Doctor Who #882: The Middle Men

"I'm not a bad man, Captain. I'm not a good one either. I'm a middle man in every sense of the word."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Aug.12 2011.

IN THIS ONE... Rex tries to escape the overflow camp. Gwen tries to get her dad out of its Welsh equivalent.

REVIEW: The team finally manages to do what they set out to in the previous episode and it takes forrrrevvvvvverrrrrrrrrr. Gwen has ethical conversations with overflow camp staff - the same conversations Vera was having in the States - before finally getting her father off the base. And after all that effort, her whole family gets nabbed by the Families. So we could excise these elements entirely and not change the story then? Groan. Back in America, Rex recaps the story so far on video tape (hey, Gwen's making a tape too, why not, and sure, there's an audio link so she's been talking into mirrors for no reason all this time, yeah) while Esther sits at a desk in what feels like real time. Only Jack actually makes headway, finding a PhiCorp boss who makes for an unlikely ally also searching for the truth. The headway in question: keyword "the Blessing". It's like swimming in molasses.

I'm still struggling with what Esther brings to this team. It's not computer skills, really, because Jack and Gwen are also shown to be more than proficient in that department. Esther actually causes more problems than she solves. She goes into the overflow camp under her own name, walks around wet-eyed like she's hiding a big secret, and despite all the evidence pointing to that jerk Maloney having disposed of Vera in some way, still uses her name to cover her walking into the generator room to help Rex escape. Dumbass! It's surprising that she's got enough self-defense training to choke the dude out, but not surprising at all that he would wake up again (Esther forgets dead isn't dead), would grab her again, and would get shot by Ralph the overwhelmed young soldier. Thrill-by-number. Are they just using Esther as cover for the fact Rex isn't particularly smart either? Here he lets himself be captured and tortured, trusts the wrong person, and oh yeah, makes sure to mention Torchwood on his tell-all tape, the word that apparently activates a computer virus that would, if the writing were airtight, erase the footage as soon as it hit the internet. Maybe that's a good thing because he also makes a death threat on there. Stupid!

As usual, the original Torchwood characters get the better deal, but that's not saying much. Jack has fun flirting and threatening, sometimes in the same breath. He finally turns someone, even if it's not Oswald Danes (he doesn't appear at all), and Ernie Hudson as Stuart Owens is a great, smooth presence. Gwen's terrorist attack on the overflow camp is predicated on the place having a stash of C-4. I know these are converted military installations, but if security is this lax, why was it such a pain to get her dad out? The hijack of her contact lenses is a good cliffhanger, even if it renders the past two episodes' worth of her story moot. Anyway, once all their footage has gotten out to the media, the U.S. government commits P.R. suicide by saying they're not ashamed of their oven solution... I don't know what to say, this is just ridiculous to me, and another sign that things are happening because the script needs them to happen, not because they make sense. And if you remember my Star Trek: Voyager reviews, you know how that drives me crazy.

REWATCHABILITY: Low - Miracle Day's lowest point, this is padding by way of characters being stupid and successes being reversed by the plot.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Orville The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine