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Torchwood – Children of Earth: Day 1 – Review

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"We are coming", again and again... © BBC
"We are coming", again and again... © BBC
"We are coming", again and again... © BBC

Children all over the world stop, and they do it twice. Then they have a message, in English, “We are coming”. Torchwood investigates…



A good start to a daily story that will have to keep our attention for five nights in a row. The episode has its ups and downs, speeding up and slowing down rather unevenly, and there are writer Russell T Davies signatures.

We have the repeated phrase; ” We are coming” this time, and we have lots of home life and main character backgrounds, as well as almost obligatory RT Davies sexual references and gay scenes. If they come to have a bearing on later episodes then that’s fine, but at the moment they were all too familiar trademarks that sometimes get in the way of a good story.

Still, as I’d expect from Davies, it all ends in an exciting cliff-hanger.

New recruit Dr Rupesh Patanjali (Rik Makarem)? © BBC
New recruit Dr Rupesh Patanjali (Rik Makarem)? © BBC

Also typically, the plot doesn’t really bear much scrutiny. Surely Torchwood would have a direct line to the government? Would a new secretary really be given a password to a high security database – and, come to that, would any secretary have access to a database that reveals all about Torchwood? And although the end is great, if the assassins really wanted to rid themselves of Torchwood then they must have home addresses?

I did smile at the dig at the British-centric nature of the series, as all the children around the world spoke in English and came to a stop at times most effective in Britain. I did wonder, though, how Sarah Jane Smith was reacting when her young charges came under the alien influence…?

Some unexpected twists on the way, and they’re always welcome – keeping us on our viewing toes. The red herrings were nicely and slyly executed. What will be next?

Topically, this episode reflects our current mistrust of those in power – supposedly Civil Servants here – as Torchwood seems to be uncovering something the government got up to some years ago. Something it doesn’t want anyone to know about…

I want to watch the next episode and that’s a good start. There’s just that nag at the back of my mind that Russell T Davies never delivers what he promises…

[rating: 4]