There’s nothing else quite like it. Tonally it jumps from death to laughs, from love to porn, from dull CIA characters to a huge gaping vaginal~like~crevasse in the world. Unique. The finale was certainly something: Oswald Danes screaming his paedophilic fantasies as he bombs to his death; beautiful Jilly and Gwen’s tantalisingly erotic bitch~fest; and THAT hole (not to mention Rex’s own miracle) all made for a fascinating end.
Sure, it may have been a little stretched and some actors were certainly not as engaging as others (Alexa Havins and Arlene Tur), whilst others could have been given more screen time (Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson and Star Trek’s John de Lancie) and certain plot elements seemed to disappear, like The Soulless. But, for me, Torchwood: Miracle Day was remarkable. Not to be taken too seriously (how can you, it’s got John Barrowman in it!) but to be simply entertained by and enjoyed. Which I did, immensely.
This is a bad bunch. Not only bad, but excruciatingly annoying too. Each episode comes with a one minute introduction from John Barrowman and Russell T Davies where both men describe what’s coming up. Why? Seriously, why, on a DVD you’ve bought and are going to watch (presumably) do you need an intro featuring the plea, “Please watch this episode!”??? Bearing in mind, too, that most people who own this will probably have watched most of the episodes anyway.
Do we need a synopsis for a story we’ve seen or are about to watch? No. Even more annoying is Barrowman’s Tonight’s The Night style delivery – “Oswald Danes, the man you LOOOVE to hate!” he chimes like a cheap circus barker. But most irritating of all is the fact that these intros are at the start of each episode and you can’t just press play and dive into the stories. What were the makers of this DVD thinking?
Well, judging by the rest of the content, it surely was not the fans.
Similarly the two episodes of Torchwood Declassified are nothing but fluff pieces. The first looks at the FX of Miracle Day and, as you may have guessed, features guys in front of their computers explaining how they make the magic happen. Click~click~yawn. The second is a more substantial behind~the~scenes feature but spends a lot of its time (like the first installment) trying to sell the show to the viewer, with cast and crew bashing out superlatives – as if we haven’t already seen it or, indeed, bought the bloody box set!
An absolute waste of time and an ill~thought exercise. There are also omissions in terms of contributions from writers (no Jane Espenson, for instance) and cast (no Lauren Ambrose). If you’re looking for insight and production comment, then these extras will leave you wanting, though, thankfully, the commentaries re~address this. Accompanying episodes one and ten are audio commentaries from Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner, and what a pair they make.
These two gems outshine everything that has come before and reveal much more about Torchwood than anything else contained here. It’s a fascinating listen as Davies reveals that episode eight was “not our finest hour”, lamenting production issues. It’s a lively conversation with honest debate and much humour, as you would expect, throughout. Unmissable. You can read more about what Russell T Davies says in the audio commentaries HERE.
Filling out the extras are over seven minutes of deleted scenes (though half of it simply features Esther trying to park her car at an airport) and the full 30 minute motion comic, Web of Lies. Both features are unremarkable but, as reference material, it’s appropriate that they’re included. Disappointingly, there are no trailers or TV spots for those who like their DVD VAMs to be complete.