Torchwood (2006–2011)
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Children of Earth: Day Five 

With little choice now but to give in to their demands, the British authorities begin to round up the children under the pretense of giving them inoculations. Panic begins to set in as ... See full summary »

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Brian Green (as Niholas Farrell)
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Alice Carter
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Mr Dekker
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Johnson
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General Pierce
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Denise Riley (as Deborah Finlay)
Katy Wix ...
Rhiannon Davies
Rhodri Lewis ...
Johnny Davies
Hilary Maclean ...
Anna Frobisher (as Hillary Maclean)
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Storyline

With little choice now but to give in to their demands, the British authorities begin to round up the children under the pretense of giving them inoculations. Panic begins to set in as parents begin to wonder what is happening to their children. Captain Jack is released as are his daughter and grandson and he tries to find a way fight the 456. Gwen and her husband return home to tell Ianto's sister what has happened but they arrive to find a house full of children, whom they try to save from the arriving soldiers. With Fobisher no longer available, Col. Oduya becomes the intermediary and the 456 reveal the reason they need the children. For Captain Jack his finding a way to fight the 456 forces him to make an incredible sacrifice. Written by garykmcd

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24 July 2009 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Trivia

This episode takes place in September 2009 and February 2010. See more »

Goofs

On returning Jack's wrist-strap, Gwen says she's replaced the actual strap. However, in the close-up, the leather is definitely well-used and worn, with indentations from the control buttons. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Gwen Cooper: There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days. I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history when there was no sign of him, I wanted to know why not. But I don't need to ask any more. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame. I'm recording this in case anyone ever finds it, so you can see... you can see ...
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Connections

Featured in Torchwood Declassified: Children of Earth (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Torchwood Theme
(uncredited)
Written by Murray Gold
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User Reviews

I'm genuinely surprised by how good it was – took three seasons but Torchwood delivered on the promises
19 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

It is a normal morning in the UK when every child in the world suddenly freezes. It happens again later but they time they all chant in unison "we are coming". There is no obvious reason for this happening but of course it seems like a case for Torchwood. Problem is that, just as the world needs them most, someone appears to be targeting them with lethal force. Meanwhile, at the Home Office, new PA Lois Habiba cannot help but pick up on the dark tone to the work of her boss John Frobisher and tries to work out which side she should really be on.

Torchwood has always been a weird creation – with characters from what is essentially a Saturday evening family show it seems like it should be for children but yet season 1 contained endless sexual trysts and violence which seemed aimed at adults despite having content (characters, plots) that adults would see as silly. It was, to all intents and purposes, a mess. Season 2 made some key improvements and became a show that I actually enjoyed and appreciated, despite it not being brilliant. So it took this third (and probably final) "season" to be the moment where the show finally hits upon the grownup sci-fi that it had been promising us from the very start. Gone totally are the pointless moments of sexual and violent excess, as are the soapy sub-plots and what is left is a story that owes a debt to the more cerebral sci-fi of Quatermass and the BBC.

Of course, before I upset Theo Robertson by evoking that name as a comparison (as opposed to a contrast), it must be pointed out that Children of Earth does have plenty of action and movement but for my money it puts that on top of a plot that has less to do with monsters flying round all over the place and more to do with the "monsters" inside humanity and the decisions that must be made "in the greater good". It doesn't really work the moral questions but it makes them a very strong base to what is a very urgent and engaging story. The decision to screen it over five consecutive nights pays off because it does hook and, although I more or less watched it in one sitting, I always wanted to watch the next episode and I know from press coverage that the viewing figures were very good.

The children being central is a bit derivative of other things but we all know children are creepy at the best of times and it uses that well. The darkness and the morality is played out much better than it has been in the previous seasons and it builds really well giving me genuine chills throughout. The "Britishness" of the whole thing is still there in the accents, unglamorous characters, flabby bodies, small estates and, at times, a limit in scale to front rooms and such. However it does not feel like a limiting factor here but rather just part of it. This is down to the material because it prevents it feeling quaint and "oh look at the Brits trying to do a big sci-fi thing". This is also seen in some of the casting – for example I didn't think that Capaldi would be able to shake off Malcolm Tucker but he did and after the first few scenes I had put it out of my mind completely. Speaking of the cast, everyone does well with the material. Barrowman may have started as a pantomime character but he gets it right here – a tragic figure who himself has resided over unpalatable decisions and it works. Myles is a lot less annoying than before, mainly because her material has less of the soap-opera about it. David-Lloyd is good, although I wasn't overly taken by Owen's increased screen time as her husband. Cush Jumbo plays the innocent insider really well although I'll be honest and say that her sheer cuteness made me remember her among the many other very good supporting cast – particularly those shifting and debating at the table of power.

Children of Earth has its faults and I'm sure that my enjoyment of it was enhanced by how low my expectations were following what had gone before from it, however it is a very strong, engaging and dark sci-fi miniseries. It is what the show always should have been and it has the darkness and sci-fi content that the strongest episodes of the new Who have had. Although there is some stuff it would be better to know, skip seasons 1&2 and watch this – it is surprisingly good.


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