Children of Earth Day Four
Captain Jack: No!
As it’s been broadcast, please be aware I’m going to talk about plot details of this episode – so, look away now if you don’t want to read this.
Okay so, for a lot of people there is really going to be only one subject to talk about after that episode, but I thought I’d write about the whole 4 episodes, so far, with one more Day to go.
Specifically, write about some of the characters. Rhiannon and Johnny – Ianto’s sis and brother-in-law are a couple of great characters, there to be part of some comedy in contrast to the tragedy of Jack’s daughter and grandson. Katy Wix (of various comedy programmes fame) is very funny as sis, though there were some subtle and serious moments between her and Ianto (the discussion of the restaurant, the swings). Johnny is a broader comedy character, who also helped move the plot along this ep, expressing his concern over his car now that Ianto lost the SUV.
The SUV gone (probably for the best, what with the huge slogan TORCHWOOD on it – not a good idea if you are on the run), the Hub a crater, this season of Torchwood seemed to be losing some of the more iconic elements of the show as the previous three episodes progressed. Could anyone really expect that end though, even with the foreshadowing?
Frobisher is another great character. Thatcher (wrong about so many things) described Britain as “a nation of shopkeepers” and it seems she was wrong again – we are really “a nation of civil servants” or “a nation of middlemen” as the 456 would describe the country (while trying to keep things “off the record”.) The archetypal middleman, middle-class, middle-aged, with his Scottish brogue not quite Middle England, that he was so “normal” made it all the more chilling when he is apparently going to go through with the plan.
The plan, formulated round the cabinet table, (though the PM gave the go-ahead for Frobisher to facilitate it) was formulated by a minister (in a moment of the darkest political satire) who finally found a use for the school league tables. (Although RTD wrote Aliens of London/WWIII and The Sound of Drums, who would have guessed that this story would be so political?) Her league table speech was a quiet scene, in contrast to the constant tension and frantic tempo of the previous three episodes, and it was all the more powerful.
The tempo and tension was ratcheted up at the end though. What an episode!
Quantity-ratings (click here for guide to rating system):
Episode Quality-rating: 5/5