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Torchwood: Children of Earth: Day 5 Review

 

In brief: And that’s why Torchwood is most definitely not like Doctor Who.

In depth:

I feel numb.

That was an emotionally intense hour that alternately gripped, chilled and horrified. It was not filled with action per say and daring do, just the lengths that some people will go to under desperate circumstances.

And may I say, Russell T. Davies either hates Captain Jack or loves putting him through the emotional wringer. That character will be lucky if his daughter never speaks to him. And that sentence is not missing a word.

Please be aware, despite what I said about my reviews… major spoilers are within. Frankly, after that, how could there NOT be?!

The episode starts with a short piece of Gwen facing the camera, clearly a handheld due to the grainy image. She talks of Jack, wondering why she never asked him properly about that “Doctor” of his and why he isn’t always there when the world needs saving… she knows the answer now though…

“Sometimes. He must look at this world… and turn away in shame.”

It’s a nice nod to the Doctor to include his absence. So many times I wanted him to walk into frame to shout, condemn and rant and marvellously fix the problem. And it didn’t happen.

The government, in particularly the Prime Minister Greene (who is now under the thumb of the American general who feels that Britain has botched the whole situation so now they have to make the best of it) releases a statement to the news services where they go with cover story of sending the kids back to schools to receive “inoculations” to stop the kids from speaking in unison again. It’s all a ruse to ensure that the lesser achieving schools simply have full classes again, so the troops can move in and clear them out.

I don’t know where the hell the BBC got the budget to pull all of this off but everything was too realistic, too possible, all too real as those trucks and buses pulled in to the local schools. As the teachers have to watch in horror, unable to do anything but insist that the soldiers don’t have the right to remove the kids, and they carry on anyway. It’s shocking.

Taking a moment, the American general sends in the UNIT operative who has appeared throughout the days to talk to the 456. Before they proceed, they must know… they’ve seen how the 456 are connected to the children. But why they need to know why. Is it life support?

“No. They make chemicals. They make us… feel… good.”

That’s the twist. That’s the turn. The 456 are addicted to the chemicals that pre-pubescent children create. The alien menaces are drug users. It’s such a simple revelation, so utterly casual. Don’t get me wrong. The delivery is chilling. The set up for it disgusting. But it’s not the big end of the world shocking news you’re expecting and it completely hits you for six and makes you feel ill.

Back in cabinet session, the PM Greene sits back as the events unfold around him. He’s no longer in control. There is one scene where himself and Frobisher sit down and Greene explains, uncomfortably, that in order for the public to trust what the government are doing; Frobisher’s children will take the inoculation on live television. Frobisher doesn’t take long to understand the full implications of what this means when Greene admits that the government must come out of the crisis looking as though they suffered too, that there was some loss on their part… so Frobisher’s children are to be taken by the 456. The terror here scene is palpable as Frobisher is fraught, and horrified by where events have led him and he knows is powerless against it.

Well, almost powerless. Once outside of the room he asks his assistant to fulfil requisition 31 to which she complies, confused, and returns with a closed box. Frobisher simply takes the box from her, turns away, then turns back and plants a gentle kiss on her cheek, and he leaves. Without a word. Capaldi represents a man who has made a choice and will stand by it. Determined, terrified, but resolute.

He arrives home, drives around the press, and this entire scene is played without sound as it intercuts with another that does have sound. His kids greet him at the door, joyous, he’s all smiles, and he asks them to go upstairs. His wife hugs him tight, and she looks concerned, confused, but he gestures upstairs for her, too. When they’ve gone, he proceeds over to the table, opens the box, and pulls out a gun.

You don’t see it happen, but the following sound of four gunshots is all you need to understand. The end of Frobisher is as depressing and gritty and forecast from the moment that Frobisher leaves Greene’s office. Capaldi played that suicidal figure perfectly. Horrifically.

