Britain Goes Torchwood Mad!

John Barrowman, Eve Myles and Gareth David-Lloyd in Torchwood Children of Earth

It’s crazy to say it, but Torchwood: Children of Earth has changed from a slightly bewildering drama with pretensions of being “adult” into a week long phenomenon, if audience figures are anything to go by.

Overnight figures following Friday’s concluding Day Five revealed that around 6 million people had tuned in each night – these figures are likely to increase when iPlayer and delayed viewings are factored in:

Day One – 5.9 million viewers
Day Two – 5.6 million viewers
Day Three – 5.9 million viewers
Day Four – 6.2 million viewers
Day Five – 5.8 million viewers

Each broadcast saw the show take a share of over 25% of the available viewing audience; previous nightly serials on BBC One have seen decreases over the week, so it seems that Torchwood has somehow overcome this with its engaging and intelligent plot that has been compared to Quatermass in some quarters.

It’s not yet clear what the serial’s impact will be – a Torchwood Series 4 is yet to be commissioned, and Russell T Davies is off the USA to try his hand over there. Meanwhile John Barrowman is rumoured to be unable to commit to anything until the middle of 2010, so it could be some time before we see a return – if at all.

What is clear however is that Torchwood: Children of Earth has been a massive hit, a water-cooler friendly show that has offered more sci-fi concepts over the space of five episodes than the majority of imported US shows manage over their entire lifespans.

Massive congratulations to everyone who took part in the production of one of the most memorable TV events of the last 20 years.

Christian Cawley

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

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