Torchwood: A Day in the Death
Yet another Owencentric episode, another episode where Owen is moping around and unhappy with his lot. Although to be fair since he is dead, but not actually dead; alive yet not alive, it is no wonder he is a bit pissed off with everything and everybody.
I mean he now can’t die but unlike Jack it seems he also cannot do any of thing things that would count to him as being alive such as eating and drinking etc. He can watch daytime TV but that isn’t really the same is it? I suppose he could spend his days and nights playing games of his ps3 or X-Box or watching every series of 24 as he doesn’t need to sleep either.
Luckily by the end of episode he had found absolution of sorts by persuading a woman that it was not worth jumping to her death from the top of a building when there was the slightest, smidegeon of a chance that things could get better and not be as bleak and dark as it could be.
That was the one moment of the episode that suggested that things might not be as bad as you think they are, in a rather bleak episode written by first-time television writer Joseph Lidster. I mean you thought the last episode was grim and bit depressing but that had nothing on this episode.
I do begin to wonder why Freema bothered to get out of bed to make this episode as she had so little to do you didn’t really notice that she was there till the end of the episode when she had her nice farewell scene and promised that she may come back to Torchwood one day (read that as will return in the 3rd series probably). She had even less to do than she did in the previous episode and she was hardly in that one either.
I do wonder why they bothered having her in three episodes when there was only one that would feature her character in the main. She was in the background like Tosh normally is for the previous two episodes. I mean even Tosh had more to do in this episode and that is saying something!
There was some light relief in the episode courtesy of sitcom legend Richard Briers trying to come on to Tosh (I mean who wouldn’t?) and the knowledge that Owen really hates Tin Tin. Come to think about I always thought there was something funny about Tin Tin as well. It did seem a little wasted to get Richard Briers in and to have him play such a small part but he was very good in this small role as eccentric millionaire and collector of alien ephemera Henry Parker.
I think it would have been a nice touch if we had seen a picture of his wife in the house somewhere and it being someone like Penelope Keith or one of his many sitcom wives from over the years. That would have been quite amusing in the same way that they used a publicity picture of Briers from the Good Life, to show a younger Henry Parker, was. There was also the sight of Owen getting used to using the coffee machine which was also quite amusing!
The sub plot of Owen trying to talk a woman out of throwing herself of a building on her wedding anniversary after her marriage ended just as it had started with the death of her husband after mere hours of marriage, was a nice little extra layer to the episode but did seem to be a bit more important that what I assume was the main plot involving the Richard Briers character and the energy spike that was emanating from his property. Or perhaps it was meant to be the other way around. I am not too sure.
It was nice that it turned out to be nothing more dangerous than a reply to the messages sent from NASA in the seventies but I do wonder what it actually did to Owen and all we got in the way of an explanation was that it sang to him. Perhaps that is explanation enough.
A Day in the Death is probably the weakest episode of the series so far, and is not one that would benefit from repeated viewings, and it ended the Martha trilogy of episodes with a whimper rather than a bang, but it is still better than most of the stuff on TV today.