Torchwood: Miracle Day – episode two review

Sky-high drama for the gang, but what's happening on planet Earth?

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The population is booming and the healthcare system is being rebuilt. But where are Torchwood? Well, for the most part they were at 50,000 feet lumbered with a plotline straight out of The A-Team.

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If you need convincing, here’s the proof: a lot of fuss was made about having to go on a plane, an unsuspecting Captain Jack had his drink drugged, plus there was a last-minute scramble for resources that had to be adapted in order to thwart the baddies.

In the ultimate tribute to BA Baracus, the heroes ended up going on the run as fugitives from the authorities. Unfortunately, not in a black van but a blue Mini. Although there was a nice symmetry in seeing Gwen Cooper drive off in a Mini Cooper.

Having set up the nobody-can-die scenario, it seemed an odd move to switch the focus onto the one man who’s vulnerable, but the only one guaranteed not to be written out in episode two. So although John Barrowman impressed with his arsenic-induced rheumy eyes, sweating brow and grey pallor, it was really a moment of false jeopardy.

Back on Earth, the Oswald Danes story strand felt as queasy as Captain Jack. Even though the planet is beginning to slip from its axis, it seemed implausible that a convicted paedophile and murderer would receive sympathy from the public after just one caught-on-camera moment of repentance. Now Oprah is unbelievably queuing up for an interview.

To take our minds off some of these improbabilities, we had sparky Lauren Ambrose (Claire from Six Feet Under) turning up in matching red lipstick and jacket to play “talent spotter” Jilly Kitzinger, plus Wayne Knight as the obviously corrupt CIA boss Brian Friedkin.

You can tell that Friedkin is up to no good because Knight is doing the same lubricious turn that he did in Jurassic Park, where he memorably played the computer engineer who stole the dinosaur embryos.

Onto the spectacle and for anyone still reeling from the sight of the suicide bomber left looking like a slab of treacle toffee, this week’s gross-out moment came in the form of the biggest head spin since Linda Blair did the full 360 degrees.

Agent Lyn had her neck broken by resourceful Rex Matheson, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing the team out of the airport where she was still managing to walk forwards despite facing backwards.

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Just enough time was given for viewers to point, stare and – I’m guessing – laugh before she collapsed on the kerb. There was no Exorcist-style projectile vomiting, at least not from anyone on screen.