[SPOILERS!] Epi 5 'Day Five'

daveac's picture

daveac - Posted on 10 July 2009


Totally absorbing!

They didn't cheat or shirk from a hard-bitten ending.

Full marks! TV SF at it's best


Cheers, daveac

Tardis-Knight's picture

I need to watch it again.

It certainly didnt shy away from the tough stuff!!! 

Maybe I'm just soft, but I like my endings when they get the girl, kill the baddies and save the entire planet. That clearly wasnt the case here.

I'm not saying I didnt like it..............


Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!
Louis Trapani's picture

Maybe I'm just soft, but I like my endings when they get the girl, kill the baddies and save the entire planet. That clearly wasnt the case here.

If this was an American mini-series, that is exactly what we most likely would had gotten. An ending where everyone wins and there are no losses or consequence.

Despite what "Spiked" says about UK science fiction, the Brits can do it and often do it right.

Look at what studios did with Blade Runner after previewing it to test audiences, they forced Ridley Scott (a Brit, by the way) to come back and re-do the ending to make it end on a happier note for the original theatrical release. Not all endings end with the heroes getting gold medals (except the Wookiee) in a grand ceremony, sometimes they end with the hero getting his hand cut off and another frozen and sent to Jabba the Hutt.


Danny aka CyberColin's picture

Despite what "Spiked" says about UK science fiction, the Brits can do it and often do it right.

The problem we have over here is that we don't seem to apperictae our own television.  We are unendated with Reality and US shows, which is fine but most of it costs our 'networks' lots of money, so investment on homegrown shows suffer and the shows that are imported are only on a par with most of our own stuff anyway.  I mean Channel 4 famously paid £100m to show 3 years worth of Friends and ER, need I say more!  Any decent homemade drama is labelled 'crap' by most people because it hasn't got a massive hype, budget and American accents!  Sounds strange but it's what i'm told!

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If this was an American mini-series, that is exactly what we most likely would had gotten. An ending where everyone wins and there are no losses or consequence.

And if this were Doctor Who, it would've another giant reset button, like with Last of the Time Lords. I loved this mini-series, but it shouldn't take the spin-off to see the best writing, to see the true moral and ethical questions be raised and answered. In short, RTD should've had the balls to do with this with Doctor Who. Alas, he hasn't.

That said, I'll just repeat the various thoughts I've shared with the Torchwood Yahoo Group:

After Day Three: Well, Day One set the bar awfully high, but so far I think the mini-series is holding up well.

There's a good balance with the characters and the story, which is hard to pull off when you've only got the three central characters, our Torchwood crew, but an entire compliment of supporting characters, all of whom are new to the audience.

After Day Five:

Well, I for one will not be hoping for a series 4. Not because I'm disappointed with this ending, but because I COMPLETELY LOVED THIS ENTIRE DAMN MINI-SERIES!

This is far and away RTD's best writing for the Whoniverse. Not only can they not top this, they'd be daft to even try. They've pinnacled with this, and I'm perfectly content with this being the end of Torchwood.

(And no, I wouldn't watch a Captain Jack-less Torchwood anyways.)

On whether this ruined Torchwood & Jack or made them look weak and ineffective:

Honestly, I thought that at times too. Hell, I thought until they actually threw the solution at us that they'd really go through with sacrificing 10% of the children, something they'd never have the gall to do on Doctor Who (see: Big Red Reset Button in Last of the Time Lords).

But in the end, I felt that the manner in which Torchwood was shown really put them at their full potential: no Hub, short on team members and skills, on the run, and at the mercy of everyone being out to get them.

I suppose the argument could be made that we got too much of the supporting characters, but I felt that each of them was really fleshed out and three-dimensional, rather than paper thin as so many characters had been in the previous two series. Or the fact that Owen and Tosh were wasted.

On top of that, it showed that Jack is willing to make sacrifices. He has in the past, and he did it here. He will likely have to do so again down the road. It's a constant reminder of who he is and what he must be; that he must be something the Doctor cannot be

On Jack sacrificing his grandson:
Yes, he did, knowing full well it was one child (yes, the only one who was conveniently available), or allow 10% of the world's children to be sacrificed. It was, as I said, the choice he was forced to make.

So obviously Jack should've allowed the 10% to die? Then (in something never stated in the series, but should be in the back of everyone's mind) the aliens come back in a few decades and do this all over again, likely for an even greater sacrifice?

On Jack running away:
Yes, it did. Which shows that it isn't all clouds and bunnies at the end. It shows that Jack is a very flawed person who struggles to cope with what he did. Some people, like the Doctor, manage. Others, like Jack, run.

Oddly enough, I find that makes him no different than the rest of us


Sorry this ends up being so long, but I wanted to get it all out there at once. :)

Louis Trapani's picture

Seeing Captain Jack more fallible, reminds me a bit of when we first met the character in Doctor Who with the 9th Doctor. In a way, they made him too much of a super-hero in Torchwood. Not being able to die, added to that... though after the events of Children of Earth, not dying may seem more of a curse for him now knowing he will have to live with everything he had to do for a very long time to come.


