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(Starburst Magazine)   Torchwood and Doctor Who writer explains amongst other things why Miracle Day was such a failure   (starburstmagazine.com) divider line 95
    More: Interesting, Miracle Day, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Chris Chibnall, Children of Earth, life on Mars, Julie Gardner  
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4406 clicks; posted to Geek » on 20 Feb 2013 at 2:47 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-20 11:53:15 AM
I don't know what this insane person is going on about.  There was never any Torchwood after Children of the Earth.
 
2013-02-20 12:11:46 PM
They tried to make it more American.  Instead of the interesting quirky British thing it was, they tried to turn it into "24."  It was farking horrible.
 
2013-02-20 01:42:17 PM
Russell T. Davies?
 
2013-02-20 01:47:08 PM
I liked it
 
2013-02-20 01:51:42 PM

gadian: I don't know what this insane person is going on about.  There was never any Torchwood after Children of the Earth.


To be fair, Jack Harkness being brutally murdered by a crowd over and over again for his blood did make for quality masturbation material.

i220.photobucket.com

Oh god, I really am disturbed, aren't I?
 
2013-02-20 01:56:48 PM

gadian: I don't know what this insane person is going on about.  There was never any Torchwood after Children of the Earth.


This.

AdolfOliverPanties: They tried to make it more American.  Instead of the interesting quirky British thing it was, they tried to turn it into "24."  It was farking horrible.


I was thinking dumbed down for sensitive American mass audience.

FirstNationalBastard: Russell T. Davies?


Probably.

The Stealth Hippopotamus: I liked it


I liked a lot of it but I think it would have benefited from tightening it up into seven or fewer episodes. But, PR & marketing reasons, I guess.

/rant
What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.
/rant off
 
2013-02-20 02:14:06 PM
Well, the pacing sucked.  It went on for several more episodes than it should have.  Also, I wanted damn near every character in the series, aside from Jack, to die as soon as possible.
 
2013-02-20 02:23:26 PM
Still haven't seen Miracle Day yet - is it even out on Netflix? Love me some Captain Jack, but I suspected prior to season 4 that US audiences wouldn't be as down for as much of the gay... sad, but so it goes.
 
2013-02-20 02:25:22 PM
Torchwood was so good when they had a team. Then with the latest one you were like "Oh, they are forming a new team! A doctor! A computer person!" then they kill most of them off and give another "superpowers", the same exact superpower the the main character has. And they should have shot the redhead from "Six Feet Under" between the eyes. She was quite annoying and deserved to die, not the blond. Fail all around.
 
2013-02-20 02:29:33 PM

Elzar: Still haven't seen Miracle Day yet - is it even out on Netflix? Love me some Captain Jack, but I suspected prior to season 4 that US audiences wouldn't be as down for as much of the gay... sad, but so it goes.


One problem with Miracle Day is that they made Jack simply gay.  Back in Doctor Who, Jack didn't care if it was male/female/human/whatever.  For most of the series, it just didn't really seem like the same Jack Harkness to be honest.
 
2013-02-20 02:52:20 PM

johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.


For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."
 
2013-02-20 02:55:16 PM
Maybe they aren't so good because Chris Chibnall is associated with it.  "42" was a decent DW script, but the rest of his work has been moderate to moderately bad.

\also wrote two of the more ham-fisted Life on Mars episodes
 
2013-02-20 02:59:16 PM

Felgraf: johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.

For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."


Except, Elementary is a fairly decent show (not a decent Sherlock Holmes show, a decent detective show).

I think the example you were looking for was Coupling and/or Red Dwarf.
 
2013-02-20 03:01:49 PM

Felgraf: johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.

For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."


Also, Sherlock is now kind of sad and angsty instead of funny and annoying. But BBC Sherlock will be back at least one more time (I think), and after that they won't be able to afford to pay Cumberbatch or Freeman for that show anymore. So success breeds success, at least.
 