Back with Alice and Johnson, they chat. Alice convinces Johnson who, originally cold and calculating in parts one and two, has showed a more reasonable side to her character. Her turning to show some genuine concern for unfolding events and the governments dealings and Alice’s persuasion makes her bust Jack out of prison to find a different solution to the crisis.

And what of Torchwood?

Jack is a man broken. He’s lost Ianto and he now recognises that there is nothing left to do.

Gwen is still determined to fight, but with a few words Jack convinces her that there is nothing left she can do except go home and tell Ianto’s sister he’s died. Be safe. As she boards a helicopter with Rhys, to return to Cardiff, Jack and Gwen embrace, and he whispers into her ear.

“They’re after the children. Ianto has a niece and nephew. Save them.”

Jack is locked in a cell and Gwen flies home. Again during these sequences it painful to watch as the events unfold without any intervention from Torchwood. You’re left in despair but still clinging to some hope that Jack will find a way to come back… and it’s only when Johnson and gang bust Jack out that you feel your spirits lift.

Back in Cardiff there are nice moments of humour as PC Andy is oblivious to the real events unfolding, and Gwen and Rhys can’t tell him, and small jokes are cracked at the parentage of Gwen’s baby. Given the coming events it’s good to have these small moments. But when Gwen reveals to Ianto’s sister about his death… it’s heartbreaking. In 5 episodes we’ve come to care for this little splash of Cardiff life and Ianto’s poignant death only serves to intensify our protective feelings for this little group.

It’s also particularly telling of Russell’s writing, that even in death, we still find out facts about Ianto. In her attempts to convince Gwen to believe her and listen to her about the government coming for the kids, she tells her that Ianto used to talk about her and her father. How their father was a master tailor… and Ianto’s sister explodes that the guy worked in Debenhams! It’s a small lie Ianto told, which indicates some shame about his background.

When the soldiers come for the kids though, it’s nothing short of intense as the adults shuffle the kids out the backdoor, promises of sweets, and lead them to hide in an abandoned farmhouse. Particularly fun, yet scarily effective, is when the council estate locals, rallied by Ianto’s brother in law, start a riot against the soldiers. It’s painful watching them fight each other, although a good punch the air moment as PC Andy throws himself into the fight on the side of council estate. Good for you!

But while Gwen continues her desperate mission of mercy, the events for Jack are still unfolding and just getting worse. Not only did Johnson grab Jack, but they grabbed the technology guy Decker who studied the 456 frequency and other equipment from his lab.

With all this, as the children are being gathered en masse on open airfields around the world and with minutes to spare, can Jack mount a defence?

As Decker shouts behind them it can’t be done, Johnson shows little patience as she turns and promptly shoots the man in the leg. Vicious. It reminds us of whom her character is and notches up the tension.

As the plot turns, Jack figures out that the death of Clem doesn’t fit the 456’s agenda so far. Why do that? How was he affecting them? Unless his remnant status was a potential threat…

By analysing a recording of the 456’s sound wave that killed Clem, Decker manages to confirm that it’s a brand new sound that they aren’t familiar with. Jack reasons that if they send it back at the 456, using some technobabble process, it could kill them. But they have no transmitter.

Decker is coldly logical. The 456 have been using the children as transmitters so it will work backwards, too. Except that frequency will, like Clem, destroy the child’s brain. It’s one child for the sake of millions.

And there’s only one child close enough.

Steven Carter. Jack’s grandson.

Alice breaks ranks. Terrified for her son, running for him, screaming as the soldiers grab her and grab him, separating them.

John Barrowman plays this moment so well as he gives the hesitant, heartbreaking nod to Johnson to collect Steven and bring him there. It’s horrific as Steven is placed in the middle of the equipment, scared, and simply asking out loud:

“Uncle Jack?!”

And Jack has no words. He activates the equipment. Steven’s eyes unfocus and he starts to scream a synthesized, unnatural sound. All the children across the world start to scream, too and we cut back to alien gas tank where the 456 remain silent, but start to shake, and we cut back to Steven who starts to fit on the spot.