I agree with you, Louis, that is true. However, STAR WARS did end, the entire three part thing, on  a happy note. And yes, some stories do end horribly and tha'ts okay but TW was relentlessly ending on downers almost every story and that's not okay IMO for me personally. ANd for a spinoff of DW it's most inapprorpriate IMO

Louis Trapani's picture

I never said that happy endings do not have a place. Of course they do. It would be dreadful if every dramatized story ended the same way, be it positive or negative.

While Torchwood is a spin off of Doctor Who, it is not Doctor Who, it is Torchwood. It was always meant to be post-watershed show aimed at an adult audience. While both are science fiction series and live in the same universe with cross-over characters, yet they stand on their own with their own identities and as their own shows in their own right.

Much like the case was with the Lou Grant show being a spin-off of the Mary Tyler Moore Show (or Trapper John, M.D. being a spin-off of M*A*S*H). Both shows centered around characters in the news business (or medicine). One character/actor starred in both series. Though they are very different shows. While I am sure it shared some of the same audience, I am also sure that some of their respective audience was unique to their respective series. The same could be said about Torchwood and Doctor Who as well. Or for that matter, The Sarah Jane Adventures and Doctor Who.

So I disagree, a dark ending for Torchwood is quite appropriate for Torchwood. Hell, it would be quite appropriate for Doctor Who as well at times. Take it from me, life is not full of happy endings all the time. There is no reason why that can't be reflected at times on "family television" as well. I would say perhaps it doesn't happen often enough on Doctor Who, though it does happen from time to time with stories such as Earthshock and The Girl in the Fireplace for example.

In life, there will be times when choices will have to be made which comes down to choosing the lesser of two or more "evils" sometimes. Do you keep your family member on life support, unresponsive with a horrible quality of life or do you agree not to resuscitate them? Sometimes there are no happy endings, just endings. Or endings that are less painful than others.

In the end, television and film for me is art and escapism. I wouldn't want every story to be dark, but at the same time, it can't all be living happily ever after all the time either. The heroes can't always win, where's the drama in that, there has be at sense that we could loose a character, there may be consequences. Torchwood: Children of Earth is an example of that.

I am also not saying that it is impossible to find this in American productions, no at all.. just look at the recent re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, though that could be argued that it was too dark, too often. I got tired watching Jericho for same reason... I want to escape the darkness of my life for sure with the entertainment I choose to digest. But with that said, it can't be all lemonade either.


Laudanum's picture

It was bloody wonderful!

I'm the one stood at the back of the room, looking through you like you're made of glass. I'm just waiting for you to shatter so I can taste the blood.
Danny aka CyberColin's picture

I'm still shocked, I still can't believe what Jack did.  Also why couldn't Frobisher just take his family and drive away somewhere>  Just goes to show that unhappy endings are sometimes the best.

Wonderful piece of Sci-fi, just hope we get to see more.

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Louis Trapani's picture

Also why couldn't Frobisher just take his family and drive away somewhere

Essentially he was a coward. Dispate what his long-time work companion says, he was no hero. I thought he was taking the gun to PROTECT his family. Go down fighting!... but unfortunately he was a worm.

Too bad his wife couldn't stuggle to get the gun (perhaps do him in during the process) and save her children.


Danny aka CyberColin's picture

Essentially he was a coward. Dispate what his long-time work companion says, he was no hero. I thought he was taking the gun to PROTECT his family. Go down fighting!... but unfortunately he was a worm.

Too bad his wife couldn't stuggle to get the gun (perhaps do him in during the process) and save her children.

Good points and I thought that the directing on that scene was wonderful (is it right it use that word?), the way he somberly went into the room, and all we could see was his back and his family in front of him, until he shut the door and their lives were over.  The scene could have told you many things about the man and that's the whole point.  Superb stuff!

Just goes to show how good the previous two series' of Torchwoood could have been!

And on the subject of the unexpected ending - I think it makes a refreshing change.  Too many shows have 'happy endings', when we all know that life isn't like that.  take out the aliens and you could identify many things in everyday life with this series.

If CoE goes down half as well in the US as it's done in the UK, then we're on to a winner!  I'm just hoping that the people in charge don't 'jump ship', this series has proven that the British can do fantasic sci-fi drama and with more investment, we could be on the verge of another golden age of British sci-fi!

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Louis Trapani's picture

Euros Lyn did a wonderful job directing Children of Earth. It was consistent and helped to really tie the entire story together. There may have been a few things I may had done differently, but all minor stuff really.

Kudos to him and the production team as a whole.



Abersoch's picture

Rather than thinking of him as a coward, I thought that it underlined how isolated he felt.  He finally knew how expendable he was.  He was totally hemmed in.  He'd been given orders to carry out and he'd followed them to the letter all his life.  He'd made tough decisions (not all of them correct) but he'd "done his duty" in the name of serving "Queen and Country".  Then at the end of it - with the situation rapidly spiralling out of control - he was told to hand over his family in order to perpetuate the lie that his superiors had created...and all in the name of saving their own necks once the crisis was over.  He began to question the rightness of what he had done and realised that, when push comes to shove, his people weren't interested in doing the right thing but about doing whatever they could get away with and covering their own arses.

