Finally, after a couple of months, we have some fresh spanking new podcasts coming your way. Many apologies on the delay as I had wanted to do this much earlier when Children of Earth came out. This podcast is just part 1 of 2 in reviewing Torchwood Series 1. Remember, there will be spoilers on this podcast if you have not seen this series. As always, sign up for The Monster Scifi Show Podcast through iTunes, click here for a direct download, or click below to here it stream. Please send the show some love and comment below or email me email@example.com.
SPOILERS!…………………Ianto is dead, and whilst Alice and her son Steven are released,Jack and Lois are arrested and Rhys gives up the tape of the cabinet meeting. U.N. colonel Oduya discovers that the 456 aliens are attached to the Scots children,using them as life-support machines. The P.M. appears on television, announcing that next day all British children will be inoculated, the cover for their abduction and delivery to the aliens. Frobisher’s children are to be included,so he kills himself and his family. Gwen and Rhys return to Wales, hiding Ianto’s nephews and nieces and their friends as the military abduct lower class kids from the streets. Alice persuades Ms. Johnson to release Jack,who communes with the aliens,using Steven as a supersonic transmitter, which wipes them out,though,sadly Steven dies too from the pressure. Frobisher’s devoted secretary, Miss Spears, visits Lois in jail and finds out about the lenses, which she uses to secure Lois’s release and blackmail the P.M.to resign. Jack, guilt-ridden that he needed to kill his grandson to save the other children, gives Gwen and Rhys his best wishes, disbanding Torchwood and returning to time travel.
This has been one hell of a ride for just 5 episodes for Torchwood. What Dr. Who achieved in throwing in the kitchen sink in Series 4, Torchwood has reached the same level but in darkness. A fair comparison is Dr.Who is Buffy and Torchwood is Angel. Torchwood has reached areas way above and beyond Dr.Who could ever reach to date. I am in awe that with just 3 main characters, Torchwood has been surpassed their previous 2 series and most scifi series in my book.
If there is a negative comment about this episode if how Frobisher’s final actions outranked Jack using his own grandson Steven to save the planet. Throughout Children of Earth, Frobisher has showed himself to be tragic character who believed in what was right for this country and for his own family. One could only wish we could have saved him or had given him just a glimmer of hope even if you despised everything he did. No one deserves to do what he did in the end. As with Jack’s grandson Steven there was not enough emotional scenes between them to strike some type of emotional reactionon Frobisher’s level. I did not feel any connection Jack had with Steven and barely with his daughter Alice.
Having said all this, Jack’s decision to leave at the end may have been very selfish but very real. My life used to be in NY and there was a moment where I realized there was nothing for me and the world I used to know had moved on. The woman I was seeing had said that running away was not the answer which was almost exactly what Gwen said to Jack six months later. I truly understood Jack’s pain and his motivation to leave. However, is the end of Torchwood and no further appearance of Jack back on Earth? The answer I believe is no.
With Gwen left behind the Rift still remains. I don’t believe she would stay still and forget her Torchwood duties. I strongly believe Gwen would start up Torchwood again with or without Jack. As for Jack, he will come back. As to when, who knows but something will draw him back once more. I know that I miss NY. I am thankful to be reconnected to certain people in my past even if it has been more than 20 years. Jack will be in a similar position where he too will miss Earth and Gwen. This may be a long time from now but I feel Jack will be back one day.
Keep your eyes and ears open for at least 4 Torchwood podcasts. Due to some setback, I’ve been delayed to produce them. The first podcast will be a pre-Torchwood on key episodes to watch on Dr.Who on the Captain Jack character. The remaining podcast will focus on each of the series including Children of Earth. You don’t want to miss this.
The team hide out in a former Torchwood holding facility, stealing to survive. Gwen meets with Lois, giving her a laptop and special contact lenses to report back to her. Gwen also has Clem, arrested for an affray, released and safe with the team. Ms. Johnson locates and captures Alice and her son after Alice has tried to ring Jack, soon after which children state that ‘We’ have arrived and a pillar of fire turns into green ooze as the alien leader communes with Frobisher, watched by the Torchwood team,thanks to Lois. Everything is bound up with the events of 1965,as the alien voice tells Frobisher and Jack also comes to realize. The aliens want ten per cent of the world’s children to go with them whilst Clem recalls Jack as one who allowed the alien abduction in Scotland, which Jack cannot deny.
One of the current themes that runs in both Dr. Who and Torchwood is the distrust of government officials. We want to believe that the government who is for the people and by the people would protect their best interests. On one hand the Prime Minister has to contain order with its citizens or else chaos would run amok with the coming of the 456. It is quite another thing, to have the government decided your fate or the fate of those who you love as was done or about to be done in this episode.
Those who follow Dr. Who would remember Harriet Jones who became the Prime Minister and had ordered Torchwood to shoot the retreating Sycorax ship during their attempted invasion. The Doctor was there to avert this disaster but the not very forgiving Jones gave the order. She had remarked to the Doctor that he would not always be there to protect them. On the other hand, the crisis was averted and yet, Jones went one step beyond the right thing to do and crossed the line. In both cases, we see their ultimate demise for their decisions they made. My belief in these recurring themes has to do with the power which comes for those official positions corrupting well intentioned individuals. Humans are infallible even one from the future like Captain Jack.