It’s a damn uncomfortable scene to watch. The death of this innocent child. It’s too affecting as we cut back to Jack in unshed tears as he kills his own flesh and blood.

As Steven’s nose bleeds and he fits more violently, the 456 meet their end in an explosion of blood inside the tank. Their forms are then sucked back up into the sky by the pillar of fire that dropped them there in the first place.

We see Gwen with the children she was attempting to rescue, smiling, as they all seem relieved. We cut back to the gob smacked government officials and army operatives in the cabinet room, unsure of what just happened…

And we see Alice as she’s let into the room where her son has died. She runs to his lifeless body on the floor, bleeding from his ears and nose and she cradles him, desperately holding onto her only son, crying out for help, but knowing, knowing he’s gone and that her own father did it.

It’s really powerful stuff. How Russell T. Davies wrote this I have no idea. But he’s gone for gut punching, heart wrenching issues and he hits them bang on the head. It’s also stunningly brave to turn Jack into such an… is anti-hero an appropriate term? He certainly isn’t the heroic, takes no lives figure that the Doctor represents.

It’s like an alternative to who the Doctor could be if he couldn’t always save the day, if he lived in a world where he wasn’t as brilliant or clever as the character is. Damaged, tormented, broken… the Doctor is all of these things to some degree, yes, but with Jack… Jack is still a human, and it’s more terrifying for us to see him capable of these things. And as I said at the start, Jack will be lucky if his daughter never speaks to him again, because the things she would want to say would only tear him further apart.

There’s some suitable pathos as we return to the cabinet room, and the PM Greene comments that he regards the whole situation as “lucky”. When Denise his fellow government official and Frobisher’s secretary ask what he means, Greene elaborates that because the Americans took over the situation, without authorisation from the UN, they can blame the days events on them.

Greene is now no longer a fish out of water, he is an odious, slimy, self-serving manipulator and we want to see him taken down.

So!

It’s rather lovely that RTD allows the quiet but strict, put upon and largely underrated secretary of Frobisher’s’ (I’ve looked up her name now…) Bridget Spears, to speak up. See, she paid a visit to see Lois Habiba, Torchwood’s girl on the inside so to speak, who was locked in a cell and charged with espionage after standing up for Torchwood. There, in a pitch perfect scene it is revealed just how loyal Bridget was to her boss, how they first met and the events that led them to work together.

And this scene is so crucial as it plays after Frobisher has returned home to commit suicide and kill his family, after Bridget gave him the gun. Originally we are led to believe that’s all that went on in that cell, so that we don’t frown too much on Frobisher’s’ actions which are admittedly horrific, but we try to understand where he was coming from.

We now discover though, that while there, she took the opportunity to ask Lois about the Torchwood contact lenses that she used to spy and record the governmental meetings. She then used her privileges to remove those lenses from evidence holding, and in turn use them herself to record each and every last word in the sessions of Day 5. Including Greene’s statement of how they were ‘lucky’ and that she has every intention of seeing that those recordings are made public.

Strike another punch the air moment, although given the previous events only a few minutes ago, it’s a very subdued punch as we remain emotionally drained. It’s wonderful though to see this character twist, to see Bridget go from loyal yet condescending to a principal character in her own right with her own motivations and moral conscious. Just brilliant. Kudos to Susan Brown.

And so Torchwood Day 5 comes to its end. Before I look at the last scene of the episode, I want to round up this as whole.

I think Series 3 has proved exactly what this show was always capable of – serious, gritty, dark, disturbing and yet totally human. That’s really what this series has been about as well. The 456 also serve as a plot device external to the workings of the script. It’s not the threat they represent to humanity. But how we respond to that threat. It’s been a depressing as heck journey on the whole as we see exactly what humanity is capable of at it’s most put upon. In the face of overwhelming odds, how are we prepared to go? How far is our government prepared to go? Is it best to sacrifice a few so the many can live?

