How do you connect morphic fields, the chaos caused by a manufactured and highly unnatural population explosion, an old man dying (when no one else can), and Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman)? Well, this is Torchwood, isn’t it?
Somehow, somewhere, we had to get to the root of some sort of alien life form or technology, didn’t we? And the fact that the alien technology was stolen from the ruins of The Hub back in Cardiff makes it logical that the Powers that Be want to keep Torchwood—and especially Captain Jack—out of the picture.
So The Families, much higher up the feeding chain that PhiCorp, have somehow used Jack’s blood—drained from him decades earlier and evidently, morphic resonance, to create The Miracle. So, then, is the immortality (and Jack’s sudden mortality) being caused by some sort of manipulation or disruption of the morphic field?
From what little I understand (and my Bachelors Degree in Biology helps me only a little bit here), morphic fields are essentially templates for species types. Dating back to the first humanoid species (in Doctor Who lore that would be the Gallifreyans), the morphic field created by their emergence, and grown stronger over the eons and as new humanoid species developed, became the physical, behavioral and intellectual blueprint for all humanoid species. The theory suggests that DNA, rather than being the source of morphological/developmental coding, is instead the receiver of information from the mophic field for the species type. The theory is real (although considered very much fringe science by much of the mainstream of scientific thought was developed by Dr. Robert Sheldrake, a British plant physiologist and biochemist.)
So, did Angelo use the alien field generator discovered beneath his floorboards to allow himself a natural death? If the transmitter creates a “null field,” as Jack explains to Rex and Esther, then whatever disturbance in the morphic field has been manufactured by The Families is nulled-out by the transmitter—and allows Angelo to die a natural death. Having stalked Jack for nine decades, Angelo acquired the transmitter—a bit of alien technology from beneath the rubble of the Torchwood Hub when it exploded at the start of Series 3 (Torchwood: Children of Earth).
Now a very wealthy, but very old, man, Angelo is the only one who can null out “The Miracle.” But the stolen (or scavenged) transmitter hidden beneath a platform in Angelo’s bedroom could be more dangerous to humankind than even The Miracle itself. If it can null out the morphic field disturbance—and create a cone of silence for as it does for Jack, Rex and Esther, it has the capability to hide—or null out–anything, from radiation to sickness to…whatever. It makes whomever possess this device all-powerful. It is the ultimate stealth weapon and protective shield, and negates any possible effect of policies like “Mutually Assured Destruction.” You can wipe out your enemies while keeping yourself nice and secure. No muss, no fuss. And Jack warns his colleagues that no one in this timeline should possess it. For it will mean termination of all life.
And as for Jack, does his mortality hold a crucial puzzle piece to thwart The Three Families’ plans? And, how? Is his mortality holding it together? What if he dies? He seems pretty badly injured when we last see him in “End of the Road.”
As Torchwood: Miracle Day winds towards its final two episodes, many questions remain, and it appears that the puzzle is far from completely solved. Captain Jack knows that the people who tortured him back in the day are behind The Miracle, but why? What is their ultimate goal? And if, as is strongly implied, The Plan goes beyond personal life and death issues and toward the financial and political domination of the world, what on Earth (or wherever) does that have to do with the categories, the incinerations, and PhiCorp?
With only two more episodes to go, there’s still a lot of ground to cover, and I’m sure it will be a roller coaster of a ride to get there. The series took a little while to really kick into high gear, but now that it’s there it’s relentless. Episode 9 of Torchwood: Miracle Day airs Friday night at 10 p.m. ET on Starz.