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September 30, 2014

Torchwood: Children of Earth: Day Three (U.S.)

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 23rd 2009 2:10AM
torchwood children of earth, bbc, day three, jack harkness

They're here.

Species 456 finally touched down on Earth to scare the crap out of civil servant John Frobisher -- and this reviewer -- in the third suspenseful hour of Torchwood: Children of Earth.

Day two was an action-packed thrill ride from start to finish, but day three (scripted by Russell T Davies and James Moran) was the most intense episode of the miniseries so far. For the second time this week,Torchwood had me on the edge of my seat with some truly chilling moments. But before things got too creepy, there was some fun to be had with the team getting back together, finding a new Hub, and lifting a few credit cards and laptops from unsuspecting Londoners.

The humor was spot on in this ep. The silly but fun crime-spree montage had a lovely Doctor Who-like lightness to it, and the almost-love scene between Jack and Ianto ("bloody beans") made me laugh out loud. It was inspiring to watch the team shake off its wounds and build a new Torchwood Hub from the ground up. Even Jack's "I'm back" superhero moment felt earned, especially considering what he had to go through to get back.

But all that might go to hell with Jack's shocking admission that he fed 12 children to The 456 in 1964. I can't say I saw that one coming, but it makes sense. Jack hasn't always been the heroic nice guy we see leading the charge in Children of Earth. If I remember correctly, he was actually a bit of a villain when he first showed up on Doctor Who. I was ready to forgive Jack the moment after I found out what he did (what can I say, I kind of love the guy), but I don't think Gwen, Ianto or Rhys will be as forgiving once hour four starts rolling.

We learned very little about The 456, but the scenes between Forbisher and the aliens are what I'll remember most about this episode. Without fully revealing the creatures or their full intentions, Davies and Moran managed to create a terrifying villain and some truly tense TV. If I were Lois Habiba, I would've dropped my spy contact lenses on the ground and followed blondie out the door.

Davies and Moran deserve a lot of the credit here, but the main and supporting cast members have all been excellent. New additions Peter Capaldi as Frobisher and Cush Jumbo as Lois are especially good. (The only one playing it a little too over the top is Liz May Brice as the ever-scowling Johnson.)

With day four, Torchwood deals with Jack's admission, and the British government trembles as The 456 reveal their true intentions.

Remember -- No spoilers in the comments please! If you must give something away, please mark your post with a nice big "Spoiler Warning."

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dwight

I loved the entire series!When I first heard series 3 was to be a five night only showing I was bummed to say the least. I didn't think much could be gained/learned in just five nights. Big mistake on my part. Series 3 packed more bang for the buck in five nights than most shows do in an entire full series(season)!! I hope ratings were as good in the states as they were in the UK. I'm hoping for & looking forward to Torchwood: Series 4. It's one of the best(and few)shows I watch without fail.
Bravo to RTD!!
BTW, imo the 456 are the most ominious and frightening villians/monsters in any sci-fi universe. Clearly the 'less is more' approach worked. Bravo!Bravo!

July 26 2009 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jaerisk

Any word on the ratings? I know it did well in the UK but hope it does okay here as well.

July 23 2009 at 10:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PB

Jack's reveal at the end was jaw-dropping for me. I mean, I felt it coming that he was there in 1965, but his "they were a gift" (or something similar, can't remember the exact words) had me trembling. Man, I love this show!

July 23 2009 at 11:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ryan

Can't really add anything else since the parts I remember and enjoy are the parts you covered (humorous Torchwood bits, intense Frobrisher/alien scenes, and the amazing supporting cast).

VERY VERY VERY MILD SPOILERS (Re: Your comment on Liz May Brice) - She gets a bit more fleshed out in the remaining two episodes.

July 23 2009 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Ryan's comment
TeenWolfie

Good to know.

July 23 2009 at 11:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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