Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 5 (Spoiler-free review)

Starz (US), August 5; BBC One (UK), August 11

Torchwood goes undercover in the containment camps and learns the truth – at a very high cost…

There’s an excellent 45 minute episode contained within the hour of this instalment: the story has to get to a specific point in the ongoing narrative which of necessity has to be the climax for this episode, but there’s not quite enough material to fill a full hour. Not to say it’s boring – there’s too much going on for a start – but perhaps we don’t need to see every single detail that we get.

Torchwood gets a new recruit, in the shape of Rex’s doctor friend, and, with the exception of Jack, everyone takes a role in investigating  the containment camps: Gwen and Rhys try to rescue Gwen’s father from the South Wales camp, while the others go into a camp in San Pedro, California. What they find there isn’t for the faint-hearted – the horror element is ramped up in this episode with a vengeance – but has to be only part of the story: Phicorp’s actions are going to require more explanation than we get here.

Meanwhile Captain Harkness is off on the trail of Oswald Danes, who’s set to address a Miracle Rally in Los Angeles. Bill Pullman is stunning in the scenes of Danes addressing the rally, making the convicted paedophile murderer into the most unlikely charismatic figure you’ll ever meet. And Jack makes a potential enemy out of Julie Kitzinger as he and the publicist seem set to battle for Oswald Danes’ soul.

When he was talking about the first season of Doctor Who’s revival, Russell T Davies said that the season needed energising after about four to five weeks… and he’s certainly done that with this episode of Miracle Day.

Verdict: At times stomach-churning, this episode sees the stakes raised, and despite its slow pace at the start, it’s not to be missed.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Read our reviews of episodes 1, 2, 3 and 4

and the Miracle Day prequels: The Devil and Miss Carew, Submission, House of the Dead, First Born and Long Time Dead.

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