Torchwood Comes Home?
Over in the UK here, at the time of this post, we are at the halfway point of the new Torchwood series: Miracle Day. I must admit that I was originally planning to write a post about how disappointed I am with the whole thing and that I've dropped the show - for good!
However, this is not the case anymore. After watching episode five: The Categories of Life, I have had a 'revelation' of my own. Torchwood Miracle Day, all be it not Children of Earth and lets be honest it never was going to be, is really good. I think the problem most people who have been negative about the show, including myself, have suffered from the previous series of Torchwood being so dammed good that it was never going to be topped, and we have gone into this new series expecting it to push the Children of Earth off of its lofty perch.
What we have actually got, highlight by this most recent episode, is a return to the old Torchwood!
To me this series of Torchwood feels like series two of the show, the only thing that is missing is the monster of the week which has been replaced by a more in-depth story telling for the larger arc.
I will admit that the show has lost some of it's 'charm' although the reality is that this went out of the window with the hard hitting and gritty Children of Earth. Wasn't that the point of that series? To wipe away the old Torchwood in preparation for the new? Everything that made Torchwood Torchwood was destroyed in Children of Earth, even those few characters that remained were changed in one way or another.
Now here we are with Miracle Day. New characters, even if one or two have familiar faces, new locations, new bad guys to fight, and yet we still have the same old story, and I mean that in a good way - the Earth is in danger and only Torchwood can save us.
Isn't that the brilliance of Torchwood? In that every series manages to re-invent itself whilst staying true to its core. Take a look back over the last three Torchwood series, each one is different. The first series was very much a monster of the week and embraced its 'Doctor Who for adults' label with gusto. Series two was made up of mostly multi-part stories, a few monsters of the week and one large on going story and to me felt like it had found its feet. Series three was a one hit story over five episodes, very gritty and very hard hitting and took Torchwood to a whole new level.
Now we are at series four, a more paced story telling based series that is simmering away with building characters, story and establishing the new and old Torchwood. All of this in place and we are now at the boiling point of the show and reaping the rewards of the slower paced first few episodes.
It has been a real close call for me. If I had chosen to go with my original plan I would have dropped Torchwood last week with episode four and never looked back. Yet for some strange reason, I think it has to do with my love of Eve Myles, I decided to give the show one more go and I am so glad that I did. If I had given in when I originally planned I would have missed the payoff of the clever build up to episode five, and what a payoff it has been too! I bet you didn't see that one coming. Now all the chess pieces are in place it seems that things are starting to fly along, the teaser for next week alone left me on the edge of my seat wanting more!
I am now totally hooked and can't wait for the next episode. For me Torchwood has come home and, for now, seems to have hit the balance of the fun, action and weird goings on of the first two seasons with the hard, gritty and conspiracy driven third series. If this is the shape of things to come for Torchwood, then I am more than happy and look forward not only to the rest of series four, but also to future shows.
If you gave up on the show before you saw episode five because, 'It's not the Torchwood I remember watching' go back and give it another go, you won't regret it because it really is the Torchwood you remember watching!