Monday, 6 July 2009

Torchwood: Children Of Earth (Day 1)


The 456: "We are coming. We are coming... back!"

Wow... that was pretty damn decent. I was unsure how well the mini-series format would suit Torchwood, but it actually worked rather well. I was listening to an interview with John Barrowman on Radio One this afternoon and he seemed to suggest that, in future, they may use the extended story-arc format again (assuming for a moment that Torchwood has a future). If tonight's episode was anything to go by, then bring it on!

The longer treatment gave the characters a chance to breathe and I'd say all of them benefited from the extra screen time. Ianto and Jack spent much of the episode trying to come to terms with their being a couple. In fact, there was a strong focus on family this week. We even got to see Ianto visiting his sister and Jack visiting his daughter, Alice (what the...?). Which, admittedly, seemed sweet at first. But when Alice realised that Jack was only there to study his grandson, Steven, she was rightfully pissed off with him. Ianto too only seemed interested in his family because of wanting to study his niece. Which is a sad refection on the lives of both men. The pair of them have become so detached from their families that they're virtually strangers. And both are married to their careers. Which, I suppose, makes them ideally suited for each other.

There were some outrageous jokes in tonight's episode. I'm not sure anyone other than Russell T. Davies could have gotten away with them. So I'm glad he wrote this first installment. Otherwise we'd have missed out on some corking humour. Blunt, brutally crude, but undeniably tittersome.

They pulled a crafty one on us, too, by making us think that Rupesh Patanjali was a prospective Torchwood employee. Being a doctor, he would have made the perfect replacement for Owen. The recruitment method was similar to that used on Gwen. Rupesh was given just enough information to lead him to the base. And I actually fell hook, line and sinker for his story. Which made him shooting Jack all the more shocking. Still, he got his comeuppance. They all do, eventually.

I'm guessing from next weeks preview that Jack will survive. If he doesn't, then welcome to one of the craziest plot twists known to man. Permanently offing the show's main character in the first episode of a five part story, is a sure way to kill off the series. So that's not going to happen. I'm just not sure how he can survive. Being shot is one thing. Being exploded from the inside out is quite another. That has to make a mess of your internal organs... your skeleton... in fact, pretty much all of you. But I have faith they can reassemble him, and that he'll come back as handsome as ever.

And what a brilliantly effective enemy. We've not been properly introduced to the 456 yet, but the effect they had on the children was freaky.

So, a solid start to a week full of Torchwoody goodness.

Bits and Pieces:

-- Did any Doctor Who fans recognise Mr Frobisher? He played Caecilius in "The Fires Of Pompey".

-- No Martha or Mickey so far. Which, dare I say it, is good? And Martha on her honeymoon? Let's hope she didn't marry Mickey.

-- No Tosh or Owen either... which was a less welcome reality, and actually a little sad. It feels strange not having them there.

-- Gwen's pregnant and Jack has a daughter and grandson! Some interesting story possibilities there.

Quotes:

Ianto: "It's weird. It's just different. It's not men. It's just him. It's only him. And I don't even know what it is really... so I'm not broadcasting it."
Rhiannon: "Oh no, honest... I won't say. If you want it kept quiet, I swear, I won't say a word. I promise."
Johnny: "Aye aye, gayboy. She says you're taking it up your arse!"

Rupesh: "She saw her place in the universe and it was tiny. She died because she thought she was nothing."
Gwen: "I went through that. Even now I get terrified. But at the same time... it's brilliant. And beautiful. And completely bloody magic."

Jack: "Alice, you're the one who asked me to stay away. I'd come round here every week if you wanted me to... every day."
Alice: "Yeah. I just can't stand it dad. I look older than you do and it's never going to stop. I get older and older and you stay the same. One day you're going to be standing at my funeral... looking just like you did when you were standing at Mum's. No wonder she was so furious. You make us feel old."

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