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Torchwood: Children Of Earth (Day Five)

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."

I was in tears with this one. A tragic finale really. In the end the children were saved. But the cost was so terribly high, that it was difficult to see it as a victory. Steven's gone. Ianto's gone. Jack's gone. Torchwood is seemingly in tatters. I feel quite glum.

Was Frobisher a good man? Bridget thought so. And there's no question that what he did, he did for the good of his girls. But it's hard to view someone who commits familicide as a hero. The sad thing is, it wasn't even necessary. In the end, Jack stopped the 456. The children were never taken. Hats off though to Peter Capaldi. He was simply brilliant in this role. Frobisher was a fascinating character from the get-go. We'll never know his true motives, and he did some terrible, terrible things. But his deeds affected him. He wasn't emotionally detached from his crimes. There was hope for him. And, at least at the end, he cared enough to spare his family the terrible fate which awaited them. He also spared himself. Four shots rang out. It wasn't just the children. He took all their lives... his own included.

Despite my comments on day three, I was still hoping against hope that Steven would be immortal. There was always an outside chance. I'd have sooner betted on that, than on Jack sacrificing his grandson... even if it was for the greater good. But, ultimately, it was necessary. I imagine the fragile relationship that existed between Jack and Alice is now gone. At the end she couldn't bring herself to go near him. And Jack, clearly, can't live with himself. He's on the run... from what he's done... from what he's become. Will he ever come back? If there's a fourth season, I suppose he must.

In the end it was all about drugs. The children produced chemicals that the 456 found pleasurable. They were in effect, drug traffickers. I found that mildly annoying. It just added to the pointlessness of it all. Make no mistake, this was a very bleak story. I thought “Exit Wounds” was a misery-fest, but this episode left me feeling a lot lower. So what was all the green stuff the 456 were spewing out? Some sort of reaction to the drug? They never really told us.

I'm pleased the PM got his comeuppance. People like that deserve all they get. Whatever his punishment, it won't be enough. It never is. They way he treated Frobisher, making him sacrifice his own children as part of a government propaganda drive, was reprehensible. I think Bridget was in love with Frobisher. If not in actuality, then certainly from afar. The kiss confirmed it for me. And she spoke so softly of him, and with such understanding, there was clearly a deep respect between them. And with Lois' help she managed to trap the PM using Torchwood's contacts. A payback for his treatment of Frobisher. Good on you, Bridget.

So there we have it. A fitting end to what's been a stellar week for Torchwood (the show, if not the organisation). I've really enjoyed it, more than any other season... truncated though it was. We never get the endings we want. And I don't like the thought of Captain Jack being so lost. But John Barrowman was brilliant throughout this whole season. I've never seen him look more convincing as an actor. So I think the show still has legs. I just hope the BBC allow them to run again.

Bit's and pieces:

-- Forget the fire extinguishers. All hail the brick!

-- It was good to see PC Andy and Johnny wading into the riot forces. I actually liked Johnny. At times he was a bit crass, but his heart was in the right place.

-- The best thing I've seen on British television all year. When Doctor Who returns in the autumn, it's going to have to work hard to match this.


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

Johnny: "He didn't say anything about my car did he?"
Gwen: "No."
Andy: "Sorry."

Gwen: “There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days, I wanted to know about that Doctor of his... the man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history, when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know... why not? But I don't need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame."

Alice: "Even if 90 percent look away, what sort of a world are you leaving behind?"

Jack: "This planet is too small. The whole world is like a graveyard."
Gwen: "Come back with us."
Jack: "I haven't travelled far enough yet. I've had a lot of dirt to shake off my shoes."

Gwen: "Are you ever coming back, Jack?"
Jack: "What for?"
Gwen: "For me. It wasn't your fault."
Jack: "I think it was...."
Gwen: "No."
Jack: ".....Steven, and Ianto, and Owen, and Tosh, and Suzie. All of them, because of me."
Gwen: "But you saved us, didn't you?"
Jack: "I began to like it... and look what I became. Still, I have lived so many lives. It's time to find another one."
Four moor peaces eye rote, sea hear.


