Doctor Who #885: The Gathering

"As the old saying goes, 'Count your blessings,' cos it turns out there's two of them."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Sep.2 2011.

IN THIS ONE... Two months later, everyone comes together to figure out the Blessing is in two cities, Buenos Aires and Shanghai. Let's split up.

REVIEW: In a bit of outrageously bad plotting, Miracle Day skips ahead two months, and if something had happened in those two months, it would be one thing. However, the characters were pretty much all in holding patterns for that time, and did little that couldn't have been covered in, say, a week or two, which would have interfered far less with the Whoniverse timeline. Did we need two months before the countries of the world turned into fascist regimes when it seemed like Miracle panic, cults and policy sprang up in a matter of days over the first 8 episodes? Jack survived, SOMEHOW, but we're not told how. Esther became competent, SOMEHOW, but again, an untold story. Esther's not THAT much better, AND her new bond with Jack won't be explored because they'll be apart for the finale. What's the point? Jack needed time to heal? Bull. He'd just stolen the null field generator, which he could have used to negate the Miracle and resurrect before it burnt out.  Gwen vs. the authorities breaking down her door, like Nazis after Jews under the floorboards? We don't need months of her doing this. It takes two months for Rex to get a lead. Jilly was recruited to do some boring work in an office. NOTHING MOVED. It just stops whatever momentum the show had going, and ridiculously, they're all reactivated in some way at the same time.

And again, so much repetition. Things we heard in previous episode. Things we heard earlier in this one. Things that were JUST said (like Esther needing a computer animation to prove Rhys is right those cities are at antipodes, when he himself is holding a visual model). It's all got to be repeated several times because Miracle Day doesn't trust the audience to be listening. (If I wanted to be unkind, I'd say they might have had a point.) That's time that could have been spent telling us how Jack survived, or maybe to find a better way to justify Jack and Gwen bringing Oswald Danes along on their mission. This monster keeps going on and on about how they have no choice, but they really do. There are several ways they could have handled the guy without bringing him (like locking him up somewhere, and really, was Rhys REALLY going to murder him?), and it wouldn't even have been a problem if they hadn't kept him in the loop at every stage. The thing with Jilly's new job also annoys me. Everyone's, like, why is a PR person manipulating media?! Uhm... because that's what PR is???! And why is she editing news footage from other countries, for a conspiracy that apparently excels at erasing information?

At least the story is moving again, but of course, it has little choice. Only one to go. It's cool that Rhys is the one to figure things out. We finally see the Blessing and it's a big pink crack in a cave wall (no comment). The bit with Jack's blood acting like a divining rod is creepy and interesting. The CIA scenes with double agent Charlotte desperate to stop Rex from figuring things out is standard "24" fare, but effective. The lookout getting repeatedly retconned is Torchwood retro-fun. The Family member who likes Jilly's hair is another amusing detail. And the scene where the Coopers have to say their final farewells to dear old Category 1 dad is heartfelt. For now, it seems enough to keep my interest afloat, but not without some grumbling.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - But just barely. The unnecessary two-month gap just gives me headaches and makes the sudden push to the end, while welcome, rather forced.

1 comments:

Timothy Brannan said...

I'll be honest. Miracle Day has almost no relation to the Torchwood I used to know. If they ever bring it back they have a lot of work to do to bring back my interest.

 

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