Friday, 10 July 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part Five - SPOILERS



I don't know what to say.

That episode broke all the rules regarding Russell T Davies' writing and shows us how he can get away with doing so much more in an adult context.

OK, so the first half of the episode was quite talky, and concerned itself a lot with getting people into the places they needed to be in. But then you got the Frobisher sequence.

I was on the edge of my seat. The performance, editing, directing... the choice of underscoring it all and then just hearing the bullets, seeing nothing...

And then, everything that followed on from that. Getting Jack out of Prison, Gwen and Rhys and PC Andy and Ianto's sister and her husband.... All the kids...The politicians... the Military...

And then, the sacrifice. Jack chose to use his own grandson. Because he was nearby. It's the same sort of sacrifice we saw from Jack in the fairy episode back in Season 1, but this time... his own grandson. How could you do that??

And that ending...

It goes against the grain for me to say this, but I want that to be the end of Torchwood. And Captain Jack.

That ending was downbeat, depressing, and real. Which, for a show that in its past has been attacked by a Cyberman in stilettos, kept a pteradactyl under Cardiff and has had more stupid moments than you could shake a particularly large stick at.. is impressive.

It showed us that Jack is not "indestructable" as various people have described him. He's immortal. That doesn't stop the pain. He's going to run as far as he can for as long as he can. To escape what he's done. And every night, when he sleeps, he'll remember.

Yes there were plot holes - Dekker has been around for all 5 days, but for no apparent reason other than to rubbish peoples ideas and be randomly shot in the foot, how come the soldiers knew AS SOON as the 456 were destroyed and stopped trying to take the children from Gwen, if Bridget Spears was wearing the contact lenses, who was recording them? And more to the point, who's going to continue to employ Gwen? Does she become de-facto head of Torchwood now? Since there's no-one left?

But still - for pure drama - 9.5/10

Near perfection.

Do I want to see more Torchwood? I'm torn. Because the end was SO good.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part Four - MAJOR SPOILERS

Seriously, if you haven't seen this yet, don't read my review...


This series just keeps getting better and better....

That was outstanding. (As you can tell, from the fact I'm writing this 4 minutes after it ended!)

The first half of the episode was slow, but good, showing much more detail of what happened in the 60s, with the first encounter of the 456.

Peter Capaldi is doing brilliant work as Frobisher, a man who is watching his life crumble as it all collapses from underneath him...

Johnson (as played by Liz May Brice) finally got to show some emotion other than "lets hunt them all down and kill them whooppeee!"

But that final sequence - from Lois informing the cabinet room that Torchwood are taking over, to Jack and Ianto's entrance into the MI5 building, the showdown with the 456, and then... that twist.

The 456 release a virus which kills everyone in Thames House. EVERYONE. And we all know that Jack can come back to life, but Ianto, poor Ianto.... He dies in Jacks arms.

I have to say, they've got some balls. "I know, we're down to three regular cast.. lets kill one..."

Although... and this is a big although, and possibly just the thoughts of a sceptical mind, but they made a big thing of showing us Ianto's body, and the line "There's nothing we can do.." made me wonder if there is going to turn out to be something they can do....

But I hope not. Because the massacre at Thames House was such a defining moment of this show, that I hope it continues.

The preview for tomorrow just.... well I've watched it a couple of times, and I can't even figure out anything that will happen...

Everything is on the table.. and kudos to the Torchwood team for that.

9 out of 10. Easily.

Looking forward to tomorrow....

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part Three - SPOILERS

I have a feeling these reviews are going to get shorter as this week carries on...

So, Day Three (incidentally, why did they have to force it so that everything happens on different days.. i'd have just called it Parts One - Five, but I digress..)

Lots of good stuff, I liked it more than Part Two, and possibly more than Part One.

The 456 in the tank was creepy.. and I'm torn as to whether I want to get to see it fully, because it might be a letdown!

Loved the way that Frobisher has been set up to fail because he's expendable....

Jack being the guy who gave them the children last time? Not surprised in the slightest...If someone did something bad in the past its always Jack :P

But the thing that is making me think... and i'm not sure if that's good or bad... is that in a normal Torchwood episode (or an episode of most things) then as soon as the audience knew who the aliens were, Torchwood knows. That's why I had a bit of a shock when it took till Jacks phone call to Frobisher to discover that it was the 456.

Intriguing relationship between Frobisher and Jack...

Lois was better than yesterday - although she shouldn't have managed to get away with that godawful excuse for getting into the room...

