First off, I'd like to stress that I'm not intending this question to lead to any sort of fandom!wank. After reading various reviews of the finale to Miracle Day (e.g. from io9, TVGA;, and IGN), it seems that the general consensus is that Miracle Day paled in comparison to Children of Earth. While I do see some points that this articles make, such as the tension that CoE was able to carry through its 5 episodes, versus Miracle's 10 eps, I don't understand why many reviews seem to find CoE so much more amazing than Miracle (or, as What!Culture seems to think, better than series 1 or 2 as well). Can anyone who's seen Torchwood: Children of Earth explain to me what makes it so much better than series 1, 2, or Miracle Day? Was it the characters? The plotline that had 'fewer plotholes' (but this is TW that we're talking about)? I do see some of the flaws (and positives) of Miracle, but I don't see how it falls /that/ much shorter than CoE. Series 2 seemed more exciting than CoE in parts (we got lots of character insight into Rhys, Tosh, PC Andy, and Owen, whereas CoE flattened Ianto into a borderline-self-loathing character, and Jack and Gwen stayed pretty static). Thoughts?
See I had all sorts of problems with CoE, but I really think that MD made it look like King Lear. It was so much more tightly plotted, and even if you didn't like the plot, it played out well over 5 episodes, where MD felt like a lot of filler. Plus CoE didn't have people standing around saying exposition, which in MD was often long winded and nonsensical. Like others have said, the problems with CoE were more about characterisation, although there were some plotholes as well.One of my problems with CoE was the TW team feeling like supporting characters in a political thriller, and MD felt like the TW team as supporting characters in a long winded Hollywood procedural, with a bit of alien action towards the end. Jack especially seemed to stand around doing very little a lot of the time, with the odd exception he seemed to have lost the Capt Jack thing, and was a bit tired a lot of the time.
Jack coming across as tired was properly one of the better things about MD, in that after losing Ianto and Steven in COE - not to mention the Hub base he'd been living in for many years - he was bound to have lost some of his spark. The Blessing may also have been having an effect on his energy levels during the story.I agree that in both MD and COE, Jack sometimes felt like a supporting character in another show - a supporting character to Frobisher in COE and a supporting character to Rex in MD. Gwen was used a little better in both series but not much.
Oh but I didn't think he came across as tired as an acting thing. I thought it was more that his performance lacked anything, and often he just seemed to need to go have a little rest. With the exception of some of episode 7, and a few other moments, I just felt like JB wasn't there. Not like he was being directed to act that way. Especially in moments when homophobic jokes were being thrown around, he just looked pissed off. You know there is a scene in CoE when he's like this, and then when he wrote the book, he described how he had a falling out with the director and was feeling really grumpy, and it was a bad day, hence the way he came across. So I'm really wondering what the next book will have to say about MD. I felt like Jack was a supporting character in CoE, and it surprises me that JB doesn't get his agent to actually say in the contract that he is supposed to be the lead and should have more lines. Eve Myles had more lines in CoE, and I'm sure she did in MD as well. In MD he felt like an even more minor character. It just makes me wonder how pissed off he is, because we know actors do count their lines and compare their roles to other actors etc. He's clever enough to notice that stuff.