Sorry, What to Watch took a turkey day break as last week was really light on new product worth mentioning. This week? Pretty much the same but we don’t want you to miss us too badly. Here’s five recent Blu-ray, DVD, and streaming releases that may have caught your attention on new release shelves lately, ranked in the order we’d add them to our holiday wish list.
CHICAGO – When “Torchwood: Miracle Day” premiered on Starz, I was completely up for the ride. My 4/5 review displayed a little bit of concern given that the show was often 5/5 in its original BBC America airings (and in the brilliant “Children of Earth”) but I held out hope that the show would iron out its wrinkles and deliver on the potential of its clever set-up. In fact, the opposite happened. Stretched to meet a running time that the writers couldn’t deliver on and ultimately cheesy where the original “Torchwood” had been edgy, “Miracle Day” is a disappointment. The Blu-ray release is still strong and there are some things to like here, but only diehard fans should apply (see every episode and “Children” before this…twice) and they’ll likely be the most disappointed.
CHICAGO – With so much great science fiction on the tube now from masterpieces like “Being Human” and “Torchwood” to enjoyable diversions like “Warehouse 13,” it’s one of the best times to be a fan of the genre. And so when a piece with a brilliant premise, talented ensemble, and high production values like “Outcasts” comes along, it’s tempting to assume that it will deliver on its potential like so many of its colleagues. “Outcasts” is nothing but a string of rising disappointments.
CHICAGO – Are you loving the Starz import of the great “Torchwood” into the pretty-good “Torchwood: Miracle Day” and wondering where the heck Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) came from? Do you already know about one of the best sci-fi series of the last decade? Either way, the gorgeous HD box set for “Torchwood: The Complete Original UK Series” is spectacular and you might as well keep your BBC fix going with the strong “Doctor Who: Series Six, Part 1,” both released this week on Blu-ray.
CHICAGO – We didn’t get the screener in time to give you a heads up about the series premiere of Starz’s “Torchwood: Miracle Day” but we have seen episodes two and three and have some good news to end this long week — if you liked the first episode, don’t worry. It definitely doesn’t drop in quality. And if you worried a bit after that premiere that this wasn’t the same “Torchwood” you knew and loved, fret not, the program starts to really get into gear by the end of the third chapter and there’s little reason to be concerned.
CHICAGO – The excitement was in Chicago last month as ‘The Cable Show 2011” gathered at the McCormick Place Convention Center. Many celebrities associated with the cable industry, including Oprah Winfrey, Paris Hilton and Kelsey Grammer, participated in the event and provided meet-and-greet opportunities.
CHICAGO – Everyone with a TV should tune in tonight to one of the best hours of science fiction that the genre has ever seen, the opening night of the five-part “Torchwood: Children of Earth” mini-series.
Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
CHICAGO – “Ashes to Ashes” may be one of the most unusual choices for a TV sequel but sometimes the best series come from the most unexpected places. This may be the most pleasant surprise TV fans will get all year. The BBC’s brilliant “Life on Mars” has been dragged from the glitz and glamour of the ’70s to the turbulent ’80s in the as-good-and-arguably-better “Ashes to Ashes,” another notch in the belt of great BBC programming.