them catching up just a little bit, and then the dramatic tension ratchets up several hundred notches as they try to figure out how to counteract the effects of cyanide by using chemicals found on a airplane; with a lot of help from Dr. Juarez (Arlene Tur) via cell phone. Gwen gets some of the best moments of the episode, from her adrenaline fueled rush to save Jack to her decking of the agent that poisoned him. Dr. Juarez is arguably my favorite American cast member so far, and she seems to show a lot of promise if she actually gets recruited to the Torchwood team later on.

Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) suddenly has become a somewhat sympathetic character in the new episode, and just who the hell is Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose) really? She’s turned up in two key places, has claimed to be a PR person (slightly different type of PR in both places), and she seems to know far more about what is going on with the “Miracle” than a lot of other people who should be in the know.

Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) is now part of the TORCHWOOD team since she’s been forced out of the CIA by Brian Friedkin (Wayne Knight) who just might be an alien. It would make sense that he’s at least disguised as a human while his race use some kind of broadcast signal to keep people on Earth from dying, but not from aging. There was one scene where Friedkin was looking for Esther in the CIA building that I was dying to hear him tell his men to check the vending machines (JURASSIC PARK reference – sorry yes I am a geek).

Still not sold on the idea of a U.S.  Torchwood team if this series continues without Jack and Gwen; I’m hoping that if there are more seasons or series of TORCHWOOD, that the two main characters will stick around.

I’m enjoying MIRACLE DAY, but I wish I didn’t have to wait a week between each episode. The pacing and cliffhangers of each part just make me want to watch it back to back instead of parceling it out one week at a time. Still, it will be interesting to see what gets revealed each episode and how long it will take to reveal the total conspiracy.Of course, I’ll keep watching as long as that pretty man Captain Jack keeps wandering around on my TV screen!


Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Rendition”  – Review #1

Click on link: AX’s 10 Things About Torchwood You Need To Know

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Article: Review – TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – “Rendition” – Review #2

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