Season 3 Episode 5

Children of Earth: Day Five

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jul 10, 2009 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
375 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The world descends into chaos as the final sanction begins, Gwen must stand alone and fight on her hands when the Government puts into action its plans to remove the underachieving ten percent of British children.
 There is only one way for Jack to save the children of Earth - making the ultimate sacrifice...


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  • Drama, Sci-fi, Heartbreak

    Loved this little Torchwood mini-series. The drama was top notch, all the acting very well done and they did well in showing how high the stakes were. It was a good perspective from how a government would deal with a crisis such as this. It kept me thoroughly entertained the whole way through. One thing that bugged me was the alien threat and that it was largely unseen. I mean, thinking about it now, that's probably what the point of it all was, to show that sometimes there aren't things you can physically shoot (as shown literally when Jack and Ianto tried to bravely attack the thing in its cage), but I just didn't like that we couldn't actually see it, and it's one of the elements I enjoy about the Torchwood tv show and, by extension, Dr Who as well. Also I thought there were a few plot holes here and there (eg why would the British government not have safety precautions so a bunch of people wouldn't get trapped being poisoned to death in a building?) I also think that even with all the main political powers mobilising their children I find it hard to believe other countries would immediately follow suit, and that they'd be able to organise it all within 1/2 a day. Highlights included Gwen and Rhys' relationship, and of course Jack and Ianto's banter. I felt the 1st and 2nd episodes did very well to create suspense and don't really fault the conclusion even if it was a bit quick. (Let's face it, most climax's are ;] ). All in all, a very enjoyable series.moreless
  • Great five episode arc, but weak climax

    Great five episode arc, but with a weak climax.

    I know the children screaming in unison was supposed to be a "Gee, the answer was right in front of us all the time" resolution. But I don't think it worked. It just wasn't cathartic enough.

    It was weaker even than the Slim Whitman "Indian Love Call" resolution in "Mars Attacks!"

    What made Children of Earth great was the expose of how our "leaders" would sell us down the river in a heartbeat if push came to shove.moreless
  • Children of Earth: Good start, weak ending. Does it always has to be the whole World that is at stake? I think the less apocalyptic stories are usually the more interesting ones (WARNING: REVIEW CONTAINS POSSIBLE SPOILER)moreless

    While "Children of Earth" had a good start with the first two days, it started to get weaker on the third day, the storyline began to get weired and partly inconsistent - for example: I still don't know why Cpt. Harkness confronted the alien with such a dumb (and emptyhanded) thread, which as a result (SPOILER) killed Ianto.

    Next riddle is the weak Politician (who's apparently responsible for it all) runs amok instead of trying to save his family - and thus continuing a very incomprehensible plot: I still don't understand, why Torchwood had to be targeted to hide a fact (the incident of the 60ies) that revealed itself later on without any apparent consequences.

    But: Drama! Drama! Drama! Needless to say, that there comes the time in 5 hours, where it gets difficult to maximize the Drama (Drama!): yes, let Jack Harkness be the lonely fighter, the man who must lay aside his personal ethics to save the world and do such a horrible thing to save the children. Urgh.

    I would have detached myself emotionally from the ludicrous developments at this point latest, if I hadn't it done already before.

    Okay, I admit, there are some ethics worth to be discussed, but the overall impression remains: If it's apocalyptic, there's a 75% chance to mess it up. And this was way too much, way too overdone. If there will ever be a fourth series, I hope they stop saving the world/universe but instead turn down the bombastic volume again and concentrate on stories that don't impact the whole world. I still think the first series has been best, had some brillant ideas. I enjoy watching 45 minutes of a well told story much more than seeing an apocalypse in 4 hours and 55 minutes and it's prevention in the last 5 mins.

    If you look at Doctor Who (latest series) and the best rated episode, it's "Blink", a very small, very quiet, yet fascinating story.

    My rating for the "Children of Earth" episodes: Day 1: 9

    Day 2: 8

    Day 3: 7

    Day 4: 6

    Day 5: 5moreless
  • A brilliant conclusion to an awesome story..

