TV EYE: Torching the Wood – ‘Children of Earth’ : Day Two

Well, that’ll teach me.

Episode 2, and it’s back to business as usual Torchwood-wise, as the quotient of ‘Total Bollocks Overdrive’ suddenly begins to go up. There’s lots of running around here, but not much actually happening (except for the massive set-up for the very poorly executed main action sequence), and much of it seems to rely on the Government employing a crack team of the most completely ineffectual black ops soldiers known to man (Are we really supposed to swallow Gwen just wandering undetected into the main base of the people who are trying to kill her, without even a change of clothes? Or a Clark Kent-style pair of glasses? Or anything?). Action very rarely comes across well in either Who or Torchwood, and the comedy starts swaying into more embarrassing territory here as well. Clumsy and overdone – despite RTD’s excesses, you can tell that this episode wasn’t written by him, and it’s a wander back into the realms of the cartoonish, with much clunkier dialogue and some very unimpressive bits of writing. And the least said about the John Barrowman nudity (particularly the grain security-cam full-frontal), the better. At heart, this is your average ‘let’s put the plot on hold for an hour so we can indulge in sub-Hitchcockian on-the-run stuff, and most of this was pretty poor stuff. Not surprising that they get the build-up right and mess up the pay-off. I’m going to stick with it for now, but while it’s still a step above the majority of S1 and S2 episodes, this is much closer to what I was expecting. Once again, you can colour me unimpressed.

Hey ho. And let’s see if Day Three can do anything to change my mind…

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