Review: Torchwood: Miracle Day Episode 6 (Spoiler-free review)

Starz, August 12 (US); BBC One, August 18 (UK)

Now they know the truth about the camps, the Torchwood team have to make their escape to spread the word…

Another episode that feels as if it’s treading water slightly, this week’s instalment eventually moves the plot forward, as Rhys and Gwen get away from the camp in South Wales, with Gwen making a suitably dramatic exit (although it does raise some queries unless we assume she simply targets buildings where there aren’t any people), and Esther and Rex dealing with the slimy and totally out of his depth camp controller in San Pedro.

Where this does excel though is in its depiction of the banality of evil, whether it’s the doctor who won’t listen to Gwen when the Torchwood operative tries to makes her face facts, or Ernie Hudson’s Phicorp COO explaining exactly how the pharmaceutical company will have gone about stockpiling the drugs that Torchwood found in Washington.  Marc Vann gives a great performance as the controller who is forced into ever-worsening actions: it may not be the most subtle Holocaust analogy ever (and Russell T Davies has already touched on this territory in the Doctor Who episode Turn Left) but he’s such a recognisable character (promoted above their ability and lashing out at everyone else to hide their own incompetence) that it works well.

Jack takes a step back for this episode, although it seems from the throw-forward that he’s going to be the centre of attention next week – and from events at the end of the episode, it’s clear that the plot is heading off in a new direction.

Verdict: Some good moments don’t hide the fact that the two-part camp episode probably could have been told in considerably less time.  6/10

Paul Simpson

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