Torchwood: Miracle Day (Episode Two: Rendition) (Starz, Fridays, 10/9 Central) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Torchwood: Miracle Day (Episode Two: Rendition)

Starz, Fridays, 10/9 Central

Jul 16, 2011 Web Exclusive
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Rendition, the second of ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day, still feels like it’s building to something more exciting. As with last week’s season premiere, there’s a lot of set up for what’s hopefully a bigger story. So again, it’s too soon to judge the season as a whole, based on only two episodes. Still, so far this fourth season is not quite matching the marked achievements of season three, Children of Earth. But hey, it’s summer TV and there’s not much else on besides dancing and dating competitions, reruns and Canadian imports, so Miracle Day is also more enjoyable than much of what else is on the tube right now.

The episode picks up where the last one ended, with our Torchwood heroes Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) being extradited from the U.K. to America by C.I.A. agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer). Much of this episode takes place on a private transatlantic flight, but it’s not as dull as it sounds —the team frantically try to concoct an antidote mid-flight after one of them is poisoned. Meanwhile, the rest of the main characters continue to deal with the main crux of the season —that everyone on Earth has stopped dying. Newly released death row inmate Oswald Danes (Bill Pullman) faces tough questions on national TV about his parole after surviving a lethal injection. And Dr. Vera Juarez (Arlene Tur) confers with others in her field and comes to a startling conclusion about the nature of the immortality that’s afflicted the world.

Pullman continues to be a highlight, as he adds nuances to a character who could’ve easily been one-dimensional (credit for this is also due to series creator Russell T. Davis and the writer of this episode, Doris Egan, an alumna of House M.D. and Smallville). Some of the most fascinating scenes involve Dr. Juarez discussing with fellow doctors and scientists the social and medical implications of this mass non-death. But the scenes within the C.I.A. —in which analyst Ester Drummond (Alexa Havins) is dealing with a growing conspiracy —are less than believable, in no small part thanks to the distracting casting of Wayne Knight as a C.I.A. director. It’s sadly a challenge to buy Seinfeld‘s Newman as such an authority figure.

But a darkly humorous moment at the end of the episode that echoes Death Becomes Her portends even more craziness to come, so bring on episode three and let’s see what this season is really made of. ( ” target=“_blank”>

Author rating: 7/10

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