Jul 30, 2009

[TV] Torchwood: Children of Earth

Torchwood: Children of EarthWhen they announced that the third season of Torchwood would be done such that it's only a 5-episode mini-series, I was both excited and scared. While it's great that they're trying to play around with the storytelling involved in the rather adult science fiction show, it also didn't seem to be a strong indicator of support for the show.

Did this mean Torchwood didn't have enough ratings to justify a full season? Was this the swan song of this landmark science fiction series? Would this mean I'd no longer get my regular dose of John Barrowman as Captain Jack Harkness? Perish the thought!

Thankfully it wasn't that bad, if still a bit short. While I'm still wishing they made a full season, this year's addition to the Torchwood library certainly merits a closer look.

Torchwood: Children of Earth is what you can consider to be a condensed version of a Torchwood season. This means that there's plenty of aliens, mysteries to solve, Scottish humor, sexual tension, John Barrowman appearing shirtless and at least one major character getting killed off. That's Torchwood for you - they've been killing characters since the first episode after all!

The series two cast, including special guest s...Image via Wikipedia

In this edition, the reduced Torchwood crew of Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) are still trying to pick up the pieces after the end of the second season when children all around the world start speaking in unison, all in English. The message is a ominous one - "We Are Coming" and it sets the stage for a battle that Torchwood might not be able to win, especially with the British government suddenly working against them.

This really came across to me as sort of a condensed essence of Torchwood, so to speak. Each episode (tagged as "days" since the entire mini-series takes place in less than a week) is jam-packed with Torchwood goodness and a pretty heavy handed thumb in the direction of the duplicity of governments in general. Torchwood was always had a lot more action given it reflected Jack Harkness' more direct style of solving things versus how the Doctor tends to favor wits and trickery at times in order to succeed.

Like I said earlier, the series includes the death of a major character and if you have managed to avoid reading any of the blogs or the buzz about the show, then I'll not spoil it for you. Let's just say that the foreshadowing for the death of this character was pretty heavy and I feel like they made it pretty obvious from the very first day.

The story is amazing and highly well-managed across the five separate episodes. Torchwood had an interesting take on humanity and that really came to fore here in terms of how they depicted all the various players, including the members of Torchwood themselves. Everyone has their motivations and what they hold dear to themselves and knowing all these facets makes it hard to hate anyone here as a stereotypical "villain" or bad guy. To some degree, everyone was fully justified in their actions and the disagreements and differences between those ideals is really what drives the story.

I'm left a little shocked still by the death and definitely hungry for more Torchwood. Five episodes just isn't enough and it's good to hear that buzz about the fourth season is already building. I guess now I just need to wait for the new season of Doctor Who to get my fix of British science fiction again.

Torchwood: Children of Earth gets 5 creepy talking children out of 5.

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  1. pardon me this is off topic, just wanted to know if you are in any way related to Norberto Sunico of 24 Brooklyn Cubao. Thank you and more readers to your site.

  2. @luzonsentral.co.cc:
    I have no idea if I am, but the Sunico clan isn't that big so there's a big chance I am, I suppose.