Torchwood: Children of Earth

I just finished watching this in one shot (So it’s been 5 hours). I hadn’t seen this since it was on BBC over in England (I watched it on YouTube ^^) so I needed a refresher.

L-R: Ianto, Gwen, Jack

Plot: 3/5
The plot itself wasn’t bad, but the execution of it had serious issues.

This was a 5 part mini-series (I review all mini-series as movies) so I’m going to make my own plot description, as the ones online are specific to which part of it you are referring to.

Without warning the children of Earth all freeze. For a short period of time they do not move. A couple of hours later all children scream out at once. As panic begins to arise the children speak in unison. It takes a few tries for the message to be released: We are coming back.

Torchwood begins to investigate immediately. Fearing they will cause harm with their involvement, the government kills Jack, planting a bomb in his stomach, then leaves him unwitting. The bomb is discovered minutes before detonation, and Gwen and Ianto manage to escape relatively unharmed.

The three begin a fight to survive and reunite, then to find out exactly what happened. They learn an alien has arrived on Earth, hosted by the government, and will kill all humans unless they hand over 10% of the children on Earth.

Facing terrible loss and endless tough decisions, Jack, Gwen, Reese and Ianto must fight not only the government, but a new alien threat without so much as a computer of their own (they steal two).

I took off points because it feels like the movie really struggled with filling the 5 hours they were given. This could have comfortably fit into 2 hours, and I would have given it a high review then, but there just wasn’t enough story in my opinion to justify the full amount of time. It drags through most parts and dwells when you really don’t need it to.

Acting: 4/5
This was pretty good. There are far less awkward moments than in Torchwood series 1 or 2, and it feels like they finally hit their stride. Barrowman has some issues with emotional expressions, he has the Daniel Radcliffe disorder (grit your teeth and make a snarling face for any and all emotion), but otherwise he does a lot better. He seems to be rising to the role of a lead actor better than before.

Eve Miles is also doing a better job as Gwen. She fixed most of her issues with expressions and I actually think she did better here than in any single episode of Torchwood. I think she is finally up to being a lead actress, and I hope this quality stays when the show resumes.

One actor I was surprised by is the actor portraying Reese, Gwen’s husband. In Torchwood he was always a background character brought in whenever they felt like using him, but in the movie he’s pretty much up to the level of co-star. He did brilliantly, though to be fair they didn’t give him really any major emotional scenes, so he didn’t face the same challenges. He was good though, and I hope he sticks around more in the next series.

Directing: 4/5
Some shots could have been angled better to make more sense. Plus I really don’t like how the director paced this one. I know they had to fill up to a certain amount of time, and blame for the pacing is completely on the writers (they should have come up with a more active story than one where pretty much every character but the Torchwood team stays in the same location for the whole movie). I do blame the director though for falling back on a trick favored by the “War of the Worlds” staff: zoom in on someone with a sad face. -_- it does not make me want to feel the characters pain, it makes me want to change the channel.

Other Things
Something seems fishy to me. If I tell you I give away the middle of the movie, so I’ll give you an alert. It is the only thing I’ll post down here, so you can just skip to the trailer if you don’t want to know what happens. ****SPOILER ALERT****

This is what is fishy, because if this is all just how the story was supposed to go then I would be very VERY surprised, as if it is intentional it is a HORRIBLE call by the writers. And these writers are not usually bad (I said the story was bad for the pace, but it would have been a solid episode or 2).

Here it is: At the end of series 2 we lost Tosh and Owen from the cast when their characters died. Now Ianto is dead too.That leaves only Jack from the original team and Gwen, who joined last of the bunch. It is horrible writing to kill off that many main characters in such a short span (really it’s like killing all 3 in back-to-back episodes). I don’t think the writers for Torchwood would make that decision on their own… I’m thinking there was some kind of issue with those three actors themselves, and that they must have pulled suddenly out of filming. Owen’s storyline was dull anyways and he’d pretty much reached his limit, is death (his second one) was set up from the start of the series. Tosh’s felt a bit rushed, and Ianto’s just felt like a sudden re-write. It’s fast and he’s forgotten, as though the writers had to edit his character out midway through filming.

Does anyone  know about this? I didn’t see anything online about contract disputes or anything, but for three leads to leave in such a close span is suspicious. Even for just two to leave in the same episode is odd. Can anyone elaborate?

**SPOILER ALERT OVER**

Let me just say this is an excellent trailer. I really want to review just it. I think it is short and simple and makes the story sound way cooler than it was. THUMBS UP TO YOU- TRAILER PERSON!

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  1. #1 by riotoo on August 2, 2010 - 2:11 pm

    Re the SPOILER ALERT

    According to the various articles in the TW magazines, the deaths were planned. The only thing that did change suddenly (just a few hours before they stared filming the scene, so they had to do a very quick rewrite!) was that Ianto was supposed to be the one that became undead and dies in S2 not Owen. RTD changed it at the very last minute because he felt that the undead state would have more of an impact on Owens character (as Owen was more fun loving/hedonistic, so not being able to do things would affect him more).

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