- Torchwood Declassified: A look behind the scenes featuring cast and crew
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Torchwood: Children of Earth (BD) [Blu-ray]
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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
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Here's where the spoilers come in so stop reading if you want to remain oblivious. This is the first set I began watching where I felt like I actually really liked Gwen. I never disliked her, it just took more time for me to appreciate her character. Ianto was still my favorite. Jack doesn't quite seem like the Jack I'd come to know in the first 2 seasons or in Doctor Who. But I overlooked this because Gwen and Ianto were still cool. I could deal with the demented premise and all of the ridiculousness. What bothers me is episode 4, Ianto dies. I went into Torchwood knowing Ianto, Tosh, and Owen, do not survive the series. When Tosh and Owen died it was sad but it made sense in the context of the story. You could deal with it, they died fighting. Ianto's death was unnecessary. It's like they threw it in there merely for shock value. And he dies because of a poisonous gas? Really?! It was sudden, uncalled for and ridiculous. Part of me didn't even want to watch the last episode. I watched anyway, I liked the ending, it was an appropriate series finale considering everything that happened. It's a better ending than Miracle Day.
Now Children of Earth blew any preconceived notions I had right out of the water. The idea of the team facing one threat for a period of time shorter then the length of a week works. From the very beginning you have an idea that the team is in real danger and when you are expecting them all to make it out safe with the use of an appropriate established plot device that has appeared in the past it doesn't happen and there are casualties. This is one of the reasons that I think many people had a hard time with this series but I think the knowledge that certain characters aren't immortal (except for Jack) adds to the impact.
So you have Drama on a Torchwood show that works and chemistry of the cast that fires on all cylinders and villains that are effective and pose a serious threat. I cannot say enough good things about the 456 they are chilling and I would have liked there role to have been expanded.
I do have to say something negative and will try as nonspecific as I can there are two people that were added to the show that serve as an easy exit. We had know knowledge of these people previously and once we are aware of why the 456 came to earth and what they want the children for the fateof one character is a forgone conclusion. I think it would have been more effective for this young character to have been introduced in the second season and inserted into the background. It would have been a difficult proposition between fighting monsters and running Torchwood Jack doesn't have much of a home life but it would have been more effective emotionally then using the character in a Deus Ex. setup.
Overall-In spite of some flaws Torchwood finally hit its stride with this season or "serise" as our British cousins would say. The way the British Government is protrayed is excellent first secure immunity for your own family and then use the military and police that you control to do the dirty work of an invading force. Whatever else you can say about the series I think it was amazing that the human race was on its own this time no man in a magic blue box came to save the day.
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