Series Torchwood Children Of Earth Discussion

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09:35:49 AM Apr 15th 2012
edited by OldManHoOh
Removed in the move from Torchwood S 3 MS Children Of Earth

  • Actor Allusion: Averted. John Barrowman's father worked for Caterpillar, yet Ianto's forklift was a Case.

Is that relevant?

  • Batman Gambit: Used by the villains. Rupesh kills Jack, and then Rupesh's superiors kill him, leave his body in plain sight for Jack to find when he revives, cut Jack open and implant a time bomb inside him. They hope that Jack, seeing Rupesh dead, will not realize he was a traitor and will go straight back to the Torchwood Hub, where the bomb will go off, destroying Torchwood and burying Jack himself under several tons of concrete. He does. It almost works. If he had gone somewhere else, Torchwood would have been unharmed and he probably would have regenerated more quickly and easily and there might have been a lot more collateral damage that would have been harder to cover up.
    • Not quite. When Jack is heading into Torchwood, Johnson says that they don't know how deep the facility goes and to give them 5 minutes. This suggests that the bomb's timer was remote activated.

Repair, Don't Respond.

  • Children Are Innocent: Well, almost.
    "We want a pony...we want a pony..."
    • It is discussed at the meeting that certain children should be given up to the 456 first, so there's a bit of an aversion.

So, it's not an example?

  • Expy: [...]
    • Lois' character is more similar to Martha's sister, and the plot almost identical: beautiful young black woman hired under the designated bad guys, there only for her looks (only in Martha's sister case, it was more of a coverup, while this case is a straight example of Sexy Secretary).

Am I the only one that thinks that's reaching out?

I think Breaking the Fellowship (which is already on the page) is closer. Not sure, but as you can probably guess, it ain't permanent.

  • Foe Yay: Suprisingly averted, even though Johnson comes face-to-face with a naked Jack Harkness, and engages in Gunpoint Banter with gun-toting women on two occasions. Presumably the destruction of the Torchwood Hub disrupted the rifts' randy/bisexual-inducing properties.


  • Humans Are Bastards: Taken Up to Eleven. Lampshaded by Gwen, when she wonders why The Doctor hasn't shown up to help
    Gwen: There's one thing I always wanted to ask Jack. Back in the old days. I wanted to know about that Doctor of his. The man who appears out of nowhere and saves the world; except sometimes he doesn't. All those times in history where there was no sign of him.. I wanted to know why not. But I don't need to ask anymore. I know the answer now: Sometimes the Doctor must look at this planet and turn away in shame.

It's the point of view of a non-human sentient. There's PROBABLY an example there, but only if we focus on the "what the Doctor must think of all this" part. Humans simply being bastards is not an example.

  • Idiot Plot: This takes place after Journey's End, in which Torchwood and Sarah Jane Smith's computer Mr. Smith are used to contact the Doctor. Why couldn't they have done the same thing and kill the 456 without sacrificing Jack's grandson? Makes sense as Russell T Davies wrote this as a non-Doctor Who universe story and adapted it for Torchwood.
    • Torchwood's base and all its resources are destroyed just before the team realizes how bad things actually are. They never got the chance to even try to contact The Doctor.
    • Also keep in mind that this takes place after Journey's End and before The End of Time, so that whole unfortunate business with Donna has utterly broken The Doctor's spirit and he has yet to blast his angst out regenerating into the Eleventh, so he's off wandering morose and companionless, it's rather not a surprise that he missed this one.

This is example's a complete mess.

  • Immune to Bullets: The 456 is smart enough to make sure the chamber built for him is bulletproof.

That's not immunity, though, is it? That's just building a chamber that's bulletproof.

  • (Karma Houdini example related to Frobisher and Riley)
    • One could consider the two an Alternative Character Interpretation. Bridget Spears only ever seems to be on board with John Frobisher, and it's implied that after the events of Day Four, she immediately starts recording the interactions of the cabinet, no longer having any reason to stay loyal to any of them. Denise Riley also may have been considered a Complete Monster if not for the fact that, in reality, after the events of the first three days, they all really thought they had no choice but to hand the children over to the 456. This troper felt she crossed the Moral Event Horizon almost solely because they all had no choice. She was just more vocal and forward in her thoughts of their lack of options.

Belongs in an Alternative Character Interpretation example, not as natter.

  • (The first half is added here for context. This is a valid example. It's the second bullet that's bullshit) Kryptonite Factor: Johnson's people believe the Torchwood Hub is somehow linked to Harkness' immortality, and hope that by destroying it they will destroy him. They're Genre Savvy enough not to rely on this however, and make sure to throw his remains in a cell just in case they're wrong.
    • In their defense, they are right, in an off center way. Jack's immortality is linked to time, and assuming they know about the Rift from reading Torchwood files, it would make sense to them. Unfortunately, Jack's immortal because he's a fact of time itself, whereas the Rift is a more flexible and non permanent anomaly, which is why by Torchwood: Miracle Day the Rift is gone but Jack is still immortal.

