Russell T. Davies, freed from the restraints of the family-friendly brief of DOCTOR WHO, takes full control of TORCHWOOD and fulfills the spin-off series’ more adult, tragic and even political agenda.
This is Davies creating a show with the safety wheels off. Where the previous two seasons often promised the characters would be pushed to their limits, this season really means it this time. A mysterious, seemingly unbeatable alien race makes contact with Earth by controlling and manipulating every child in the world, their demands as unfathomable as their threat to the human race, and the politicians are driven to both cover their own skins while committing a monstrous act in the name of the greater good. The question is whether Captain Jack Harkness and Torchwood are up to the challenge of averting a worldwide tragedy without losing their lives and their souls, and how much they’re willing to sacrifice. Davies uses the medium of Science Fiction to explore issues of government corruption and cravenness, complicity and moral failure. This is adult Science Fiction drama, not the silly, adolescent teases of previous series of TORCHWOOD.
As some reviews have already noted, this 5-part miniseries changes all the rules of the show, raises the stakes and suspense to an almost unbearable degree, and by the end, nothing will ever be the same again. The changes to the show are tragic, permanent, and leaves the continuation of the series in doubt. However, it is also the angriest political drama the BBC has produced in years, the story openly states that governments are corrupt and untrustworthy, and practically encourages class warfare. This is on par with classic Old School British Leftist series such as EDGE OF DARKNESS, BOYS FROM THE BLACKSTUFF and STATE OF PLAY. It’s attitude towards the government is consistent with what the British public currently feels about their government, and proves that Russell T. Davies has his finger firmly on the pulse of the nation.
This is the best political Science Fiction miniseries of recent years. No US drama would dare push things this far. It takes its influences from QUATERMASS, CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED, Lovecraft, and creates an angry indictment of government that took me by surprise.
About Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009)
Starring: Peter Capaldi, Liz May Brice, Luke Perry, John Barrowman, Kai Owen, Nicholas Farrell, Madeleine Rakic-Platt, Scott Bailey, Eve Myles, Gareth David-Lloyd, Ben Loyd-Holmes, Aimee Davies, Paul Copley, Bear McCausland, Susan Brown, Julia Joyce, Lucy Cohu, Ian Gelder, Gregory Ferguson, Cush Jumbo, Crisian Emanuel, Charles Abomeli, Melanie Barker, Rik Makarem, Katy Wix, Rhodri Lewis, Hilary Maclean, Anna Lawson, Rachel Ferjani, Christopher James
Director: Euros Lyn
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