These are real questions with no easy answers and Torchwood: Children of Earth should be commended for not offering any. Hard choices are made. Disgust is evident. Most importantly of all though, these episodes have moved me. I’ve seen characters twist and turn in both the darkness and the light. I’ve seen humanity at their best and at their worst.

A mirror has been held up and the question has been asked – what if?

What more can you expect from good science fiction story telling?

And that final scene.

Well blow me down, I almost feel as if Russell T. Davies had a masterplan. I’ve said for a while that I don’t think Captain Jack works as the leading man, and I find myself wondering if there’s an admittance to that in this last scene.

See, it takes place 6 months after the events over the 5 days, Gwen is heavily pregnant, as both her and Rhys have driven into the country to a hill that overlooks what I presume is Cardiff. As they walk the last few parts of the distance, they spy Jack at the top.

It’s evident it’s been awhile since they last met, and I found myself wondering what the current state of Torchwood is. A few jokes fly back and forth, gentle smiles and reluctant ones.

And then Jack reveals how sorry he is for all the deaths he feels he’s caused. Gwen tries to reassure him. He saved them all. They weren’t all his fault. But Jack is resolute and lists Steven, Ianto, Owen, Tosh, Suzie… all the people that have worked for him and Torchwood.

He feels he failed them. He took charge and look what happened…

He tells her that there’s a spaceship on the edge of the solar system, he just needs to give it a signal and it’ll drop by and transport him up. Gwen hands over his wrist device that he uses, commenting that it is indestructible. Though Rhys bought a new strap…

“50 quid that cost me!”
”Bill me!”

I like RTD’s grasp on character very much.

But Jack… he’s lived an awful lot of lives, done so many different things, but now he feels it’s time to carry on wandering. Gwen thinks he should stay, will he come back… he can’t just run away.

Jack smiles.

“Oh just watch me.”

With a flash, Jack is gone and beamed up into the sky.

So where does that leave us? Well if Russell wanted to finish off Torchwood he certainly did so he damn good fashion; and he’s also left that door ajar just in case of a future visit. Gwen talking about finding the wrist device in the rubble means she’s been clearing through the remains of the Hub, I suppose.

But would Gwen then lead the team? Would Torchwood even be allowed to exist given the previous events? Though I suppose you could argue that maybe if the government had involved Torchwood from the start the situation could have been resolved differently…

Perhaps it’s a good time for a new Torchwood to start. One with closer ties to the government, but still capable of existing under its own autonomy. But should it come back with Captain Jack in charge?

Like I said, I think there’s a confession of some aspect of Jack’s personality that doesn’t take well to leadership. Here, at the end, in one respect Jack is running away from his problems. But then can I really blame him? After all he’d seen, all he’d done, all he’d lost… at his own hand no less.

Who wouldn’t want to run? And if he had the option… how could he not run?

Jack tried too hard to be the man in charge, instead of being the man in charge. That might owe some explanation to Barrowman’s portrayal but regardless… I still like Jack’s character. I still like Barrowman’s portrayal. The potential there is rich.

I’d like to see a return to Torchwood in the future. With writing, casting, direction and production of this degree and calibre, how could I not?!

To every single person involved in this miniseries, whether you helped create it or simply posted bulletins about it for press releases, fantastic work. Brilliant. This was television used for astonishing affect.

5 out of 5 Captain Jack’s beaming away into the night…

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  • Kellyann

    ^^^Wonderful summary and totally my thoughts. I’ve always been a fan of the Doctor who “world” and it was always nice to be able to switch off the telly and come back don to earth, it was complete fantasy. Torchwood has reached a new level of Sci Fi after “Children of Earth” it was just too real, i quite frankly wouldn’t put it was the worlds governments. I want to start Friday all over again and pretend that it ended another way. It was heart-wrenching and made me feel ill at the end, yay Captain Jack saved the day but at what cost. Apart from that it was one of the greatest TV events … ever and i wil most certainly be buying it on DVD :D

