Friday, June 8, 2012

Torchwood: Children of Earth

Torchwood is a spinoff of the current incarnation of Dr. Who.  It basically answers the question of what do Earthlings do with aliens when the Doctor is out being charming and odd in some other corner of the galaxy.  They act along the same lines as the Men In Black but with less sass and jokes.  The head member is Captain Jack who is a curious figure.  He's basically the literalization of the metaphorical qualities of Captain Kirk.  Whereas it only seems that Kirk was unkillable our Captain Jack really can't die.  While some might say that Captain Kirk would sleep with anything Captain Jack puts it into policy.  Gender is not an issue.

Captain Jack's immortality is put the test in "The Children of Earth."  An alien race known only as the "456" have somehow managed to take control of the world's children.  First they show off their power and have the kids stand around saying all at the same time, "We are coming back."  Thing is the 456 have been here before and had a deal with the British government.  The British government realizes that with every kid intoning "We are coming back," certain embarrassing questions are going to be asked.  So they decide t o tidy things up.  One of those things is Captain Jack.  So, the one organization that is specifically good at dealing with aliens is being destroyed by its own government.  

When the 456 do finally come they certain add even more fun to the party.  They have simple terms; give them ten percent of the world's children and they'll go away, or else.  In this case, "or else" means human extinction.  Now we are taught to believe our leaders wouldn't kowtow to the likes of the 456, but this series takes a really dark road.  Not only do they consider it, but they try to figure out how to make it work for them.  Their plan is that the 456 want quantity not quality, so why not give them all the poor, badly educated kids.  Less hooligans to worry about in the future.  Can Captain Jack and company save the Earth from itself?  What is Captain Jack's involvement in the first visit of the 456?  What price will he pay to fix  things? 

Definitely watch and find out.  This is a fine science fiction mini series.  The character of Captain Jack is fascinating, you know he's the type that hears his own theme song in his head.  But below that there's some deep pain as Captain Jack is already suffering from Immortal's Lament (the condition where you know everyone you love you are going to watch die.  The 456 are amazing aliens.  We don't see much of them, but that adds to the mystery.  Trying to talk with them is like waltzing in a mine field.  The ambassador will ask a simple question like, "Is quarters to your liking."  Silence.  Silence.  Then suddenly an animal screaming and the glass walls are attacked by heads (?) stingers (?) and green slime is every where.  Then more silence then finally a Hal voice will say from speakers, "Yes, we find it....good."

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