Lemme begin with ..Oh Torchwood! What an experience it has been for me! Five episodes on five days..back to back. It has been such a roller-coaster ride mixed with extreme emotions and juxtaposed with intensely gripping drama and also posing some absolutely disturbing themes. Torchwood’s latest series – Children of Earth could not have been better. But yes, for all the people who keep expecting for yet some more [ people like me], there is so much more left to be craving for. Coming back to Torchwood, what made me glued to the screen was the intense human emotions associated with a horrible horrible situation. God forbid, if we *ARE* faced with such a situation, I really wonder how the current global leaders would handle it. It is a huge comment on the global political scenario and also most importantly, how the US feels left out and suffers from an inferiority complex when an Alien invasion scenario occurs in central London, rather than NY or San Fransisco.
Day 1: Lets have a quick rewind of what happened previously [15 months sabbatical to be precise ]. Death of 2 regular characters in the finale. The Torchwood team this series remains limited to Ianto, Gwen and Capt.Jack .
Flashback to 1965 Scotland – A close encounter with Aliens and 12 children walking towards an enormous beam of light. Flash forward to present-day where all children momentarily freeze, simultaneously. …
The next level – Children scream out at an extremely screeching pitch, followed by repeating the words -“We Are Coming”. The Torchwood takes notice of the phenomenon whereas the UK Govt. headed by the PM -Mr.Green and Home Office civil servant- John Frobisher, aware of the event as a work of “The 456” as an alient contact with which they dealt in 1965, wants to cover up their historic events. We also meet Clement MacDonald, the old-man with the psychic sense of smell, who is actually one of the 12 children who escaped the 1965 encounter with the 456.
Series of questions were raised after the first episode. Questions like – What happened in 1965 Alien abduction and what do the aliens want now, 44 years later? What happened to the Kids of 1965? And why are the kids used as a vessel for broadcasting the message – We Are Coming?
Day2: The government decodes the message from 456 to build a poisonous chamber. The government in their attempt to cover up the events of 1965, have destroyed Torchwood hub, and is on a rampage killing spree of all the Torchwood members. Ianto and Gwen have survived and are on the run, whereas Capt.Jack is dead (again). Pregnant Gwen is with her boyfriend Rhys, and they try to get back on their feet to create another Torchwood office so that they can deal with the 456 threat that they have discovered. Capt.Jack is back from the dead, and now being contained in concrete. Gwen and Ianto manage to free him with the help of Rhys, and Torchwood team is back in business. While all this was happening, the children reassure – We Are Coming Tomorrow.
Day 3: Stealing credit cards, new laptops, a new jacket for Capt.Jack and bam! we are back to Hub2 of Torchwood. Rhys is cooking some yum yum nom nom! The children of the earth now show some more features, pointing towards the centre of London. The 456 now descend and have no issues from being referred to as the 456. Poor Mr.Frobisher was forced to be the spokesperson for the planet’s government and trying to negotiate the secrecy of the 1965 events. And with the help of brand Torchwood contact lenses – which also can broadcast video [ a Sci Fi gizmo successor of the Mission Impossible glasses ], all the events inside the MI5 negotiation room were being recorded by Torchwood. And Gwen,Rhys, Ianto and Clement are enjoying this from the comfort of their secret warehouse. But when Jack appears, Clement recognises him as the man who handed over the kids to the aliens in 1965.
