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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Thriller > British TV > Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009/BBC Blu-ray + DVD)

Torchwood: Children of Earth (2009/BBC Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B/B-     Sound: B/B-    Extras: B+     Episodes: A



This third season of the Doctor Who spinoff show Torchwood is really a five episode event created to be aired in five consecutive days, as it was done on BBC in the UK and in the United States on BBC America. Torchwood comprises a group of unique individuals who work outside any government auspice to use alien technology to defend the Earth from extra-terrestrial threats. First created by Queen Victoria in Doctor Who as a shadowy agency of the Crown designed to combat supernatural threats both real and imagined, Torchwood was destroyed and then reborn for its own series.


Still recovering from the deaths of two of their comrades from the end of season two, Torchwood team members Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles), and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd) must now confront a new and sinister alien menace that works its powers and influence through Earthís children. But that isnít the only obstacle they must overcome. Betrayal, dark revelations, and further terrible losses push the team to its utmost limits.


When watching Children of Earth the viewer feels like he or she is caught up in an event. The plot and characters move at a frenetic pace as events unfold and the shocks never stop until the very end. It remains unclear just what the future holds for the Torchwood franchise, but the solid ratings of this mini-series on BBC 1 and BBC America could ensure it continues. If and when the show resumes mega-talented creator and producer Russell T. Davies will have to again re-invent the team as they rise from the ashes of an almost pyrrhic victory at the end of Children of Earth.With shades of the original Village Of The Damned, this delivers nicely.


The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is as rich and impressive (especially for a TV production) as was the case with the first two seasons on Blu-ray, while the anamorphically enhanced DVDs are just fine for the format.The DTS-MA High Resolution 5.1 mix is not a Master Audio lossless track, but is still very impressive and rich, while the Dolby Digital 5.1 on the DVD version has good surrounds, but is no match for the Blu-rayís DTS fidelity.


The plentiful extras on this two-disc set speak to this, as Davies, crew, and cast discuss the making of Children of Earth and the future of the show in a series of wonderful Torchwood Declassified features. If there is any serious criticism to make of this production it can be found in its conclusion, which presents somewhat of deus ex machine. Still the manner in which the heroes overcome the threat is not entirely implausible, but perhaps a bit rushed and not adequately explained. Laying that aside, the wrap-up at the end is nearly as moving as the close of Season Two.If Torchwood is to live again it will be in the capable hands of Mr. Davies and company, and it will be a very fine thing to see indeed.



-†† Scott Pyle & Nicholas Sheffo


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