Torchwood: “The Bloodline”

Miracle Day spiraled in slow-motion from promising opener into padded mediocrity, and finally reached its conclusion this weekend with explosions, death, confrontations, and the bloody inevitable Deus ex Jackina.

Did the series redeem itself? Well, about as much as Oswald Danes….

Title: “The Bloodline”

Cast and Crew

Written by Russel T. Davis and Jane Espensen
Directed by Bill Giehart

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper
Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson
Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond
Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger
Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes
Marina Benedict as Charlotte Wills
William Thomas as Geraint Cooper
Kai Owen as Rhys Williams
John de Lancie as Shapiro
Sharon Morgan as Mary Cooper
Paul James as Noah Vickers
Adam Silver as Aryan Family Guy

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.


Rex calls in the CIA and the troops, who provide about as useful as Battle Droids. In the end, our Torchwood heroes alone must stop the Illuminatish Families, whose Evil Plot is finally revealed in a whirlwind of exposition.

John de Lancie drops the F-Bomb, and many things explode.

High Points

Gwen’s narration and the handling of her father’s passing give the show the kind of human moments needed to make any drama, especially one with such an incredible backdrop, really work. These moments were touchingly written and credibly performed.

Low Points

I can handle the explanation/non-explanation for the Blessing, which works in the context of an episode which tossed around enough pseudoscience for a season of Fringe. However, the revelation and conclusion had everyone turn Bond villain and explain everything they were doing with excessive expository dialogue. The Family reps and their agents, meanwhile, react to Torchwood so slowly and uncertainly that one might conclude they wrote Miracle Day‘s middle episodes.

The only useful thing the epilogue provided was an explanation for Rex’s recovery, and the confirmation of Esther’s passing. The mole could have been dispatched in a more interesting and dramatically meaningful fashion, and the Families could have been left in the background. If the series receives another season, they could simply bring them back, if it becomes desirable; we didn’t need an anticlimactic scene promising the return of some villains who weren’t terribly interesting in the first place.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The villains took advantage of the mysterious power in their plot to Rule the World! The heroes alone must battle impossible odds in order to face down the menace. Heroes must be willing to sacrifice themselves. Bad people on the hero’s side must redeem themselves and die. It’s a long shot…. But it just might work!
One interesting twist: Danes remained creepy and delusional ’til his very end.

Effects: 5/6 This is American Torchwood. Things blow up.

Was it just me, or did this ep really spread around the yonic imagery?

Story: 3/6 The explanation works, in context, but they delivered it in such a clunky manner, and the Family plot relies rather heavily on too many fluke occurrences and discoveries.

Acting: 5/6 The acting remained strong, and the cast did well with some really awkward scripting in the show’s final act.

Emotional Response: 4/6

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 4/6 The writers succeeded in bringing things together, but the conclusion only called attention to how padded the ten episodes were that brought us there.

In total, “The Bloodline” receives 29/42

15 replies on “Torchwood: “The Bloodline””

  1. OK, I /loved/ that The Blessing was not an extra-terrestrial. Loved it.

    I liked the episode in general, and I liked the series in general. I think Ester (and the actress playing her did a fantastic job this episode, which makes things all the more tragic. And I have to admit, I did not see that coming.

    I did not, however, like the VERY ending here. First, I wanted Oswald to take Jilly Kitzinger with him. I really really did.

    Second… I /hate/ that Rex is now Jack 2.0. UGH. I mean really? UGH. And Mole Lady, why on EARTH did she even pull a gun??? What the hell? Doesn’t that pretty much GUARANTY you’ll get shot, you idiot? JUST RUN FOR GOODNESS SAKE. That was SO contrived.

    But anyway. Like I said, this is no Children of Earth, but it wasn’t bad at all.

    And I wish this thing had a preview button.

    • I’m hoping the Rex thing is just temporary until it’s out of the system.

      If not, they just totally destroyed the entire history of Jack with Rose…

    • The thing I liked about Rex’s new-found immortality is that he rejected it in advance. What was his comment to the families representative? Something about immortality being hell? Who would want that? You have to learn not to tempt fate (and Jane Espensen) like that. Seeing how he deals with having precisely what he did not want could be interesting fodder for the next season, if and when.

    • Oh, thank you!
      You just made me feel a whole lot better.
      It’s gonna be a temporary thing. It’s GOTTA be!!

      • Unless, as has often been the case in Doctor Who history, continuity is a temporary thing.

        (However, I don’t see the point in them keeping Rex like that long term).

Comments are closed.