Children Of Earth: Day One

TorchwoodAt 8:40 one morning, every child on Earth stands absolutely still and begins reciting a message, in unison and in English: “We are coming.” Both Torchwood and UNIT try to track down the meaning behind the message, but in Whitehall, a seemingly innocuous civil servant named John Frobisher understands precisely what the message means. Captain Jack tries to contact Frobisher – Torchwood’s point of contact with the government – to offer help, but Frobisher’s new personal assistant, Lois Habiba, has no idea who Jack is and simply takes a message. Lois is nothing if not inquisitive, however, and manages to look up Torchwood in the government’s files, and what she learns there turns her world upside-down. Another civil servant, Mr. Dekker, pays Frobisher a visit with a simple but ominous warning: the 456 are returning, and they have sent a message in an incredibly compressed data stream that will take time to translate. At regular intervals, the world’s children come to a stop, either to deliver another message or to unleash a piercing, blood-curdling scream. Hoping to understand what’s going on, Jack and Ianto each set out to observe a little bit closer to home. Ianto visits his sister, where his niece and nephew are acting decidedly normal, while Jack visits a daughter, Alice Carter, who he’s never mentioned to any of his teammates. Alice, wary of Jack’s apparent immortality, would rather he stayed away from her and from his own grandson, who knows him as “Uncle Jack.” Gwen visits a man named Clement McDonald in a mental institution, learning that he somehow knows of an alien threat; he claims to have escaped the 456 in 1965. McDonald is the only adult in the world to have repeated the same messages as the children due to his close call with the aliens. As more messages are relayed through the children, John Frobisher puts a top-secret plan into action, calling for the elimination of a list of individuals – including one Captain Jack Harkness – and the entire Torchwood organization. Jack’s immortality is about to be put to the test.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Charles Abomeli (Colonel Oduya), Rik Makarem (Rupesh Patanjali), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Anna Lawson (Nurse), Rachel Ferjani (Parliamentary Secretary), Christopher James (Press Officer), Phylip Harries (Water Taxi man), Ben Lloyd-Holmes (Operative), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Gregory Ferguson (young Clem), Crisian Emmanuel (Mother), Melanie Barker (Mother 2), Scott Bailey (Father)

Notes: Martha is said to be on her honeymoon and out of touch with Torchwood; in reality, actress Freema Agyeman had accepted a job as one of the regular cast of Law & Order: UK, a British adaptation (also starring Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber) of the popular American crime drama. Though early drafts of the script included Martha, no contract had been drawn up for Agyeman and she took the other job. As Jack is sizing up Rupesh Patanjali as a new medical expert for Torchwood, it would seem that neither Martha nor Mickey Smith joined Torchwood (which was heavily implied at the end of the Doctor Who episode Journey’s End); presumably Martha remains with UNIT.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Earth: Day Two

TorchwoodEven as Gwen and Ianto escape from a massive blast that destroys the Torchwood hub – with Jack inside – and most of Roald Dahl Plass with it, snipers and government agents posing as paramedics are waiting to pick them off. Gwen goes home to get Rhys and go underground; Ianto winds up more exposed and less armed. Mr. Dekker pays a visit to Frobisher, with a translation of the compressed message from the 456: it contains detailed specifications for a device of unknown function, and a very short timetable for completing its construction. The government operatives locate Jack’s body – or what’s left of it – in the ruins of the hub, and they gather the pieces. Astonishingly, Jack’s remains reform into a full body and he is resurrected yet again. Gwen tries to call Frobisher’s office, but instead finds herself talking to Lois; Lois arranges a clandestine meeting with Gwen, and warns her that Frobisher himself has ordered Torchwood’s elimination. Gwen and Rhys infiltrate a military complex where the revived Jack has been trapped alive in solid concrete. As it happens, Ianto has also tracked down where Jack has been taken to, and mounts his own rescue attempt just as Gwen and Rhys are trapped, also saving them in the process. The world’s children deliver a new message – “we are coming tomorrow” – as construction of the unknown device is rushed to completion atop the MI-5 building, and Mr. Dekker tests it: an environment chamber for the 456. To the best of anyone’s knowledge, the specifications for this chamber have only been sent to the British government. Without the resources of the hub, and marked for death, Torchwood has less than a day to find out who is coming, why they’re coming – and how to fight back.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by John Fay
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Tom Price (PC Andy), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Gregory Ferguson (young Clem), Simon Poland (456 voice), Ashley Hunt (Recovery worker), Osi Okerafor (Kodak), Emmanuel Ighadaro (Paramedic), Robert Shelly (Sentry), Quill Roberts (Guard), Fay McDonald (Mother), Louise Minchin (Newsreader), Libby Liburd (Barmaid)