    I was kinda worried before this episode, i was worried that there was just gonna be a big reset button and everyone would be happy and that would be the end. I'm relieved to see that was not the case. Victory is achieved but at a terrible cost, jack has to sacrifice his own grandson in order to achieve it. This is a welcome change to doctor who stories where the doctor normally come up with some magical solution that solves everything. I can understand why a story like this wouldn't be on doctor who though, it deals with some disturibng themes and is not suitable for children. I also have to state my disgust at the reason for the aliens wanting the children, these have to be some of the most evil aliens i've ever seen. I just hope this isn't the last we see of torchwood, the BBC would have to be braindead to cancel it after this.moreless
  • It's Payback time.

    And we're just.not.ready.

    I always thought they'd have more time, that when the time come to wrap this up Torchwood would at lest found a couple of new recruits, maybe pick up a baby name for Gwen's child or introduce the team to Ianto's family. When Suzie died it was shocking but at leat we got to see her again - heck, she's so resourceful we might not have see the last her yet - when Tosh and Owen died it was so devastating that even two years later we could still feel the void they left behind.

    When Ianto Jones dies the very world stops spinning: Jack gave up, Gwen doesn't even want to try and Forbisher spares his family the only way he knows how (in what it's perhaps one of the most eerie scene up to date). It's chaos an mayhem and earth's last line of defense can't do anything to protect it. The last act of Torchwood is for Jack to make a deal so Gwen could go to save Ianto's niece and nephew.

    And then the unthinkable happens and Clem's death actually gave them an idea as to how to eliminate these creatures only they have to sacrifice a child, any child, and the 456 would perish. So Jack does what no government could, what no father nor grandfather should and sacrifices his very own Stephen so the reast of them could live, the grandson that now will never know who was his grandfather, the only son of a daughter that now wishes she would've never been born.

    Jack's life shattered to pieces just like Torchwood itself.moreless
Peter Capaldi

Peter Capaldi

John Frobisher

Guest Star

Nicholas Farrell

Nicholas Farrell

Brian Green

Guest Star

Susan Brown (III)

Susan Brown (III)

Bridget Spears

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • On DVD and Blu-ray, there are differences in music compared to the broadcast version. Last-minute changes were made before broadcast, but the episode had already been released to manufacture, leaving it too late to change and still meet the street date. Some scenes have music that went without for broadcast and the climactic dramatic scenes have female vocalizations in the broadcast version while the disc version maintains the episode's intense rhythmic track.

    • The Welsh line, "Croeso i Gymru" spoken at one point by PC Andy, means "Welcome to Wales" in English.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Gwen: (On video) There's one thing I always meant to ask Jack. Back in the old days. I wanted to know about about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world. Except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history when there was no sign of him. I wanted to know why not. But I don't need to ask anymore. I know the answer now. Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame. I'm recording this in case anyone ever finds it, so you can see. You can see how the world ended.

    • Colonel Oduya: Mr Dekker, I take it. You managed to survive.
      Mr Dekker: I just stood back, sir. A strategy that's worked all my life.

    • Rhys: Hey, she's pregnant.
      Gwen: Oh, thank you. Who's she when she's at home?
      PC Andy: Bloody hellfire. Who's the father?
      Rhys: Oh, I'm slapping you, yeah.

    • PC Andy: You know Ianto?
      Gwen: Mmm-hmm.
      PC Andy: Was he gay?
      Gwen: Shut up.
      PC Andy: They might not know.
      Gwen: Well, in which case, do not say.
      PC Andy: Well, that proves my point.

    • Gwen: Couldn't have just chosen a pub, could you?
      Rhys: It's bloody freezing. My feet.
      Jack: Oh, I miss that, the Welsh complaining. You look good.
      Gwen: I look huge.
      Rhys: She's bloody gorgeous.

    • Gwen: They died. And I am sorry, Jack, but you cannot just run away. You cannot run away.
      Jack: Oh, yes I can. Just watch me.

  • NOTES (2)