Even those who previously were alien to the charms of Torchwood
, the ‘adult’ Doctor Who
spin off, were left applauding by the end of 2009’s five-episode serial, Torchwood: Children Of Earth
. For this was ‘adult’ in a good sense: no cheap swearing, no sex and violence for the sake of it. Rather, a challenging, thumping good tale for grown-ups, superbly told.
Its story, as so many Torchwood stories do, has alien intruders at its heart. Far more creepily, though, there’s the small matter of all the children on the planet being controlled at once. It’s thrillingly realised, and genuinely gets under your skin. The drama is further complicated by the dishevelled state that Torchwood itself is in when we find it, as it’s once more tasked with saving the world from disaster. Rarely has it been so ill-prepared for such a major threat.
To tell you more about the plot of Torchwood: Children Of Earth would be to spoil it. It’s a dish very much best served cold, and an outstanding piece of science fiction television. It also looks its best in high definition, courtesy of a quality Blu-ray release. We’re not talking Hollywood blockbuster feature film standards, but it’s not too far behind. And it’s as good a looking a piece of British sci-fi as you can find on Blu-ray to date. Simply: an outstanding serial, and a very good disc. --Jon Foster
The third series of the popular Doctor Who spin-off series set in Cardiff. Captain Jack is in charge of Torchwood: a disparate crew of investigators, each an expert in his or her chosen field, searching desperately for alien debris that has fallen to earth. They're beyond the rule of law - hired by the UK government and in a race to find the technology before the UN does, so that they might use it to fight crime here on earth. Episodes comprise 'Children of the Earth' parts one to five.