Note: This episode depicts the most critical damage that Captain Jack has been seen to endure (prior to this, the record appeared to be held by numerous point-blank blasts from Dalek weapons). He can apparently survive dismemberment, as what’s left of him is said to be “an arm, a shoulder, and part of a head.”

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Earth: Day Three

TorchwoodA curfew is imposed across Britain and the Prime Minister takes to the airwaves to assure everyone that no harm will come to their children. Ianto takes the rest of the team to an abandoned warehouse in south London that had once been used by Torchwood One, and since they’re already on the wanted list, they steal the equipment, vehicles and money they need to continue their efforts to decipher the 456’s mysterious messages; Gwen also springs Clement McDonald from the lockup after he’s arrested for petty theft. Gwen meets with Lois Habiba again, giving her a set of spy camera contact lenses and asking her to help Torchwood by giving them a look inside Frobisher’s operations; at first she’s reluctant, but after the Prime Minister – under fire from both UNIT and the world’s other major governments – names Frobisher as Britain’s pointman in negotiations with the 456, Lois finally wears the contacts to the first diplomatic meeting with the 456. At this meeting, the 456 formally demand 10% of the world’s children as a gift. It’s not the first time that children have been delivered to the 456; Clement McDonald escaped from a previous visit in which he was to be presented as a “gift” in 1965. And he recognizes the man who delivered him and the other children into the 456’s waiting hands: Captain Jack Harkness.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies & James Moran
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Colin McFarlane (General Pierce), Tom Price (PC Andy), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Charles Abomeli (Colonel Oduya), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Rachel Ferjani (Parliamentary Secretary), Christopher James (Press Officer), Ben Lloyd-Holmes (Operative), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Patrick Etienne (Sandwich shop man), Simon Poland (456 voice), Gregory Ferguson (young Clem), Louise Minchin (Newsreader), Anthony Debaeck (French Newsreader), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells)

Note: According to the government’s records, Alice Carter (Jack’s daughter) was born to a mother of Italian descent who was a Torchwood employee working alongside Jack from the 1960s through the ’70s. The spy contact lenses were last worn by Martha Jones in season two’s Reset, but apparently Gwen and Rhys have been using them for recreational purposes, which will probably remain as classified as anything in Torchwood’s archives.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Earth: Day Four

