Torchwood was full of explosions and some gore. There were familiar characters revolving around Gwen Cooper and Captain Jack looking heroic in his suspenders and duster.
I thought that I would like the first episode more. After spending last night and today pondering, I realized it didn’t work for me as well as the previous seasons because it was trying to press too much information in my brain in a short amount of time. There were the description and first reactions to Miracle Day. A slew of new characters were introduced. They took the time to explain what the possible repercussions of Miracle Day were. And, on top of that, they crammed in a storyline continuing the lives of the old characters that evolved into the explanation of how the new characters would get involved with them.
Because there was so much going on, the episode’s emotional impact was lost to me.
For a while, I convinced myself that my high expectations were to blame for my lukewarm reception to the episode. But really, the previous seasons that aired on the BBC were the cause. It also goes back to advice I often receive from my professors to narrow focus on papers and stories. When too many elements are introduced in a short space or time slot, it’s harder for the audience to see past the noise. Previous incarnations of the show worked, because it focused on one storyline an episode or, if it branched out, it stuck with characters who were already well established. The characters last night became extreme character caricatures, because it is easier to show a guy is REALLY, REALLY COMMITTED to his job by having him hobble through a hospital corridor leaning on his crutch while talking on a cell phone and batting away a doctor than it is to take the time to subtly bring in elements that would suggest this trait.
I’m really rooting for Torchwood. I hope future episodes of the Starz series begin to smooth out the storyline.