Torchwood: The Gathering

We’re so nearly there guys. We’re on the final disc of the complete Torchwood boxset. Thank Christ. The most annoying thing about this series is that it’s not complete and total shit. At least the first two series almost always gave me something to talk about, but there isn’t even anything to tear to shreds here. It’s mostly just about fine, but it’s pedestrian and tedious.

Setting this episode two months after the last one was a sure-fire way to lose the momentum of that cliffhanger. Oh no, Jack’s going to die, oh wait he’s fine now. They try to distract you from this by having RTD make a cameo as a newsreader, but this only serves to remind you that one of the finest TV writers of his generation is attached to this show, and even he can’t make it work.

The world has changed considerably in the two months we skipped; borders are closed, category ones are being rounded up, and Oswald Danes has got a job delivering bread. He was always going to become more central to the plot towards the end, and it seemed somewhat inevitable that he’d join the team. It kind of works with him as an outsider, pointing out where people are going wrong and making quips from the sidelines, until you remember who he is, and that Torchwood now has a nonce on their books.

After a brief interlude for Gwen’s dad to be incinerated, the gang finally got somewhere in their investigation, and it was fun to watch the pieces being put together. The stuff with Jilly being quite literally Shaghaied was fairly exciting too, although I was distracted by the location of The Blessing looking exactly like the alley where the Seventh Doctor was shot. The secret behind the Miracle seems to be a big hole down the centre of the Earth, running from Shanghai to Buenos Aires. What, is someone going to turn the planet into a vehicle and fly it through space?

By the end of the episode, we finally have everything in place for the gang to fix this whole Miracle Day problem, but there’s still quite a lot to be done in the final hour. We still don’t know what the Blessing does, who’s controlling it, or why, or how it can be stopped, all of which needs to be answered before Torchwood can start defeating the baddies and fixing the world. It’s a lot to ask to squeeze all that in and leave room for any satisfying exploration of the aftermath, or emotional resolution. What could possibly go wrong?


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