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10 March 2021

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

3.4: Children Of Eath - Day Four

It was bound to happen in this review; we have now reached “that” episode in this series of Torchwood. Grab the tissues, this one is going to be incredibly emotional.


Things are not looking great as Captain Jack realises the implication of his actions by sending the kids to the aliens. Clement, in a frenzy of fury towards Jack, shoots him dead on the spot. Gwen really comes into her own here as Rhys says, “The man is dangerous,” but really, he is just terrified by the whole situation and Gwen can immediately see this. It’s a nice character development as even through all the sci-fi wonders in the show, she still has to rely upon her police instinct to sort situations and keep the peace. Jack reveals the reason why Clement was specifically chosen to be sent to the aliens, was due to the fact they wouldn’t be missed by anyone. It’s a real emotional twist revealing Jack’s reasoning and logic to fighting an unknown menace when The Doctor isn’t around - something Torchwood has become very adept at, explaining the consequences of actions in the Doctor Who universe. 


The 456 also clarifies the situation as to why it wants the children of Earth. In this very harrowing scene, it allows one person to enter the poisonous tank revealing a child hooked up in an entanglement of wires to the 456 itself; it’s a scene that could have been taken straight out of the movie “Alien.” It’s pure Torchwood sci-fi horror that makes your skin crawl and Peter Capaldi reacting to the news, really hits hard as you can see the pain, horror and anguish in his eyes. The final threat is made when the 456 says they have to hand over the children or the whole of the human race will be destroyed. It’s the impossible choice that has become the pinnacle theme of Torchwood through the series. 


There’s a touching scene between Ianto and Jack, as Ianto realises he doesn’t know the man he fell in love with and works with, at all. Ianto claims he’s only just scratched the surface of the truth behind his long life, to which Jack opens up, revealing he has a daughter and grandson who are captured at this moment. The scene really shows that Jack keeps a lot of secrets and acts as if the situation is under control  so as to not panic the people he loves, but it always comes at a cost later down the line. This is very heavy foreshadowing for future events that, when re-watching Torchwood, you realise how many clues are left for the audiences to pick up on and that’s down to some incredible writing by Russell T. Davies.


This is when everything starts to unravel with the world. The Government starts to seriously consider how many children per country as a “camouflageable donation,” otherwise known as people who they feel aren’t important, to give to the 456. Torchwood as a series, really reveals how through manipulation and exploitation, how the Government in their cowardice, try and resolve a situation. It always reminds me of the quote ‘The Doctor must look on this World in shame’ and in these situations you can see why. In a surprise role the wonderful Nicholas Briggs plays the not so wonderful character of Rick Yates. With some kind of reasoning, he convinces the Prime Minister that losing 10% of children per country would do the world good for its resources. Russell T. Davies always does a wonderful representation of realism in sci-fi when it appears any situation can be resolved by putting a monetary value on things. Lois Habiba, recording the whole conversation for Torchwood, makes them immediately aware of the situation and they know action needs to be taken without delay.


Now for Lois Habiba, the Torchwood agent that never was, this is her moment of heroism as she stands up in front of the whole board and announces with such confidence, Torchwood had been recording everything that had been said. It’s the pure, punch in the air moment, that really turns the tides of fate for a moment as they try and regain control of the situation. The music, the fast-paced editing, Jack sauntering into Thames House, we’ve gone straight back to the stylistic themes of Torchwood series 1 and 2 and it feels like home.


And here we are, we have reached the final chapter in Ianto’s adventures with Torchwood. Jack and Ianto enter the room where the 456 is currently being held. Jack appears to come to a revelation after their conversation in the warehouse that this time, the 456 will not be getting the demands it requires. There’s no holding back in the argument as Jack and Ianto take the final stance and ultimately again have to face the consequences of being a hero once more. The 456 not giving up so easily, release a virus into Thames House that will kill everything within it. 


Ianto’s death is one of the most shocking and brilliantly performed scenes in Torchwood. For Jack and for the fans of the show, Ianto was that anchor that kept everyone stable while the whole world seemed to change with every episode. Ianto was always the hidden hero in the background and in the toughest moments he always knew he would die for his service. It’s a brave choice to make to kill off such an iconic and long-standing character, however it shows that the world and Torchwood is an unpredictable place and no one is safe.


Tomorrow is the final day of the most heart breaking and intense week the Torchwood team has ever had to face. What will happen next? Well, we’ll soon find out.

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 



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