It's Been Over Nine Years, I'm Still Not Over Ianto's Death
As predicted, my five day moving average for weight finally turned around today. I expect a much bigger drop in that number tomorrow when my peak weight finally falls away. Things are moving back in the right direction, and that is well worth being happy about. On the other hand, today's viewing of Torchwood was easily the biggest gut-punch in the show's history.
Children of Earth: Day Four
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
Most of this episode revolves around negotiations with the alien 456, leading to their demand for ten percent of all of the pre-pubescent children on planet Earth.
The Twelfth Doctor John Frobisher tries to negotiate them down to a much-more-manageable one child per million, which adds up to roughly seven thousand children from the United Kingdom alone, and which is shocking for being a number larger than zero. The 456 counter by causing all the children in the world to chant a number equal to ten percent of their numbers in each country. So that's a no on genocidal compromise.
Worse, the Prime Minister's cabinet is apparently filled with actual Nazis who are perfectly willing to discuss handing over thousands of children, even after seeing what the 456 did to one of the kids abducted back in 1965.
It ain't a trip to Disney World
Remember that moment in The Christmas Invasion where the Doctor finally arrives on the scene and calls out the Sycorax, exposing how they were basically using smoke and mirrors to scare the human population into complying with their demands? Well, our heroes at Torchwood Three figure on pulling the same heroic stunt. In the final act of the episode the tables are turned on the Prime Minister and his toadies, as Gwen threatens the release of video showing them all discussing how to protect their own kids and hand up the undesirable kids for sacrifice. Then Jack and Ianto face the 456 ambassador directly and call their bluff. Jack seems very pleased with himself and his newfound strength of character.
Except it turns out the 456 aren't paper tigers like the Sycorax were. Instead of taking their marbles and going home, they seal off the MI-5 building and gas everyone in it. And this happens.
I wasn't especially moved when Owen and Tosh died. Surprised? I guess, sure, but I didn't love them. Ianto, on the other hand, has been the heart and soul of Torchwood from the very beginning. Watching him die in Jack's arms was just heart-wrenching.
It's no coincidence that this episode is the highest rated one in Torchwood history, on every level. Highest viewership, highest ranking in the ratings, highest audience appreciation score -- those last five minutes are the pinnacle of the series. Tomorrow will be brutal as well, for other reasons, but this right here is quite simply as good as it gets.
This episode is also notable for being the one and only time that Nicholas Briggs has appeared on-camera. He had been doing voice work for Doctor Who since day one of the modern series, performing the voices of Daleks, Cybermen, Judoon, Zygons, and a host of other species. As others have come and gone through the modern series, both in front of and behind the camera, Briggs has been a genuine fixture of the show. And for just this once, he finally got his face on screen. Good for him.
Tomorrow: Jack does something truly horrific.
Featuring: Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Rhys Williams, Ianto Jones
Episode(s): Children of Earth: Day Four
Steps Walked: 8,214 today, 3,936,715 total
Distance Walked: 4.39 miles today, 2,060.32 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 7,978 total
Sit-ups Completed: 55 today, 1,134 total
Weight: 261.32 lbs (five day moving average), net change -45.98 lbs