Torchwood: Miracle Day is a wittily successful attempt to introduce American settings to the hit British series. The premise is that one day, worldwide, nobody dies anymore — no matter how sick or injured. Oh, except for the previously immortal Jack Harkness (star John Barrowman); he can suddenly be hurt and, perhaps, expire. The title’s ”miracle” is quickly recognized as a curse: If no one dies, and the population increases, soon there will not be enough food for the planet. The Torchwood investigative team (now down primarily to just Harkness and Eve Myles’ Gwen Cooper) to the rescue!
Mekhi Phifer, as a CIA agent working with Torchwood, is much more loose and open than he ever was while on Lie to Me. Among the many pleasures here is a superbly creepy performance by Bill Pullman as Oswald Danes, an infamous pedophile-murderer, and guest stars including Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) and Wayne Knight, transcending Seinfeld’s Newman in a dapper business suit.
Juggling the themes of famine, fame, and family, Torchwood: Miracle Day — conceived by series creator Russell T Davies, with some episodes written by Buffy and Dollhouse vet Jane Espenson — makes a smooth transatlantic shift that will, I hope, broaden this marvelous, tense fantasy franchise’s audience. A?