Torchwood: Children of Earth, Day Five
Why — bloody why — couldn’t Gwen have been like this in the first two seasons? WHY? Everything about her rocked in Children of Earth, which isn’t fair because now I feel fucking cheated. There were a veritable plethora of brilliant, well-formed women in CoE on both sides of the table. God, I am going to miss RTD on Who. I mean, he certainly doesn’t write women perfectly all the time, but he writes lots of them and he tries to make them 3D. Moffat’s women always seem to be written to pull something out or contrast something in the men, as if they had no purpose aside from accentuating the penis. At least RTD dares to consider these women might be characters worth exploring unto themselves. I really felt in CoE that Gwen stopped being just a foil for Jack and started to feel real.
PC ANDY, I LOVE YOU! When he ripped off his PC day-glow outfit and joined Ianto’s brother-in-law in fighting the military, I actually cheered out loud. Brilliant, you!
The conversation between Rhys and Gwen just after he’s filmed her where he’s terrified that she might actually abort their baby and Gwen tells him she could never do that to him just broke me. It really illustrated how close to the breaking point in all this fuckery that Gwen was when she snapped at him in the car, and then the way she pulled it back when she saw how it wrecked him… I love those two as a couple, because they really love each other completely in a normal-life kind of way that isn’t over-glorified or star-crossed or angst-ridden. Just two people who love each other and trying to wade through the crazy world they’re in. You hardly ever see that kind of awesome on TV.
It was pretty brutal the way they lingered with the camera on Steven as he was imploding. Cruel and brutal. It worked in a very different way than focusing on Jack watching Steven would have. The reaction shots are a safer place for something like this. Confronting it head-on visually means the audience has their own reaction to think about as well. It was pretty brutal though. For a minute, I thought they were actually going to make Steven explode on screen.
All in all, I think this series was more government-thriller than sci-fi romp, and in a lot of ways I’d argue that Frobisher was the main character in this one instead of any of the Torchwood crew. I liked his storyline, thought the actor did a really brilliant job with the heavy and giving us a man falling apart in stages. The bits with his secretary and Lois during Day Five were a bit anvilicious for me because I got the "he was a good man" bit from the beginning without needing someone to spoon feed it. Dear writers: It’s okay to trust your audience to be smart. Love Chelle.
Jack. Jack, Jack, Jack. Well, now you and the Doctor have something else to talk about. Leaving aside genocide of two races (because, you know, that’s an easy thing to leave aside, right?), Jack’s body count must be approaching the Doctor’s. Knowing that it was RTD writing this one, I kinda wonder if the whole Jack leaving thing was a Plot Point on the way to the Big Regeneration this Christmas.
The post-Steven Alice and Jack interaction was perfect. The way she came through those doors, instantly stopped when she saw him, then carefully backed away and left the way she came without saying a word. Other writers would have needed A Conversation there, and RTD just let the director and the actors play it without because, seriously, there would be no words. Jack can justify what he did to the entire world and maybe eventually even himself, but never to Alice. Does not happen.
I’ve already dripped my affection all over Rhys and Gwen here, but pregnant!Gwen and delighted!Rhys are :D :D :D. Their interplay in that last scene was the wonderful feather on the shiny cap of awesome.