After a long wait the Starz 10-episode mini-series Torchwood: Miracle Day has been picked up by BBC America beginning with the first episode last Saturday, September 14, 2013. Originally airing on pay-cable channel Starz in 2011, it received a lukewarm reaction from some, a hostile reaction from others. Maybe it’s just the absence of any Torchwood for most of the country since 2008, but finding old friends Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Torchwood agent Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and even hubby Rhys (Kai Owen) back in a “new” series is a welcome sight.
More than that, actor Bill Pullman (Independence Day, Deceived) is a series regular, and we quickly learn he is a serial killer getting the death penalty carried out in the series’ first scene. True to Torchwood’s roots as a spinoff of Doctor Who, the focus of the new series is a world where only the strange is the norm. Ripped from the files of The Twilight Zone (specifically the Jason Alexander episode “One Night at Mercy”), it is no longer possible for anyone on Earth to die.
Torchwood, the agency, is no more, thanks to Torchwood: Children of Men, except for Gwen and Captain Jack. Gwen and Rhys and baby are living the quiet life away from all the X-Files-esque world. But the Americans see the word “Torchwood” pop up on their secure networks then it vanishes, prompting a hunt by CIA analyst Esther Drummond (Alexa Havins) and partner Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer)–one of the dead that is still alive, and he’s not happy he needs to go all the way to Wales to extradite Jack and Gwen to the U.S. Two Brits and two Yankees in a buddy cop team-up? Good idea! On top of that, the immortality of humans translates to mortality for Jack.
Torchwood: Miracle Day starts with some great fun in the climax of the first episode as Gwen, with baby in tow, stands down a helicopter from an unknown enemy, and shows how tough she is in a firefight protecting her kid. And we get a few well-timed save-the-day appearances by the always charismatic Captain Jack.
Coming episodes feature players Lauren Ambrose (Coma), Peter Capaldi (The Hour, Doctor Who), in one of his three Doctor Who universe appearances, Freema Agyeman reprising her role from Doctor Who as Martha Jones, Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park, Dead Again), John de Lancie (Star Trek: TNG and DS9), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Mare Winningham (St. Elmo’s Fire, Turner & Hooch), and Nana Visitor (Deep Space Nine).
Look for Torchwood: Miracle Day Saturday nights on BBC America.