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The Good, The Bad and The Ugly... an assessment of Children of Earth... there will be spoilers

My thoughts on CoE…

I have held off from saying anything really about season three because on the whole I was just overwhelmed by Ianto's death. But then I started thinking about things - from a viewer point of view and from that of an aspiring writer. Now, please remember this is my opinion and I have every right to it. I have thought long and hard about this and tried to analyse the story with as little bias as possible. However, I am a Janto Fan - despite all the shame that is apparently meant to engender - and do accept that this can cloud the issue. Still, I am entitled to my opinion and to bastardise the Evelyn Beatrice Hall quote, you might not agree with my opinion but you should defend to the death my right to say it. I am exercising that right regardless of your agreement or disagreement.


The Good

The third series of Torchwood was slick and beautiful in ways that the previous two were not. Gone was the awkward camera jerking and the puerile sense of humour. In its place there was an adult drama and a beautifully shot piece of film. In fact, I want to dwell on the photography for a moment. Euros Lyn (director), Stephen Nicholas (art direction), William Oswald (film editing) and James Leigh (camera) all should take bows for creating a bleak looking world. 'Cool' lighting filters were put to great use to make Britain seem raw and cold. The pathos created by just the photography - forget the plot (which is probably a good idea) - was just wonderful. There was a chill before the bad started that made you think that everything was going to go horribly wrong. It was raw and visceral and just gorgeous. Rarely am I ever moved by the look of a film - the last time was Lord of the Rings - but the use of the camera work painted a world that the script failed to live up to. One might even be tempted to say that filming in late autumn could be called inspired as the Earth looked dead. The soundtrack was professional and evocative and again added to the feel of the piece.

Even the acting had been cranked up a gear. Gone was the hammy delivery and wooden acting (although in my humble opinion Gareth David-Lloyd along with Naoko Mori were always the strongest in acting terms). I understand that when given some of the lines that Torchwood has seen it must be difficult to make them seem 'normal' but over this series as opposed to the earlier ones the acting flowed and felt professional. The use of the smaller characters - Rhys and Andy especially - added extra depth and quality and not only because both gentlemen in question are good actors. Rhys was perhaps the best character in the entire series for the simple reason that he was human. Alice became the typical mother, Agent Johnson the hard-ass bitch and Clem the token mad-man. Whilst Frobisher was the other excellent character - the duality of being a father and a bureaucrat was vicious and insightful - it was Rhys that drew the audience in. He was human. He got hungry, he looked lost and out of his depth whilst his wife was running round and shooting people, his sheer joy at becoming a father overshadowed by the following events was refreshing and he had an innocent hope about him that the show desperately needed.

As actors: Peter Capaldi, Paul Copley, Kai Owen and Gareth David-Lloyd all did wonderful jobs. All the actors worked hard but these guys stood out simply because they commanded the screen when they were on it and they just seemed so very seamless. Also, credit must be given to John Barrowman whose beloved character was changed beyond recognition yet he still managed to make it "Captain Jack Harkness" which cannot be easy if the script and story are against you.

Now, had the rest of the story been spectacular I might be inclined to congratulate the writers on the numbering of Jack and Ianto's bodies. "13" is already a well recognised number and Jack is undoubtedly the most unlucky character of the whole series. Additionally - and potentially more interestingly - the Chinese attribute the following meanings to the number "1314" (both body positions): "One Live and One dead" and "Forever". Should RTD have been more polite in recent weeks or the rest of the story bullet-proof, I might be inclined to believe that this was a purposeful move. Unfortunately, this moment of beautiful genius doesn't tally with the rest of the programme and so I can only see it as a happy accident.

Finally, the basic premise: the good of the few versus the good of the many. How desperately would we like to believe that if presented with such a choice we would make a noble sacrifice? I know I would like to believe it of myself. The reality is probably much different. But in adding the twist that the sacrifice isn't that of adults but of children presents the whole extra dimension of protection. We love children and like animals will defend them to the death. There is the old adage that there is nothing as dangerous as a mother protecting her young and it is very true, it is ingrained in us - a biological imperative to protect the vulnerable future of our species. The beautiful twist that protecting all of them wipes out the rest of us is a moral dilemma that everyone will undoubtedly have an opinion on. It was nice to see this moral quagmire explored even if it was done in a very basic way.


