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19 January 2021

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

3.1: Children Of Eath - Day One

Well, where can I begin with this one? What an absolutely jam packed episode. This is something we wholeheartedly expected from the writing talent of Russell T. Davies.


We enter day one of the 5 day episodic adventure with a school trip in Scotland. However, this doesn’t appear to be the typical trip to your local landmark. The whole opening of this story is very much an homage to the film “Close Encounters” as the kids are guided by a group of adults as they walk into the mysterious light, never to be seen again.


In true Torchwood style, we’re immediately swept to modern day Cardiff, as the Torchwood team (or the remains of them after the passing of Tosh and Owen), are in full action dealing with alien menaces in a hospital. However, their interference doesn’t go unnoticed as a curious Doctor Rupesh Patanjali catches Jack and Ianto in the act as they try and extract an alien artefact from a corpse. He seems very interested in the Torchwood team and after the events of the end of series 2, it feels like the team could do with an extra pair of hands and Gwen agrees.


Whilst all this is taking place, the children on Earth appear to have suddenly stopped. Gwen feeling as confused as the rest of us, goes to investigate the issue. It’s quite an ominous scene as the camera lingers on the lifeless eyes of the children. Suddenly, after a minute or so the kids suddenly spring back into life as if nothing has happened.


As this is all taking place, we are transported to the Home Office, where we’re introduced to Peter Capaldi - not as the Doctor, but as John Frobisher. Colonel Oduya (Charles Abomeli) tells John all about the incident with the children and how UNIT and Torchwood can contain the story - how wrong he was. We are also introduced to Lois Habiba (Cush Jumbo) who is on her first day and surpassingly is given some highly confidential information on a Post-it-note. To be fair with UNIT’s security sometimes, this doesn’t surprise me.


We zip to and from multiple storylines in one episode; we quickly head back to Gwen and Rupesh talking about aliens and how they impacted the world. Suddenly the children start screaming. It’s a horrifying scene as you see parents yelling at their children trying to get them to stop, before they start proclaiming “We are coming” all in unison. If that isn’t strange enough, it isn’t just the children, but a man called Timothy, who we later discover is called Clement McDonald, who was one of the original children in the opening scene, who also shouts into the distance. It's a fabulous establishing episode, gearing up to what feels like the Torchwood team's biggest challenge that they have had to face so far.


Not only do we have the main premise, but we also find out Jack has a daughter, who in Torchwood style is older than him. It’s a turn of events we didn’t expect to see, delving into Jack’s past once more, while Ianto has the Torchwood mobile stolen and Gwen finds out she’s pregnant. Also, Jack has a bomb implanted into him that blows up at the end of the episode and yes this all does fit into a one hour episode.


The episode is beautifully directed by the wonderful Euros Lyn, who has done many iconic Doctor Who stories during the Russell T. Davies era. It really builds up the whole premise of the grand scale of the situation and how the Torchwood team need to adapt and change to their new way of working. With Captain Jack seemingly gone, what are the team going to do now?

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 



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