2013-02-20 03:05:15 PM
Miracle Day sucked. And ending just about every episode of Gwen saying 'we're Torchwood', was stupid.
 
2013-02-20 03:05:45 PM

Felgraf: johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.

For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."


Aaaaand this is why I don't have my TV on for more than 10 hours/week.
 
2013-02-20 03:05:53 PM

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: I think the example you were looking for was Coupling and/or Red Dwarf.


I forgot there even was an American version of Red Dwarf, actually.

/The American version of Who's Line was pretty good, though!
 
2013-02-20 03:21:18 PM
So, it was dumbed down for American audiences? Thereby losing it's British fan base. And then it got all gayed up, and consequently lost it's American viewership.
 
2013-02-20 03:24:19 PM
The wife and I watched it, and we both thought it was decent enough.

And Gwen still has teh nice rack.
 
2013-02-20 03:26:01 PM

DontMakeMeComeBackThere: Felgraf: johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.

For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."

Except, Elementary is a fairly decent show (not a decent Sherlock Holmes show, a decent detective show).

I think the example you were looking for was Coupling and/or Red Dwarf.


This.  They're two distinct shows based on the same source, not an adaptation.  If anything Elementary is trying to copy House and everything on the USA network.
 
2013-02-20 03:28:28 PM

No Line For Beer: This. They're two distinct shows based on the same source, not an adaptation. If anything Elementary is trying to copy House and everything on the USA network.


Fair enough. I was under the mistaken impression they were trying to ape Sherlock, since... well, that *is* a pattern we've seen fairly often.
 
2013-02-20 03:29:36 PM
Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.

And it wasn't fun. There was almost no humor in the thing unless Gwen's husband was on-screen, and he grew thin too.
 
2013-02-20 03:31:57 PM

Felgraf: DontMakeMeComeBackThere: I think the example you were looking for was Coupling and/or Red Dwarf.

I forgot there even was an American version of Red Dwarf, actually.

/The American version of Who's Line was pretty good, though!


Except that Drew Carry kept trying to shoehorn his way into the sketches and ruining them.  Plus the episodes were always the same with no real variation with the sketches.  The British version had an MC who knew to keep his nose out of it and take the occasional pot-shot at the comics which could end up being just as funny.  The two shows just didn't compare.
 
2013-02-20 03:37:30 PM

Felgraf: DontMakeMeComeBackThere: I think the example you were looking for was Coupling and/or Red Dwarf.

I forgot there even was an American version of Red Dwarf, actually.

/The American version of Who's Line was pretty good, though!


Every time American T.V. gets a hold of a Brit show they fsck it up.
Coupling - Brilliant.  American version - Wombat Feltcher.
Top Gear - Brilliant, American version - Molests small woodland creatures.
Red Dwarf - Cannot get my comments through the profanity filter.

Who's Line - I believe this show made it because Drew had enough clout to assemble a team of his choosing with out the 'merican Television jackasses interfering to the point of ruin as they have done with every other Brit show.

/Rant over,
 
2013-02-20 03:38:31 PM
Car chases.
 
2013-02-20 03:43:53 PM

Confabulat: Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.


I haven't seen this, but wouldn't that take away from the whole Face of Bo conjecture?
 
2013-02-20 03:44:44 PM
NeoCortex42:  Elzar: Still haven't seen Miracle Day yet - is it even out on Netflix? Love me some Captain Jack, but I suspected prior to season 4 that US audiences wouldn't be as down for as much of the gay... sad, but so it goes.
One problem with Miracle Day is that they made Jack simply gay.  Back in Doctor Who, Jack didn't care if it was male/female/human/whatever.  For most of the series, it just didn't really seem like the same Jack Harkness to be honest.


It was like that with Jack during all of Torchwood as well, not just Miracle Day.  You were only reminded that Jack used to mess with other sexes because of him having a daughter and grandchild in Children of the Earth.
 
2013-02-20 03:45:39 PM

StrangeQ: Confabulat: Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.

I haven't seen this, but wouldn't that take away from the whole Face of Bo conjecture?


