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Torchwood Weekend Previews

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

So if you hadn’t noticed, Torchwood returns to our screens this week with the 5-part miniseries Children of Earth – and the reviews and previews from the mainstream press are flowing in.

The Scotsman rightly reckons that Torchwood isn’t any more “grown up” than Doctor Who, having a bit of a problem with the 9-10pm timeslot (nightly this week on BBC One)

There are a few gory scenes and though I admit that the last instalment wasn’t yet ready at the time of writing, unless it turns out that the only way to battle the sinister threat is for all the Torchwood crew to have a mass orgy while screaming swearwords, there’s no real reason for that time slot.

…and points out some key moments:

The expanded run does allow for some good character scenes, like Ianto awkwardly coming out to his sister or a fine performance by Paul Copley as a man haunted by a disturbing experience.

The Stage meanwhile joins the praise for Copley, while drawing attention to Russell T Davies’ first non-Doctor Who work for 3 years.

Children of Earth: Day One, is a calm, considered, intelligently played and chilling piece of drama that sets up things for coming four episodes.

On Doctor Who, Davies is often forced to play to the crowd, sometimes keeping Doctor Who’s legacy in mind, and that, personally speaking, sometimes takes away the subtlety that his writing can so effortlessly deliver. With Children of Earth, after nearly five years’ marathon running on Doctor Who (read The Writer’s Tale, and you’ll wonder how the man is still standing), he is clearly delighting in the gear change.

It’s all looking very promising indeed – let’s just hope that the political stuff midweek doesn’t lose too many viewers…

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