Friday, September 16, 2011

No more Torchwood, touch wood

I've been busy defending Torchwood: Miracle Day to friends over the past couple of months. Now I've seen the finale I'm rather regretting that.

I never said Miracle Day was very good; just that it was a return to the ups and downs in quality of the first two series, after the blip that was the exceptional third series Children of Earth.

To be fair, I never found compelling the concept, characters and stories of the first Torchwood series (left). I stuck with it for the first two series in the hope of the writing being able to build on the flashes of brilliance that it occasionally showed. Children of Earth worked brilliantly (no thanks to the previous two series), and made me care about Jack and Gwen.

I defended Miracle Day in response to the outpouring of critical ordure that was being heaped on it in relation to the story, the characters, the sex and the violence. I didn't think it was terrible. Just not terribly good. Much like the first two series.

The final episode, though, made me rather ashamed for having stuck with Miracle Day. There were no satisfying pay-offs. No real answers. No authentic emotion. No explanations for the numerous loose ends and idiosyncratic tangents. It was naff and pointless. And an insult to the intelligence of the viewer.

I still think over the whole series that the actors did their best with, on-the-whole, weak material. The ambition was great, and the writing and direction did have their moments; but mostly this series failed to work for me at all in terms of mystery, suspense, character, story, incidental music, you name it.

If there is another series of Torchwood, I'd watch it. I tend to like sci-fi, and I couldn't bear not knowing how Jack's and Gwen's lives continue. But I'd rather there is no more Torchwood, unless it's up to the quality of Children of Earth. This series was 10 hours of my life I'm not going to get back.

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