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27 April 2021

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

3.5: Children Of Eath - Day Five

So, this is it, the final day of the most epic proportion in Torchwood’s history. With the death of Ianto, the whole Torchwood team has been ripped apart.

 

We start the episode with Gwen talking to camera on a crude video camcorder, saying she finally understands why The Doctor avoids the Earth, and would turn away in shame if he knew about their own children being sacrificed in such cowardice to the 456. The Government spread a message saying the children needed to be vaccinated and sent back to school, however, the families were not so easily fooled when only a select few were called upon to have this “vaccination.” In present circumstances in writing this review, it does reflect somewhat real-life scenarios that make your hair stand up on end and that is why Russell T Davies is so brilliant at as a writer, by creating that sense of realism, even in the most Sci-Fi universe.

 

When you think things can’t go from bad to worse, they do. The Government go ahead with their plan of kidnapping school children who they see as being “underachievers” and they are scarified for the planet. It’s a choice that should never be made or validated as a course of action. UNIT being curious as to what the reasoning is behind the kidnapping of school children, makes your heart drop to your stomach. The children are not being used so that the 456 can survive, they’re being used as a kind of drug induced “hit” that makes them feel good. With that knowledge, you realise just how all this sacrifice isn’t to save two species, they’re doing a drugs trade with planet Earth and that makes you feel sick.

 

The families start getting suspicious as their kids are taken away in coach loads and in a state of panic, the Government forces Frobisher to film his kids being taken away. With the knowledge of what they do to them, the harrowing scene of Frobisher reaching for a gun and taking his family into the kids’ room, before closing the door and hearing 4 single shots fired, is a moment that is so heart wrenching. This man only wanted to do good under the most manipulative system and he has to pay the ultimate sacrifice for it. Peter Capaldi excels in this scene and it makes for incredibly upsetting and hard to watch viewing. What cements this scene so perfectly, is when Bridget Spears is talking to Lois Habiba about the life Frobisher led, his passion and ambitions and no matter what happens after that scene in his house, he will always be a “good man.”

 

Children of Earth never lets you down in pace and action. We quickly swing back round to fixing the equilibrium of this whole saga in Torchwood style. Captain Jack works out that the kids and the 456 all work on the same frequency (due to the fact the 456 killed Clem in the previous episode) and if he can get the right tone, it would essentially blow up the 456 and kill it for good. The only problem is one child needs to be used as a beacon for this signal and who should be the only child in the area, but his own grandson. Torchwood likes to make these epic grand statements of impossible choices, something that is very closely related to Doctor Who with the Fourth Doctor deciding if he has the right to kill the Daleks. It’s a moral conflict that Jack feels he needs to take upon himself, maybe because he believes he owes The Doctor some kind of debt for his immortal status? In the end, Jack makes that final choice and kills his grandson to save the world. This isn’t the big celebratory ending we’re so used to; it reflects the world in a true way showing that not every story has a happy ending.

 

Just to add more heartbreak, Alice Carter (Jack’s daughter), can’t even face Jack and turns away in anger, and shame as she sees Jack sat in the corridor. How would you ever get over the fact your own father killed your child, even for the sake of saving the world. In this moment, Jack realises he can no longer stay on earth and decides to hop on a spaceship flying past to get far away as possible. It’s a heart-breaking scene as you can see the scared and upset look on Gwen’s face as it appears she will be taking over the role of saving the earth on her own.

 

The whole saga of Children of Earth has been an epic ride from start to finish. It’s still for me the perfect example of what Torchwood is all about. 


Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 


 

 

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