Torchwood: Children of Earth Review
After a year of wait, the adult themed spin off of Doctor Who, Torchwood, finally returned to our screens for a five episode third season entitled Children of Earth. Created in , the series has been running for since 2006 and was created by Russell T. Davies, who revived the Doctor Who franchise a year previous to creating the show.
Beginning with a chilling cold opening set in the past, laced with dark mystery and intrigue, the scenes significance is quickly brought to light with a certain event in the present tying it nicely together. Injecting humour and with some natural onscreen chemistry between the main cast, we are reintroduced to the familiar environment that is the Torchwood family, mirroring the beginning of the series that created a kind realistic feel. The chilling plot continues all seemingly becoming relevant as the dots are connected, but more guest stars begin to flood the show, and I felt they took up way too much screen time, although they are interesting. After more surprises, twists and turns, and some expert directing by Euros Lyn, the stupendous first episode closes with an amazing yet slightly predictable ending.Hurtling straight into the second episode, we receive an awesome, thrilling, action filled start that had me cheering in my seat (I adore Eve Myles), and some kick-ass scenes that I’ve replayed several times. With this episode focusing more on the government plot, the action, to my despair, declines from there, but gave me much more time to enjoy the characters individually, in some cases providing humour but with others, a depressing seriousness, however were all enjoyable. As the looming threat continues to, ugh, threaten, the plot picks up the pace again with action and mystery, the introduction of Floor 13, and a smashing conclusion (there’s a pun there), “Day Two” ends on a high.
“Day Three” focuses more on Torchwood as a team, and how close they are, which I found very endearing and humorous as they made Gwen’s philosophy physical. But, as they get themselves up and running yet again, chills were sent down my spine as the alien threat finally presented themselves on Earth, and was curious as to Jack’s apparent previous involvement with this race. Outside characters continue to steal spotlight, and I was disappointed to see Torchwood’s role reduced to basically sitting, waiting and watching, but was fascinated to learn more about the 456, as they revealed their true intentions. During the final scenes, although I was able to predict certain things, I was left intrigued as to the morality of an individual, and fascinated by this character’s strange development, and was certainly left intrigued.
With a peculiar, dark opening, and with a rather boring answer to one question, my heart strings were quickly tugged as we finally see the aliens, and it’s not what I was expecting. As Torchwood continue to watch, I found myself glued to the screen as the politicians debate as to what to do, John Fay’s fantastic writing had me questioning what I would do in their situation (I will post that in the comment section after it’s aired in the US), and while it wasn’t difficult for me to decide, the guest stars managed to convincingly convey the tension between all different possibilities and radiate a sense of ethical nihilism here, however, it grows slightly tedious as it consumes the majority of the episode. After the decision is made, Torchwood re-acts swiftly with a superb cunning plan, making me happy to see them finally leaping into action after two and a half episodes of mainly down time. High tense confrontations between Jack, Ianto and the 456 and the slick Gwen and Agent Johnson, executed with some classic Torchwood acting. And with one more surprising, sad twist that I could not have hit me harder or more suddenly. Be prepared, as “Day Four’s” ending will have you gasping (SORRY, DON’T WANT TO REVEAL MORE OR IT’LL BE SPOILED).
“Day Five”, and the characters are a constructive mess, and the plot is now fairly open ended and aimless, which gave me a fantastic sense of unpredictability and “What now?” I felt appalled as the combination Davies’ script and the amazing guest actors had me cringing and shaking in my seat at the soulless, cold decisions of the government, and had me complete and utterly despising them. Superb directing by Lyn yet again and with astonishing detail down to the very last extra, and great editing that filled me with angst. I was filled with delight to discover an original answer where I believed it would be clichéd, but sadly the clichés crept back in as the “worst case scenario” theme was thrown out the window, but emotions continued to run high as the realism of certain scenes were mind blowing and it was very hard not to empathise. Davies’ script continued to shine as a character’s stone cold decision fills you with hate for him, and with a quick fast forward, “Day Five” and Torchwood Season Three concludes with a beautiful exchange of words, but my new impressions of characters couldn’t stay down, which I believe was the intention on Davies as I was finally filled with a vast array of emotions.
Overall, season three of this cult TV show was spectacular: although lacking in the usual mix of themes near the middle, the beginning and ending are some of my favourites. The main characters develop, even within the time constriction, and the main cast still execute amazing performances and have great on screen chemistry that was enchanting. With brilliant guest stars, and although they did take up too much time on screen, you could not fault their performance and a perplex, original storyline, intriguing scripts and marvellous direction, and although it’s not without it’s flaws, season three of Torchwood was outstanding, and I thoroughly hope that it will return for a fourth season.