Escape to L.A.

Doorway to Torchwood

Torchwood: Dark Side of the Moon/Pink Floyd: Miracle Day
Torchwood: Dark Side of the Moon/Pink Floyd: Miracle Day

After a relatively strong third episode, Torchwood: Miracle Day hasn't just fallen back to earth, it's buried itself in a very deep pit. Escape to L.A. is slow-moving and idiot-plotted. It doesn't thrill, seldom amuses and stretches credibility as thin as a gas.

Leading things off, it's Esther's turn to wander off without saying where she's going or when she'll be back. Turns out she's decided to visit her sister, the one we learned last week "can't cope" at the best of times. In a nearly five-minute scene we learn the sister is now not coping by barricading herself and her two kids inside her house. Esther contacts a child services agency — via her cellphone, of course! The call (of course!) is intercepted by the evil Mr. Sunglasses, thus setting in motion this week's plot.

Following credits and a brief montage of news reports — medical crisis continues, drug companies are making lotsa dough, the living dead are suing to get their jobs back and the Tea Party(!) is leading a charge to get the not-dead locked away — our heroes pull up to the curb somewhere in Venice Beach, California. Stepping onto the sidewalk, Rex loudly proclaims, "Last thing we want with a stolen car is getting a ticket."

(Later, Rex will berate everyone for their lack of professionalism and then go off to pay a pointless visit to his (not so) Dear Old Dad.)

Anyway, PhiCorp's headquarters is in Venice Beach and our intrepid (if rather thick) double-brace of heroes are going to storm it and ... do something there. Though just what has escaped me — since none of what happens makes any sense, I don't suppose the specifics really matter.

PhiCorp's security is just as lax this week as it was last, but even more nonsensical. Their key data-centre, protected by the latest biometric security is so important that, "only one man can gain total access, the man who designed it."

Let that sink in for a minute.

That's right. A major multi-national corporation — one engaged in a conspiracy of epic proportions — has entrusted its Absolutely Vital computer centre to a single man.

Is Nicholas Frumkin, PhiCorp's irreplaceable genius, kept under lock and key? Is there a security guard assigned to watch over him while society falls apart? Does he have a pager?

Why no, not at all. Er, no. Not as such. And, probably not.

As his company's plans come to a climax, and as the world's society is falling apart, Nicholas Frumkin is out with his wife and baby daughter, strolling through the California sunshine ...

Fuck it, I can't go on. You'll find more logical plausibility in the average South Park plot than is on evidence in this episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day.

Suffice it to say, Jack and Gwen break into PhiCorp's headquarters, Esther's cell-phone sloppiness lets Mr. Sunglasses catch them and Rex climbs 20 flights of stairs to save the day (yes, the exertion gets his bandages and shirt all bloody again). Since he shoots Mr. Sunglasses in the throat, the Bad Guy can't finish his Triumphant Villain Speech, which leaves Jack and Gwen annoyed by Rex's timing.

Ha ha ha.

End of episode and back, more or less, to square one.

I know, I know: we're supposed to be wondering how PhiCorp knew about the miracle beforehand, why they're so keen on Oswald Danes, what Jilly Kitzinger's game really is and how they all tie into whoever it is that's hiding behind Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon album art.

And we're supposed to be admiring the biting satire about the American medical system and the evils of Big Pharma, and maybe wondering whether the White House's silence in the face of the Miracle is a comment on Barack Obama's propensity for studying things to death or just a cynical take on politicians in general.

But since the plot so insults my intelligence and is so emotionally uninvolving, all I'm really wondering is why Vera Juarez fucked Rex Matheson last week, when there was clearly less than zero sexual chemistry between them, and whether next week might treat us to a continuity error that sees Rex's bandage dripping blood from the wrong side of his chest.

Last week I wrote, "Torchwood: Miracle Day is getting better as it goes along." Escape to L.A. makes me not just reconsider, but regret, my rash words. Unlike Russell T Davies, apparently, I care about my reputation.

