Years ago, we had Village Of The Dammed, a creepy tale about some kids who got possessed by a bunch of aliens who used the youngsters’ skills for their own purposes, hence getting nick-named the Midwich Cuckoos.
And so it is with Torchwood: Children Of Earth, packed with scary kids who get all sullen and uncommunicative, and haven’t yet learned that it’s rude to point. The children are somewhat scarier because they don’t completely freeze: a twitching hand here, a pair of eyes flickering there.
Those Cuckoos are the most obvious parallel here, but Russell T Davies has always joyously nicked from anything he can get his hands on. Here we also have 24 meets Spooks, blended in with that bit of Independence Day where there’s a slimy monster in a fog-filled cell. There’s a bit of a wobble mid-week, when we appear to be channeling The Real Hustle and What Not To Wear, but otherwise, with five hours and a decent budget, it all hangs together rather well.
Easily the scariest scene involved a room of ministers calmly deciding that they’d sacrifice the worst performing 10% of kids. In a grimly plausible scene, no minister chose to argue: all their kids were in decent schools. Meanwhile, Captain Jack is beginning to suffer the David Boreanaz Effect: playing an immortal character, but starting to visibly suffer when required to run for sustained distances.
Released on DVD and Blu-ray on 13th July 2009 by 2entertain.