No, they're not. At all. Not even in an off-centre way. Please rewatch the Doctor Who episode "Utopia" explaining the hole "fixed point" and "fact of the timeline" deal and please tell me how you came to that ridiculous and bizarre conclusion.

  • Meaningful Name: Jack's grandson is called Steven, like the first martyr, as Stephen is the first and only child to be sacrificed to the 456, albeit indirectly.

No, he's not. If he was sacrificed to the 456, they'd be shooting up on him like a drug, not violently killed by the reversed wave.

  • Nothing Is Scarier: The 456 is kept hidden behind a fog; we just hear its deeply creepy voice.

This at a minimum, needs a rewrite. We DO see bits of the 456 within the "fog", as you put it.

  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The 456 is clearly doing something like this from the start, although exactly what isn't apparent until halfway through the series, and when we find out, it's a Moral Event Horizon. The way to fight the 456 is also this.

Not removed, but rephrased completely. Taking the children as drugs is hardly powering a machine.

  • Red Shirt: Amazingly averted! Come on, who didn't believe that anonymous soldier was dead meat the moment he zipped himself into a red hot-suit and stepped into 456's parlour?
    • Though given the poison gas afterwards it's unlikely that he survived by the end of the series.

Wow...that doesn't seem worthy of an example at all.

Technically valid, but zero-context.

Not technically sarcastic. In context, they've been talking about Torchwood and aliens for several minutes. If anything, it's a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer.

  • Unfortunate Implications - Perhaps. The subtitles refer to another black man as previously established character Oduya. So they all look the same?

Really, really stretching the example. Are we really counting TV captions?

  • What the Hell, Hero?: In 1965 Jack Harkness handed over a dozen orphans to 456 in exchange for the cure for a virus. Just when you think he's going to redeem himself by saving millions of children from the same fate, he does so — by sacrificing his own grandson. Jack then flees Earth rather than face what he's done. Of course, he didn't have much choice about the former- either he sacrificed one child or millions of them- but the running away due to his guilt is still pretty painful. Like so many things, Your Mileage May Vary.
    • The first encounter with the aliens turns into this, as they did more than give 11 children to a race of aliens, they opened the door for drug addicts and told them "it worked once, it will work again", and let them in, prepared (possibly preparing 40 years), guns blazing to take a lot more.
    • Plus, despite constantly prattling on about how Torchwood is all about being "ready", Jack proceeds to spend the next 45 years mostly hunting Weevils in the Cardiff sewers and devotes seemingly no thought to the possibly that the 456 might be a candidate for Torchwood's list of alien threats.

Not an audience reaction trope. Who calls him out for his actions when? That's a valid use of the trope.
05:32:33 PM Jan 2nd 2014
edited by
Idiot Plot, Fridge Horror, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero, Genre Blindness: Jack doesn't clue in to the fact that he's got a bomb inside him, having seen similar tech used earlier, then awaking from death next to the corpse of the doctor who he showed and with whom he discussed the relevance to terrorism and racial profiling, so he immediately goes back to Torchwood. Once he discovers the bomb is inside him, he tries to save Gwen and Ianto by leaving The Hub, where he shouldn't have gone in the first place. In the same amount of time they use to escape, he could have left himself, resulting in a much less devastating detonation, and possibly causing some Laser-Guided Karma for those who've used him. Instead, the sum of the legacy of the Torchwood Institute representing 130 years of alien technology are destroyed, including the death of pretty much anyone left inside in a cell or cryostorage, including Susan, Myfanwy, and Grey, his own brother, with no thought of any risk from damaging the rift manipulator. I consider this to be the point where Torchwood jumps the shark, so much so that I believe the only reasonable continuation of the series is to have the crown intervene by reestablishing a Torchwood that uses Jack's vortex manipulator to save Torchwood from Jack's many mistakes without creating a paradox. Forget alien technology- if Torchwood can't protect itself from human schemes and human error with reasonable human technology, it doesn't deserve to exist. From this point forward, Torchwood is expected to protect humanity with hacks and a pair of contact lenses. Davies wrote the series into a corner right here.

More Idiot Plot and Genre Blindness: Jack confronts the 456 and essentially declares war on them knowing full well he doesn't have a way to fight back against them yet. Naturally Everyone Dies including Ianto, but not the one guy who had the savvy to get inside the biohazard suit. This is pretty consistent throughout the show. Dr. Vera Juarez uses this half-cocked "I'll Destroy You" tactic against Colin Maloney so he has her incinerated; Rex Matheson reveals he has Jack's blood in him, resulting in the immediate shooting of Esther Drummond; Rex chases down Charlotte Wills, and only the Superhero Transfusion saves him; even earlier, after Jack lets Dr. Aaron Copley what disarray he's about to put Dr. Copley's life's work, Copley returns with a gun, resulting in the (first) death of Owen Harper.

More Fridge Horror: If the destruction of The Hub is a fixed-point disaster, then it becomes a hotbed for time-traveling con-men to make shady deals in the same fashion as Jack was doing when we first met him, and as a result, the entire archive of Torchwood eventually falls into the hands of the people Jack used to consort with. He may have been Evil All Along.
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