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‘Torchwood: Children Of Earth’ – Day Two

Fast paced, thrilling and not your standard Cardiff adventure

This review contains spoilers.

We are coming. We are coming … tomorrow.

The Torchwood Hub has been reduced to a crater with Capt. Jack (John Barrowman) smeared across its base, the British Government has placed a termination order on Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) and Ianto Jones (Gareth David-Lloyd), the surviving members of “Torchwood,” and the 456 have issued another chilling warning: “we are coming : tomorrow.”

Fast paced, exhilarating and packed with mysterious incidents, this is what the BBC meant when they said “Children Of Earth” would be bigger than the usual weekly escapades in the centre of Cardiff. From the moment the credits fade to reveal the devastation at the Bay, the episode shifts out of neutral and a deadly race begins.

Dealing with the aftermath of last time, “Day Two” contains enough duel wielding, gun toting and unnecessary dives to make Lara Croft blush, the same kind of mysterious deals made in the 1960’s that kept “The X-Files” running for almost a decade, and also a return to an abandoned quarry (how very “Doctor Who”).

Concerns may have been rife on the future of the series following the announcement on the change of format for “Torchwood” – understandably so going from 13 episodes to 5 — but as the second installment proves the move to BBC One and restructured feel suits the series perfectly and takes what could have been a collection of weekly escapades into a larger event with real consequences.

What Worked

In short, everything fell into place in “Day Two.”

Gwen frantically scouring the wreckage makes use of some brilliant direction by Euros Lyn, splicing the sensory-shot perspective of Gwen with the rest of the disaster effortlessly captures the isolation of the character and gives genuine depth to the vulnerability that this intrepid team is now immersed in.

Gone are the cozy confines of The Hub, and in its place are the streets of Cardiff on London. Embroiled in the unfolding conspiracy are a host of other characters which again helps create a more personal stake for the team, and also serves to underline just how these events have worked their way into the lives of these people. Father-to-be Rhys (Kai Owen) is now on the run along with Torchwood, P.C. Andy is back (and continues to remain a light hearted joy in such dark times), Ianto’s family are under constant surveillance and Jack’s newly revealed daughter looks set to join them.

Additional depth is offered to newcomers Lois Habiba (Cush Jumbo) and John Frobisher (Peter Capaldi) through some unexpected snooping and good old fashioned espionage.

What Didn’t Work

It may add to the mystery of the miniseries, but the lack of answers regarding the 456 remains infuriating. Then again, that is likely why the promise of their arrival tomorrow comes with very high expectations.

The additional terminations that took place at the same time of Torchwood’s destructon also remain in the dark, as does the role of Clement MacDonald (Paul Copley).

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due

“Torchwood: Children Of Earth” stars John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd. “Day One” was written by John Fay and directed by Euros Lyn.

Torchwood: Children Of Earth airs this week on BBC One, and then launches on July 20 on BBC America.

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Could they be a Rut-ro! Shaggy
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