Home Featured TV Shows All TV Shows Movie Reviews Book Reviews Articles Frequently Asked Questions About Us

Torchwood Miracle Day: The Blood Line

Gwen: "Just you wait. If this goes right, murder's coming back."

Terrific finale. And the last few moments made me smile.

Jack and Rex

No mistaking that crucifixion imagery. Jack's blood changing the symbiotic Blessing did make sense storywise. Sort of. And what a surprise that the Blessing wasn't alien. Who knew.

One thing that I've hated about Miracle Day was that they took Jack's specialness away from him. Jack is literally bigger than life and I did not like seeing him mortal, even temporarily. But it was cool that Jack was ready to die for the sake of the world. Of course, Jack might have guessed what would happen. It'd be like him. He always sees the glass half-full.

I disliked Rex at the start of Miracle Day, but he grew on me. What exactly happened to Rex in those last few moments? They were careful to show his initial chest wound disappearing along with the gunshot wound, which (in my opinion) made it ambiguous. Was it just the massive transfusion that saved Rex, or is he now immortal like Jack? It seems unlikely that a small amount of Jack's blood could heal people, since Jack would certainly have tried it on a loved one in the past, so was it the huge amount of blood, maybe? This is intriguing, and something they've never explored on Torchwood. Loose ends! Loose ends!

Gwen and Esther

I'm so glad Gwen didn't die. She's always been a favorite of mine. I like her courage, her goodness, her sarcasm, her freckles. She had the strength to save the world and restore the natural order by killing her best friend. And her knock down drag out fight with Jilly in the freight elevator made me laugh out loud.

Esther did herself proud and died like a hero. Her transfusion idea saved the day. Yet another dead Torchwood agent. Oh, well. I liked her and thought Alexa Havins was an excellent actress, considering how unappealing they made some of her storyline, but I knew someone was going to die in this episode. Actually, I thought it was going to be Rex, so good misdirection there.

I liked Torchwood on either side of the planet saving us all by bringing back death. It was a grand, perverse idea, and I like it when they go for the gusto. And Rex and Esther did become the American Torchwood, and I didn't think that would happen. And while I'm talking about things I liked, how about that the Blessing showed Jack to himself, and Jack liked it? ("I've lived so many lives, and now I can see them all. Not so bad.") Jack has done some terrible things, but he's also done a lot of good, had many great adventures, and I think he's made a lot of people happy. He sure makes me happy.


Oswald Danes was an outright failure as a character. I honestly don't think there was a single sound dramatic reason for his existence in the story. I did find it interesting that the Blessing didn't make him immediately kill himself, which meant that he had long ago accepted the evil inside of him. And he did go out in style, backing Jack's play. It wasn't enough to make his addition to the cast worth it, though. Was it inconsistent characterization? Miscasting, maybe?

Jilly turned out to be not so nice. She wanted an Ayn Rand type of world, with the rich and powerful controlling everything and the old, poor and sick removed so as not to clutter up the sidewalk. A lot of Miracle Day could be interpreted as political, although it wasn't enough to make it a truly politically-themed story.

The Families "Plan B" teaser at the end? I really don't care. The Families weren't that interesting a villain, probably because they never had a single actor to represent them. Jilly wasn't with them long enough for it to be her, and she was always too fluffy to be truly threatening, anyway. Not Lauren Ambrose's fault. It's how the part was written.

So, in closing...

Miracle Day wasn't as strong as Children of Earth, which we can all agree was a hard act to follow. But I did enjoy nearly all of it, and when I got to the end, I wanted more Torchwood. I will always want more Jack Harkness. I want more Gwen and Rex, too. And Sergeant Andy. Okay, maybe Rhys, too. Although to be honest, I've always wanted to see Jack and Gwen have a disastrous, destructive love affair, and that will never happen with a hubby and baby on board.

If they had condensed Miracle Day into fewer episodes and eliminated some of the weaker points, it might have been a stronger story. What do you think?

Bits and pieces:

-- The opener had Gwen about to shoot her father. It felt like a deliberate parallel to Gwen's end of the world speech on video in Children of Earth. But then it never happened, and Rhys was with Gwen's father when he finally died. Which was nice, since Gwen was in Shanghai saving the world. But what was the point of the opening video, then?