The Bad

I fear that this may be a smaller section that I previously thought. I had anticipated this to be the largest of the three but the more I think of things the more I am tempted to file them under the "Ugly" - just for their sheer *shudder*.

Let's start with the number of characters. Even several weeks later and having the IMDB page open whilst I type; I still have no idea who half the characters were. This could just be me though. Of course there was a need for supporting characters - there is simply no way you can have five hours of exhilarating television with only three characters. Even the idea is laughable. However, after the introduction of Colonel Oduya (UNIT), John Frobisher, Bridget Spears, Lois Habiba and Prime Minister Brian Green, did we then need to meet Denise Riley (Home Secretary), Defence Secretary (no name), Rick Yates (?), General Pierce (the token America), Press Secretary (no name) and the Parliamentary Secretary on top of Frobisher's family, Alice and Steven, Rhiannon, Johnny and the kids, Clem, Agent Johnson and team and Mr Dekker. In fact, whilst one might argue that whilst all of these extra named characters (because we can't forget the other characters that appear - barmaid, hospital workers, Dr Rupesh, mental home workers, newsreaders etc) are necessary to create a 'whole' story, the attention is shifted to them and leaves the supposed main characters alone and undeveloped.

One might also argue in the case of Mr Dekker that he is simply unnecessary. Anybody could have shown Frobisher the transmission data or overseen the building of the habitat for the 456. For me he was only there to point out to Jack that he had to kill his grandson. Now Jack isn't a stupid man, he'd have gotten there eventually and it might have been all the more horrifying if the suggestion had come from him rather than his reaction to this character. Dekker seemed to be the most obvious plot device: he had a creepy edge that made him seem untrustworthy and played Ianto's role in the final day - telling Jack what he had to do. Time and audience effort were wasted by introducing him as a named character.

I am banging on about "named" characters because in scripting terms they have more weight. You expect more of them - character development, story development etc - so you automatically try to remember them so you know who they are later on. When they are under utilised or unnecessary it feels like a waste of effort.

Then, there was the sheer under-utilisation of drama and suspense. How much more satisfying would it be for an audience if we didn't know who Alice and Steven were after Day One? What if we saw them being taken and then Frobisher telling Jack they had his family? Wouldn't that just add an extra spice of danger to the situation? It would have had the force of a mac-truck - "OMG Jack has family!" Instead, we see him go to see them and then - in an incredibly contrived and lazy piece of writing we find out that Alice refuses to have Jack around because he is dangerous (only to be proved right a day later) and it's inconvenient explaining to Steven that Jack can't age - they get snatched and Steven dies. Because of the way this is written the minute you see Steven you know he is going to die. It's a given, he's the character introduced to bite the dust. Instead imagine how heartbreaking would it have been to hear Jack tell Ianto that he doesn't see his family because Alice won't explain his immortality to Steven - especially after we have seen Ianto coming to terms with the implications of Jack's immortality in their relationship. In contrast the introduction of Ianto's family serves to further the plot as you actually find out a bit about Ianto and allows him to gain a car and laptop so he can rescue Jack. Here it is useful and there is no way it could have served the plot better.

Agent Johnson's set up is also annoying. We are supposed to believe that there is a super military SAS style operation that answers to a bureaucrat at the Civil Service? I am willing to suspend my disbelief there. I am not however, willing to believe that they can get there hands on Torchwood style equipment within minutes but not another child.

