Torchwood? Too busy torching everything else

Torchwood, for those who don't know, was a spin-off of the latest Dr Who.  Launched in 2006, just a year after the return of the good Doctor himself, the series was planned as a 'darkier and edgier' foray into the Dr Who universe, contrasted with the middle ground of the parent series and the children-friendly Sarah Jane Adventures.  Russel T. Davies, the driving force between the early nu-Who and Torchwood, claimed that "[w]e can be a bit more visceral, more violent, and more sexual, if we want to. Though bear in mind that it's very teenage to indulge yourself in blood and gore, and Torchwood is going to be smarter than that," and the series lived up to its promise, including heroes who slip girls alien-based mickeys, lesbian succubi, a long-term homosexual relationship and all the swearing and violence you could ask for.  It wavered between the camp of Dr Who and its own 'gritty' styling, and for me, at least, it was a pleasant enough way to spend forty-some-odd minutes, plus commercials.

So young.  So sexy.  So almost-completely dead.

The series did well enough for a few years; it didn't set the ratings world on fire, but it pulled in solid numbers week after week, eventually moving up from BBC 3 to BBC 2.  Unfortunately, it seems like someone wanted to make a bigger splash, so the third season was launched; Children of Earth.

Team's a little smaller now, isn't it?

The second season had already done away with two of the five principals, and Children of Earth ramped it up, killing off the last possible expendable character and basically making the other two hideously miserable.  I know there are plenty of people who think Children of Earth is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but frankly, I found it unwatchable.  The plot is a mess, with actions taken that can have no possible benefit relative to their cost and a dreary picture of a humanity that would fit right at home in the grimmest of dystopias.  Nobody's particularly likeable, the whole miniseries is suffused with teenage angst, and the ending is as unsatisfying as it unhappy.  Sadly, it was also a critical blockbuster for the series, bringing in not just audiences in the UK but in the States as well.  So, with the nihilistic Children of Earth proving to be such a smash, what's next?

Seriously, guys.  Put out a 'Help Wanted' sign or something!

Torchwood; Miracle Day, that's what.  And as much as I love nu-Who, and enjoyed the first two seasons of Torchwood, I can't say I'm at all excited by this.  It's set in America, focused primarily on two CIA operatives at first, meaning 'Torchwood' is something of a guest in its own show.  Not that there's much 'Torchwood' left; the series progressively killed off its characters and refused to introduce new ones, then blew up Torchwood's base and had Jack leave Earth entirely in Children of Earth.  It's hardly Torchwood anymore, now it's 'The Gwen and Jack show', at best, and between the lack of characters I still care about and the promise of more of the same I didn't like the first time around, it'll be morbid curiousity that draws me to Miracle Day.  I mean sure, it could be good; maybe, in spite of vowing to stick with arc-super-heavy miniseries', Davies will manage to inject some of the fun and energy of those first two years, and possibly get around to introducing a new bloody regular or three while he's at it.  It's not impossible, after all.

Though it may well take a miracle...

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