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Torchwood: Children of Earth, Day 5

Gwen: "I'm recording this in case anyone ever finds it. So you can see... you can see how the world ended."

It would have been wrong to tack a feel-good ending as a conclusion to this incredibly dark and heavy mini-series. The ending they gave us made sense. But my word, it was depressing.

"Children of Earth" was about immortality. And not just the horror of what happened to Jack and to those eleven children from 1965. For humans, our immortality is our children, our genetic legacy. Gwen's pregnancy. Frobisher's daughters. Ianto's niece and nephew. Jack's grandson, Steven.

Would Jack have died for his grandson? In a minute, I don't doubt it. When Jack sacrificed his grandson, he gave up something even more important to him than his own life. But what choice did he have? The situation was what it was. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Sacrificing millions of children was impossible, but sacrificing one child to save thirty-five million from worse than death? It should never have been a numbers game, but how could Jack not have done it?

I thought for a moment that Steven would revive, that he would take after Jack. But that would have been the easy way out, and I just wouldn't have believed it. Impossible for Jack to just go back to work after all this. But Jack will eventually get over it. He has to. He still has to live with himself, because he has no choice.

When Frobisher was going up the stairs with that gun behind his back, I knew what he was going to do. I so wanted him to tell the press, to hold Green hostage, anything – but what he did was in character. He knew better than anyone on earth what would happen to his daughters. How could Green think even for a moment that Frobisher would go through with it? I thought about it and realized that it was probably because Green himself was subhuman. Green would have been capable of sacrificing his own kids if they'd been young enough, and he thought Frobisher was like him. Wrong.

This ending desperately needed to show that people could be heroes as well as villains, and it did. Bridget did what Frobisher should have done, bless her heart. (I could tell there was something weird about that visit to Lois, but I didn't guess what it was.) Alice was the one who got Johnson on board and set the end in motion. Gwen, Rhys and Rhiannon hid all those children. Johnny passed the word on to save other people's children, and actually attacked the riot police. So did Andy, dropping his police garb and wading into the fray.

And there was a light in the dark: a somewhat happy ending for Gwen and Rhys and their baby. I can see Gwen eventually trying to carry on with Torchwood, because that's the sort of person she is: she needs to try to make things better.

This miniseries was the best Torchwood they've ever done. Clearly, the longer story format works for this show. Realistic sci-fi also works. Maybe Torchwood has been too chained to its parent show in the past, and the answer was to set it free and go for broke.

I want more Torchwood, and I'm sure I'm not alone. John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Russell T. Davies have all expressed their willingness to come back and do it again. If the excellence of this abbreviated season three wasn't enough to give us a season four, frankly, nothing could. If this is it, though, they went out on an exceptionally creative high note.

Bits and pieces:

-- The existence of the Doctor has been an unanswered question, and Gwen addressed it in the opening scene. I love Doctor Who, but if we get a season four of Torchwood, I think there shouldn't be crossovers. This miniseries proved that Torchwood is better when it's harder sci-fi, and when it's on its own.

-- And hey, there are several characters who could return as possible new members of Torchwood: Lois Habiba, Andy, even Johnson and Dekker. And Rhys, although he'd make a great house husband, too. :)

-- I was right. Clem was the answer.

-- Gold acting stars again for everyone. John Barrowman, Eve Myles, and Peter Capaldi in particular.

-- This whole story was so dark that for a moment, I actually wondered if the 456 would win. That's good writing, folks.


The 456: "The hit. They create chemicals. The chemicals are good."
Colonel: "You're shooting up on children? Our children?"

Andy: "Who's the father?"
Rhys: "I'm slapping you, yeah."

Jack: "You said yourself, the world is going to Hell any second. Before it does, give us a moment of grace. Just take Gwen home, please. I can't look at her any more."

Gwen: "Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame."

Jack: "Steven and Ianto and Owen and Tosh and Suzie. All of them, because of me."

Exceptional. Five out of four stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. What a finale.

    I don't know what else to say but to praise your reviews.

    I heard that a fourth might be happening.

  2. Meant to add, look at my blog for some Comic Con fun with David Tennant and John Barrowman


  3. Shawn, thank you SO MUCH for the link to that clip. I keep meaning to go to Comic Con but never quite make it there. Sounds like we might get an announcement about season four today at the panel, which is less than an hour from now. Crossing my fingers.

  4. Rumours are already surfacing that Torchwood has been picked up for a fourth season. Nothing official yet, though.



  5. Hi Billie, long-time reader of your reviews, first time commenting! Your reviews often seem to highlight a few things that I'd never thought about before, and for that I'm thankful. I attempted a little review of Children of Earth myself, it can be found on my blog http://jamespope101.blogspot.com/ along with many other show reviews, if you fancy a look. Keep up the good work!

  6. Good i'm watching this so late. At least i know there will be more. About the only thing to be happy about after an ending like that.

    It was actually more depressing then if they gave up those 10%. Deaths of 3 kids we saw during the season hits home more then the milions that might been given away.


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