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

by Mike Moody, posted Jul 25th 2009 3:32AM
torchwood children of earth, day five

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?

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dwight

Hi there. Just wanted to pop in with some good(or bad for some)news. I've just read that RTD said there will indeed be a series 4 of Torchwood! He didn't have many details other than to say the show will be back though he didn't know how many episodes will run or which cast members would return. According to RTD "[The show] will be back, but maybe the ones you want to be back won't be back."
I'm happy to know Torchwood will continue. It's one of the BEST shows on television.

July 26 2009 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
K Tay

I was so heartbroken..unbelievabley so; but..I actually find CPT Jack's sacrafice of "one for the many" was the right thing to do. I mean he gave away children with no thought so many years ago - it was selfish and wrong; but now, he had the chance to be selfish and wrong again; but he didn't he knew the only choice was his grandson for all. At some point I did hope that the child was immortal. But when he didn't it was Justice for CPT Jacks transgressions. It was horrible to watch. I was in tears, but it was the right thing to do ..I mean if there was a right. It had to be hard for him (like Frobisher) he did what was unimaginable..but it was for the best.

If they bring the series back I cant possibly imagine how they can top this...

I loved that they tied this back to Dr. Who, but how the heck can they chnage out David Tennant yet??? ugh!

July 26 2009 at 9:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cathy

I disagree about Jack's actions being reprehensible. He's always been the one to make the hard decisions. 12 children to save 25 millions (though that wasn't his choice, he was just the delivery man) back in 1965 has had repercussions and he is now the one to suffer.
Sacrificing one child (beloved by the hero) to save 32 million children is hardly reprehensible...it's more Godlike in it's implications:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son..."
You can see what the sacrifice cost him...the pain and suffering in his face (very well-acted) as Steven dies.
He has truly become a tragic hero, and since he's immortal, his journey has just begun. I only hope he runs to the "right kind of Doctor" and gets some healing.

July 26 2009 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Liz

You really did get it right . . . how can Torchwood return now - we want it to but we're all kind of numb. Amazing writing - amazing story line! Drug dealers - wow! The sacrfice - too hard to watch; utilitarianism in the extreme . . . but what else to do? Certianly not a happy ending . . .yet the children of the world were saved. Hmm - lots to think about there . . .

July 25 2009 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rose

Val, Jack (which isn't even his own name, btw) becomes immortal during a Dr. Who arc, where the Doctor's companion, Rose, becomes a part of the Tardis/time vortex itself to destroy (yet again) the Daleks. Jack is killed in the battle, but Rose resurrects him with her temporary power. Since he's got part of time all mixed up in him now, he's become a fixed point in time and, therefore, immortal, according to the Doctor. He will eventually become the Face of Boe, another character in the Doctor's universe, who is a sage.

As for this miniseries, wow! I just thought RTD broke my heart when he killed off Tosh and Owen. Then I really thought he did it when he killed of Ianto. But night five . . . I don't want to leave it that way! RTD has become the new David E. Kelley or Donald P. Bellisario, both famous for killing off beloved characters to shock their audiences (and to p#ss me off).

I know that Jack has to attone for his sins, but even the most wretched tragic Greek hero finds redemption and peace in the end, even if it comes at the price of his life. Jack doesn't get that option. I know eventually Jack will become the Face of Boe, but in the meantime, what about Gwen and Torchwood? Torchwood without Jack? Ain't happenin' for me.

July 25 2009 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Val

Just heart wrenching... I heard great things about Torchwood this is the first time I've seen a "full season" and it didn't disappoint. The fact that they could bring a causal fan like me into the fold and not leave me thinking whats going on considering the breath of history spanning Dr. Who and 2 past seasons is remarkable!

I was aware of the mature aspect of the show but I didn't think they would take it that far.. I was thinking they were going to to reveal the boy as an immortal like the Cap (I dont know how Jack got his immortality by the way).

July 25 2009 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Val's comment
John

Time lord technology :)

July 25 2009 at 8:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sidrat38

Amazing mini series..When I watched, I found myself wanting to throw things at the TV at certain points. I actually had a tear in my eye when Ianto died..

Couple things, though..

It's FROBISHER...not forbisher

And the events happened in 1965..not 1964
(Sorry, don't mean to pick nits)

Anyway, I hope they come back..

The new Torchwood team..Gwen, Rhys, Lois..and ????

July 25 2009 at 4:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kathy

I found the minseries exciting at times and amusing at times but overall I wish the plot was tighter. So why exacly didn't the 4-5-6 just take the kids? Why the threats and negotiation? They obivously can just beam them up and could have taken them over time in groups from playgrounds and schools. It was an interesting twist that the kids were drugs. It was nicely sad and dramtic that Frobisher kills his famiyl and himself but why not warn them or get them to run? There were media people but it certainly didnt' seem like the house was surrounded. Not to mention his older daughter definitely seemd closer to puberty than the boy left behind ithe 60's could have been. Hated Ianto dying. I had seen a spoiler so knew it was coming. I understand most shows now want us to feel anyone is in danger but come on! Tosh, Owen, Ianto. Davies seems to think most people don't care but I knwo for me TW was never just the Jack and Gwen show. Plot tightness was never TW's strong suit. It was the team and the characters and my caring for them. Now 3 are dead.

July 25 2009 at 4:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
El Coqui

Children of Earth had raised the bar of what you can expect in TV. Yes, the ending was almost tragic but look up at the great tales of old, were you seldom see a living-happily-afterwards outside of the Disney realm. So the consistenly well acted and written storyline elevated this miniseries to almost a Homeric saga level.

The champion is victorious at the end but at such a personal cost, that you could not fault him for questioning if it was worth it. Of course, the fates or the law of unitended consequences having decreed the high price for his earlier actions.

Like you, I think that this will be an appropiate point to end the series but with the spetacular ratings, I expect to see it return. Let's hope that it will do so without insulting its many fans.

July 25 2009 at 2:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj

This was so sad. Poor Jack. I have to say, he never seemed a super hero to me, just someone who thought he had a purpose. Sadly, he can't remember now the good he HAS done, but is wrapped up in guilt and grief. Who can blame him? I hope he finds himself again. I can see the makings of a new group for TW, including Lois, the government woman who shot the scientist, the scientist, and maybe Bridget. I can see her running the place. I also was steamed at the government woman who suggested sending the 'lesser kids,' suddenly get righteous and decide to take over. Hypocrite. Fantastic series. I hope it comes back. With Davies.

July 25 2009 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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