Save The Children!
Tonight’s BFI preview screening of the first episode of Torchwood’s third series was an unexpectedly hilarious event, with the panel all in sparkling form. Eve Myles entered the stage with the words “He’s on crutches and I’m pregnant- we’re your action heroes!”. The two cast members present proceeded to spend the rest of the session corpsing each other, while Russell T Davies talked about how he’d developed the initial idea for the five part serial.
Spoiler-free impressions of the episode itself after the jump.
‘Day One’ has a feel very different to previous episodes of Torchwood, with a much more relaxed feel. The hour-long format has let the show breath a bit more, and there’s an unexpected section showing the three surviving heroes all going about their business. To be honest, it’s a bit of a slow burner, and the first half of the instalment is rather meandering, before the story comes sharply into focus as the apparently unrelated threads of the plot come together.
Writing the show (officially) for the first time since the opening of series one, RTD makes some sweeping changes to each of the characters, with John Barrowman later talking of how pleased he’d been at the way the fans in the audience had reacted to a particular moment with Captain Jack. There are a surprisingly large number of characters introduced here, and there’s plenty of meat for later episodes of the story to explore. Although the writer played down the inspiration he’d taken from 24, the most effective moment in the episode is a clear steal from the spy series, and the adrenalin shot given to the second thirty minutes of the show owes much to the same source. After a bit of a bumpy start, Children of Earth makes certain that the viewer will be around for the second story.
Noise to Signal will be providing daily reviews of Torchwood: Children of Earth during its week-long BBC ONE transmission.