I imagine that, with an ultimatum to go on television and show everyone that he was also handing his kids over for innoculation, there would have come an armed escort to make sure he went through with it.  They probably wouldn't trust him enough to make a live broadcast just in case he had decided to go public with the truth.  Perhaps just a pre-record of him kissing the children before they get on board the coaches.  Then what does he do?  How does he look his wife in the face again if he gives up the kids?  Even if she never finds out the truth, HE knows, 

So, rather than submit them to the endless suffering they'll undergo.  He decides to go out rather than down.

The ironic thing is, if he'd just stalled it a bit longer or even gone along with the plan, they'd all have survived when Captain Jack took the decision to sacrifice his own grandson.

This was ultimately a horrible story.  It was brilliant and compelling and one of the best things I've seen on TV in a long time but it's left me rather in the same way that the film Trainspotting did.  It's a fantastic film but I've never been able to watch it more than once because it was so bleak and there were so many moments in there that I remember to vividly that it really wouldn't do it justice to see them again without the "oh my God" factor that seeing them for the first time brings.

P,S,  I am glad they decided to give Frobisher a makeover and get rid of the flippers and beak in this story. Wink


daveac's picture

Remember the Doctor's choice in Fires of P - 20,000 to save the world.

And Donna helped him press the button.


Doctor Whoovie's picture


although your agruement is good, it should be remembered that both Donna and the Doctor knew that Pompei would be destroyed by Vesuvius. The Doctor had already told Donna that they couldn't save the people (help them flee etc). What turned that story on its head was the point that the Doctor had to make the event occur through action. The time line was already established and the alternative was even grimmer.


TerryLightfoot's picture

The only difference being...that they forced us to watch the one child(who was a relative) die horribly. On Fires of Pompeii they didn't show much of the horrible deaths. Felt rather impersonal, therefore people discount it.

The Lightfoot

One thing this reminded me of, retrospectively, is when my college professor told us that he passed all his students with an A during the Vietnam draft because the government decided that anyone who did not get As and lagged down in the grades, would get drafted, a possible deatt sentence. Bless his heart. He was a great world history teacher, too. 

Tardis-Knight's picture

I've watched for a second time, and I did that because I wondered if my initial thoughts on it werent really fair.

I get what you say Louis about happy endings (or not). But Day 5 hasn't really worked for me. I can certainly see it was brilliantly made - but it was just grim. I'm asking myself if I'm wrong to want Torchwood to be heroic in every way, but the sacrificial child?? It's definitely hardboiled ficture (albeit not it's regular genre) in a primetime weekend slot. As I said, maybe I'm just a big softie (or maybe just an American!)

I've not yet worked out how to quote on the new Forum, but Abersoch's Trainspotting comment absolutely hit the nail on the head.

For all the absolute glory of days 1 to 4, for me personally it's going to be bloody difficult to watch this again now.



Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!
tarashnat's picture

This is what Torchwood should have been like in series one, or rather, what its promise was. This is what it was originally hyped as; and it has finally lived up to its billing.

Have we done the crash of the Byzantium yet?

DWNY a New York City based Doctor Who meet up group.



Doctor Whoovie's picture

The final set-up in the series reminded me of the 1979 London Weekend Television Quatermass story starring John Mills as the eponomous professor.

Although the story occurred after the downfall of civilization the premis was that young people were drawn towards standing stone circles. These young people were 'in tune' with an off-world alien inteligence. The older generation could not make the connection.

These stone circles had been erected by our ancestors to mark the collecting places used in pre-history. The alien inteligence harvested the young people at these points for their essence. (it was likened to us collecting the glands of certain mammals to make perfume).

 Although in COE, it was children rather than 'young people' (i.e. the under 30s) and they were herded to the gathering points as opposed to be drawn to them, it strikes me as a similar plot device. Both can commune with the inteligence the 'harvesting' and involved fire reigning from the sky at given points to consume the youngsters.

The solution in the quatermass story involved Quatermass (and his colleagues) sacrificing themselves by detonating a battlefield nuclear device in one of the stone rings whilst the harvesting was occurring.

Anyone else remember this series, I remeber it making a lasting impact on my 12 year old mind at the original time of broadcast. I rewatched it about 4 years ago on rental from netflix. It was only in the final 2 COE episodes that the parallelness of the stories struck me.

What I was wondering was a) if the 456 can controll the children why didn't they just make them go to the collecting places without adult intervention, or b) just collect them whilst they were at the schools. It seems needless to start negociating with the governments, if they cannot detect the spaceships etc. just take the children from the schools, or better, at Hannah Montana and Jonas Brothers concerts.

Well apart from a few plot holes I enjoyed this greatly and agree with others that it shows what Torchwood could have been. Mainly what series one could have been, since on the whole I thought the second series was vastly superior.

