The story heads into horror, religion, tinfoil hats, and sex, as we learn some truth behind Oswald Danes, and little bit about a corporation connected, at least, to the Miracle.

Title: “Dead of Night”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Bill Gierhart
Written by Jane Espenson

John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper
Mekhi Phifer as Rex Matheson
Alexa Havins as Esther Drummond
Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes
Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger
Arlene Tur as Dr. Vera Juarez
Kai Owen as Rhys Williams
Tom Price as Andy Davidson
Randa Walker as Candace Perlmutter

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

Premise

Oswald learns that not everyone has forgiven him, and we learn some truths about Oswald. Key Torchwood members go off on their own—at exactly the moment they uncover a key element of a conspiracy involving (and perhaps behind) Miracle Day, and most need to rely on each other.

High Points

We’re finally getting into the religious and occult views that would inevitably grow around Miracle Day, though they are less prominent than I think would be the case if this actually happened. We have religion entering the medical debate and the rantings of a television preacher. More significantly, we have the cult of the Soulless, and the growing worship of a rather soulless Oswald Danes. The story verges in the direction of horror, but in a way that looks interesting, rather than cheap.

The Soulless challenge the Empty Children for low-budget creepiness.

Low Point

The team find themselves in some desperate situations, but their motivations could use some clarification. I buy Jack’s one-night stand—but I’d like to know more about why he would give his real name to Oswald Dane as part of their clandestine meeting and, after so many years of experience, walk into a trap without any back-up. He knows many people are looking for him. Has mortality, paradoxically, made him more reckless? (We don’t see that when he insists on a condom).

The Scores:

Originality: 3/6 We’re into conspiracy thriller territory, but it’s a fairly original take on the Evil Corporation. We can only assume that something bigger than pharmaceutical profits drives the larger story, especially as they’ve thrown us PhiCorp so soon in the season.

Effects: 5/6

Story: 4/6 It grows increasingly difficult to assess story, because we’re into the season-long plot now, and the individual episodes will only be telling us a small portion of the tale. Despite a significant (if somewhat predictable) revelation, this week’s story moved at a bit of a slow pace.

Acting: 5/6. Bill Pullman invests Oswald Dane with a creepy credibility. The Torchwooders get to handle some new situations for this season, and we see more of their vulnerable and personal sides.

Emotional Response: 5/6 We have more sex and violence this week. Both easily become filler. It’s good that the show can go where it needs to; whether it needs to remains an open question. I didn’t object to either sex scene, but I wouldn’t want this show to turn into an SF Tudors.

Production: 6/6.

Overall: 5/6

In total, “Dead of Night” receives 33/42