-- The Frances Fisher character said that if the Blessing was blown up, Miracle Day would be permanent. How could she possibly know? And if the Blessing was so immense that it pierced the planet, how could two little explosions at each end change anything?

-- I really liked the slimy villain in Buenos Aires. And Rex giving him an Emperor Palpatine death.

-- The Overflow Camp room for category ones had a red floor and red sheets. I assume that was to make the blood less obvious.

-- Jilly's fantastically colorful wardrobe and bright red lipstick were gone in her final scene: she was wearing jeans and a white shirt. Most Obvious Symbolism that the world was no longer affected by the blood, perhaps.

-- Sergeant Andy said Gwen would be the death of him. Fortunately, not yet.

-- Jack died in this episode.

Anyway. Big story, big payoff. It mostly worked. This finale rocked, and I'd definitely give it three out of four immortal crucifixions. The entire run of Miracle Day? Three out of four Starz,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. I hate to admit but I actually disliked this episode intensely. I hated Rex being immortal, hated Esther's death. It just didn't sit well with me as an episode.

    Miracle day has been interesting experiment but I've grown tired of the amount of meaningless deaths we've been getting and the Blessing just didn't engage as a whole.

  2. I'm torn about this whole season. It certainly has not been as good as S3, but then again I felt a kind of a satisfying relief after this last ep.

    But (and it's a big BUT!), this season has been a struggle. I have difficulty with the Oswald Danes story line, and Jilly Kitzinger. I mean, what was the point...really.

    And I am very afraid because of the ending, that turned out to be a "cliffhanger"-thingy that just continues this Miracle Day-story.

    We need to move on, I don't want another season about this Miracle Day.

  3. I had a very different reaction to the finale, Billie.

    I kept thinking of a giant vagina running through the earth that is leading to both immortality and death, and how we were all rescued by men expending some of their vital fluid to nullify the vagina's deadly "gift" and bring order back to chaos. In other words, it's an allegory of straight sex and reproduction seen from a very odd point of view. (The inspiration for this interpretation definitely comes from the anonymous "Epic of Creation" from Mesopotamian myth, which I re-read last week. And my strident humorless feminism, of course.)

    Oswald Danes wasn't my cup of tea, especially after the Costerdanes/Danes coincidence was left unexplored. I think you're right, and miscasting might be a huge part of it: with a name like Bill Pullman, we might have expected a bit more relevance for the character than we actually got. Even the Jack/Oswald parallels (both child-killers) were sort of abandoned.

    Above all, I think the show suffered from mixed goals. It used the traditional "Let's fight evil!" arc to explore what would happen if immortality happened, but splitting the focus that way meant that neither the arc nor the social commentary got the attention it deserved.

    It was great to see Gwen and Captain Jack Harkness on screen again. I'll bet I would have liked this more if it had not been Torchwood, as "Children of Earth" really raised my expectations.

    And now I'll toddle off to watch the new Doctor Who.

  4. A lot of fans have had problems with Miracle Day. What I enjoyed about it outweighed its flaws. I can certainly understand that for some fans, the flaws tipped the scales in the other direction.

  5. Billie, I'm pretty sure the idea of the explosions was to seal the entrances so that the blessing was inaccessible, preventing anyone from reverting it, and Gwen talking about killing her father I assumed was in reference to her stopping the miracle, therefore ending her father's life.

  6. Re: the explosion, I kept thinking everyone would just hear the explosion and go take a look. Then they'd be all... "Oh, we'd better clear this rubble away. Wait! What's this? A giant vagina," and the whole thing would just start up all over again.

  7. I had really mixed feelings about the series and the episode. I found the political stuff a bit heavy handed. I enjoyed lots of bits and pieces of the series and this episode but other stuff really bothered me. In this episode I loved Gwen's response to the blessing - lots of guilt but she's a working mother so no surprise there! and Jack's. I really disliked how Oswald was written in this episode. And I think it was the writing not the casting. Pullman struggled to give Oswald some dimension but the character development was all over the place. Maybe the point was that such people don't make any sense but I agree the character was mostly annoying. I agree with Josie about the symbolism and it annoyed me too.

  8. My personal feeling at the end of all that? Meh.

    Too many unanswered questions.

