Torchwood: Miracle Day TV Poster Image

Torchwood: Miracle Day

Intense sci-fi action series is violent but deep.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

With a challenging central storyline that raises deep questions about the nature of existence, the show presents an overall ambiguous message, but one that does stand up to analysis and examination by older viewers.

Positive role models

While their methods are questionable and involve frequent violence, the main characters generally model heroic decision-making and make great personal sacrifices in pursuit of the greater good.


The show's violence is on par with any mainstream action film -- large explosions, hand-to-hand combat, and frequent use of handguns and larger weaponry. The violence is for the most part free of excessive blood and gore. A sequence in one episode features a grisly depiction of a living corpse. Another features a character running from danger while firing a gun and holding a baby.


Though there is no explicit sex or even kissing, the relationships between characters are charged with sexual attraction and the unspoken recollection of past romantic pairings. Dialogue can be sexually suggestive and flirtatious.


Frequent strong language including "s--t," "damn," and "hell."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking is primarily a social event; drugs are not prevalent. However, characters do smoke recreationally on the series. One character is depicted as in extreme pain from a serious accident and a running joke revolves around him popping prescription medication to relieve his pain.

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.

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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the show's attitude toward sexuality and gender. How does this show differ from other series in terms of how it approaches sexual identity?

  • What do you think would happen if people really could never die?

TV details

Premiere date:July 8, 2011
Cast:Eve Myles, John Barrowman, Mekhi Phifer
Genre:Science Fiction
TV rating:TV-14
Available on:DVD

This review of Torchwood: Miracle Day was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Kid, 10 years old September 1, 2011


Good but violent. There is blood in some episodes.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 10 years old April 29, 2012

your torchwrong!

excuse me common sence, have you ever even watched this?your missing out many important details in the revew! nearly as good as regular torchwood. if you look in the backgrond theres a half naked woman no bra
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written bymonsieur pickles December 26, 2011

Worthless excuse for a tv show

This was by far the worst Torchwood series. Ever. It was insanely slow moving, dull, uninteresting, and the writing was absolutely miserable! I stopped watching it 4 episodes in because it was so bad. It was Americanized in the worst way possible. I really really miss the old Torchwood...