Then we get to the 456 themselves. Now, I did think about putting this in the "Ugly" section, however it is more of a peeve than a real complaint or perhaps more accurately - a let down. They built the perfect set. A box filled with gas and an eerie voice that occasionally caused all children on Earth to speak in chilling harmony. Then they turned the 456 into vomiting crabs. Now, I am of the opinion that whenever you set up a superbly creep character like that there is no way to live up to it and once again I was proved correct. Once a fear has a face and form it becomes mortal and vulnerable. That is the sheer beauty of Lord of the Rings - never is Sauron given a face. You hear about him, you hear him speak but you never meet him. A shadow is much more frightening than the tree that is casting it after all. There was, here, no need to have the 456 given a face. A shadowy entity in a gas filled box - which no-one could enter - would have been much more effective. Instead, we got a pathetically prosthetic crab that had indigestion - the Torchwood prop department were certainly on form with that one.

Lastly, there is Gwen. Once again I was tempted to put this into the "Ugly" section but I am willing to admit that perhaps my own views on the character coloured this. The argument still stands though that Gwen sacrifices nothing through this story. Jack sacrifices his grandson and Ianto loses his life in choosing to fight but Gwen loses nothing. She ends up with Rhys and her baby and whilst one might argue she loses Jack and Ianto, that loss isn't comparable to the losses of the other characters. When compared to Frobisher willingly executing his family to save them and Alice having her son ripped from her, Gwen's is a small loss and is cheapened all the more by the blatant torch the character carries for Jack. She comes out whole - alive and happy - and still wants more. She has her husband and child but won't let go of the possibility for love with Jack. And apart from the gorgeous relationship cultivated between Gwen and Clem and her coercion of Lois, what is Gwen's contribution to the culmination of the story? "Gwen Cooper stands alone" made it sound as though Gwen was the only one left fighting the 456 when instead she is taking children and running. It is a noble decision - to save the kids - but it is one dictated by Jack and inevitably by Ianto. Her refusal to give up - whilst admirable - seemed to be yet another dig at Jack/Ianto when compared her reaction to the loss of Tosh and Owen. Then she wanted to give up but here she doesn't seem to even need to pause before fighting again.


The Ugly

Oh where should I begin?

I will admit that whilst I watched the programme my heart raced and the adrenaline flowed and in that respect the show was good. Unfortunately, the show doesn't stand up to close scrutiny.

Let's start at the beginning. Day One. It was a brilliant episode: nice pacing, laid brilliant foundations for the story, introduced the main players, good script and lovely acting. However, by the end of Day One everything that makes Torchwood Torchwood is gone. The Hub is destroyed - and along with it one must assume: Myfanwy, the Weevils (dammit Janet!), the singularity scalpel, the Berkerran scanner, the baby Tardis on Jack's desk, Tosh's body, Grey's body, Jack's Hole, the coffee machine and Jack's great coat (not to mention everything he held dear) - the SUV has been stolen and we ain't in Kansas anymore… or Cardiff. After this, there is nothing in the story that means it is an identifiably Torchwood (insert theme tune here) story. This could have been Spooks with added aliens or even a brand new mini-series. The classic physical manifestations of Torchwood are destroyed. This is comparable to the Doctor without his TARDIS, Sonic Screwdriver or Psychic Paper: items that define the show are gone. Symbolically one therefore must assume we are never getting back the show we loved.

Day Two is rather fun and more like the quirky Torchwood we are used to: a lot of chaos but everything works out in the end. There are brilliant scenes here and the humour is wonderful. However, this episode contains two huge flaws and both revolve around Ianto. The first is that Ianto's dad broke his leg. Now, his sister maintains that it was because Ianto fell of the swing but Ianto's hurt makes us question why Ianto obviously adored a man who caused him - accidentally or not - to break his leg and why the injury is such a sore point afterwards. I will admit that maybe GDL chose to play it in this way and the writers were aiming for humour, but like Gwen's racist chimney-sweep statement of the previous day (which I purposefully didn't mention before so as to include here without boring anyone daft enough to read this) - who finds a broken leg that funny? The second is how Ianto is portrayed. In Day Two he is sneaky, smart and organised. He does what Gwen - for all her guns and action - can not do. Here he is the Administrator of Torchwood not the Tea-boy. At the time it is a lovely acknowledgement to the character. In the long run (see Day Four) it is detrimental.

