The 21st Century is when everything changes. . .

Torchwood: Children of Earth

Hrmmm. . . without spoilers. Harder.

I was displeased when I learned that this year’s season of Torchwood was going to be five episodes aired on five consecutive nights, like a mini-series, instead of the normal 13 episodes over 13 weeks. The idea left me feeling cheated on my show.

Well, let me tell you, this is what they need to do with Torchwood. Give me two or three of these spread over the year. This was by far the best Torchwood ever. Not only did this put seasons 1 and 2 to shame, this put some of the best of new Doctor Who to shame. If they could have done Torchwood this well from the beginning, it would dominate the British airwaves. But, they couldn’t have, because they had to start where they did to learn how to get here.

Not only was this the best Torchwood I’ve ever seen, it’s quite possibly some of the best sci-fi television I’ve seen in a few years. But not because of the sci-fi elements, but the delivery, acting, pacing, and general story. 

If you’ve followed Torchwood, you know the team has had some hard times lately. They’ve been bent hard, but not broken. CoE doesn’t let up on the bending in the slightest. I can tell you, this is not happy feel-good television. If you’re not a fan of what some like to call “grimdark” programs, you won’t like this. Even if you are a fan of Torchwood, you may not like this. This is the program that steps Torchwood up to what was initially promised – a good look at the realities for humanity in the universe of Doctor Who. As this progresses, you’ll probably find yourself wishing for the Doctor to show up and fix things in that way that only he can, because it seems like something only he could rectify.

Torchwood: Children of Earth is an superior story concerning themes of heroism, sacrifice, ideals versus reality, and the basic question of how many is too many and to whom do we turn to make that decision?

I don’t know if there is going to be a Torchwood season 4. It supposedly depends on the ratings of this one (which, unusually, went UP later into the program), but if there is, it’ll be damned interesting. If there is not, this will be remembered as a series finale in a league with Babylon 5’s Sleeping in Light and Blake’s 7’s Blake – in other words, for those unfamiliar, one of the best.