In its third episode, "Dead of Night," Starz's Torchwood: Miracle Day continued to take the show from fun amorphous blob of question marks and explosions and sitting on a plane to dazzling page-turning mystery, if TVs had pages. We got our strong sci-fi concept (no one dies oh noes!), we got our charismatic team together (Esther, Rex, welcome to Torchwood!), and now we have our enemy. At least we think a pharmaceutical company is our enemy. Making a giant corporation the big bad guy isn't anything new (Dark Angel, Nikita, Josie and the Pussycats... what? That was a good movie!) but anyone who has needed prescription medicine knows pharmaceutical companies make Lehman Brothers and other white collar crooks look like charitable chums.
Enter Phicorp, a gigantic pill-producing faceless entity looking to capitalize on the fact that no one can die... yet they still feel pain. $$$! This is a bad guy I can get behind. I mean, get behind and put into a chokehold until its legs stop kicking and the last sign of life has faded from its eyes. They probably test on cute bunnies!
The real question here is if Phicorp is behind Miracle Day, or if it just knew the Grim Reaper was going on vacation and is making a profit from it. Given the background of Torchwood and the way creator Russell T. Davies loves to remove layers one at a time, my bet is Phicorp is just the tip of the Miracle Day-berg. Unless Phicorp has some aliens on its board of directors that I don't know about. But as far as a starting point for uncovering the greater mystery, they could have done a lot worse than a pharmaceutical corporation. Plus it opens the not-too-transparent debate over universal healthcare that we all were up in arms over last year.
We're three episodes in, and I've got to ask: what's up with Oswald Danes? Bill Pullman has created an interesting character and though it's still unclear what his purpose in the series is (I'm sure we'll find out soon enough), he's an eyeball magnet and I just can't be bothered by anything else as long as he's on screen. I'm dying to know how he ties into everything. And why are people hanging to his every word? He's not the only one who didn't die that fateful day. And let's not forget about that whole raped and murdered a 12-year-old girl thing; that tends to lead to a poor public image in our Puritan society.
Speaking of purity and innocence, holy sex scene! Jack and hunky gay bartender intertwined, Rex and Doctor Juarez intertwined, and the footage of all of them intertwining intertwined. At some points it just became body parts, bare bums, and thrusting, with no idea of who belonged to what. If there were any doubts that Starz would tone down Jack's sexuality for American audiences, they sank right down to the bottom of an Appletini with that scene. In fact, word is that scene didn't even make the cut for the British version. To all you UK viewers wondering what was cut, make a circle with your thumb and index finger on your right hand and poke the index finger from your left hand back and forth through the hole.
Torchwood: Miracle Day is still an intriguing series thanks in large part to its brilliant concept of "What if no one died?" It's fun to see Davies tackle all aspects of the problem and theorize solutions (contraceptives in India's water supply!) and reactions (the world is partying!). The show's idea is so strong that the show's weaknesses (some flimsy script writing) can be overlooked while we beat ourselves over the head trying to figure out the mystery. And when that fails, there's always fun banter from strong characters we care about. A show doesn't have to be perfect to be entertaining, but it does have to make us feel welcome and that's exactly what Torchwood: Miracle Day does.
–Did you almost cry when Jack was on the phone with Gwen saying, "We still got each other, you and me..." and then Gwen ignored him to super-Skype with her family? Jack's so sensitive after anonymous sex. Great scene. Sad for Jack.
–My love-hate affair with Rex continues. The needle is leaning a little towards hate now.
–Wayne Knight was much more Jurassic Park than Seinfeld in this series.
–Rex: "You weren't impaled!" Jack: "You shoulda seen the other guy." Zing!
Here's a question you MUST answer in the comments section below: What would YOU do if you found out you no one could die? Don't forget, you'd still feel pain. Thumbs up the comment if you like the answer.