  • http://www.collinkelley.com Collin Kelley

    It was a brilliant series, but Davies’ streak of nihilism is almost unwatchable. As with Doctor Who, there is very little in the way of redemption, It’s all just unending despair. Starting with Rose being left in the parallel world, the deaths of Tosh and Owen (and now Ianto), Astrid’s death, Donna’s mindwipe and there was even that episode in Sarah Jane Adventures where she watched her parents drive off to their deaths and that’s supposed to be a kid’s show! It’s just relentlessly bleak. Don’t get me wrong…I like drama and darkness, but where does it end? Perhaps with Moffett taking over for Doctor Who, we might get a little more “happy” mixed in with the despair.

  • http://www.jomarhilario.com jomar

    Incredible show, credible characters, 100 out of 5.

  • Violet Hunter

    If I were Alice I would couldn’t forgive Jack– he becomes Abraham and there is no god to send in a sacrificial lamb. I disagree about the” take no lives” Doctor because of the Family of Blood episode — the Doctor ran and hid to keep from confronting and having to destroy the Family; as a result innocent lives were lost , too high a price for the Doctor’s pacifism as far as I’m concerned– but that’s a different discussion. I agree, RTD must hate Jack to have him do this, but wouldn’t we have hated Jack more had he chosen some random child, some orphan with no one to mourne or defend him? Because it was a sacrifice it had to be his own flesh and blood– on the other hand–it is such a betrayal of his own child–because this was his daughter’s only child, not his. One wonders though if Sarah Jane’s son could have handled the frequency, but he’s a teenager so it wouldn’t have worked anyway. Great review. I have to let it settle to see how I feel about the show.

  • Sara

    30 minutes after 5 has ended and I’m still numb. The ‘new sound’ was deux ex machina yet the episode was so draining that it registers only minimally as such-rewatching will bring that out more, I’m sure. I want to say it was a great ending but I cannot just yet as my mind is still wrestling with all the losses. I’ll settle on ‘powerful’ for now. Congratulations to the entire Torchwood team. You took away everything, promise nothing for the future and yet delivered the most powerful series I’ve seen. Bravo you sadistic bastards, and thank you. Now I need to go watch something fluffy and inane to get back to a normal mindset.

  • Phuul

    To Colin Kelley,

    Is it really nihilistic when you show that actions have consequences? When at then end of the show everyone isn’t just ducky and ready for more? But maybe you are talking about where the writers take the characters. I still don’t see it. Torchwood Children of Earth did not end in a shiny happy place. But it was the antithesis of nihilistic. Every single human character had to deal with ethical decisions and what they were willing to give ethically and morally. Some did it easily, some struggled and some stood their ground. You might even say that it was a demonstration of where we might end up with nihilists leading us.

    Rose being left in a parallel world: First of all how is this completely depressing? You make it sound like she is abandoned on her own. Yes Rose and The Doctor are separated but she has her mother and Mickey. Her alternate universe father and her have to figure something out but it’s a stretch to day that it’s the end of the world for her. Oh and she never comes back. And doesn’t help save the day. She most definitely does not end up with the human Doctor.

    Tosh and Owen: Tosh I might give you but Owen was headed for the dirt nap over several episodes. But as I think on it I won’t even give you Tosh. They sacrificed themselves to save the world. That seems to pretty much oppose nihilism. Unless you think they are idiots for inventing values that allow them to save the world.

    Astrid’s Death: Yet another self sacrifice. See above.

    Donna’s Mindwipe: Well sure The Doctor could have let her brain implode. He cared enough about her to not let that happen. Trying to figure out in this case how a person making a decision to save a friend is nihilistic.

    Sarah Jane’s Parents: Oh yes because wanting to do everything you possibly could to save your child is nihilistic.

    To conclude nihilism is not the same as depressing. As for redemption, you must have a very different view of the episodes post 2005 than I do. Yes some of them end melancholy, or in a very bad way. But most are more of “On to the next adventure!” And most of the melancholy ones have uplifting messages.