The devastating ending of this episode which Jack admitted to the 12 children offering to the 456 has come back to bite him in the ass. I am a firm believer that karma has a way of keeping tract of all the deeds we do in life and when it comes back, you are going to be repaid in ways you never thought possible; both good and bad. While there is still a couple of episodes left this payback does come at a dear price.
One of the funniest and sincere moments happened between Jack and Ianto about 15 minutes in Day 3. Ianto asks Jack what it felt like to be blown up which in the context of did you feel it or did it all go black? Jack in character understates the response with, “It wasn’t the best of days.” As soon as I laughed, I started to cringe as Jack stated that he felt everything. The conversation turned to a more solemn turn about their future together. From past immortal heroes like the Highlander, we generally understand those who are immortal will see all those they love die before them again and again. Since we only have one life to lead, we need to make the most of our time. It came as no surprise that Ianto wanted to be intimate with Jack then and there. I truly understood this need as someone who cares about the people I keep around me and tries to make the most of our time together. Bloody beans; indeed.
At 8.45am, every child in the world suddenly stops, chanting the words “we are coming” again and again. Whilst investigating, the remaining Torchwood team face greater personal and professional challenges than ever before, having to work with their numbers depleted.
Let me begin with this comment, having seen the first two series, I was worried about the reduced Torchwood cast down to just a trio. Rest assured, seeing them again, Captain Jack, Ianto, and Gwen, they carry the Torchwood mantle just fine. With just five episodes, everyone has their fair share of screentime to pull on our emotional heartstrings which feels very genuine and not forced.
When we see Gwen arrive into Torchwood, we see her say good morning to pictures of Owen and Tosh. Those who followed Series 2 will know of their demise. I found myself quite surprised and sadden by their loss. Gwen is our way into the Torchwood organization from Series 1 and allowed us to experience this hidden world through her eyes. Gwen is the heart of Torchwood and as such she will always care about the people closest to her.
Captain Jack and Ianto, “the couple” will be a running theme. Ianto enjoys the idea whereas Jack is in the relationship and yet not in the relationship. In fairness to Ianto, he loves the idea of being with someone of Jack’s stature. Aside from the homosexual aspect, if you look at the actual feeling between them I can totally see Ianto’s side. Have you ever wanted to be with someone that when you are together you can’t believe you are? In fairness to Jack, he has been more than around the block. While Jack is not giddy as a schoolgirl, we know Jack cares for Ianto very much. However, he has to wear the Boss hat when they are at work and their personal lives have to be put on hold. Ianto knows this deep down but wants to have his love be acknowledged 24/7 and wants the world to know.
Encountering Dr. Rupesh Patanjali at the hospital where Jack and Ianto removed the alien hitchhiker was a fun scene. They planted enough seeds of curiosity for the Doctor to track down Torchwood’s base of operation. I was really looking forward to this see this new doctor join the group. I loved the pseudo interview Gwen had with him which she recognized the same energy and drive she had when she first joined the group. At times, I was reminded how similar Dr. Patanjali was to Dr. Bashir when he first arrived on DS9. Later no my surprise, he was dispensed off by the very government he was working for as an infiltrating agent.
The hidden back-story of Jack and his daughter Alice and grandson Steven is quite a major reveal. More importantly, his past history will come to light on the current situation with the 456. Those two situation collided in a way I did not want to see. Most of the time, as a leader, we are to believe Jack, being immortal and from the future, has seen it all and is aware of the big picture. We may not understand why he does certain things but we have to trust him. A perfect example is the “Adrift” episode from Series 2 where Gwen was investigating on what happened to the people who came back from the Rift. She thought that Jack was hiding something from her until she realized that Jack was doing the right thing by not notifying the next of kin to these found people and that there were better off as being seen as missing. From that moment, Gwen and us as an audience will now believe Jack when he says something that maybe off kilter, there is a reason. However, during the course of this series, we find ourselves perhaps not liking Jack after all.
I remembered reading in the Torchwood magazine Barrowman (Jack) gave his impressions reading the script.
At first I was a bit taken aback by some of the things that happen in the story, and how they reflect on Jack. It seemed to be a return to the darker, troubled Jack from Series 1, and I thought: is he still going to be likeable after this?
When Barrowman said this I understood this sentiment until after the series was over. I am mixed about my feelings about Jack as this series was a real rollercoaster ride of emotions. In the context of real life, we do keep secrets from friends and family. If those secrets were to be revealed would those around us see us in a different light? Yes. Over time we may be forgiven and relationships altered but we will always be reminded of those hidden secrets. Jack’s secret and his actions are so huge that he may not be able forgive himself even if the world forgives him. This is a tough pill to swallow.
Since there was a great deal of set up in this episode, the pace at times was very slow but I was fine with this. The reveal of the 456 is very minimal but effective using the children to broadcast their arrival. Kudos to the kids for delivering an unnerving and unemotional performance while being under the influences of the 456.
A minor disappointment was the lack of Martha Jones. While we hear Jack relay the news that Jones was unavailable because she was away on her honeymoon, I seriously doubt she would not be aware of the situation back home since this will become a global issue. At least on Dr. Who we had seen in Series 4 Sarah Jane, Torchwood, and Martha with the UNIT group. Again, this is minor and just me griping as a fan; nothing more.
The ending of this episode as to what happened to Jack was huge. This also reminds of the Angel series where the lead character was encased in an underwater coffin for a true horrific living death. In the next episode, what happens to Jack would rival Angel’s imprisonment several times over.