Lots of nice character stuff still - and I loved the Torchwood Hustle ;) Although, who'd believe John Barrowman was a waiter in those tracksuit trousers? And why didnt the guy report his Porsche being stolen directly to the police.... who would have noticed when Jack kept driving around in it!!

All good.. not much more to say...

8.5 / 10

Bring on part four....

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part Two - SPOILERS

So, I got the chance to catch up with part two late last night on iPlayer...

This won't be a long review like the one for Part One was, as a lot of it is similar, due to the serial nature of the story!

I thought that this second installment was not quite as good as the first, missing Jack for a lot of it, and it all feeling a bit deadly serious.. which is understandable I guess, when people are trying to kill you, but I hope it doesn't stay like that.

Good things were abundant, including Ianto's family causing a distraction, the evil woman's great plan for dealing with Jack (bring on the cement mixer!) and the JCB!!

However, Lois Abibba (or however one spells her name), is fast becoming a useful plot device rather than a character. I could believe the whole "having your bosses password on a post-it" thing, because we all know stuff like that happens, but by Day 2 she is stealing information and aiding fugitives? I mean, granted, the fugitives are Torchwood, so we know they're not evil... but she doesn't!!

Also, why is she doing it? This was my big problem with the episode I think, because people are by nature selfish. So she should have a reason for doing what she's doing. If they'd made her a mother, it would make more sense, or established some form of child presence in her life, as then she would be worried for her child. But she doesn't (or if she does, we don't know yet), and because of that, she doesn't seem to have a motive...

One thing I forgot to mention in review one is how beautifully shot the whole thing is, kudos to Euros Lyn for some brilliant style and flair...

Oh, and a nag from episode one was that I hope that the SUV theft doesn't just turn out to be random, because it was so convenient that Ianto lost the car the day that they have to go on the run....

In total - This Part gets an 8/10

Anyway, Part Three is on in like 3 and a half hours

Good Times :)

Monday, 6 July 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part One - HERE BE SPOILERS

So it's that time again, where I abandon the strange and often morose wonderings of my blogs, and get down to something specific...

It's Review Time!!

Torchwood: Children of Earth - Part One

The first episode of this brave new structure for Torchwood worked astoundingly well, in this reviewers humble opinion, restoring a lot of faith in the writings of Russel T Davies when he doesn't try to add too much "child humour", as sometimes occurs in Doctor Who.

Starting off with the first freeze of the children, and showing us around the people we would encounter, before we knew any of them had connections to the story was a fabulous opening, and I didn't miss the "Stupidly overwrought and pointlessly dramatic Torchwood Opening voiceover"(TM) at all....

After I watched this episode I had to go and have a bath.... no wait, that sounds wrong. It's not that it made me feel dirty or anything... No, this is all wrong. I'm going to start this paragraph again, do you mind? If you do, tough. Write to someone who cares :P

I had to stop and think for a while after watching this episode, and I still don't really know how to review it, because it's so obviously the first act of a five act drama and an awful lot of it was setup. It was nice giving the characters the space to breath, and I didn't realise how slowly it was moving until I happened to look at the clock during Ianto's conversation with his Sister, and realised we were over half way through the episode!

The family connections were well done, and it was nice to see some backstory for Jack and Ianto, rather than Gwen (being as we know most things about her already!). Jack has a daughter - not overly surprising, but I did like the reason she doesn't like to see him...

Rhys coming up with the realisation that the timings were around British times was nice, and showed how he is slowly becoming involved more in the teams work, and there was some brilliant dialogue, not least "Have you gone bender?" :)

The Westminster elements were well done, tense, not giving too much away about the alien plot, and the pieces were carefully being wrangled into place, which is obviously much easier to do in the telling of one five-hour story.

I didn't see the betrayal of Rupesh coming, which worked as a nice twist, and the whole build up to the cliffhanger was FANTASTIC... with the alien plot elements and the imminent destruction of the hub beautifully intercut with each other.

Minor quibble with the cliffhanger is that we know they are not going to kill Ianto or Jack off, as they're already down to three leads! But even so, it was good, and the "next time" trailer was well edited, not showing Ianto at all (I don't think), and just showing a screaming burned body (which I assume is Jack..).

On the whole, I liked it a lot, and it felt good to have the team back :)

So far - 8.5/10

Let's see how tomorrows goes.

Except I'll be at work till late. So that review might not go up till Wednesday...