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Children of Earth - it's what Torchwood should be
So, this evening I went to the BFI Cinema to see what I guess could be described as the premier of Torchwood: Children of Earth (effectively their third season).

Wikipedia suggests that it will be on TV (BBC1 and BBC America) on 20th July, but we'll see..

The actual episode was excellent, paced very nicely, and works very well as an establishing episode for the next four (due to air the same week), which we didn't get to see. It's an X-Files-like story in which the government sold out care-home kids in the 1960s to mysterious aliens, as part of some sort of deal. Back in the present, the aliens are coming back, putting all the children of earth at risk (see what I did there?), and risking the exposure of the government. Consequently, the government's aims now include covering up their involvement, which means taking out Torchwood.

There are some great character moments, which actually integrate into the plot nicely so as not to feel contrived. Jack has a (grown up) daughter, who calls him dad, and herself has a kid.. I don't think we really need them to fill in the back story there - it's just nice to know that there is one. We're no longer asked to just believe that nothing of note happened between the end of the various wars he was in, and the present day. This gives him something to have been doing during the latter part of the 20th century..

Ianto has a sister, and isn't gay, it's just that Jack is an exception.. Gwen is now pregnant, which she knows from being sniffed (don't ask). The emphasis on family just gives more weight to the fact that the peril in this story comes from the abuse (not in that way) of children. There are touching moments between some of the characters and the supporting cast, and the dynamic between the team and the government adds a depth that we've not really seen before.. Generally, it's just very good, and I'm very much looking forward to it coming on TV :o)

Following the screening, there was a panel discussion, with John Barrowman, Eve Myles, Russell T Davies and Euros Lyn (that is to say, Captain Jack, Gwen, the writer/executive producer and the director). The whole thing was hosted by Caitlin Moran, and followed the same sort of format as the one for Psychoville - a discussion led by the host, followed by some Q&A.

It was really quite heart warming to see the dynamic between John and Eve - they seem to have a genuine bond, and have a really good time joking around with one another. Just nice to see co-workers getting along so well :o) The whole thing was good to be present for, and something about it kind of put me in mind of the time when we went to the Doctor Who exhibition in Llangollen, and got to put on actual costumes from the original series.. I mean, it'll never be quite as cool as that - especially since it was something that nobody really got to do back then, and certainly wouldn't get to do now that the show is popular. But it's that feeling of actually being close to this thing that you grew up loving (even if it's only by proxy, since Torchwood isn't actually Doctor Who).

And hey, getting to see celebrities never gets old either.. And did I mention, because we didn't have tickets, we were on standby, waiting in line for a while, but when we did get tickets, they were awesome ones, third row, right in the middle - presumably they were reserved for somebody who couldn't make it. Some of the best seats in the house :o)

So yeah. It's been a good evening... :o)