Stars: John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Mekhi Phifer, Alexa Havins, Lauren Ambrose, Kai Owen, Bill Pullman, Arlene Tur, Candace Brown, Tom Price, David Grant Wright, Mark Saldana
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director:  Guy Ferland
Network: Starz, airs Friday nights
Original Telecast: August 5, 2011

Well, I love TORCHWOOD in pretty any size, way, shape, or form, but the thing I feared the most is blatantly clear in the fifth episode of MIRACLE DAY entitled “The Categories of Life.” The fear that I am addressing is the way a show can lose steam if they are focusing on one single storyline instead of branching out to several stand alone episodes with an undercurrent of an overreaching storyline. This new episode has a few more revelations parceled out, but for the most part the plot doesn’t really leap forward, which stalls out the excitement that has been building since the first week.

The team is now split up with Gwen (Eve Myles) heading back home across the pond to try and rescue her father from the PhiCorp concentration camps. Boy, when I made that analogy last week I had no idea how right I was! It seems the ONLY way to kill someone on Earth post “Miracle Day” is to burn them so that they are reduced to ash. So guess what PhiCorp is doing with all of the non-responsive people who now are unable to die. Yup, hello Nazis, we’ve got giant storage containers set up where they move the unresponsive patients. The insides are lined with ceramic tile, and then they fire up the kilns inside and burn everyone up. All of this is discovered by Rex (Mekhi Phifer) who gets it all on film, and then has to witness his new girlfriend (and my favorite new character) Dr. Juarez (Arlene Tur) get burned alive. Needless to say I was no amused by that little turn of events. She was the one member of the US team that I was really rooting for. Meh.

Back to Gwen for a minute though, she and Rhys (Kai Owen) get into the camps to get her dad out, only to bring on another heart attack which drops him to the non-responsive level one status. Of course, Gwen is a super intelligent lady and she puts two and two together about the kilns where they are reducing people to ash, so now she REALLY has to get her dad out.

Jack (John Barrowman) doesn’t have a whole lot to do in this episode besides coordinate the insertion of his team to the PhiCorp camp, and to go the Staples Center and try to convince Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) to renounce PhiCorp live onstage in front of the television viewing public. Of course Danes just ends up ranting about being a Messiah again (which did we really need that again since he just did that last episode?) and turning people even more onto the side of PhiCorp.

Very little moved forward, some people die, and we get some repetition from the previous episodes. This is the center point of the new season, and it was ho hum in terms of pacing and amount of plot that is actually moving forward.

In another side note let’s talk about the costumes. The men’s costumes are simple enough. Jack is wearing basically what has been his established look for years, and most of the guys are in button down shirts, some suits, and some quasi-casual business attire. Gwen is pretty much in clothes that are similar to her previous looks in past seasons, so she’s OK. Dr. Juarez has had some nice professional suits, but this episode she goes more casual and looks like she’s wearing an off the rack from the 1980’s. And my biggest complaints with the women’s looks on the show are with all of Jilly Kitzinger’s (Lauren Ambrose) outfits. The woman is a redhead. Redheads generally don’t look good in reds, yellows, or oranges and those are the ONLY colors we have seen her in. Give her some greens and blues to wear and stop making her look pale and sickly. Pretty much any redhead woman that I have known would pitch all of those clothes across the room and refuse to wear them.

AGREE? DISAGREE? LET US KNOW HOW YOU FEEL – COMMENT BELOW!

Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “The Categories of Life”  – Review #1
Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Dead of Night”  – Review #2

Click on link: TORCHWOOD – “Rendition”  – Review #2

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

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Article: Review – TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY – “The Categories of Life” – Review #2

 

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Comments:

  1. After the last season I decided not to watch Torchwood anymore. I watch TV shows for enjoyment, not to see people suffer, especially when it was said that this season would be darker than the last one and that Ianto Jones will not be back..Still I read the reviews in hope to change my mind (I used to love Torchwood…)… Doesn’t look like it when I read your detailed (and well written) review…Sigh….

    Pat
  2. I am a grumpy old git who happens to like the old Torchwood the one that was a spin off from Dr Who,the one that was produced for us in the UK by our BBC and not Americanized to beef up its overseas commercial selling ability.
    The idea of one story per series has become boring to my whole family and is not being watched.
    In my opinion the BBC has got it wrong again.

    Mark
  3. WHAT?? how could you say this episode was ho-hum??? you have serious problems…

    andy
  4. I’m very bored with this series of TW. It’s slow, repetitive, telegraphed and lacks the quirky humour of earlier TW…& the only new character I gave a toss about is gone leaving obnoxious Rex & whiny Esther. It’s not for me sadly

    Jenny
  5. Used to love torchwood but this new series is simply rubbish! Russell T Davies you should be ashamed of yourself! This is not torchwood and is just an American driven series starring John barrowman. Notice how the welsh aspect and capt jack plays a side role. I feel sorry for John B as he is merely being used to get this series kick started in the USA. Russell T Davies you are out of your depth here and you have killed a once enjoyable series. A very disgruntled welsh torchwood fan.

    Nate

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