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July 10, 2009

Torchwood, Children Of Earth, Day Five

The new series of Torchwood concludes with a hyper tense, (too?) emotional finale.

Spoilers ahead….

Well this episode certainly built the tension up, ratcheting it again and again, making the escape seem completely impossible.

I have mixed feelings though. It was a competent exercise in tense story telling but I can’t help feeling that, in writer terms, they “killed the dog”, using the children was too easy. Yeah sure it would be horrible, sure it was tense, but I didn’t like the feeling, I feel a bit manipulated.

And the final escape, the solution, was of course ridiculously easy, with wavelengths and resonance and nonsense. At least Captain Jack had to make a sacrifice to reach the solution, but again it was the easy option, the child. Unsatisfying. The aliens banished by a scream, not great.

The end result was decent though: Torchwood disbanded, Captain Jack running away from his horrible decisions. He hasn’t quite managed to cope yet. But perhaps he’ll be back, just like The Doctor always is?

It felt like a good ending.

All in all this series has been a success: the five hour story allowed time for the plot and characters to develop, and the drama rose above running around killing aliens. The addition of a fuller cast of characters worked well too, as did the increase in scope and location of the story.

I hope Steven Moffat has been taking note and can pen some five hour stories for the new Doctor Who series.

1 Comment

So is this the end of Torchwood? I ask because on my side of the Atlantic we've been completely unable to get accurate information about how the show has been doing, its ratings, and whether it's been renewed for another year.

A lot of people felt like this 5-part miniseries was just a way to wrap up as much of it as possible before putting it to bed, or maybe a test baloon to see if it could survive with a smaller budget and a somewhat different format.

Any opinions?