It was very unTorchwood that no 'bonking' or building straddling occurred during COE, the former probably because Owen is no longer with us but there was no excuse for the latter.

Unfortunately, it looks like there will be no more Torchwood: everyone's either dead, 'up the duff' or off-world.  Or should I say "no more  Welsh Torchwood!" Between Julie Gardner and RTD moving to the USA and Jack wanting to ' get away'. I wonder how long until we get Torchwood:LA on our TV sets.

Yes I almost forgot that QUARTERMASS CONCLUSION story. It, too, left one with an empty, awful, feeling. It, too, was well acted, well written, realistic, and horrible. It, too, had kids and teens, dying, suffering, in danger, and I  think a young girl turned into paper by the aliens. It was great but also horrible. It left me with the same gut wrenching feeling that THE MIST and TORCHWOOD CHILDREN OF EARTH left me with.  

romana_II's picture

Don't know quite what to think about this part other than, my god it was grim.
Call me silly, but I like dark sci fi, but this was well and above dark, especially for Torchwood... and if this is the end of the series, frack, I don't want to end with such a depressing ending.
I loved Torchwood, I really really did, not for the storylines, because let's face it they were very often bad, but it was the characters that made me love this show.
I loved all the characters, I had my favourites of course (Jack and Ianto mostly, as well as Rhys, PC Andy and Gwen to some extent) so to have their stories end like this, I feel very very depressed.

Alot of Torchwood fans wish they hadn't seen this series... as brilliant as it was.

I wasn't expecting even a remotely happy ending after Ianto died, but I seriously felt so so bad for Jack in this whole episode and that just looking at him made me want to cry.

First Ianto died (which was essentially his fault), then he had to say goodbye to Gwen (for the first time), sacrifice his grandson, and also essential lose his daughter forever.

It was too too much pain and angst to put on one man, that watching him was painful... but some of that was all down to John Barrowman's performance in this, which was bloody brilliant.

So... I really don't know what to think of this series, it was brilliant, but I'm almost in the camp where I wished I haven't seen it, as a Torchwood fan... it's broken my heart, and it's going to take me a while to get over it.



~Hysterical Woman #1088~
The Wailing Fangirl Podcast

Laudanum's picture

Who else is sick and tired of all the naysaying towards Torchwood right now? 

I'm the one stood at the back of the room, looking through you like you're made of glass. I'm just waiting for you to shatter so I can taste the blood.
Tardis-Knight's picture

Re the naysaying; I'd LOVE to feel about day 5 the same way I felt about days 1-4. And it isn't that I dont think it was any less spectacular, well produced, acted etc. I just didnt like the way it's story panned out.

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!

My friends and I sat and watched all five hours last night (it was only supposed to be three and then the next two today, but we couldn't leave it there).  I think the first three eps were the strongest; but when the fifth ep went to credits, we all just sat and stared at the screen for a long time.

HOw can they bring this show back after this?  It was all brilliant, don't get me wrong, but its like they brought the show to BBC One to kill it off. 

After reading the comments above, I wanted to just add a few thoughts:

I don't think Frobisher was a coward when he killed his family: that was the strongest move he made the entire show.  He was a coward when he covered up the actions of the gov't in 1965, "killed" off the people who could help and did not involve UNIT in the problem from the start.  At the end, I really believe he thought all was hopeless and he saved his family from what really was a fate worse than death.  If he had taken other action earlier, it may have turned out differently, but he did not see a choice at that moment.

The lady on the Gold Committee (wasn't that what the PMs committee was called?) turned out to be one of the evilest people in the room.  Yes, the PM was a piece of work.  But it was she who wanted to protect her own and get rid of the lower 10% (sort of a "not one of us" mentality), and in the end, when Spears lets the PM know he's in deep doo-doo, she all the sudden decides that she'll be leading the government from the shadows?  She was just as guilty as the PM - what right did she have to take the high-road?  Scheming Opportunitst.

Jack's daugher told us from the start that he was dangerous, that she kept his grandchild away from him for just that reason.  It is so sad when your worst fears are realized.

Again, while I don't know how Torchwood can come back from this, I hope we haven't seen the last of the tortured soul that is Jack Harkness. 

supremacy is relative

Frobisher .      

I hated your Godless, heaven less, there is no paradise or redemption universe right frm the beginning. I hated Owen who never gave a damn about Tosh or ...anybody really execpt his getting off...I hated Tosh's cowardly ways and groveling ways, I hated Gwen's using Rhys and her selfishness, partially redeemed now, I hated Gwen's saying she was going to abort, I hated Ianto's non peronsality,  I hated Jack's callous attitude toward love and his leaving em all the time and his stupid way of dealing with things off the cuff...if at all...I hated Ianto's and Jack's bi sexuality because, although bi is fine, RTD's reluctance to make a good gay character and stick with him being gay was annoying. I hated your dark depressing endings where the guest stars die, no one seems happy, and the team is not with each other mentally or emotionally. Most of all I hated how you were a part of the DW Universe, turning what is a sometimes down show wiht a mostly optimistic outlook into a gutter sewer show of death, nonfaith, and evil. Goodbye for riddance TW, I hope you are never brought back and I hope the novels, audios, and comics for TW all end and never return. Goodbye TW, I had high hopes for your stay in one spot setting and was seen to have those hopes dashed with boring stories, cold characters, ripped off plots, and gut tearing deaths and destruction and little else. Goodbye forever, may you nver be allowed to kill another child character again.  May you never "grace" another DW story be it televised, comicbook ized, novelized, etc. Goodbye and stay dead like the dead do on your show...please don't come back as a zombie...I hated you.    

