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[icon] Torchwood Children of Earth - River's Run My Flow Of Ideas
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Subject:Torchwood Children of Earth
Time:10:55 pm

Having returned from Comicon, I finally took the time to watch the last three days of the Children of Earth miniseries.

Was it a brilliant piece of story telling?  Yes.

Was it a brutal gut punch for the realism of how an actual alien invasion could likely go down?  Absolutely.

Was it too brutal for television?  No.

Was it too brutal for Torchwood?  Yes.

And this is why...

When I watch Torchwood, I expect a certain darkness but there is also that touch of camp, that bit of sci fi goodness that lets me know this is all fun and games.  I'm not watching a show meant to be authentic or that prides itself on realism.  If I had been watching BSG, I wouldn't have been the least bit taken aback by what happened in this miniseries.  I expected to see that type of despair on that show but Torchwood always had that fantastical aspect that somehow made it seem a little less dreary.  There was always enough fun and hope that I felt safe coming back the following week to see what happens next.  After watching this series, I don't want to know what other horrors are in that world. 

And I'm not even talking about the deaths of the key players.  Yes, Ianto's death was heartbreaking and I hate Russell T. Davies for doing that.  Partially because it came so close on the heels of the death's of Tosh and Owen.  But with them, as sad as it was (and I cried and cried during that ep) the deaths seemed appropriate and somehow fitting.  Seriously, how long could Owen have gone on in his living dead state?  His final demise seemed rather inevitable.  And to have Tosh die with him had  a very bittersweet sort of Romeo and Juliet feel to it.  Ianto's death, on the other hand, seemed to be thrown in there just for the despair factor with no real purpose for the story arc and seemed to be in there just to break Jack a little more.  In fact, the conversations between Ianto and Jack in the series made it obvious that Ianto was being set up for death.  When he talked about dying of old age with Jack, you could practically see the bullseye forming on his forehead.  I'm surprised Jack didn't start calling him Goose.

But for me, the most brutal parts involved the death's of Froebisher's family and Stephen.  I actually cried more with them than with Ianto because it was something ,as a parent, I could feel in my bones.  I remember watching a tv movie as a kid about the Orson Well's War of the Worlds radio hoax and how so many people had thought it was real.  The scene I remember most vividly ,and that has stuck with me all these years, was a man taking his family into a tunnel, covering his kid's heads with a handkerchief and getting ready to shoot them in the head to save them from being taken by the aliens.  Fortunately, in that movie, the police arrived in time to stop him before he could carry through with his plan.  The same can't be said for Froebisher.  Again, was it realistic?  Yes.  Was it an agonizing choice to have to make as a parent?  Yes.  Was it a choice, as a parent, I could very likely make given the knowledge of what was in store for his children if the 456 got them?  Yes.  Is that something I want to see on a show that has featured humanoid blowfish in the past?  No, it is not.  If I wanted that, I'd watch Sophie's Choice.

And then there was Stephen, or actually the most heartwrenching part, Alice watching Stephen die, banging on the window and then begging for help when she finally was able to hold her son again even though she knew it was too late.  I think that was when I decided I wished I had never watched the show.  If Russell T. Davies had wanted to tell this story (and I really do think it was an amazingly fascinating and realistic story), I wish he had chosen a different world to tell it in.  The Torchwood verse shouldn't be that dark and agonizing to watch.  I think I felt like I was lured in under false pretenses.  Maybe I shouldn't have been that surprised given the deaths at the end of the last season, but I won't be surprised like that again if there is a 4th series.  Mainly because, after what I watched tonight, I also seriously doubt I'll be tuning in if there is.  I watch sci fi to escape from the pressures of the real world and have a little fun.  At the end of this, I felt like Jack and just wanted to escape the world of Torchwood forever and never look back.
 
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margec01
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Time:2009-07-30 12:01 am (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with you. I heard they announced there will be a Series 4 due to good ratings, but somehow I doubt those ratings will be repeated. *I* sure won't be watching it, that's for sure.

And I also heard that, when people complained about the deaths at Comicon, Davies basically told them to shut up and grow up. Sorry, buddy, I've already had one set of producers telling me to shut up this year--I don't need this much crap because of a TV show. I just thank God that, while I LIKED Torchwood and Ianto, I'm still enough in SGA-mode that I didn't really get fannish over it. If I had, I would have been devastated.
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liketheriverrun
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Time:2009-07-30 06:03 am (UTC)
I didn't see the Torchwood panel at Comicon but I did see the Dr. Who panel and even then RTD made it very clear that if there was a Series 4, it wouldn't be what lots of people were hoping for because, "dead is dead." So while he didn't tell people to grow up in *that* panel, it was obvious he didn't care what the fans thought in the end.

And he said there was no official word on a series 4 but that the ratings were triple for Children of Earth over what they had been in series 2, so I have trouble imagining BBC won't offer up another series. The thing is, I enjoyed the first 3 eps and most of the 4th. And event hough I watched the 5th ep, I kind of wish I hadn't, and I have to wonder how many people feel that way, too. So even though the ratings may have been through the roof, they probably aren't reflective of the number of people who would watch a series 4 because I think he lost a lot of faithful viewers in the end.
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portiaeins
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Time:2009-09-11 08:21 pm (UTC)
the "producers telling me to shut up" comment; was that about SGA? I'm asking because I was wondering if there is a good place to go where people are talking about the cancellation of SGA for the sole purpose of replacing it with another show -- I'd like to know what people are saying about that and a good place to go to read what they are saying?

As for Torchwood, I agree completely with all that is being said here. I couldn't help thinking what a different attitude would have been adopted on Doctor Who, and I wanted to see the Earth AND Cap'n Jack stating, "Hell no! We will go down fighting before we give up our children." The fact that just about EVERYONE was so willing to so quickly roll over was just depressing and, frankly, distasteful. I'm not so sure I like Jack Harkness so much anymore. And Ianto's death did feel as though it was executed with almost gleeful spitefulness, especially after the so recent death of Owen and Tosh. Oh, and I felt so sorry for those rowdies going after the soldiers with half-bricks and fists; I guess in the US the soldiers would have been met with more armed resistance!
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margec01
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Time:2009-09-12 05:02 pm (UTC)
the "producers telling me to shut up" comment; was that about SGA?

It absolutely was. We've been talking about it for months in many of my friends' journals. However, the topic has come up again due to some reviewers' posts of SGU. Here are a couple of them:

http://sgamadison.livejournal.com/56940.html
http://wraithfodder.livejournal.com/371395.html

As you can see, everyone is still pretty pissed, but we've realized there's nothing much to be done about it now, so unfortunately we'll just live with it. AND enjoy the fic without having to worry about being screwed up by some of the stupidities which would probably come in canon. Knowing this group of writers and producers, they might kill off Sheppard just because they're pissed at Joe. After all, they did it with Daniel, for almost exactly the same reason.
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[icon] Torchwood Children of Earth - River's Run My Flow Of Ideas
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