Torchwood: Children of Earth (BD)
Torchwood follows the adventures of a team of investigators, led by the enigmatic Captain Jack. Set in the UK in the present day, the team use scavenged alien technology in a very real world to solve crime; both alien and human. Separate from the government. Outside the police. Beyond the United Nations. Everyone who works for Torchwood is young, under 35. Some say that's because it's a new science. Others say it's because they die young...
After two engagingly frothy seasons of action-packed science fiction TV, the Russell T. (Doctor Who) Davies-produced Torchwood takes a decidedly dark and thoughtful turn in its abbreviated third season miniseries, Children of Earth. Here, Captain Jack Harkness and the Torchwood Three team, still reeling from the deaths of two of its key members in the previous season, investigate a outbreak of hypnotic chanting by children across the globe. The phenomenon heralds the arrival of an invading alien force, the 456, who plan to destroy the human race if 10% of the Earth’s children are not given to them. Captain Jack and his cohorts must find a way to stop the 456’s plan, but encounter formidable obstacles along the way, including enemies in the British Home Office and Jack’s own past, which is intertwined with the 456. Penned in part by Davies, Children of Earth does an impressive job of bringing the Torchwood characters and mythology into a more complex and mature storyline (which borrows and elaborates pleasantly on John Wyndham’s novel The Midwich Cuckoos and its film adaptation, Village of the Damned). Dedicated fans of the series may decry some of Davies’ decisions regarding some of the show’s characters (and new ones are introduced here), but most should enjoy this attempt to bring weight and suspense to the Torchwood universe. The Blu-ray release contains all five episodes of Children of Earth (which were broadcast on consecutive nights on the BBC and its affiliated stations), as well as a 31-minute episode of its companion series, Torchwood Declassified, which addresses the season’s production (and under no circumstances should be viewed prior to watching the episodes). --Paul Gaita