Tardis-Knight's picture

Chase why do you even bother?

You seemingly get your knickers in a twist at everything that ever happens, most people either ignore you or fight you, and then you just get more angry about it all!

For god sake - I'm all in favour of opinions and I don't think it's a rule you have to follow the majority of opinions expressed (on the contrary), but when you seemingly hate EVERYTHING so much......

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!

r u talking TW here? That's probably true for Torchwood ( I do pretty much hate everything about TW) but I don't get more angry about EVERYTHING (again DW wise or TW?) or all and I don't get knickers in a twist at everything....and I don't hate everything "That much"...just TW maybe...

As for DW I've already gone through how much I like vs how much I hate. I like:

all of season 1 except for the second Adam story

all of season 2 except for NEW EARTH

all of season 3 except for DALEKS IN MANHATTAN/part2 AND the last two Master episodes


as for the Xmas specials I only like CHRISTMAS INVASION but all of the others have some good moments with the exception of PLANET OF THE DrEAD. NEXT DOCTOR is pretty bad too but love the opening moments with the xmas feel to it.

I like almost every Sarah Jane Smith episode.

I hate almost all of TW (like the Whale ep though). 

Yes I also HATE TIME CRASH and that special done on Barrowman's show

and I hate the crap 2 min skit on that comedy show on SHOWTime, ( can't recall the name of it)


SO yeah I hate alot but I think if you count, I actually like more than I hate


Idiom's picture

It's just that you hate so vehemently in a way that most of us on the forums really don't understand. It is just a TV programme. Repeat this mantra at least three of four times a day. It is just a TV programme. It's not supposed to cure cancer. It's not a promise for a better life. It's escapist fantasy. So what if it doesn't turn out all fine and dandy in the end. Big deal! Tune in to something predictable and sugar sweet but, no, wait I'm sure that you'd hate it even more. Even better. Turn off. Learn to chill. Don't take it so personally. It wasn't made for you specifically. It is not a personal attack on your sensibilities. And most of all learn the difference between criticising constructively, maturely, interestingly and attacking bitterly, violently and pointlessly. Otherwise your postings become as boring as you claim RTD's episodes are.

Oh, and please, please, use a spell check. It's a just personal thing but I'm an English teacher and I find myself twitching to correct everything you write. It makes me nervous.

I tried to edit and delete the controversial and overly critical posts but I can't delete the two worst ones. Can the moderators delete these two? Thanks and sorry.

Mr. Magister's picture

...but he loves Adric.  Go figure.

Mr. Magister

I hated you.

Thanks for proving me right.


romana_II's picture

Seriously, you must live only to make people angry.

Please follow this advice to spare yourself and myself alot of pain.

IF YOU DON'T LIKE TORCHWOOD... DON'T WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please stop saying such horrible horrible (and almost always unconstructive) things about a show that I and many others love.

Especially, I take offense to you making a direct jab at me and my post by typing "Goodbye Torchwood, I hated you" I found that very offensive and sometimes I wonder why you're still on this forum.

I don't know why I'm caring so much, why I read your posts and why I'm even replying right now.  You upset me... but I guess I just, like you, shouldn't care anymore.
Rage post all you want, just don't take a jab at me, I sure won't be reading your posts ever again, all it does is make me angry, and that's not why I come to this forum.

~Hysterical Woman #1088~
The Wailing Fangirl Podcast

Dalzo's picture

What exactly was the point of this post, Chase? It is badly written, spiteful, lacking in wit, highly negative (as per usual), lacking in respect for the people who spent a lot of effort producing the show and just makes you look like an over emotional Doctor Who fanboy lunatic! It really does you no favours, you know, and is nowhere near as clever as you think it is. What is frustrating about you is that occasionally your posts hint that you have something relevant to say but then you blow it with your overly negative and repetative rants! The only reason you could possibly have for writing this particular bit of nonsense is either to upset the people who enjoyed the story; because you have some serious emotional issues (in order to get so upset by a television programme there must be something wrong) or because you just like to wind people up! If it is the former can you please stop it, if it is the second reason can you go and get some help and if it is the latter then the joke is running a little thin!