    Too many unresolved or dropped plot threads.

    Too many pointless characters.

    Too many implausible/lazy explanations.

    Too many contrivances.

    Too many episodes.

    Too much ambition.

    I wanted to love it, I really did. 'Children Of Earth' was wonderful, edgy, well-written, original TV (not least for its relentless nihilism).
    'Miracle Day' started so well and promised so much, only to end as a crushing disappointment.

    On the upside - Gwen and her freckles are still gorgeous.

    Have enjoyed all your reviews though, Billie. Thanks.

  9. My thoughts are that we needed to know more about the three families. Do they run PhiCorp? How did they find "the blessing"? They formed an alliance because of Jack's blood and immortality but how did that lead them to Shanghai and Buenos Aires? I would have liked a few more of these ideas fleshed out and less time on Oswald Danes. How was he important to the greater arc? I love Torchwood and the idea of it - but there were so many disconnected ideas. It needed a giant edit. Which is a shame, because I think that Eve Myles and John Barrowman did some TERRIFIC acting.

  10. Okay, clearly I liked the finale more than most of us. :) I can live with that. How do you guys feel that Miracle Day measured up when compared to other seasons? If I were doing a four star rating of Torchwood seasons, it'd be like this:

    1 -- two stars
    2 -- three stars
    Children of Earth -- four stars
    Miracle Day -- three stars

    I looked through my reviews of Miracle Day and there were definitely a few episodes I'd consider to be very good, even if the denouement didn't thrill everyone. I did think Miracle Day was better than season one.

    Opinions? Am I off with my season ratings?

  11. Season 1 had They Keep Killing Suzie and Miracle Day does not have an outstanding ep in the lineup. I'll take a mediocre season that has something great in it over a a bit better season that does not. :)

    But of course season 3 and 2 are the best.

  12. My biggest gripe this season was the unbelievably sloppy story telling. Did they actually go in with a plan or were they writing episode to episode.

    Season 1 was quite horrible. I remember sitting through most of it in utter disgust, but I braved through because of how much Billie raved about COE. I'm glad I did.

    MD, while not as bile inducing as season 1, was also difficult to sit through. It was just really poorly written.

    Series 1 *
    Series 2 **
    Children of Earth ****
    Miracle Day *

  13. Season one -- two stars.
    Season two -- three stars.
    Children of Earth -- four stars.
    Miracle Day -- two stars.

    Initially, I wasn't too keen on Miracle Day, but it won me over somewhere in the middle, only to lose me again in the last three episodes. Jack, Gwen and Rhys were solid enough, but they were mired in such a mediocre story, I found it hard to care much about their journey. Which is probably the crux of it for me. The story didn't engage me on any level. If the story had been better, I dare say the characters would have made more sense.

    I've really enjoyed your reviews, though. At times, they've been the only thing keeping me watching :o)

  14. This season was so disappointing that part of me wishes that the show would die a merciful death.

    But if it doesn’t, here are my 5 wishes for any future series:

  15. "The opener had Gwen about to shoot her father."

    No. She means she's about to cause her father's death by ending the Miracle. (Shooting him wouldn't kill him, remember? And anyway they're thousands of miles apart.)

    "The Frances Fisher character said that if the Blessing was blown up, Miracle Day would be permanent. How could she possibly know?"

    The explosions would hide the Blessing, not destroy it.

    "The Overflow Camp room for category ones had a red floor and red sheets. I assume that was to make the blood less obvious."

    Remember that red was the colour established for category 1.

    "She wanted an Ayn Rand type of world, with the rich and powerful controlling everything and the old, poor and sick removed so as not to clutter up the sidewalk."

    No. Rich people who want to control everything are generally the villains in Ayn Rand's novels.

  16. All that said and done... I have some serious questions to ask.

    What the hell happened to the rift in Cardiff. The first two seasons, there was a new Alien life form everyday ( more than one many times). Did the rift just disappear? What happened to the weevils?

    I think Torchwood could really do better with some inspiration. A Doctor Who crossover maybe? Maybe I am just a hopeless optimist.Sigh.


We love comments! We moderate because of spam and trolls, but don't let that stop you! It’s never too late to comment on an old show, but please don’t spoil future episodes for newbies.