Torchwood Spoiler-free Preview – Miracle Day 4, ‘Escape to LA’

Caleb Woodbridge previews ‘Escape to LA’, the fourth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. The Torchwood team arrive in Los Angeles, but there’s no time for sun and surf…

Torchwood: Miracle Day continues to build steadily in ‘Escape to LA’, as the world tries come to terms with what to do with the undying sick and injured. Gwen’s not the only member of the Torchwood team attempting to protect their family, and in each case, it brings unhappy consequences.

Arriving in Los Angeles, the Torchwood team take the fight to PhiCorp, but a trap is closing around them. Meanwhile, Tea Party politician Ellis Hartley Monroe is stirring up the masses with the slogan “Dead is Dead”, and stealing Oswald Dane’s limelight while she’s at it…

Oswald Dane’s self-preserving self-promotion reaches new heights, or depths. Although he’s one of the most interesting characters, I find the role he takes on at the end of episode 3 as unofficial spokesman for PhiCorp to be rather unbelievable. Even if he was able to win some measure of sympathy on Twitter, a convicted child rapist and murderer who’s escaped justice would still be a massively hated and controversial figure. His trajectory in this episode is no more credible, though his interplay with Jilly Kitzinger in this episode is entertaining.

Dr Vera faces the medical emergency and ethical questions. “The Western world has always hidden its unwanted”, one character observes with the clunkety-clunk of unsubtle social commentary in one scene. It’s good to see some of the larger patterns and theme of the series beginning to emerge more clearly.

There’s also a building sense of foreboding as the extent of PhiCorp’s plans begins to be revealed. A generous dash of action and humour go a long way once more to keeping the whole show watchable amid its many improbabilities. Watch out for Gwen’s attempt at an American accent!

So far Miracle Day has never been less than entertaining, but has yet to fully deliver on the promise of its premise. Four episodes in, the show really needs to be hitting its stride, but it still feels stuck in third gear. It continues to dangle the promise of greater things to come in front of the viewer. I’m intrigued by the Miracle Day concept, and the irreverence of the show keeps me watching, but it has yet to wow me.