You are extremely good (or rather "keen" is a better word) at criticising things you dislike... can I suggest to you that you learn to take some of the criticisms continually levelled at you and maybe change the style of your posts. I really find that reading the forums starts to become a chore when I see you have posted. I really want to value your opinions and I wouldn't for a second suggest you stop posting but why don't you just tweak your style and become a little more accessible and less offensive? We are literate people here who will understand your negative views if you chose to be a little more subtle. You don't need to hammer home your points of view with a metaphorical sledgehammer!


I've tried to edit it to get rid of it but I can't seem to edit it or delete it and I"m not sure why. Can the moderators delete it? Thanks and sorry.

Tardis-Knight's picture

I didnt mention it in either of the posts I've made (and I meant to) - but the whole selection process for the children reminded me of World War II and the Nazis and Jews.

I've no idea, but I suspect that was the aim of the writers/producers. A sort of Sophie's Choice scenario.....

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!


I'm sorry I just have to throw my two cents in on what Frobisher did. I think it's too simple to call him a "bad" or "good" person for what he did. I think it's more accurate to say he was just a man, a human being doing what he thought was best. As viewers I think it's easier to sit back and judge him saying that if only he had fought back his family would have been ok. But he knew nothing about what was going on with Torchwood and Jack at the time. He had just been told point blank to give up his children or they would forciably be taken. Here is a man who knows the resources that can be used to track down those who are running from the government. And with what was going on at the time everyone was desperate to just get rid of the 456 and also cover their own butts. Frobisher was a man backed into a corner and he saw no hope. He didn't want his kids to suffer under the 456 and he saw there was little that could be done if he tried to fight back. Knowing what he did at the time he thought it was the best. So I don't think he is somebody who needs to be judged for what he did but somebody you just need to feel sorry for because of his fate.

Thanks.  This is what I was trying to say, but your words are much more elloquent.

supremacy is relative


carriertone's picture

I personally thought it was fantastic! Yeah it was dark, depressing, disturbing in the end, but WOW! I'm going to watch it again tonight with some friends who haven't seen it yet, so that should be interesting. I thought it was one of the best series of any television drama in recent years. I loved series two as well, but this? This was incredible, engaging, challenging, upsetting, disturbing, and over all entertaining for me. There were hard script decisions made on this series, and I'm glad they had the balls to make them. If nothing else at least it will be memorable. You can't have a drama series without drama, and this had it in spades.

If you didn't like it, cool. Everybody has different tastes. I wasn't a big fan of the new Battlestar series, so I didn't watch it. I didn't go on message boards and forums complaining about it after every episode. We don't need to hear the same complaints in every post, on every forum. Move. On. Seriously. Go watch something else.

"I collect stars, but I keep them in the sky because I just don't have the space at home." - Warren Ellis

Troy Baker's picture

'Torchwood: Children of Earth' ended it's run with a viewing audience of 5.8 million - almost as much from the first episode. A high viewing audience indeed.


Since I haven't seen all the episodes yet I'll just leave things be, but I will leave this link on a story about the ratings for the final episode.:


With ratings that high - they clearly must be doing something right!

Dalzo's picture

I thought this was some of the best British television I have seen in a very long time. I feel that Torchwood is much improved without Tosh and Owen who I always felt were either too weak or unlikeable. These 5 episodes were confident, exciting, very dark and totally brilliant. I, for one, like an unhappy ending from time to time and I was not disappointed by this!

Frobishers act was amazingly well written and is all the more tragic when you consider the fact that if he had waited all would have been well. I have to say though, that if I was in his shoes I may well have considered doing the same. I would not want my child to end up being a chemical fix for some giant, Macra like alien! I just hope I am never in a similar situation!

I also thought that it was extremely brave of the writers to have Jack sacrifice his Grandson (in effect doing exactly what the Government were doing but on a lesser scale and in order to destroy the "456" instead of capitulating to them). It showed that Jack could make the extremely difficult decisions when he has to whilst at the same time showing that he is a very different kind of hero compared to The Doctor! The Doctor would never have made such a sacrifice (how many times has a foe threatened to kill a friend or companion of The Doctor's if he didn't capitulate), it enhances the magic of his character as he would have found another way and this sets him apart from Jack in a very interesting way!

As for Ianto, I was very surprised that they killed him off so soon after Owen and Tosh but as has been established, working for Torchwood is extremely hazardous (how many time has Jack been killed now?) but the scene was handled very well and once again, kudos must go to Eve Myles for her unbelievable performance. She is an extremely accomplished actress and I really hope we see more of Gwen Cooper in the future.

Was it faultless, nothing ever is, there are plot holes (what stops another member of the "456" coming back and trying again?), some themes were very similar to Doctor Who (the 1965 child with the "456" looked very much like the inside of the Toclaphane in TLOTT and felt very similar) but what COE did very well was bring philosophy into the drama. The questions raised were straight out of and A Level philosophical class on ethics and this discussion was handled delicately and intelligently and gave no answers to the questions it raised... only asked more questions which is the sign of brilliant philosophy (just ask Socrates).

