Torchwood: Day Four – Sobbing Like a Child

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“On The Fourth Day The Government Will Conspire”… and didn’t they just?!

A few days ago, the biggest Doctor Who community on the internet, The Doctor Who Forum (formerly Outpost Gallifrey), was closed down to be replaced in spirit and substance by Gallifrey Base: a place for the discerning fan to partake in a diverse and vibrant discussion… and to throw insults at the trolls. I always used to read, with general amusement, the opinions of a vocal minority of “fans” and quite a few critics whose viewpoints I respect, about a genuine disappointment with Torchwood. Marketed, consciously or otherwise, as an adult version of its anagrammed parent show, Torchwood’s first two series were/are seen by these significant few as a little bit hokey, somewhat unfeasable in concept, and flawed to the point of distraction. I don’t entirely agree with the negative assertions, having always been pleasantly entertained by the Cardiff-based goings on. Why then, or perhaps a better question is how, did Children of Earth get to be so bloody brilliant?

On Gallifrey Base, I happily gave Day One a score of 9/10 on the traditional “Rate The Episode” threads, Day Two got an 8/10 from me and Day Three a 10/10 (all hail, James Moran). But Day Four was even better and I always vowed I’d never be one of squeeing 11/10 voters. Rats. One comment that has been made before this evening’s show was how the main TW cast seemed to be playing a back-seat role in the cunning plans of the 456 but as soon as Day Three’s cliffhanger put Captain Jack front and centre of the events of 1965 I guessed things might change. The first half of Day Four seemed a little odd as the gang appeared to simply be watching the TV after they’d got over the shock of Jack’s revelations but as the evil machinations of the government were played out for them to see, they reacted by hatching a plan and springing into action, and we knew everything was going to be okay. Erm, not quite. The 456 callously turned the tables on our heroes and suddenly, from the midst of the action, we were presented with a scene of such heart-wrenching sadness it was quite hard to comprehend.

For those who follow such things, my first Tweet after seeing Day Four was to ask “How many awards does Torchwood deserve to win? This is one of the most amazing TV shows I can remember watching” and it’s true, this is a genuinely astonishing slice of drama. If this was the only thing the BBC produced this year, it alone would justify my licence fee. The one thing I do know is that if Stephen Moffat is watching this, he must know that the bar at “Upper Boat” has been set extraordinarily high.

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    • Trevor
    • July 10th, 2009

    Brillant Day 4 – loved the homage back to the original Story I just hope the ending tonight is different from that.
    PM Green hmmmm wonder who that is a dig at :). Ianto …….. did not see that coming no wonder gareth was slightly quite/subdued on the tv interviews prior to the stoey being aired. Am looking forward to day 5 to see if the 456 get what I think is coming their way.

  1. I just finished watching it and I’m still teary. WOW.

  2. I have followed Torchwood from it’s early days of season 1, when it couldn’t seem to find its voice, to the highly satisfying season 2 (bloodbath ending aside.) This serial though has been something beyond special. I can’t for the life of me imagine how Russell T. Davies is going to write himself out of this in just one final episode. And I’ve got to put in a word for the absolutely brilliant direction of Euros Lyn who has taken these scripts and crafted a masterpiece of horror, suspense, and human drama. In a strange way I don’t want it to end–the most riveting television I can remember in a long time. But I don’t think I can survive more than another day of it all the same!

  3. So Jealous… Can’t wait to see it here in the states!

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