There is perhaps no more polarizing, yet inspiring series on television than TORCHWOOD. It provokes heated debate about the value of human life and our efforts to preserve it at all costs. But it also reminds us that there is an amazing world within the universe, which it has created, and it invites us to play there for a while. So while TORCHWOOD will galvanize fans with its shocking deaths, it also makes one weep with joy for having been granted the privilege of knowing those wondrous characters.
As TORCHWOOD returns for its fourth season, it promises to provide yet another shock-and-awe story. Having closed the book on the story of season three with the ultimate sacrifice, season four introduces a brand new story of adventure. With the show transplanting from the U.K. to the U.S. in search of greener pastures (not to mention the funding necessary for such an expensive sci-fi show), TORCHWOOD embraces the American culture and weaves in a distinctly American style to telling its finely-honed tapestry.
When we last saw our valiant warriors, Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Rhys Williams (Kai Owen), they were in a race to save the planet from an alien species intent on taking our children. After those fateful events, the Torchwood team was essentially disbanded and went into hiding. In the time since then, it has been Captain Jack’s mission to ensure the protection of his last valued team member, Gwen, her husband Rhys and their baby daughter. So when the name Torchwood pops up across CIA computer screens and sets off alarms, Jack is back to the rescue. Simultaneously, this triggers a sequence of events that is on a collision path with fate.
CIA analyst Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) saw the news flash with the name Torchwood and unable to ignore such a tantalizing secret, she and fellow CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) find themselves entangled in a global conspiracy. With Torchwood still a government hot-button, it becomes a race to find the last remaining Torchwood members before they are finally exterminated.
So as the paths of Esther, Rex, John, Gwen and Rhys collide, the world falls apart – or rather, death takes a holiday. A miracle has been bestowed on an undeserving planet. Decreed “Miracle Day” because it is the day that everyone stopped dying, a new phenomenon is unleashed. Without death, the world creaks under the weight of over-population, rapidly dwindling resources and a pressing need for pain medication. Just because you can’t die, doesn’t mean you can get hurt – and now, those injuries won’t heal. It becomes a race not to fight off death, but to find death. There just simply is not enough space, food/water, and prescription drugs to supply a planet whose population is growing exponentially each day.
Then on the fringe of the story, there is another odd twist. Unable to die, a convicted pedophile Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) outlives his execution and uses a legal loop-hole to be set free. Unwanted by the entire world and with nowhere to go, Oswald is recruited by a multi-conglomerate corporation to be the spokesperson for Miracle Day. Swimming around this circle of events is a gung-ho publicist Jilly Kitzinger (Lauren Ambrose) and a surgeon Dr. Vera Juarez (Arlene Tur) who becomes the voice of the medical community due to the heightened demand for medical care and prescription drugs.
So what exactly does Torchwood, the CIA, prescription drugs, and a pedophile have in common? Who has deemed it necessary that they are the chess pieces to play with across the global chessboard? The who and the why are not readily apparent. But what is apparent is that this game is high-stakes. People may not be able to die, but there is no end to their suffering.
Feeling the world’s pain – perhaps for the first time – is Jack. The “immortal man” of the show finds that along with Earth’s inability to offer death to its inhabitants, he has become mortal. As Jack notes with horror, “The whole world becomes immortal, and I become mortal – human.” Captain Jack Harkness is literally the world’s last human man.
The biggest clue to what is happening is this must be a deliberate intervention-by-design and surely no one on Earth has the ability to make such a strategic and precision attack to employ the “death of death.” Who could actually wield such a weapon as never-ending life?
And who knew that by rendering humans to being essentially living-zombies that it would make us so powerless? To have to pray for death because it has been vanquished is inconceivable. That becomes Torchwood’s mission – it is not enough to survive, they must find a way to restore death into our world. To allow humans the dignity of dying when it is their time, to release them from the burden of never-ending pain and suffering. For God only intended humans to have never-ending life in paradise, not to live in hell on Earth.
What starts as a simple story of tracking down the last surviving Torchwood members becomes a joint mission to save the human race. TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY is haunting and terrifying. To be forced to endure a never-ending life of pain and regret. It’s not a gift of hope – but of hopelessness. It is to be cursed for eternity. That is the true horror of Miracle Day.
To see how this riveting story unfolds, be sure to tune to watch TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY for its premiere on Friday, July 8th at 10PM on Starz (Saturday at 9PM on Space in Canada)
Tiffany Vogt is a contributing writer to TheTVAddict. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).