The children are a drug to the 456 which is quite a grim revelation almost like they shouldn’t have asked what the 456 intended to do with the children. As the children are being taken to there are some crazy scenes as people fight back against what the government is planning (cant think where they got that idea from!). There is an unusual start where Gwen is talking to a camera talking about the Doctor and why he doesn’t come and help and concludes that he looks away out of shame. Quite a grim view of the Doctor but then I am being biased. The lighting just goes over her eyes and is a wonderful start to the episode. This is the first time that Gwen is really doubting her role in Torchwood and even whether she wants the baby. I don’t really like this in her character because she is always the voice of reason.
Frobisher is asked to sacrifice his kids to the 456 for the ‘inoculation’ just to pretend in front of the cameras. This is where Peter Capaldi really shines because after all the stuff that Frobisher has had to do for the Prime Minister, The scene where he finds out and Frobisher threatens to tell the media is made even more emotional when the Prime Minister doesn’t even care. Capaldi’s final scenes involve him shooting his wife and kids dead before turning the gun on himself. Thankfully we don’t see this as it would have been too shocking and this way it was more emotional and showed the everyone was paying the price. Russell T Davies has done a superb job over the five episodes in giving everyone something to lose. Mr Dekker goes out in a blaze of glory. After a lacklustre previous episode his sneery character (who survived the gassing at the end of the previous part) is forced to try and kill the 456 despite bleating on how it’s impossible to beat them. Ian Gelder has been a delight to watch in this series.
As Frobisher is killing himself and his family there is a story that really humanises Bridget as she tells Lois how they first met some 30 years ago. It shows that John Frobisher was a good man and despite what happened over the last few stories wasn’t done because of some desire to inflate his ego but because he is trying to do the best he can. Bridget’s story shames Lois and it the first time that Lois is shown to be a bit horrible. However she is slightly redeemed because she helps Bridget get hold of the contact lenses which she uses against the Prime Minister who is looking after his own skin but gets his comeuppance. The final death is the most shocking because it happens to Jack’s grandson who is sacrificed in order to destroy the 456. It wrecks what was effectively a fragile relationship between Alice and Jack. It’s the final straw for Jack and what we get is a superb performance from John Barrowman who leaves the Earth to try and forget what has happened. Next time we see him is in David Tennant’s final story. Eve Myles has been superb throughout this entire series and it’s nice that the character has a happy ending despite everything that has being going on.
Children of Earth may have been shorter but it made up for it in terms of quality. I enjoyed every single minute of it and everyone on the show should give themselves a round of applause because it was a brilliant lesson in how to produce superb drama. I’ve been particularly impressed with the characterisation and especially Rhys who has gone from being a buffoon boyfriend/fiancé of Gwen’s to being an important part of the team.