Happy endings are all too common, dark and murky ones are rare and so should be treasured but everything does end, rather like this post... But what of Torchwood, was Gwen and Jacks goodbye the end of Torchwood forever? I hope not, for the series has just become good (nay, excellent) and I would like to see more! I suspect it will be back in one form or another, with or without RTD... I just hope we don't have to wait too long!!!

Tardis-Knight's picture

Absolutley ditto about Eve Myles - in a program full of stand out performances (Frobisher, Jack's Daughter, Ianto etc), I thought she was top of the tree.

The husband/wife banter was brilliant (and I've always thought that about those two - especially when you throw Jack into the mix).


Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!
Wyldstaar's picture

Let me begin by saying I like Torchwood as a whole.  The first season wasn't that great, but it obviously held alot of potential.  It improved alot in season two, and began to show some of it's promise.  I was really looking forward to Children of Earth.  The way I saw it, this was the show's chance to really shine.  The first few days of Children of Earth were great, and seemed to be going somewhere interesting.  In the end, it completely fell apart for me.  My biggest problem with Children of Earth wasn't the deaths of Ianto or Jack's grandson, Jack running away, or any of the other issues most others who didn't like it seem to have.  It was the huge plotholes that were never addressed and made no sense that killed it for me.

1- Human Crackpipes.  To begin with, how did this situation come to pass in the first place?  A race of aliens stumbles across the Earth in the sixties, sees some human children and think to themselves, "Wow, I'd really like to create a complicated symbiosis rig to hook these things up to my body chemistry.  I'll bet that could get me nicely toasted."  The premise itself defies explanation, which is why we never get one.  All it explains is why they vomit on a regular basis.

2- A dozen to millions.  Frobisher and the rest of the senior British government are fully aware when the demand for the children comes that this business all started with only twelve children (only eleven as it turns out) forty years ago.  Now these guys are back (after promising never to return), and they want 10% of the kids of the world.  That's an incredibly drastic increase in demand.  The subject never once comes up that these aliens are just going to come back again soon wanting every child on the planet.  These are drug addicts we're talking about here.  The fact that taking every child on the planet would mean shrinking returns later on wouldn't register with them.  That's not how the mind of an addict works, alien or not.

3- Huge Conspiracies.  This conspiracy to hide the truth was fairly believeable on day one.  Hardly anyone knew the truth.  By day four, hundreds of people are aware that the aliens are demanding the Children of Earth.  Despite this, there is never a news leak.  The US government can't even think about starting a small project without a leak showing up on the Drudge Report, yet they somehow manage to keep a lid on a systematic round-up of thousands of children throughout the country by the army?  Not many people know the whole truth, but enough people know enough tiny piceces of the puzzle to blow the lid off the threat to the public.  Somebody always talks.  This doesn't even take into account that fact that every nation on the planet is being held responsible for their own child roundups.  Does anyone think for a second that Iran, Somalia or Zimbabwe would even try to round up their children in a day?  They don't even have the resources to attempt such a logistical feat.

4- Frobisher's kids.  The PM want's Frobisher to smile for the cameras as his children are carted off to be human crack pipes.  Where does this even begin to make sense?  On the whole, people are sheep.  If the government tells them to send their kids to school to be innoculated, that's precisely what most of them are going to do.  Seeing some government stooge on the news isn't going to sway anyone who has doubts.  If anything, it would only reinforce their suspicions.  The fact that one government bureaucrat's family was also taken by the aliens isn't going to console me on the loss of my child one bit, either.  This whole sub-plot was done just to show how dark and extreme they could take things. 

It breaks my heart to think that this may be how Torchwood comes to an end as a TV series.  Despite my ultimate dislike for Children of Earth, I still firmly believe that Torchwood continues to have the potential to be a fantastic series.  Despite it all, I live in hope..

Enter: The Conquering Chicken

I am in awe of your post and your reasoning about TORCHWOOD COE. I didn't even think about those plot holes but everything in your post makes sense. Thanks for writing it.

Idiom's picture

I’m not sure that I necessarily see these as plotholes.

1- Human Crackpipes.  Same thing could be said about any drug, who suddenly thought : ‘Well, you know if I heat that into a liquid and inject it, what will happen?’ Could these aliens have laid their hands on humanoids elsewhere in the galaxy and had their supply cut off?

2- A dozen to millions.  Isn’t this how most people give in to extortion? We believe that just one more payment might actually make them go away. Besides, they saw no real alternative

3- Huge Conspiracies.  Government control of the media added to  our normally inclination to ignore what’s under our very nose if it’s too scary. The bigger the lie...etc.

4- Frobisher's kids.  Again, see above. You may not fall for this but it’s an old trick which politicians still use. These still trundle the streets kissing babies as nauseum.

So, for me an indictment of government and certain traits of human nature, yes. Plot holes, hardly.

Wyldstaar's picture

1- Human Crackpipes.  Same thing could be said about any drug, who suddenly thought : ‘Well, you know if I heat that into a liquid and inject it, what will happen?’ Could these aliens have laid their hands on humanoids elsewhere in the galaxy and had their supply cut off?

