It’s been announced this week that the BBC are making a 20% cut to their budget after they were told that the TV Licence fee would remain frozen for the next few years. Unsurprisingly it was mostly reported on the BBC with the headlines being: 2,000 job losses, more repeats, less quality dramas and entertainment being created. More information about where the cuts in the organisation they will be made can be found here: BBC cuts at a glance.
As a TV Licence payer I am proud of what the BBC does. I enjoy the various radio stations, and am loving some of the original advert-free TV they produce. Curtsy of the BBC, recently I’ve been enjoying:
Spooks – Sadly entering it’s final series.
(Image Copyright The Telegraph, 2011.)
I love the BBC Iplayer for catching up on TV I’ve missed and the other online services are brilliant as well.
I don’t want to sound like the BBC and I are happily married. Of course I don’t enjoy watching/listening to everything the BBC produce and there are certainly things I don’t like. But overall I do think it’s good value for money for me as a TV Licence payer. I think that the BBC could also be cleverer about selling what it makes Internationally to make back some of the money that it’s being forced to cut.
So my message to the BBC: Keep making good quality programmes (both TV and Radio) and consider what you can flog to the International Market to ensure the quality doesn’t slip.
In Episode 10 – the final of the series we learn more about The Blessing. I previously described The Blessing as a cavity deep down in the earth that goes from one side of the world (Shanghai) to the other side of the world (Buenos Aires). Through the dialogue between Jack, Gwen, Oswald, Rex, Esther and the people working for the three families we learn that those who look into the cavity see their soul. We learn that rather than being extraterrestrial (what normally Torchwood deals with) it’s been on the planet since the begining of time. That it has a symbiotic relationship with the animals on the planet (including humans) and is just trying to be kind. The episode makes you think – You what???
And unfortunately that isn’t the only disappointing point of the Episode.
We discover that the three families want to have ultimate power over the human race – to decide who lives and who dies. We learn that the family used Jack’s blood to find The Blessing and then used his blood to cause this cavity that has a symbiotic-link to humans to make everyone immortal. Jack quickly susses out that as the last moral man in the world if he puts his blood into the cavity it will make everyone mortal again. But there’s one problem – the blood needs to be put in at both Shanghai and Buenos Aires and we know that Rex and Esther’s supply of Jack’s blood was blown up in the last Episode (see TV – Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 9). Somewhat predictability Rex has Jack’s blood in his body.
Gwen prepares to shoot Jack. The families shoot Esther and tell Rex if he ends the Miracle she will die. But again somewhat predictably Jack gets shot by Gwen and dies (but we know he’ll be ok) and Rex rips off his bandage on his chest sending blood into the cavity.
The next scene was probably the best scene of the episode. “They called it the last breath.” All those people who should have died take one last breath before dieing. Jack comes back to life (no surprise), Rex gets good medical treatment and recovers. They attend Esther’s funeral and Charlotte (the CIA mole) stands next to them. On the way out Rex discovers that Charlotte is the CIA mole via his PDA and she shoots him. But Rex recovers and heals like Jack is – perhaps Jack isn’t the only immortal one any more (boringly predictable)? Charlotte gets apprehended and taken into custody.
For me there were a lot of loose ends that where never tied up. Who were the people at the beginning of the series that went to Gwen’s and Rhys’ house pretending to be lost? Who were the people watching Gwen when she was deported to Wales? What did the UK government and Unit do to investigate? Lots of little loose ends. The storyline started off well but in the last two episodes became completely predictable. The positives are that the actors (in the majority) were good, that it had some good action scenes and early on in the series it had lots of twists and turns in the story keeping you guessing as to what had caused Miracle Day.
I’ve reviewed the entire Torchwood: Miracle Day series and you can read each episode’s review here:
Episode 9 jumps forward from the last episode. Gwen’s back in Wales, living with her mum and her dad whose stashed in the basement so the government don’t take him away as a Category 1. Gwen’s making her living by breaking into pharmacies, stealing pain killers and selling them on the black market. Captain Jack is being nursed back to health by Esther somewhere in Wales. While Jack’s recovering he’s having his blood drained as it seems to be a threat to the three families.
Meanwhile Rex is in America still working for the CIA. He’s finally starting to suspect someone in the CIA department is working for the three families. I say finally because for an intelligence agency they aren’t that intelligent (Rex included).
Oswald Danes escapes from America and arrives at Gwen’s house seeking help. Rhys lets him in as he’s disguised as a shopping delivery guy (albeit poorly I might add) and Rhys is distracted by the baby. Gwen gets in touch with Jack and they grill him for information with Oswald the slimy survivor type tries to make a deal with Jack. If you remember, in Episode 8 (see TV – Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode 8) Oswald was made a Category Zero which would have meant instant incineration if caught. The government raid Gwen’s house and find her father – taking him for incineration. Jack asks Gwen what she’d like to do, but her father being taken makes her more determined to end this Miracle.
Jilly (the PR Agent) is now working for the families and is introduced to The Blessing. It’s a cavity deep down in the earth that goes from one side of the world (Shanghai) to the other side of the world (Buenos Aires).
