Stars: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Kai Owen, Bill Pullman, Lauren Ambrose, Candace Brown, Sharon Morgan, William Thomas, Marina Benedict, Paul James, John De Lancie, Tom Price, Teddy Sears, Frances Fisher
Writer: Jane Espenson and Russell T. Davies
Director: Billy Gierhart
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: September 9, 2011
In the tenth and final episode of the all-new BBC/Starz co-production of TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY, “The Blood Line,” the mission to track down the Blessing in Shanghai and Buenos Aires runs into complications. Betrayal comes from without and within, Rex (Mekhi Phifer) and Esther (Alexa Havins) go deep undercover and presumed dead, Gwen (Eve Myles) and Jack (John Barrowman) approach the Blessing with Oswald (Bill Pullman) in tow, while Shapiro (John De Lancie) may be too late to root out the mole at CIA headquarters. And before all is said and done, some truly shocking revelations are still to come.
So what is the Blessing? Spoilers ahead!
There’s a last-ditch attempt to buy some good will amongst DOCTOR WHO fans by mentioning Silurians and the Racnoss; that’s nice but not necessary since they do deliver an answer. It’s a sentient force in the heart of the Earth, connected to humanity in a symbiotic relationship via a morphic field. For some odd reason, those that discovered it experimented by feeding it the blood of an immortal – Jack Harkness, “the Creator.” The result was a global shift in that relationship, transmitting immortality to everyone and turning Jack mortal like reversing magnetic poles.
It’s a neat enough explanation, and whether it’s satisfying enough after ten episodes of suspense, you have to admit they didn’t shy away from nailing it down. By creating the Miracle, the Families are proposing to take control of the world – who lives, who dies, how long, etc. It’s the ultimate allegorical expression of the very fears and tensions our world has undergone for as long as some control the rest. With the recent financial collapse and widening gap between haves and have-nots, it’s hard to see this as fantasy so much as a thinly-veiled and painful reality.
As for the solution to the Miracle, there’s a surprise gambit with Rex and a damn effective series of twists and reverses right to the final moments of the episode that put you on the edge of your seat. Some of them strain credulity just a bit, but come on – we’re talking about TORCHWOOD here.
Even with a solid wrap-up and an incredible final stunner (or two) that sets up a potential fifth series, there’s something mildly unsatisfying about the finale. The series squandered several installments with fluctuating pacing until we reach the final episode with many questions still unanswered and the need to rush through all the exposition in a few minutes. The show began strong in the first half, especially in its depiction of the effects on society of the Miracle, but it lost focus by the midway point.
A lot of that can be traced back to the unfortunate loss of Arlene Tur’s Dr. Vera Juarez, who provided our way in to many of the repercussions that made the Miracle resonate realistically. The show has been detached from the rest of the world for several episodes and the scope now feels so small compared to where it began. Still, the show’s strength was in some wonderful character moments. Here at the end, Gwen’s speech about her father, Oswald’s insightful assessment of Jack, and Jack’s stabbing retort are sparkling bits of writing. And just imagine fan discussion online after that ending!
TORCHWOOD’s five-episode third series, CHILDREN OF EARTH, was a masterpiece of science fiction television, but it played out in just the right length of time. Perhaps MIRACLE DAY would have benefited from half the running time too, but even though it fell short of its potential, it had some entertaining episodes and a premise that took the series beyond its usual extraterrestrial underpinnings to explore a truly unique fantasy concept. It just didn’t do it quite well enough, and that may mean it will be a while – or possibly never – before we see TORCHWOOD return to our screens.
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CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO
Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Review – TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – “The Blood Line”