The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Death on a Plane… Except It’s Kind of Obvious He Isn’t Going to Die.


Written By: Liam Walters

This episode definitely could have been better. Perhaps a bold statement to start a review off with, yes, but I stand by that. The problem is, this is episode 2, and your trying to bring in new audiences. Even if you have a successful episode one, you still need an equally successful episode two to keep the viewers wanting more. The stuff with Gwen, Jack and Rex on the plane just kind of drags on, although we at least get interesting plot developments with Oswald Danes and Dr. Juarez. As for Esther, it has some suspense to her developing plot, though it partly just feels a little forced. From a crying man to a bunch of people sitting on a plane, it’s time to take off, with Torchwood: Miracle Day – Episode Two: Rendition.

Warning: From This Point Onwards, I Will Be Talking Spoilers.

I found this episode quite odd even before the opening credits rolled. I mean, they arrest Rhys, along with Gwen, Jack and even the Baby, drive all of them from Cardiff in Whales to Heathrow Airport in England… Only to have Rex turn around, with Rhys having been there just a few minutes, for him to say ‘Right, take him back to Cardiff’. Just seems a bit pointless if you ask me. I mean, I know the plot says that Rhys has to be away from the main team for what ever reason they want to come up with, but it just seems pointless to even have him driven. The conversation about Jack being the cause of the miracle could have easily happened in Episode One, just before they all got arrested.

The whole part on the plane is just a little boring to me. I mean, okay, perhaps the part where the CIA agent tries to kill Jack is alright, but really… Poison? Just shoot the guy, what’s the worst that could happen, honestly? As soon as they landed in America, they would have all been betrayed and arrested anyway. Just doesn’t make much sense that they would go through the trouble of poisoning him. Actually, why didn’t they just, like… Crash the plane? Sure, they are immortal, but they still get wounded. Hell, even pack the plane with explosives, and blow it up over the sea. I can’t see why not, if they want them out of the way so much.

I guess my main complaint is that the whole poisoning segment was just so boring. I mean, we knew Jack wasn’t going to die two episodes in to the series. It was more than obvious, so no real tension or suspense builds. It isn’t ‘Oh, is Jack going to make it’, because we know that he will survive. We’ve always known he’d survive before, and so the writing never really tried to make us thing he was dying or out right dead… Well, apart from that one part at the end of Series One, but other than that, the writing has always been written around Jack being immortal.

Oh No… Jack’s Dead… What A Bother…

Jack never really seems to do good in the second episode of some series’. In Children of Earth, he has a painful recovery from having a bomb explode in his stomach, and now he has a painful recovery to being poisoned. I just can’t seem to get over how bad this writing is. I mean, it’s like they didn’t even try. They just didn’t want the Torchwood Team to be sat around on a plane for 6 hours, and just twiddle their thumbs for the entire time.

I’ll admit, there was some good points during the flight. I did enjoy Jack and Gwen’s talk about how things always fall apart when ever Jack is around, which very much mimics some conversations had about The Doctor, but at the same time, it forwards and backwards. Yes, danger does seem to follow the both of them, but at the same time, they follow the danger to try to save the day. Still, it was probably the best moment between the two characters during the episode, but at the same time, there isn’t that much to compare it to.

Finally moving on, Esther’s storyline I found quite boring as well. I’m not sure, it just seems she spend most of the episode either watching the television, which is what we, the audience, are suppose to be doing, or trying to escape from the FBI building. I guess she does help forward the overall plot, but in all honesty, I just couldn’t really get into the scenes that she was in. With Jack and Gwen, it was because they were stuck in the plane for the entire episode, but with Esther, she’s free and able to do so much… But just doesn’t. Hopefully her story will improve, now being with Gwen, Jack and Rex. If, however, there was one thing that was quite good that we got from Rex, was that we were able to get this quite odd, if not slightly bad CGI scenario.

People Today, It’s Like They Have Their Head’s On Backwards

There was at least some good scenes. All the stuff with  Oswald Danes, albeit a bit stationary, developed his character a lot, and brought up several questions about him as well, such as does he even have a plan, or is he just getting on by as he is. Danes is quite a mystery, as it seems hard to track what he’s thinking or even planning. I do, however, find it odd that he made it to the top of the trending list. I mean, with the average age group for twitter… Really. You would think parents and adults would be watching the stuff with Danes, and even perhaps able to forgive him… But I couldn’t see them on twitter. Who knows, maybe Justin Bieber asked his follows or something. I’ll let you come up with your own joke to finish this part off.

Dr. Juarez has some of the best story within the episode. I think I’m going to grow to like her better than the other characters, mainly because we see a real insight into the miracle when we are with her, as her story is based around all of the victims of the miracle, the ones who can’t die. Maybe it’s just me, but I found that the story of nobody dying quite fascinating, especially the effect that it would have on the human populace.  The problem is, we spend too much time around Jack, Gwen and the CIA, with all big action sequences which don’t really forward the story, that we somewhat miss out. Still, having Dr. Juarez there, in the middle of it all, experiencing everything first hand. I really think her story line will evolve to be one of the more interesting ones.

Overall, I think this is a disappointing follow up to Episode One. Although we do have some good scenes with the supporting cast, the story with the main cast just feels like they hadn’t really tried, and just decided to give the characters something to do, for the point of them having something to do. I won’t start ranting about Jack dying again, as I’m pretty sure I’ve made my feelings on that perfectly clear (just in case: I didn’t like it), but I hope this is just a small, early speed bump, and not something that is a sign of things to come.

Torchwood: Miracle Day is on Starz in the US and BBC1 in the UK. Weekly reviews of each episode will be posted every Friday at 12:00pm GMT

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