Well, that's just the thing.  A drug starts out in a simple form, and evolves over the years.  Opium started out as a simpler, far less effective drug than modern opium, much less morphine or heroin.  It was smoked, and wasn't prepared in a very efficient manner.  It took thousands of years to become what it is today.  As for the notion that the 456 used to have a different source, that would not explain why they only wanted twelve kids the first time.

2- A dozen to millions.  Isn’t this how most people give in to extortion? We believe that just one more payment might actually make them go away. Besides, they saw no real alternative

No, this is not how extortion works.  An extortionist starts out asking for 12 kids.  After a bit, they raise the payment to 14.  Later still, they need 16.  Then, a bit more, and a little more still.  It's the slow boil that kills the frog.  If you toss the frog into boiling water, it just hops out.

3- Huge Conspiracies.  Government control of the media added to  our normally inclination to ignore what’s under our very nose if it’s too scary. The bigger the lie...etc.

But that's just it.  Not every government has control of the media, especially when it comes to the internet.  The western world has almost no government control over the internet, which is how most news is initially spread these days.

4- Frobisher's kids.  Again, see above. You may not fall for this but it’s an old trick which politicians still use. These still trundle the streets kissing babies as nauseum.

I will concede that some politicians are stupid enough to think such a plan might actually work in the planning stage.  Someone however, is going to point out that Frobisher himself is never going to go along with it.  The only way to ensure that he goes along with the program is to send in a heavy, but then what?  What can they threaten him with that's worse than the horror his children have already been sentenced to?

Enter: The Conquering Chicken

Everything I wish a Doctor Who finale could be.  It was very dark, very sad, and the "hero" of the series is cast in a very different light.  Ianto was possibly my favorite character from the show, so it was sad to see him go.  However at the same time, I'm glad there was no global reset button that DW is infamous for.  Characters are killed and stay dead unlike some other "deaths" *cough*Rose*Donna*cough.  I think the strongest episode of the 5 was the 3rd one, where Frobisher first makes contact with the 456.  Not being able to see the alien, and wondering what it looked like based solely on the voice was very frightening.  Yes, it was similar to the way the Beast's voice was used in The Impossible Planet/Satan Pit, but I loved those two stories, so I don't mind.

Frobisher killing his family is disturbing, but understandable in a dire, bleak-future kind of way.  Sadly similar incidents happen today, with people so distressed about their economic situation they unfortunately take similar measures with their family.

I am saddened to think this may be the last Torchwood story.  Between the dead members and Jack having left for other-worldly adventures, I'm not sure Gwen can carry the torch(wood) so to speak.  She is a good character, and I like her a lot, but she lacks the experience in alien contact that Jack brings to the group.  I won't go so far as to say I won't watch a Jack-less Torchwood, but I think the writers have a lot of obstacles to overcome if they go down this path.

Anyway, bravo TW for a shortened season done brilliantly.

I wonder if Jack's leaving Earth at the end of CoE will somehow tie in to his appearance in the 2009 Specials of Doctor Who...

I did REALLY like CoE, except that I would have liked to see Jack somehow save his grandson, or have his grandson somehow "inherit" some kind of regenerative ability from Jack.  Either that, or I wish they had used Clem for the transmitter...

Cheers, PerryG

Tardis-Knight's picture

I was sure that Jack knew his grandson would somehow survive, and that was the reason why he allowed it to happen - I was willing it to happen that way, but it just didnt.

Nothing Dies Of Old Age On Skaro!

I agree with the reviewer who says if Jack comes back all happy go lucky, bang em and leave em Jack in DOCTOR WHO, that's bs.

Linquel's picture

Well, it looks like I'm definitely in the minority here. I wasn't all that impressed with C of E. I thought it started out fairly strong and I was drawn in, but then it just seemed really heavy handed. I didn't get why people were doing what they were doing half of the time. Were the other countries even aware of the deal that the Prime Minister and the UNIT and US generals were making? Every government bought into the idea of sacrificing 10% of their children? Not one country said "Piss off, you can give 30% of yours if you want but you're not getting one of mine!" When all the kids started freezing and/or talking in unison, no one said, "Oh great. It's just like that Christmas three years ago when all those people climbed on the rooftops." It's becoming cliched, but when it ended I looked at my wife and said, "Meh." I'm glad some people were able to enjoy it. If Torchwood doesn't come back in 2010, I won't be broken hearted.



does come back! I hate that show. It definitely does not deserve further life.

Stunning mini-series. Season 1 was okay, Season 2 was good, this was incredible. Stellar script, stellar cast, stellar acting. RTD and Co. really held back on the cheese and special effects and focused on the story. This was on par with the best Doctor Who has had to offer the last 5 years and I never expedcted that from Torchwood.

Blowing up the hub in Day One was a stroke of genius. So was having the 456 hidden in the toxic cloud, as was the use of the contact lenses.

Even though I found out Ianto died prior to watching this, it was still shocking. And when I thought they couldn't push the audience even further, I almost cried when Jack had to sacrifice his grandson. Gripping from start to finish.

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