Well no, because (spoiler) he gets it back.
 
2013-02-20 03:46:28 PM
Meh, it was fine.

//Better than any Downton Abbey after season 1...
 
2013-02-20 03:49:03 PM

StrangeQ: Confabulat: Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.

I haven't seen this, but wouldn't that take away from the whole Face of Bo conjecture?


Spoilers:  He gets his immortality back.
 
2013-02-20 03:49:58 PM

Confabulat: StrangeQ: Confabulat: Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.

I haven't seen this, but wouldn't that take away from the whole Face of Bo conjecture?

Well no, because (spoiler) he gets it back.


bazzanoid: StrangeQ: Confabulat: Miracle Day was just waay too long. It could have made a neat two-parter or something, but stretching that premise for an entire season was too much, and taking away Captain Jack's immortality made him less fun as a character. And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.

I haven't seen this, but wouldn't that take away from the whole Face of Bo conjecture?

Spoilers:  He gets his immortality back.


Timey wimey!
 
2013-02-20 03:51:32 PM

Confabulat: And the stupid serial killer subplot was annoying and pointless and served no other purpose than to give Bill Pullman a role.


THIS.  I really thought they were going to go somewhere cool with the character, but then it just dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and dragged, and then ....nothing of import.  It was pretty disappointing.
 
2013-02-20 03:57:18 PM
Miracle Day started off great.  The concept felt certainly original.  Then it went south real bad.
 
2013-02-20 03:58:34 PM
As a bi guy who enjoys sci-fi, allow me to say that I thought Torchwood sucked dick.
 
2013-02-20 04:03:21 PM

SpdrJay: As a bi guy who enjoys sci-fi, allow me to say that I thought Torchwood sucked dick.


Is that good or bad?
 
2013-02-20 04:03:44 PM

Cuthbert Allgood: Meh, it was fine.

//Better than any Downton Abbey after season 1...


Wrong. All seasons of Downton Abbey are better than Miracle Day. And I say that as a fan of both (Miracle Day should have been better than it was).

/afraid to see Downton remade as American series *shudder*
 
2013-02-20 04:04:29 PM
I liked Miracle Day, but it's not a series I would watch again. I would have preferred more one-off episodes with the larger arc always present in the background, much like Doctor Who. (Or Burn Notice.) Miracle Day began as an interesting premise, but it did get tiring towards the end. The final episode was more of a relief that a gripping conclusion.

That said, there are some advantages to taking so long to tell a story, as they could get into a lot of the details about what a world without death would be like. At first it's amazing, but then everyone realizes that a world without death is a logistical nightmare. Everything has to be re-thought, from hospital admitting procedures to basic infrastructure. That part of it was fascinating, and it was excellent science-fiction.

Honestly, I think I would have preferred Miracle Day to simply be its own series, exploring the nature of a world without death. They should have let Torchwood be more about fighting aliens and soul-crushing sadness.
 
2013-02-20 04:11:02 PM

johnnieconnie: I liked a lot of it but I think it would have benefited from tightening it up into seven or fewer episodes. But, PR & marketing reasons, I guess.


That about sums up the only truly major problem I had with it.  If it had been 5-7 episodes, CoE-style, it would have worked well.  The double-length, though, made it so that every other episode had absolutely fark-all happen.  I really liked the storyline, and didn't mind the exposition, because there was just no way to visibly show how wide-spread the problems were and still focus on the characters, but the plodding, bizarre pacing was a killer.
 
2013-02-20 04:11:36 PM

Felgraf: johnnieconnie: What American TV Producers don't seem to get is that we LIKE British TV as is. You want to adapt one of their TV shows with American actors and no accents, ok, but don't drop everything about them and make them just like the mass-produced bs that is already airing.

For instance, see the current Sherlock Holmes: US version for details.

"Holy crap, this very cerebral and interesting BBC version of Sherlock is drawing in a lot of viewers!"