TorchwoodThe full extent of Jack’s involvement in the original 1965 contact with the 456, and the resulting abductions, is revealed: he was sent to deliver a dozen children, including young Clement McDonald, to the 456, in exchange for the antidote to a virus with which the 456 had infected humanity. Clement escaped, unsuitable since he was on the cusp of puberty, but was left with a residual psychic link to the 456. Through Lois’ contact lens cameras, the team sees, hears and records deliberations among the Prime Minister and his cabinet, debating not how to save the children, but precisely which children should be handed over to meet the aliens’ demands. It is eventually decided that “lower class” children in “lessser” schools will be sacrificed. Jack vows to fight back, setting a plan into motion: Rhys will go into hiding and stand by for a signal to release the evidence gathered by Lois’ contact lens cameras to the public; since this act would topple the British government, it’s a last-ditch bargaining chip. Gwen and Clement will remain in Torchwood’s London warehouse and wait for the government shock troops to arrive, which they inevitably will after Ianto places a phone call to Gwen. Lois is instructed to deliver Torchwood’s terms to the Prime Minister directly, which she does just as Jack and Ianto arrive to begin a more aggressive form of negotiation with the 456. But while Jack may be able to bring Britain’s government to a stunned stand-still, he may not be persuasive enough to drive the 456 from Earth.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by John Fay
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Colin McFarlane (General Pierce), Deborah Finlay (Denise Riley), Nicholas Briggs (Rick Yates), Patric Naiambana (Defense Secretary), Charles Abomeli (Colonel Oduya), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Sophie Hunter (Vanessa), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Simon Poland (456 voice), Gregory Ferguson (young Clem), Ben Loyd Holmes (Operative), Louise Minchin (Newsreader), Anthony Debaeck (French Newsreader), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells)

Notes: Nicholas Briggs, seen on-screen as Rick Yates, has already provided Dalek, Auton, Cyberman and Judoon voices for the series, but is perhaps better known to Doctor Who fandom as the current producer of audio Doctor Who for Big Finish Productions; prior to that, Briggs was one of the leading figures in a number of fan-made direct-to-video releases in the 1990s. The fan videos and Big Finish may well have been factors in keeping Doctor Who alive for both fandom and the public at large, and arguably may have been vital stepping stones to the show’s return to TV and its swarm of spinoffs, including Torchwood. This is Briggs’ first on-screen appearance “in universe” for the BBC itself. Since Clement McDonald was unsuitable for the 456 due to the approach of adolescence, presumably the young lead characters of The Sarah Jane Adventures were also immune to the 456’s effects during this crisis. The location of the abandoned Torchwood One warehouse is narrowed down to Shoreditch – appropriately enough, a location close to the junkyard at 76 Totter’s Lane in which the TARDIS first landed when the first Doctor and Susan escaped Gallifrey. Given Torchwood’s original mandate – to track the Doctor’s activities – this location may or may not be mere coincidence.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Children Of Earth: Day Five

TorchwoodTorchwood has been defeated, and Ianto has paid the price with his life. Jack bargains for the release of his daughter and grandson, as well as Gwen, who is reunited with Rhys and goes to inform Ianto’s family of his death – and to warn them to take their children to safety. Despite the Prime Minister’s assurances that children should return to school – in reality, a ploy to herd them together so the military can deliver them to the 456 – many families, including Ianto’s, have kept their children home. The military steps up its use of force, and any remaining pretense of civility crumbles as parents step forward to protect their children; Gwen and Rhys are on the run again. Having been informed that his children will join those being sacrificed as a publicity move to show that even high-level officials are suffering, Frobisher leaves Whitehall, goes home, murders his own family and commits suicide. Having witnessed enough of Whitehall’s dealings with the 456, the government strike team tasked with hunting down Torchwood instead springs Jack from prison to see if he can save the world yet again. Mr. Dekker and his equipment are rounded up and brought in to help Jack, but they can only reach one conclusion: one terrible sacrifice will have to be made, one child’s life to save the rest of the world’s children – and after making that call, Jack decides he’s had enough of Torchwood and enough of Earth.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Colin McFarlane (General Pierce), Deborah Finlay (Denise Riley), Charles Abomeli (Colonel Oduya), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Simon Poland (456 voice), Lorna Bennett (Female Teacher), Louise Minchin (Newsreader), Rhiannon Oliver (Mum)

Notes: If one counts Harold Saxon (in reality the Master) and presumes that his brief stint in office directly followed that of Harriet Jones (former MP for Flydale North), then assuming that Brian Green does step down following this story (and assuming that he took office after Saxon), three successive Prime Ministers have fallen in the Doctor Who/Torchwood universe.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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