Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Owen Harper is still dead.

In other words, all that his body can do now is move. And think, see, hear and apparently taste. Oh, and speak. It might be closer to the truth to say he's still alive.

He can't feel anything, which perhaps lessens the blow of not picking that girl up in the last episode. He can't breathe, which must make the actor's job quite tough. I'd have thought that breathing was a basic human right, so maybe actor Burn Gorman has grounds to sue the BBC for repeatedly asking him to stop?

By contrast, his dead character Owen has no such employee rights. He is not allowed to work, Jack protesting that regulations prohibit it. I'd really like to see that regulation. "No employee shall attend work dead." I guess that would get an employee the sack for gross... well for being gross.

I'd also really like to see a reason why in this episode maverick leader Jack is suddenly following rules. Just whose rules is he following? His predecessor's? What happened to his predecessor? Is his predecessor dead? Boy, he really got terminated.

Anyway, Owen's getting sent home for being dead is pretty tough. You'd have thought that Torchwood would want to take full advantage of having Owen's irreplacable skills for a few more precious days, but incredibly they send him home. There it dawns on Owen that death is going to be his life from now on, so he starts clearing up his flat. All food and drink goes in the bin. And toiletries. Let's hope no-one comes over to visit him. Then Tosh comes over to visit him. Oh dear. He loses his temper so badly that he deliberately breaks one of his surgeon's fingers to prove a point.

Next up is a suicide attempt. This doesn't go so well. Did I mention that he's already dead? The shot of him screaming underwater (moved to the pre-credits) is truly terrifying.

By the second half of the episode he's back on the team again though – his new-found deadness now perceived as a super-power that enables him to slip past heat-sensors.

Then Richard Briers shows-up. Straightfacesniggerhahaha. Well it's Richard Briers, isn't it? He's impossible to take seriously. I know, he gives a fine straight performance, but you can't help dum-dumming the theme from The Good Death anyway. His whole alien crystal sub-plot is a bit bland after all, and only really there to move Owen's journey along.

A Day In The Death is a fascinating portrait of a man who's dead on the outside, and slowly dying on the in. Martha's continued presence as another doctor ensures that we really don't know how this is going to end.

By the way, Burn Gorman is brilliant in this.

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