Torchwood: Children of Earth: Day Five (U.S.)
by Mike Moody, posted Jul 25th 2009 3:32AM
So much for a happy ending.
With Children of Earth's critical success and record UK ratings, I'm certain show creator Russell T. Davies will get the chance to bring Torchwood back to TV next year. But how can he? (Spoilers ahead).
Ianto is dead. Gwen is almost a mother. Captain Jack, wracked with guilt and stripped of his white hat, is gone. And Torchwood is finished. It would be a shame to see the show end forever after its finest hour, but where can it go from here?
It's hard to imagine Jack Harkness ever returning to Earth as the dashing and witty hero. Watching him drain the life out of his grandson was the most shocking thing about this episode. It was even more shocking than Forbisher's murder-suicide. Some might say Jack's reprehensible action was out of character. I'm not going to speak to that here. It happened. It's canon. Jack sacrificed his family and his humanity to save a world he can longer live in. Just another price he had to pay for his involvement in the 1964 incident, and for being an immortal. Now he truly is an eternal outsider. The only choice he has is to start over somewhere else.
In the opening scene, Gwen seemed to be speaking directly to viewers trying to reconcile one fact: The very real-life horrors on display in Children of Earth were happening in the same universe that gave us the campy and fantastical Doctor Who. I admire Davies for bringing this up, and for taking Torchwood to some extremely dark places. And now we know why the Doctor never showed up to save the day. Because, sometimes, he looks at us and turns away in shame. Because there are some very horrible things we will do to protect ourselves and our own. The Doctor wants nothing to do with that. Who knew Torchwood could be so poetic?
The hour ended with tears instead of high-fives, but there was still some joy to be found. The 456 are gone. The children were saved. And who didn't love watching Bridget Spears redeem herself by socking it to the Prime Minister with the Torchwood contact lenses? The lovely Lois Habiba also turned out to be a great asset. She's destined to become a part of the team if Torchwood is due for another go-round. But I almost wish the show wouldn't come back. How could it possibly get any better than this?