Thursday, 15 September 2011

Torchwood - Children of Earth

Finished the last out of five episodes in the third season of Torchwood: Children of Earth. It was the finest piece of TV I have seen in a while (It's summer. Not much going on on regular schedules but entertainment..) in terms of human drama. Science fiction offers for the best of dramatic moments (Just go see the beginning of Abram's Star Trek or the pilot of Battlestar Galactica.) as it can be so easily faced with the worst of existential crises.
        First time I saw the start of the BBC thing, reading it was a spin-off Doctor Who (Love the one with Christopher Eccleston and Billie Piper), I didn’t even watch five minutes of it – it seemed cheap, poorly acted and a bad attempt at a British X-files. Probably should have watched six. :) One falls instantly in love with the character of Gwen Cooper, 

so after I saw another episode, this time of the fourth season, I decided to re-load the whole thing. I have a trusted friend who told me Children of earth will pull my socks off. And she’s a Doctor. :P
        With so many sci-fi shows that get off to a good start, gain momentum characters wise and get some more budget, Torchwood (am starting to get fed up with the world, lol) began as a ‘team of secret government nerds led by a mysterious tall dark jock solves X crimes…’ with separate episodes solving separate cases and very thin lines of personal stories seeping through.. Towards the end of second season, most of the cast is killed off, so of course as soon as a new potential candidate in the frame of a young Pakistani medic started nearing in, we were all ‘oh, cool! New blood! New drama :D’…
        In Children of Earth the show goes from episodes to one full story-line in five part serves. And the young Pakistani medic turns out to be a dickhead.
        I’ve lost count how many times Captain Jack died, but the show is starting to demonstrate very well how he must feel about others: he brings only hardship and loss, wherever he goes – if not at once, then eventually. “All stories end bad if read long enough,” and all that..
        The casting and screenwriting in this season has been – fir this type of a show – absurdly good. I loved the young idealistic (=naïve) secretary 

and the whole household of Ianto Jones’ sister’s, though nothing compares to the role of Peter Capaldi as the secretary of state. 

His whole story, from what his own personal Moneypenny tells the naïve young secretary in prison, to his family – his wife, who cries when he tells her everything will be okay, knowing him too well to believe it… How he faces this ridiculous threat, the disgusting demands and the crisis that ensues – and then how he is thrown to the wolves and how he handles it is just… It’s more haunting than that poor kid the alien’s hooked into. And that kid will give me nightmares for a month… 

There are bits that I didn’t understand or didn’t quite buy. Example – if 456 inside the tank continues to splash spew on the glass every time he clears its throat, how come the glass is always so clean when they are talking? I kinda doubt cleaning ladies go in and wipe the windows. Also – if you throw someone entombed inside a block of concrete down a quarry, Ianto, chances are their body will be ripped apart by the force of chunks around the limbs. And what exactly did Harkness think will happen, if he walked into the audience room and tell the alien to fuck off? The thing will just shrug and bike back home? Did he think he’s gonna stare it into defeat? Or did he simply think that the cockiness and charm that brought him thus far simply applies to the rest of our planet when it comes to standing off junky aliens? And wasn’t this alien guy just a bag man? Just the voice of an invasion? Then maybe he ran back and reported humans are badasses and they should keep their ugly hands off our planet!
…But my literature doctor friend tells me I’m way over thinking it (I’ve simply lived with General that long) and should not hold it against the writers if they chose to always offer a new start into the whole T’wood mystery. (As the fourth season begins, Americans know nothing about what happened with the kids in Britain and yet it was said all the countries rallied up the youngsters, so it should have gone down in all the towns?) … Okay, I’ll stop.
And so, for the finishing line: an unexpected gem of entertainment, coupled with some god old British spike. Damn good tv indeed :p

Plus Harkness is one of rare gay leads in any show. Normally it would put me off, but his lovers are just so messed up it's actually quite funny. Except of course after they all die. 
*Harkness loving Ianto: (They remind me of my Sherridans a little bit. Though not quite as psychotic :))

...Harkness losing Ianto. 

It's like a leitmotif with this guy.