Torchwood: Miracle Day, Episode One. Spoiler-free review

Each incarnation of Torchwood has been vastly different from the last. Series one started on the digital channel BBC3, series two was moved to BBC2, and series three was promoted to a prime time BBC1 slot. So where does Torchwood go for its fourth series? To America, of course. The joint venture between BBC Worldwide and Starz has given Torchwood the budget it deserves.

The tone of this series is slightly different; it’s not as dark as series three but not as light-hearted as series one and two. This is a BBC drama with a sci-fi theme that raises significant moral and social questions. The pace is quick and action-packed, and the clashes between the US and Welsh cast to provide the episode’s funniest moments. The action truly takes off once Jack arrives, although the focus on the US cast is understandable since this is series one for the Americans and series four for the UK. But don’t worry, it’s not long until Jack, Gwen, and Rhys are in full swing. The new cast adds depth, with Bill Pullman delivering a chilling performance as convicted child molester Oswald Danes. He brings an understated menace to the role that makes him genuinely creepy.

The theme tune and title sequence have been updated, and they work well, as does Murray Gold’s musical score throughout the episode, setting the tone of each scene perfectly. Episode one leaves the viewer wanting more, and the series trailer promises an exciting ride. The only concern is where Torchwood can go after Miracle Day – the only logical next step would be a movie, which fans would welcome with open arms.