Review of Torchwood ‘End Of The Road’

Neela Debnath

BB242127@TORCHWOOD 300x223 Review of Torchwood ‘End Of The Road’SPOILERS: Do not read this if you have not seen episode 8, series 4 of ‘Torchwood’

If audiences thought that this episode would bring them closer to the truth about Miracle Day, they were wrong. It was yet another abysmal week of more questions rather than answers but on the bright side, the extra-terrestrial technology has finally been revealed in the form of a transmitter which creates a null field.

The only other highlight was Danes’ return after a two-episode absence. His character has always been an interesting one, through which the theme of redemption is analysed and whether or not you can really change after committing monstrous acts of depravity. Despite apologising and transforming himself into the zeitgeist of Miracle Day, he will never been forgiven. Jilly informs him that he is soon to be Category 0: criminals who were sentenced to death will now be sent to the ovens. Understandably, Danes goes AWOL in a bid to save himself, will he now form an alliance with the Torchwood team?

Generally, the pace remained slack and Angelo, who appeared to be the key to immortality turned out to be another diversion. Will The Family be the puppet masters who have been pulling the strings the whole time? There is also alien involvement on some level and it will be interesting to see how this fits in.

Given that ‘Torchwood’ is trying to re-create reality and mimic as closely as possible the audience’s world, it works best when the aliens are hidden from plain sight, as they were in ‘Children of Earth’. Hopefully, the little green men behind the immortality of humanity will remain an invisible threat. Either way, the expected trip to Shanghai is going to be happening soon.

A point of frustration is the fact that Jack has been mentioning morphic fields from the start but for whatever reason, it has conveniently been left to one side for all this time. As it turns out morphic fields are an important part of the explanation for Miracle Day. One wonders if the show was given too many episodes and ended up needing to pad out the storyline as it certainly feels like that.

The concept that everyone is immortal is an interesting one to explore, indeed José Saramago’s 2005 novel ‘Death with Interruptions’ (translated as ‘Death at Intervals’) looked at this idea. In both ‘Torchwood’ and Saramago’s novel, the wider implications are considered, for example the pressure on the health service. However, there is only so far it can be taken, and with ‘Torchwood’ it feels as if the story is running out of steam. The episode ended on a cliffhanger that saw Jack dying from a gunshot wound but due to the sheer lack of movement of the plot it was hard to sympathise.

The ‘End Of The Road’ was anything but, if this is the big build-up to the finale then it failed to serve its purpose, given the lack of explanation. The viewer might as well have been shouting questions into the void only to be answered by an echo. Two more episodes left, could they provide the satisfying conclusion that audiences are craving?

Image credit: BBC

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  • Mark Downing

    Dear Neela,

    Your punctuation is dodgy. Several times you use a comma where something more heavyweight is required, e.g. “Two more episodes left, could they provide the satisfying conclusion that audiences are craving?”

    And in the following example, it might have been better to start a new sentence before the word ‘but’: “It was yet another abysmal week of more questions rather than answers but on the bright side…”

    The overall result is that your prose sounds somewhat breathless and jejeune.

    However I think your heart is in the right place, so please don’t take offence.

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