5 December 2018: It Takes You Away review added.
26 November 2018: The Witchfinders review added.
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MIRACLE DAY: DEAD OF NIGHT
This isn’t a review, exactly. More an explanation of why it’s time for us to part company with Torchwood.
We’re a Doctor Who site. We review Doctor Who and stuff that’s connected with Doctor Who. Until this year, that’s included Torchwood, for good or ill (mostly ill, although it’s definitely had its moments).
But Torchwood’s not Torchwood any more. We gave it a chance, but it’s been moving further away from its origins every week. Now, as far as we can see, it’s got very little to do with how it started other than the presence of Jack and Gwen, who seem to have been snipped out and pasted into another show.
Which wouldn’t be a killing blow if the other show were good. But it ain’t.
We know there’s a recession and people have to make do with less, but does this have to extend to plots too? Yes, Russell T Davies often used to overstuff his Doctor Who plots, so you’d think we’d be happy that there’s more room to move here, but this extreme is no improvement. It’s moving at the speed of geriatric treacle.
And what is oh-so-slowly trickling out is far from enough to hold our attention. Big Pharma is evil? Really? We would never have guessed. And…some sort of…conspiracy…zzz… No doubt there are aliens behind it all, but we don’t want to hang around long enough to find out.
Oh hang on, there is a proper Torchwoody element after all. Remember the late unlamented Owen? How he was a repulsive, annoying little git? Well, guess what, they’ve done the exact same thing with Rex. Awesome. Even worse, we realised when they were showing us him gettin’ down with Dr Saintly that we’re actually expected to care about him. Nuh-uh. Nor, despite our best efforts, can we warm to the wispy, personality-free Esther. She makes Tosh look like Graham Norton.
And on top of that, shovel on a heaping helping of patronisation. Gwen has never heard of the ATF? Didn’t she watch Lexx? And a gas station - whatever could that be? American writers often make the mistake of thinking that since Americans don’t know much about other cultures, said other cultures won’t know anything about the US either. Wrong. And teeth-grittingly annoying.
We expected better, particularly from Jane Espenson. If this is the Jane Espenson episode and it’s still this bad, there’s officially no hope whatsoever. Not even the admittedly highly Torchwoody Jack sex scene can make this Torchwood, and nothing on earth is going to make it good. We give up.
EDIT: OK, OK, we hear ya. Because of the number of people who wrote and asked us to, we're getting back on the horse. A biting, kicking, spavined beast it may be, but we'll be on it. And we promise not to spit the dummy again: this time, we'll cling on until the bitter end.