"Great! Let's take it, make it more actiony, and now Watson is Lucy Liu so Sherlock can have a romance interest!"

"What."


Sorry, but the only interesting part of Sherlock is trying to figure out how the writers are going to pull some horribly lame "clue" out of asses.

\good thing the CIA covert ops team all got t-shirts
\\and that the guy wore it during the crime
\\\half-expecting to see that Sherlock took some special potion designed to make him bounce before he tossed himself off the building at season 3
 
2013-02-20 04:15:11 PM

soporific: I would have preferred more one-off episodes with the larger arc always present in the background, much like Doctor Who.


That sounds like a great idea.  Make the Miracle the backdrop rather than the story.

I thought the biggest problem they had was that, with the exception of the furnace subplot in the middle, they didn't actually show what would happen.  We were told about a lot of terrible things, like how we needed new and more antibiotics to fight off diseases that would normally die with their hosts.  But the characters spend more than half the series in hiding or otherwise shut off from the outside world.  So while we're told that the economy has collapsed and that there's gas rationing we never got to see any of these things in action.  It's like they came up with a bunch of things that would happen in this situation but couldn't figure out how to put any of them on film except for the furnaces.

And in the end they ditched all the science and medicine stuff and just said "it's magic."
 
2013-02-20 04:15:21 PM

SpdrJay: As a bi guy who enjoys sci-fi, allow me to say that I thought Torchwood sucked dick.


It wasn't that good.
 
2013-02-20 04:20:52 PM
johnnieconnie:

/afraid to see Downton remade as American series *shudder*

It couldn't be. The essence of Downton is the aristocracy and a type of class division that simply doesn't exist in the States. The closest you could come would be the pre civil war south and if you tried to do a drama about slaves and the friendly white folk upstairs you'd be destroyed (and rightfully so).
 
2013-02-20 04:29:51 PM

bifford: Miracle Day started off great.  The concept felt certainly original.  Then it went south real bad.


I tried to like Miracle Day, but yea... it went south bad... fast.
 
2013-02-20 04:32:17 PM
Miracle Day was a good idea on paper.  The execution failed.  Over all I liked it.  It did give us a good idea of what it would be like if death was no longer a part of life but your body still aged and you lacked any super human healing.  And it's really not impossible to believe that if such an event occurred that we'd have governments rounding up those classified as living dead, putting them into dutch ovens and cremating them instead of wasting resources to ease their suffering.

However, the story line was way too long, the pay off wasn't there, and while it was nice to see the hot doctor have a sex scene, I would have rather had Gwen have a one night fling over the many flings that Captain Jack had over the course of the series.  The ending to me seemed to be more of an attempt at starting a U.S. version of Torchwood with a U.S. cast instead of closing the chapter on another series of Torchwood.

Personally, I would have rather had another regular season of Torchwood instead of Miracle Day.  I would have rather had series 1 and 2 of Torchwood, Children of Earth, and then Torchwood series 3.  Start off with a new Torchwood hub, Captain Jack (not leaving at the end of Children of Earth), recruiting a new team Gwen in the role of training everyone, and a return to the story telling we saw in series 1 and 2.
 
2013-02-20 04:35:48 PM

Odoriferous Queef: Who's Line - I believe this show made it because Drew had enough clout to assemble a team of his choosing with out the 'merican Television jackasses interfering to the point of ruin as they have done with every other Brit show.


Stiles and Mochrie were mainstays on the British version, so they were great anchors for the American version, which was still produced by the Brits, or at least still had British showrunners.  Dan Patterson brought it to America I believe.

Also, not every British remake is crap in America.  "The Office" was quality for many years.  Gervais and Merchant were EPs on it, so that helped.
 
2013-02-20 04:43:15 PM

AdolfOliverPanties: Odoriferous Queef: Who's Line - I believe this show made it because Drew had enough clout to assemble a team of his choosing with out the 'merican Television jackasses interfering to the point of ruin as they have done with every other Brit show.