Day 4: Now this is huge. This will be remembered as the episode where Ianto died. Also coping with extremely tough decision making, the global political leaders have to come up with a solution to meet with the unacceptable demand for 10% of the world’s children. The fate of the children is also revealed when a cameraman is allowed inside the gas-chamber, revealing a child being hooked up to the alien as some kind of an energy source. You think that was disturbing? The UK Govt. is still hunting down Torchwood, but Torchwood has the events recorded and is using it as an evidence ready to be made public. Torchwood wins, and Capt.Jack and Ianto take control in the negotiation room, where they scream out jingoistically , that they will not be handing over the children and will fight back. The 456 is upset, and it releases a virus, killing a lot of people in the MI5 building, including Ianto :((
Day 5: After the previous night’s events, all I had in mind was, will the Govt. or Torchwood be able to come up with a solution, and what would that be ? Rumors were floating all around of the possibility of the Doctor to beam up and saving the day. But it did not happen. And what happened made me extremely sad. The series was just monstrously creepy on many levels. The 456 revealed that it did not need the children to survive, but just as a snorting drug – “Children are GOOD” [Michael Jackson anyone]. The PM orders Frobisher to make a public broadcast of his own children being innocuated and then taken away in the bus. Unable to cope up with it, Frobisher shoots his own family before commiting suicide. On the other hand, Gwen, as a last tribute to Ianto, has a mission of saving Ianto’s nephews and neices and their neighbourhood. Yes, the world was saved; by Captain Jack, assisted by the creepy ol Professor, but at a huge cost of Capt.Jack’s grandson. And no, the Doctor did not appear.
To Sum It Up:
Russel T Davies has given us such a deeply moving series of Torchwood which has made me cry, two nights in a row. To begin with, I must say that the entire portrayal of how the politicians would tend to handle such a situation is creepy and extremely shaking. One of the most uncomfortable scenes in this series is not the poisonous gas chamber. Rather, it is the boardroom where all the politicians have gathered to discuss how to meet with the demand of giving away the 10% of worls’s children. The boardroom buzzes with methods and techniques, and how everyone is after saving their own skin even under such circumstances. The discriminating criteria of choosing the unwanted 10% of the society and protecting the future prospective work-force on grounds of their schooling background was very disturbing. The thought of being compelled to give up children in itself is horrifying, and even when Capt.Jack has to make the choice of giving away his grandson , does it justify to give away one child to save billions? Was that Capt.Jack’s atonement for handing over the kids in 1965? It kinda reminds me of the Jap-movie “Battle Royale” [a movie which can be termed- awesome awesome awesome].
The picturisation of hundreds of children freezing on the streets to either utter something in unison or just plain screaming is creepy. What would happen if children on Monday were to imitate this whole season. For sure, this would make a helluva creepy YouTube video, much like the Grand Central freezin or the Trafalgar Square freezing YouTube videos. Also, the concept of the 456 to use the children just a drug to get high is first-hand monstrosity. But yes, the entire series did remind me how weak Torchwood is , as a Special agency trying to fight paranormal activities. It was quite easy for them to set up a Hub when destroyed by just stealing some credit cards, and yet, they are always handicapped by the claws of the Govt. Torchwood needed to take things more in control and the entire point of the Govt. trying to cover up its history was almost unnecessary. I mean, how can you trust the 456 in the first place as far as implementing protocols is concerned. They took 12 children in 1965, and here they are, back again to snort some more , 10% to be precise.
And I had a dream. A dream that in the final episode, when Gwen kept on mentioning about the Doctor, the Tardis would beam out. The Doctor stepping out of his Tardis, would grab the 456 by his balls, and bitch-slap him and send him to be sucked into a really dark black hole never to come back. All this, while he resurrects Ianto, somehow [puhleeeeeez..]. But no, nothing happened. No one else to save the day, just Capt. Jack and his proficiency in broadcasting frequencies [ which reminded me- Wasn’t it SKYNET as well, which was attempted to be brought down by some killing negative frequency, man Sound Engineering is futuristic].
All in all, Torchwood – Children of Earth provided us much anticipated thrills and Sci-Fi situational drama. In some cases, it delivered more awesomeness than the Sci-Fi shit that Hollywood has been churning out lately. RTD confirms that there will be a Season 4. Now thatCapt.Jack has gone to some other galaxy, I guess, we have to wait a long time to hear from him anytime soon.
For now, Enjoy the Screenshots below; Do Shout out your thoughts in the comments section below. And enjoy the DVD!
Some more Screenshots for your viewing pleasure.