  • Abbi

    I’m not 100% sure that I agree with what everyone’s saying; that last episode of Torchwood, and Ianto’s death before it, were too upsetting. I think Davies just killed his own creation. He made me hate Jack, for killing his own grandson. I know there was so little choice, but it just seems so inhuman.
    I thought Ianto’s death was pointless; all through the series there was so much development in his character, and his relationship with Jack, and then he got poisoned. It doesn’t seem worth it.
    I don’t think, after this, I trust RTD to wrote any more. I don’t think that I’ll watch Doctor who, or Sarah Jane, or, it it comes back, Torchwood. Thank you very much RTD.

  • Robot Porter

    The ending DIDN’T seem like a set up for a new Torchwood series without Captain Jack. But rather as a set up for a new Captain Jack series WITHOUT Torchwood.

    A show that would take Captain Jack back to his roots. The space/time traveling, bed-hopping adventurer.

    Or it could just be the set up for his appearance in the DW finale. A redemption story in which he trades his immortality for the life of his grandson or some such.

    Or it could be both.

  • Matt

    !00% correct, nice article. The BBC got is soooo right !

  • scott

    Very good summary, BUT, I sat and watched the finale episode in hope that some good would come back after all the misery and dispare. But it didn’t. When Jacks grandson died, why in a remote hope, have a bit of his grandad in him and come back to life? why? Yes it was a very emotional rollercoaster, but they could have ended on a high, that no matter what, life finds a way. The quote of ‘injury to one is a injury to all’ was not as strong as I thought it might be!

  • James

    Absolutely incredible television, Torchwood has entered into a completely different world with the latest series. The scene where Frobisher kills his family left me in tears. I thought the ending was slightly rushed; I could have appreciated another hour to wrap things up. But then the 4, 5,6 weren’t the real monsters, and Day Five personified that for us.

  • gentle dawn

    hasn’t anyone noticed the other ‘fires of pompeii’ link? not only Peter Capaldi moving from the funniest line in that episode (Oh, you’re celtic… there”s lovely) to mesmeric guest star with nothing to make us laugh at all, but the doctor killing people thing:
    when the doctor killed/executed/sacrificed 20,000 people to save the world, he didn’t know them, didn’t have to look any of them in the eye, and he had Donna to literally grasp his hand as he pushed the lever – absolution? permission? compassion?
    but when Jack had to sacrifice one child (after saying to the 456 that they weren’t getting one solitary child) he had only his very own, he looked him in the eye from start to finish and hardly blinked. and there was no-one left to hold his hand.
    of course he’s going to run away and hide and lick his wounds for a while – you don’t mend from that with a quick hug and cry.
    great to see the obvious difference between John Barrowman, the Jack that hit our screens in 2005, and this Jack: Barrowman can’t show the years and experiences with grey hairs and wrinkles; he has to age him on the inside and make it visible to us. and he pulled it off perfectly. underrated as an actor cos he’s so damn pretty to look at, but they have to notice him here.
    and the most scary part? the Eichmann scene (like Branagh’s portrayal in the final solution) where they decided who to get rid of, glissing almost un-noticed from ‘children’ to ‘units.’ So understated, so easy to name loved ones who would ave been thus ‘chosen.’
    SF is always about here and now, to our shame. this is SF for grown-ups. thank you BBC and all.

  • Lesley

    I agree with a lot that’s already been said, and won’t repeat the points. However, regarding Frobisher’s actions, I found them entirely understandable. He’d seen the little face of the child in the tank, he’d heard tha alien say that the children live a long time – being shot in their own home by their own father was surely a better fate than allowing them to go to that endless hell. Trapped as he was. it was the most loving thing he could do.
    I saw Jack’s sacrifice of his grandson as the exact oppostite of the discussion around the Cabinet table when they were trying to cover the saving of their own children with platitudes and spin. It was the classical rock and hard place – he has to either live with knowing that he could have saved all those other children from that endless hell and didn’t, or live with the fact that he’d sacrificed his own.
    (On a purely trivial note, I was a bit cross that the woman who suggested that the children from the “failing schools” with less chance to “contribute” in future should be the ones to be sacrificed seemed to be doing so well at the end – SHE was easier to hate than Jack). Did they ever broadcast the files?