Stiles and Mochrie were mainstays on the British version, so they were great anchors for the American version, which was still produced by the Brits, or at least still had British showrunners.  Dan Patterson brought it to America I believe.

Also, not every British remake is crap in America.  "The Office" was quality for many years.  Gervais and Merchant were EPs on it, so that helped.


All in the Family, Sanford and Son. Both American remakes of British shows. Much better than the originals as well.
 
2013-02-20 04:46:20 PM

Latinwolf: NeoCortex42:  Elzar: Still haven't seen Miracle Day yet - is it even out on Netflix? Love me some Captain Jack, but I suspected prior to season 4 that US audiences wouldn't be as down for as much of the gay... sad, but so it goes.
One problem with Miracle Day is that they made Jack simply gay.  Back in Doctor Who, Jack didn't care if it was male/female/human/whatever.  For most of the series, it just didn't really seem like the same Jack Harkness to be honest.

It was like that with Jack during all of Torchwood as well, not just Miracle Day.  You were only reminded that Jack used to mess with other sexes because of him having a daughter and grandchild in Children of the Earth.


I vehemently disagree with that assertion. A lot of scenes in Torchwood were dedicated to sexual chemistry between Jack and Gwen.
 
2013-02-20 05:01:40 PM
Miracle Sucked donkey cock for a number of reasons, most of which has been stated already, but I'mma give my .02 anyways.

Pacing sucked. The way things on the show went they could easily have gone the route of Children Of Earth and did 4-5 episodes and done. Stretching it out to an entire season forced them to add loads of piss poor filler.

Speaking of filler, serial killer guy. Sure we get that the whole point of his little subplot was to hammer home how bad Miracle Day was affecting the world. The problem is they would have been fine had they stuck to the scenes at the death/not dead camps and just have that news slip to the public.

The interesting characters were killed off and the shiat characters lived...again. This seems to be a theme throughout Torchwood's entire run, not just MD. Suzie, Owen, Tosh, Ianto, all were interesting characters, all killed off, yet boring whiny Gwen left to live another day. Same with MD. The doctor lady was about the only interesting character of the bunch, so of course she was killed early on. Rex, the most one dimensional character in existence of course gets to live another day with a bonus. I will say that they at least managed to make Gwen a bit more interesting with her having gone into hiding with her child and husband after the events of COE.

Capt. Jack. Oh man oh man wtf did they do to you? Still trying the forced sexual/relationship tension with Gwen? Now you're not an omni-sexual, but you're just out and out gay. And not just gay but in your face buttsex on screen gay. I have no problem with sex/nudity in shows/movies it just seemed a bit gratuitous in much the same way as it was done in the Spartacus series. We get it everyone was farking, get on with the story already. Extended sex scenes that were there for shock value as if to say "Hey, we're being edgy! Watch how close we get to hardcore onscreen sex!" are a gimmick that wears thin quickly.

Then there's the premise of the entire show. I can't recall the specific episode or episodes from TW or Dr.W, but i seem to recall it being stated that Capt. Jack's immortality didn't have anything to do with his blood or even his physiology, but due to Rose having what amounted to magical powers making him immortal. Now all the sudden his blood can turn people immortal? I'm not just talking about the method used to create miracle day, I'm talking about Rex at the end.

Just all around piss poor writing and directing.
 
2013-02-20 05:04:04 PM

NeoCortex42: Well, the pacing sucked.  It went on for several more episodes than it should have.  Also, I wanted damn near every character in the series, aside from Jack, to die as soon as possible.


Came here to say this. It really felt like it was treading water for a long time (if it were a movie, you'd say it had a flat second act). The coda was annoying too; I guess it was supposed to be a setup for an American Torchwood, led by the guy who was now immortal like Jack, but the poor reception killed that possibility?
 
2013-02-20 05:26:54 PM
Was it as good as Torchwood Seasons 1 and 2? No.

But I still liked it. Maybe because I live in America and there's no more good Sci-Fi here anymore, but I actually enjoyed it.
 
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