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Torchwood: Miracle Day
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this sci-fi series features frequent moments of violence including occasional extreme incidents involving major weapons, explosions, and some blood. Language is frequent and includes "s--t," "hell," and "damn." Expect some smoking, social drinking, and prescription drug use. The overall themes and content of the series center around an intense sci-fi concept that is best suited for older viewers; however, the story is handled with maturity and depth, so older teens will find a lot to think about in the series.
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What's the story?
As TORCHWOOD: MIRACLE DAY begins, a remarkable event is about to occur. Suddenly, as if from nowhere, people stop dying. They get sick, they are critically injured, even technically murdered. But not a single life actually ends. CIA agent Rex Matheson (Mekhi Phifer) is drawn into the mystery after he receives injuries in a car crash that would once have ended his life...and lives on. He traces a clue back to Torchwood, a decades-old British investigative unit dedicated to the paranormal, strange, and extraterrestrial. After hopping a plane to the UK, he tracks down Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and former partner Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), enlisting them to help him solve the strange occurrence. But is this unexpected reprieve from death a curse or a blessing?
Is it any good?
Sci-fi fans must realize that we live in a golden age, when a number of forces have collided to bring more and better options for our viewing time than ever before. Spinning off from the latest incarnation of Britain's sci-fi institution Doctor Who, Torchwood: Miracle Day is just one example of the tremendous work being done by extraordinary writers/producers in collaboration with talented actors who are not just happy to be cast in genre entertainment, but who relish the chance to play such juicy roles.
Fair warning: Torchwood is a series best for older teens and adults only. This is not a kids show for the family to enjoy together. But the ideas it presents are so engaging and the way in which it explores them so entertaining that it's worth seeking out with older children, to give them an insight into the potential of storytelling to address our deepest fears and fondest hopes. There's a remarkable energy to the events in Miracle Day, fully aided by the work of Mekhi Phifer as an exasperated American agent encountering Torchwood for the first time, as well as the iconic performance of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness, a rollicking con-man-turned-hero who demands attention every second he's on screen. Die-hard fans of the franchise may find reasons to nitpick, but if you're new to Torchwood, you'll be able to sit back, strap in, and enjoy the ride.