Torchwood: Children Of Earth (Day Three)


The 456: “We are here!”

At first glance, the new Torchwood Hub (imaginatively named Hub 2) seemed a poor replacement for the now levelled Torchwood Three. No fancy gadgets, just a few old armchairs and a coffee making facility. But it's home now, and with the aid of some electricity and a laptop, Torchwood are back in business. Kind of. Jack still needed kitting out with some decent clobber. Thank God Ianto had the foresight to buy him some sensible clothes. Track suit bottoms? Still, I suppose we should be grateful he was wearing something.

We got a few answers tonight. We now know what the 456 want. They want ten percent of the children of the world. Why? Apparently as a gift. What they intend to do with this “gift” and, indeed, what they did with the “gift” they were given in 1965, remains to be seen. And although we still don't know whether Alice and Steven are immortal (I'm guessing not, as they both age normally), at least the question's officially been raised. Now it's been brought it up, they'll have to answer it (probably by killing them and having them come back to life -- or not).

Lois was well and truly in the middle of the action tonight. At first, her insistence that Mr Frobisher had asked for her to accompany him personally, sounded a little weak. But Frobisher's previous history of infidelity made Lois' story gain momentum in Bridget Spears' mind, and in the end Lois got to accompany them without further question. Was there a hint too that Bridget was speaking from personal experience? Has she had an affair with Frobisher in the past? Or just had to cover up his other indiscretions? Whatever's the case, it just goes to show how adept Lois is at thinking on her feet. And kudos too for putting in the contact lenses. Despite being young, she's performed admirably so far.

I was a little nervous about seeing the 456. We've had some terrible aliens in the past. Rubber suited men. Rubbish CGI. But the fact that we didn't even see the 456, apart from in hazy outline, gave them a genuine sense of menace. Was that puke that kept splashing up the glass window of the tank? Or some sort of acid... a weapon maybe?

And what is Frobisher's involvement in all this? Is he just a loyal minion? Would he really harm Alice and Steven? Presumably yes. He didn't seem to flinch when ordering the assassination of Captain Jack. He means business, I'll give him that. But why? Why is he so zealous? Is it just patriotic fervour? It's like he's two people inside. There's a side of him I feel sorry for, and a side of him I abhor. What a deliciously complex character.

Clem recognising Jack as the man who'd tried to abduct him some thirty years previous was a real “wow” moment. Was Jack working for the 456 back then? Or some other organisation... perhaps alongside Ellen Hunt, Andrew Staines and Michael Sanders? But why didn't he recognise their names? A one off job perhaps? And why would he hand over 12 children?

He's certainly got some explaining to do.

Bits and Pieces:

-- The Doctor was mentioned for the first time this series.

-- Lachelle Carl (Trinity Wells) is the only actress to have starred in all three Doctor Who related shows (Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures).

-- Steven's Grandmother was Lucia Moretti. She worked for Torchwood from '68 to '77. She died of heart disease in 2006.

Quotes:

Ianto: “What did it feel like? Getting blown up?”
Jack: “Well, it wasn't the best of days.”

Ianto: One day you'll see me die... of old age... and you'll just keep on going?”
Jack:”Yes.”

Clem: “Who's the queer?”
Ianto: “Oy! It's not 1965 any more.”

Frobisher: “Big Moment. History.”

The 456: “We want ten percent of the children of the world.”

Jack: “In 1965 I gave them 12 children.”
Gwen” What for?”
Jack: “A gift.”

7 comments:

Mark Greig said...

This was the weakest episode of the serial but still manages to be an exciting hour.

Holding back the reveal of the 456 and keeping them literally clouded in mystery was a wise choice. Its always scarier what you don’t see than what you do. Their ultimate Sophie’s Choice to the human race, give us 10% of your children or face extinction, is just chilling. I’m curious who does the voice of the 456. Sounds like a mixture of Nicholas Briggs and Gabriel Woolf.

Paul Kelly said...

Hi Mark.

According to the Radio Times, the 456 voice overs were done by Simon Poland. He also did the voice overs for Planet Earth.

Paul

Mark Greig said...

Planet Earth? Wasn't that the mighty David Attenborough or am I thinking of a different nature series?

Paul Kelly said...

That's the one! :-)

shawnlunn2002 said...

Children Of Earth: Day Three

Weakest episode of the bunch for me. Not terribly bad but maybe too talky for starters.

Jack being revealed as the man who gave kids to the 456 back in 1965 as gifts was unexpected. Yikes.

Frobisher was intentionally set up as fodder by the PM. If he survives, he's got a hell of a lot of making up to do as well as explaining.

Nice to know that Gwen can use her Hustle skills to help Torchwood out.

Heck even Johnny saw profit in looking after the kids with Rhiannon.

Aww, Ianto wanted sex and Jack had to say no. Rhys and his beans.

456 aliens need to actually make an appearance yet, properly, no more hiding behind the tank. Why do they want the kids so much?

Isn't it weird that the government themselves haven't set up some protocol on the off chance The Doctor might also try to scupper their plans with the 456?

Johnson's ruthlessness keeps growing. She would totally see if Alice/Steven had the same abilities as Jack if she got the chance.

Nice to see some conflict with Lois, even Bridget to a lesser extent.

Andy needs more to do like now. He's been a bit blah with his appearances.

Hope the final two are better than this one, 7/10.

Billie Doux said...

Good review, Paul.

Wasn't Lucia Steven's grandmother?

Billie

Paul Kelly said...

Thanks Billie. Yes, she was. Good catch (and duly corrected). This is the second time I've got my relatives mixed up. I can't cope with it in real life either.