Before I start, I’m going to say that if you haven’t watched Torchwood: Children of Earth yet, I’m going to try to not put any spoilers in this post. Although frankly if you want to watch it and you haven’t done so yet, what on earth are you playing at?
There was a fundamental problem with BBC One’s scheduling of Torchwood: Children of Earth. And that problem was that it was on every single night of last week.
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It was perfect for the story – of that I cannot deny. However I was out on Wednesday evening and on Thursday evening too. The result was I ended up watching three episodes back to back on Friday evening which was, to be honest, a little on the intense side. It’s a rather dark plot after all.
Afterwards I thought back to series one which hit our screens back in 2007.
Riding high on the glorious rebirth of Doctor Who, Torchwood was launched to provide a sci-fi programme in a similar vain but to an adult audience.
Whilst I watched the first series and enjoyed it, there was no denial that it hadn’t found its feet, being a bit too heavy on over the top amounts of gratuitous snogging and swearing, and pictures of John Barrowman looking moody and standing on top of very tall buildings for no apparent reason whilst a helicopter swoops around him hoping he doesn’t fall off until they’ve finished filming.
Series two began to find its feet. The sex and swearing was reduced, but the humour of the programme remained and really found its place. The characters, and the underlying humour really shone through and it had some excellent storylines to boot.
But series 3 – Children of Earth� What can I say? It was like Torchwood had gone up in another league completely!
Just about everything seemed spot on. A deep, dark, gripping storyline. Check. Top notch character development. Check. Creepy children standing still all chanting in unison. Check!
The single story plot also gave even the smallest of characters a chance to grow and develop in ways that Torchwood’s normal single episode storyline just never would normally allow. And the ability to give five hours to a single story meant it could be a complex and developed story too. This was no two episode story stretched out over five nights – this was a story with real meat, perfectly crafted, and with a gripping storyline. Sod the sci-fi – this was pure, unadulterated drama.
It was an epic in television that the cast and crew can be justly proud.
There’s been no official word on whether a series four will be commissioned, although the ratings and critical success of series 3 will no doubt leave BBC One bosses clammering for more. The one question is ultimately, how do you follow what was on our screens? The team have set their bar extremely high.
Torchwood’s come a long way. And I for one can’t wait to see what happens next.