Torchwood: Web of Lies
(Motion Comic Special, 2011)
Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.
Missing Day – 2007: The setting is Cardiff as Jack and Gwen chase a shadowy figure across the rooftops of the city. Gwen loses site of Jack for a moment, after which all that remains is a green gas. Jack is missing.
Miracle Day – 2011: In Los Angeles, Miles Mokri breaks a promise to his sister Holly that they’d celebrate her cancer remission. As Holly goes to a club without him, Miles is nearly abducted. He escapes, but ends up getting shot. When Holly leaves the club, she finds his abandoned cell phone and the paramedics. Luckily for the Mokris, the Miracle has begun. No one dies.
Miles had started to write about a conspiracy surrounding Miracle Day. Oddly, he started it one week ago.
Missing Day – 2007: Gwen storms into a nearby convenience store and plugs her computer into the power outlet. She starts tracking Jack and notes that he is moving incredibly fast around the world.
Miracle Day – 2011: The hospital is chaos. They need more room for all of the non-dying people, so Miles is sent home. Holly starts looking into the footage on her brother’s phone and discovers that there were three gunshots but only two wounds. She figures out that Miles knew his shooter, finds a mysterious phone number hidden in a sudoku puzzle, and makes arrangements to meet the shooter at the Ambassador Hotel High School.
Surrounded by the Soulless, Holly and Nick (Miles’s best friend) discuss how death is not the worst part of dying. Rather, that the pain and suffering before it far outweighs it. They are met at gunpoint my the mysterious shooter and taken to a nearby van. It turns out that the man is Joe Bradley, an FBI agent who was working with Miles after he presented evidence that the Miracle was being planned.
Agent Bradley didn’t shoot Miles, but instead caught him when he fell.
Missing Day – 2007: Gwen tracks Jack’s flight over Russia. As she pursues him, Jack wakes up to the muzzle of a gun. Jack quips about whether the gunman is trying to either intimidate or seduce him. The gunman takes aim, casting aside concerns that the bullets would puncture the hull because he’s working with practice range rounds. They won’t leave Jack’s body after he’s shot.
Miracle Day – 2011: Holly, Joe, and Nick are chased down by the men who tried to abduct Miles. During the ensuing car chase, Holly hacks Miles’s laptop and discovers information implicating Phi-Corp in the Miracle.
Missing Day – 2007: The kidnapper witnesses Jack’s resurrection in amazement, then decides to see just how much punishment Jack can take. He pushes Jack out of the plane, watching him fall 30,000 feet the the ground in Chernobyl. After recovering what parts of Jack’s body could be found, the kidnapper is impressed that Jack can survive pretty much anything.
Miracle Day – 2011: Holly finds out that Miles’s computer has an anti-hacking feature that allows access for only 15 seconds at a time. After three attempts, the hard drive will self-destruct. She finds information on Phi-Corp, documents about a flight form the United States to Kiev, an “Iron Wheel”, and satellite photos and plans for medical overflow camps and industrial ovens.
She also finds four photographs with coded letters for each person: S is Jack, complete with the word Torchwood on his photo; R is a red haired woman; Z is Jack’s kidnapper; and M is an executive in a suit. Another coded message from reveals that “Only S can die” and that the secret to the Miracle can be found on Coney Island.
On the way to Coney Island, Holly realizes that the third “gunshot” might have been a flash from a speed camera. Checking the footage, Holly finds that Nick himself fired the shots from a moving car.
Missing Day – 2007: At Chernobyl, Jack’s kidnapper has been taking X-ray images with an old MRI machine. He sees that Jack retains the shrapnel from each death but doesn’t suffer any pain from the remnants.
Miracle Day – 2011: The team arrives at Coney Island. After restoring power to the park, Holly reveals to Joe that she knows that Nick is the real shooter. Nick reveals that he has backup and Joe’s sidearm.
Missing Day – 2007: Gwen tracks Jack to Chernobyl but the kidnapper gets the upper hand with the MRI magnets and disarms Gwen. Jack reaches for an abandoned scalpel to free himself.
Miracle Day – 2011: Nick reveals that Miles had the key to the Miracle and Nick shot him so that Holly would solve the case. Nick also tells her that the Miracle has cured cancer, but stopping it might kill her. An automatic message from Miles to Holly reveals that the Miracle “begun under Vatican control.” She solves the clue about the “iron wheel” and leads everyone to the nearby Ferris wheel. As they ride it, Holly realizes that the map points to a specific location in the amusement park. She eventually escapes and follows the clues to a giant vat of blood. Nick catches up to her and explains that the blood belongs to an immortal man, one that is the only mortal being in the era of the Miracle.
Missing Day – 2007: Gwen is thrown into a van filled with packs of Jack’s blood. The kidnapper returns to stop Jack from reaching the scalpel, but Jack turns the tables by reaching the MRI switch. The magnet tears all of the shrapnel from Jack’s body and fires them through the kidnapper, killing the man.
Miracle Day – 2011: Holly decodes Miles’s “Vatican” clue, finding a gun under the vat. Holly shoots the bad guys, then reveals that Miles couldn’t make the choice to destroy the key or not. He left a laptop computer linked to the vat’s destruct mechanism, and Holly makes a tough choice. Even though it may kill Miles and her cancer may return, she needs to destroy the blood. Nick tries to stop her, but she shoots him one more time and he dies in the explosion.
Missing Day – 2007: Gwen frees Jack, but as she does, the mysterious green gas returns. Jack says that they must try and remember what happened here, but Gwen says whatever happens they’ll deal with it together. As they finally succumb to the gas, three men arrive to take them and the blood in the truck away. Back on the rooftop in Cardiff, Jack states that he feels like they’ve forgotten something very important. In a voice-over, Gwen reveals that they never did remember what happened on that “Missing Day”.
Miracle Day – 2011: In the aftermath of the Miracle’s end, Holly pours a glass of wine for Miles. Holly says that as the Miracle gave him time to heal, she felt like it was about time. As they banter back and forth, a pack of blood can be spotted at the back of the fridge. Could it belong to Jack?
We find out some interesting bits here, including that the Three Families had access to Retcon in 2007 (correlating to the time between Series One and Series Two). This series also suggests that other people may have been able to piece together the plan, but only when they brought it public did the Three Families move to silence them.
Other than that, this was an average side story with little to no consequence for Torchwood or Miracle Day overall. The only big thing would be that pack of Jack’s blood, and depending on Holly’s skills, that would last either 42 days or up to ten years if properly treated and frozen.
Regardless, it was good to see (or rather, hear) Eliza Dushku again. I’ve been a fan since her BuI’d like to see her in Doctor Who at some point.
Rating: 2/5 – “Mm? What’s that, my boy?”
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.