Return to the "Miracle Day" overview.

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Eh, to each their own

IMHO anyone who compares MD to CoE is going to be wildly disappointed. I knew going in that they were completely different shows, so I thought it was pointless to compare them. I'm accepting MD on its own merits. So far I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's crack, but for me it's thoughtful crack.

It's much better if you

It's much better if you decide that the Torchwood universe is the same as the Dollhouse universe, and everyone is, in fact, playing a different character each week.

"I'm Jack Harkness. Pleased to meet you. For a little while."

I like this idea, except it's clear that Joss Whedon's hand is nowhere to be seen. Flawed and confused as it was, Dollhouse made more sense and was more entertaining than I'm feeling TWD is now. (I really regret all the slack I cut the earlier episodes at this point; those reviews make me look liky Pollyanna they do.)

Well done at hitting the

Well done at hitting the Rusty nail on the head.
Its watching TW Miracle day that makes me wonder where the awesomeness of Children of earth came from, but when you sit back TW was always the biggest cheesyist pizza on the RTD menu and CofE was just a wild outlyer.
On the one hand it makes he Happy that Who was handed off to Moffet but on the other I am still going to watch it.


The original Torchwood was cheesy and wildly uneven, but never dragged the way this one does. And God knows, Davies has shown that he can be a master of pacing (Children of Earth, the first 70 or so seconds of "Rose", to name two obvious examples), so the glue-factor here is really kind of baffling to me.

On the other hand, he was also behind The End of Time, so it's no surprise that he can lay an egg. But to waste the first four out of 10 hours so badly and even amateurishly? "Baffling" hardly begins to describe my consternation.

ILU! I don't think the

ILU! I don't think the intent of this episode was to make me laugh til I cried, but it was so incredibly stupid that I don't know how much more room is left in stupid - except that I'm not much of an RTD fan, and have great faith in his ability to march right on through stupid and keep digging deeper.

Oh, and mortally-injured Rex climbed not 20, but 33 flights of stairs. (Let's be realistic here! We're really hooked on realistic in this show!)

This is seriously one of the stupidest comedies I've ever seen. If someone handed in the scripts for this show were handed in as a final project, they'd receive a grade of double-Z, with a side helping of W (W for WTH is this mess?) No. Not impressed with Russel the Great's abilities as a showrunner or scriptwriter AT. ALL. (But I will give him points for coming up with some interesting ideas.)

Shall we make bets on how much lower the quality can go? I figure I can wait til the last half hour of the last episode and watch Jack whip something out of ...somewhere...and save the day so that Super-Duper-Cooper can go back to Wales and play happy families while everyone else is stuck living (and/or dying) in misery and gloom. (See, now you just need to wait for the last episode before watching again - but I hope you *do* keep watching all the episodes, because I enjoy your reviews so much.)

Torchwood KOPS?

I've got to admit I was too busy rolling my eyes and drumming my fingers impatiently to laugh, but if I ever bother to watch it again, I'll try to see if I can channel your reaction.

Shall we make bets on how much lower the quality can go? I figure I can wait til the last half hour of the last episode and watch Jack whip something out of ...somewhere...and save the day...

After the end of Children of Earth, that's not a bed I'm willing to take. But thanks for the offer and your kind words.

Ha! Thank you for the Pink

Ha! Thank you for the Pink Floyd reference-- I've been wondering myself if the spinning triangle is supposed to be a nod to Floyd or is simply a symbol of this season's lack of creativity (I'm leaning heavily toward the latter). I've also been debating doing my own write-up for Miracle Day, pointing out the plot holes and the absurdity and the awful acting, but you've already hit on so much of it.

I'm going to continue watching, but at this point it's only so I can compile snark.

You're welcome!

I'd like to think I was the first to see the Floyd link, but mostly likely someone else got there first.

Meanwhile, I'll keep watching too, but mostly because I said I would; any snark will be an unhappy by-product (I'd really rather it was good).

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