Starz July 8; BBC One July 14
What if nobody could die – no matter how badly or apparently fatally they were injured?
Doctor Who used to be attacked for the parochial nature of its alien invasions – the South East corner of England was a particular target – and even Torchwood’s first two series concentrated mainly on Cardiff. That canvas was expanded for Children of Earth, but that UK-wide story pales into insignificance against the setting for this fourth Torchwood outing, which establishes from the off that it’s dealing with a worldwide event. Russell T Davies, John Barrowman and Eve Myles are clearly enjoying playing on a bigger stage than ever before, with scenes across two continents and at least three countries in this opening episode alone.
As with Davies’ best scripts, this is a mixture of characterisation, sparkling dialogue and action, which Outcasts and Hustle director Bharat Nalluri handles with equal ease. There are plenty of new characters, with Bill Pullman effortlessly dominating his scenes. Mekhi Phifer is used to going toe-to-toe with Tim Roth at the top of his game in Lie to Me’s second year, and he’s obviously going to be tested in this story as well.
For those who don’t know Torchwood from a hole in the ground, there’s sufficient explanation given across the hour while for fans there are some nice Easter eggs that clearly establish the show within the Doctor Who universe, and strands picked up from the previous Torchwood adventures.
Verdict: A very strong start. 8/10
A full review will follow transmission