  1. I just loved this season. It was full of suspense, lots of action, great characters, and very very dark. Certainly one of the best pieces of television I've seen for a looong time.
    Loved it when Gwen got in full Lara Croft-mode. I never thought she had it in her. You go Gwen!
    At times, I felt that Ianto's and Jack's relationship was a bit "queer eye for the sci-fi", but overall they were great together. And it was devastating to see Ianto dying. Poor Jack.
    It was a bit unsettling to see Jack sacrifice his own grandson. At first it felt a bit out of character, but I believe that in the end it was a necessary dark ending to a dark season.
    Now, all Jack has to do is find the Doctor, travel back in time and get Ianto back. And while his at it, he can get Tosh and Owen too. Then get James Marsters' character, give Lois a job, and the reunion is complete for a great season 4. Wouldn't that be just one big torchwoody??

  2. Children Of Earth: Day Five

    So, is this end for the series?

    This felt more like a series finale than season finale to me. Maybe it'll continue but should it? There's a question.

    No magic reset buttons this time round. Ianto's dead for real and not even a final appearance from Gareth David Lloyd. Too bad.

    The reveal of what the 456 needed the kids for was disturbing.

    I really couldn't believe that Jack had to sacrifice his own grandchild to stop the 456. How do you recover from that?

    Whatever relationship him and Alice might have had effectively died with that decision.

    Seeing all the kids being rounded was disturbing. I really wanted the PM to meet his maker. I guess Bridget getting Torchwood contact lenses and blackmailing him to step down will have to do

    Lois spent her time in a cell. With no Torchwood around, I guess she went back to her old life. At least she got her freedom.

    Gwen's message to The Doctor continued the theme of hopelessness.

    Had they wrote David Tennant's Doctor into this story, I bet parts of it would've been lightened.

    Frosbisher murdering his own family and himself. You read things like that in the papers. It still distressed me.

    I loved that Rhiannon, Johnny, Andy and the locals all fought to protect the kids.

    The ending was sad, bittersweet. It's like Robin Hood and Primeval in some ways with the way things happened.

    That being said more happened in five episodes of this, than in 24 episodes of most shows this season.

    One hell of a week, one unforgettable episode, 9/10.

    Paul, all my Season 3 reviews are up on my Blogspot.

  3. Well, if anyone ever needs a cure for good mood, they need to look no further than Torchwood: CoE. Damn, that was depressive! At least Torchwood "won" in the end, although they did it in the great tradition of King Pyrrhus. ("One more such victory will be my undoing.")

    I sincerely hope for Season 4, but I honestly cannot see how the characters could come back from this (especially Jack).

    This was really good TV. One thing that bothered me about episode 5 though, was the PM ordering Frobisher to sacrifice his children. I understand the point was to demonstrate the PM was utterly evil, but this didn't only seem evil and despicable, it mainly seemed very, very stupid. Even as an evil overlord you don't get far by screwing over people while you still need them. Frobisher was in the middle of the whole operation with many opportunities to sabotage it. Which I'm pretty sure he would do if this was a real life and not a TV show.

    But other than that, the rest of the show felt disturbingly real. I really need to see some silly comedy soon to cheer myself up.

  4. I didn't like to see Gwen's video as an introduction, or actually, that the episode did not show anything that fits end of the world, as Gwen's tape promised.
    Later, with the added context of Rhys and abortion, it became a great scene, though.

    I like it, that Children Of Earth mentioned THE Doctor twice.
    But why are the people so quick at forgetting? Aliens coming to earth and people under their control has been done before.
    Heck, less then a year ago, the whole earth was MOVED.

    By the way: will international versions of CoE be cut down to 45 Minutes (like Live On Mars)?

  5. Hi Daniel,

    I've just looked at BBC America's website and it has the first episode scheduled to run from 9:00 to 10:15. I'm not sure what they're thinking of sticking in there to make it last that long, but, on the surface at least, it looks as though it'll be full length.

    They cut 15 mins from Life On Mars? Sacrilege!


    9:46 AM

  6. Hi Paul!

    I would have liked to link to an article about the cuts, but unfortunately I did not find an english one.

    As far as I know, the BBC created a 45 minutes version of the episodes, and those are offered to other European broadcasters.
    Anyway, I can only be absolutely sure about the German versions.

    Here's a webpage about the scnes missing in the first Episode:
    The page is in German, but it shows screenshots of the mssing scenes with subtitles from the UK DVD set.

    As of now Doctor Who and Torchwood remained uncut.


  7. Best thing I've seen on TV all year. The show was brilliant. The ratings were excellent. If that not enough to secure them a fourth season, then nothing is. If Merlin gets a second season and Torchwood doesn't, I'm going to throw a right hissy fit.


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