The Torchwood group discover that there’s something going on in both Shanghai and Buenos Aires and decide to investigate. Jack, Gwen and Oswald going to Shanghai and Rex and Esther going to Buenos Aires to investigate. Rex and Esther take Jack’s blood as the families seem to see Jack as a threat.
Jack’s still recovering from the gun-shot wound he got in Episode 8 bleeds in Shanghai and something unusual happens – a drop of his blood moves of it’s own accord. The group follow the blood and that’s how they find the three families facility with The Blessing inside. Gwen phones Rex and Esther and let’s them know how to find The Blessing. But Rex and Esther have already identified where the facility is and have called in the troops. Esther puts the blood on the army truck with the troops and then it’s is blown up. Luckily Rex and Esther are not on the army truck. Meanwhile back in the CIA the big CIA boss identifies the mole working for the three families, but not before Charlotte (the mole) sets off a bomb in the department and escapes, getting away with it.
Both of the Torchwood teams end the episode entering the facilities and being met by people who work for the families.
You can read previous Episode reviews I’ve wrote here:
Episode 8 starts with Jack, Gwen, Rex and Esther being driven to a Mansion to be introduced to Angelo. Jack is expecting Angelo to be like he remembers him. So when Jack enters the room to see a old man in a hospital bed strapped to various machines on a raised platform, Jacks shocked and slightly saddened.
The woman who brought them reveals that Angelo is her grand father. She reveals that Angelo never stopped following Jack and never stopped loving him despite having a family. She explains that Angelo kept himself alive for this long by natural means, giving the example of how he kept his temperature two degrees below normal. She adds that Angelo dedicated his life to trying to achieve immortality.
Jack asks the woman why Angelo never came to find him. The woman explains that Angelo was ashamed that he had aged, knowing that Jack hadn’t. The woman explains that Angelo (her grand father) had asked her to protect him and that Jack isn’t the only immortal on this planet. In nature, she explains Jelly Fish can regenerate cells meaning there are Jelly Fish on the planet that have been around for thousands of years. Finally the woman reveals the names of three families behind Miracle Day. Esther searches the Torchwood database but it reveals no such families – obviously they’re good at hiding themselves.
Then the CIA storm the Mansion after tracing Rex’s phone call to Dr. Vera’s family. Rex’s corrupt boss, working for the families leads the storm. Surely Rex wouldn’t be so stupid as to make a call to lead the CIA to them?
Your right, Rex’s CIA boss takes Rex into a side room where Rex gets him to confess. But Rex is wearing the Torchwood contact lenses and transmitting to every video screen available. A big boss of the CIA turns up and sees it all. The big boss has Rex’s boss arrested and takes control. Meanwhile Angelo dies as Jack speaks to the unconscious old man. But how can he die? No body has died since Miracle Day? Jack doesn’t believe it at first, but a quick check of Angelo’s pulse leads to Jack screaming for help.
Rex’s corrupt CIA boss triggers a bomb that explodes the car he’s put in with Angelo’s grand daughter. The big CIA boss takes control and tells Torchwood that they are working for them. He deports Gwen back to Wales. Then he says that none of the others are leaving the house until they work out how Angelo died. Esther works out that there’s something under the raised platform of the floor. Jack encourages Esther not to tell the big CIA boss, but she does. It’s alien technology from when the Torchwood Insitute was blown up and Angelo had used it to protect himself from Phi Cop’s and the families morphic field which is causing Miracle Day.
While all this is going on Oswald Danes is annoying Jilly Kitzinger and making more and more demands of her. One of his demands: “get me a girl.” You can tell with Jilly’s reaction that she is disgusted with this request. Oswald thinks he has all the cards, he thinks people love him. Jilly gets a new assistant who she instructs to get Oswald a girl.
Jilly has a stiff drink and knows that she wont have to put up with Oswald for much longer as the government are looking to pass a Category Zero law for all those people who have committed major crimes, allowing them to be taken to the incinerators. Oswald finds this out and he hits Jilly after she says “No Oswald, television loves you. Not the people.” Jilly’s assistant then gets shot with the man who shots her revealing that she’s a CIA agent. The man gives Jilly a plane ticket, tells her she’s being promoted and that she’s being offered a job with the families.
Back at the Mansion Jack convinces Esther and Rex to help him to escape. But while attempting to escape Jack get’s shot and Esther drives away with Jack bleeding, unsure where to go or what to do next. I found it odd that they were still introducing and even killing off new characters with only two episodes to go. Introducing the big boss of the CIA and Angelo’s grand daughter for example.
In this episode there was a large emphasis on narrative and giving information to the auidance. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps some of this information could have been given earlier in the series? A criticism of the series for me is that too many characters and introduced and got rid of before we can decide whether we like them or not and that often their motives are far too apparent. There’s conflicting motives in these “quick characters” and it leads to you thinking – Not another new character that I wont be able to remember the name of or what their transparent intentions are.
That brings Episode 8 to an end. You can read previous Episode reviews I’ve wrote here:
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