    This was superb television but, a day later, it seems to me that the Torchwood name and vehicle were taken and used to make it – it had little of the humour, the lighter points among the dark and the relationships that made Torchwood for me. Andy joining the riot was one of the few. And I could hear the full stops falling into place – Hub destroyed, tick. Ianto dead, tick. Gwen pregnant (what was the point of that except to be her Torchwood exit?), – tick. Jack defeated and gone, his tean dispersed, tick. We should be grateful that Martha was off on honeymoon (and not recalled for this emergency?).

    No doubt Mr Grant has left himself a way out of the corner he seems to hav painted himself into so that something can return under the Torchwood name, but will it be able to bring us the like of Gwen’s wedding – the lighter material that made the darker ones bearable? I don’t know.

    Jack’s return in Dr Who is going to be very interesting.

    Like one of the other writers, I ended up looking for something fluffy (in my case, the first of the SJ series) before bed!

  • http://www.collinkelley.com Collin Kelley

    Phuul, let me be clear: We’ve had two series of Doctor Who and the last two series of Torchwood that have been depressing and void of hope as Davies and Co. dispatch characters and put them in impossible situations. Personally, I’d like to see someone wind up happy at least once without the air of gloom and doom hanging over them. Sure, there has to be consequences, but what does it always have to end in untimely death? I’d like to see a return — for at least a season — of the Doctor Who of old where he doesn’t end the season crying in the Tardis.

  • lee

    In the 70′s there were many dark, clever but ultimately depressing series – doomwatch, survivors and quatermass to name but a few, This series could have easily have been screened then. We in this year of 2009 have become soft , anything slightly dark and we quiver. So i welcome this storytelling , it has guts.

  • John Caveat

    Wow, that looks like a LOT of fun dude!

    RT
    http://www.anonymize.us.tc

  • http://www.scifiheaven.net Chris McQuillan

    There’s merit in what lee says: this nihilistic outlook isn’t new, it’s just perhaps more noticable today in the ideological climate than it was thirty years ago.

  • Hermiod

    I was never really a fan of Torchwood prior to this mini-series. I always considered it to be a little campy in its production.
    But Children of Earth showed what they could do and it was brilliant.

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  • Damian

    Wow, I just watched it again coz I loved it so much, and it hits me so hard I wanted to google it…

    YOU ARE AS MAD AS I AM !!! you felt the same things.. intense.. insane..

    I feel this is one of the most underrated pieces of television every to be screened – I’m glad people as passionate as you are around. If just for this one thing alone.

    :) may all your tv be as great as you like, and everything shine with awe!!!

    Damo

  • John

    I agree that Frobisher’s actions were understandable. Throughout the previous 4 episodes I had really grown to like Frobisher, as while he wasn’t a hero he was definitely not a villain, and there was something I liked immensely about him. I cried three times during this, once in episode 4 when Ianto died, when Frobisher killed his family and himself, and when Jack killed Steven.
    But I think one of the saddest things in the whole episode is when I realized that Frobisher killed his wife, two children, and self ultimately for no reason. If he hadn’t, they would have all ended up fine. That was the realization that really got to me.

  • http://hotmail.com michael gilbey

    “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few!” we are told but we should also remember the words of Lenning. “When millions die it is a mere statistic yet when just one dies it is a tragedy!” One death always seems more important then a multitude of deaths and that’s why we all grieved for Steven and wished there could have been another way. Perhaps there was but Jack just didn’t have the time to search for options and so there was no choice. It was a classic example of how high the price of liberty can sometimes be and how sometimes even innocent children have to pay that price. Rest in peace, Steven, and maybe one day your mother can forgive your grandfather for his desperate act. I’m not sure I ever could!