Day Three was a waste of time - although the beans scene is a favourite. The only pertinent revelations are the arrival of the 456 and the discovery Jack was at the original exchange. It takes us 59 minutes to get all of that. There is no significant character development or story development for this to be a worthwhile episode. They could have cut it in half and had more development of secondary or, preferably, primary characters and had a better episode.

Here though I shall take the time to interject Lois. Now, I have no problem with the actress who portrayed her - she did a good job - it is the actual character I dislike. For a start she's a temp on her first day. Now I work as a temp for local government and whilst it isn't the Civil Service, I do know that they don't hand over email passwords. Even people I've worked with for months don't give me their passwords to organise their emails whilst they are on holiday even if I am their admin. I am currently working for a blind social worker and I don't have his passwords! Lois however is special. Not only is she given passwords - which are like diamonds to government agencies because of the sheer amount of information you can get at - but she is immediately au fait with the systems and knows which emails to open so that she gets involved. She even manages to convince Bridget Spears - who has obviously worked with Frobisher for years - that within two days (most of which Frobisher has been out of the office) she and Frobisher are having an affair when Frobisher doesn't even know her name. She can put in contact lens, ignoring the hygiene of Gwen wearing them first, without any practice. I can barely stand touching my eye even to get an eyelash out and my dad - a seasoned contact user - flinches or can't get them in properly on occasion. But, I repeat, Lois is special. She is a super-temp following in the footsteps of Ianto Jones and Donna Noble but without the style, coffee or mouth.

Day Four… Oh how you disappoint me. Firstly, Jack is being an ass - running away and dealing with Frobisher on his own rather than being the Captain. He may have secrets and like keeping them but rarely in end of the world situations is he seen running from the team. He's usually rallying the troops. Instead Ianto and Gwen are left to do that. Secondly, as mentioned before: Ianto. On Day Two he's wearing safety gear to drive a fork-lift truck complete with worker boots, day-glow fluorescent jacket and hard hat. Now, he's going into a potentially toxic situation and all he's wearing is two parts of a three-piece suit. How are we to believe that after what we have seen so far of this man? Once again it is lazy writing that could have easily been overcome by not having the efficient character of Day Two or by having a faulty gas-mask. Wouldn't that have been more heartbreaking? Him being all prepared but let down by technology? Instead it is quite clear that he was walking to his death. Even if we ignore the failings of his death for a moment - he surely is smarter than to believe the glass is anything other than bullet-proof? It has to contain poisonous gas after all. Therefore why would Ianto shoot the container when there must be pipes pumping the noxious air into the bloody tank which would be easier to damage?

Thirdly, Jack has no plan. He doesn't even have a Plan A when he faces the 456. Ianto tells him to fight - so he does. He says no. There are no apparent consequences just we will fight you taking our children. How is this a threat? Jack is a conman; he's a nasty piece of work. He executed Lisa, sent Mary to the Sun, let Jasmine go and made her mother forget but he can't think of a threat for these aliens? Unbelievable. Even more unbelievable is that he'd go in there with a member of his team - when he has kept them all from danger with fanatical obsession in the past - without a plan or a big dam gun.

Then there is the continuity of this part. They surrender their weapons at the door. When do they get them back?

Again we come across a wasting of time issue. All the dramatic scenes of people we don't know and don't care about dying wasted time. We are an intelligent audience - of course there are other people in the building and of course they die. I am more interested in Clem dying, Dekker escaping and - more importantly - Ianto dying.

There are so many ways Ianto could have died - if he had to, which I haven't been convinced of yet - rather than that. It was rushed, which undermined the beautiful acting and the potentially gorgeous juxtaposition of Clem's violent chaotic death and Ianto's silent still one. It felt to be a throw away death that didn't achieve anything except to create a depressed Jack and help ship him off to Doctor Who. Ianto didn't need to die so that Jack would sacrifice Steven. We already know that he is the man who does what is Right. Gwen does the Good thing, Jack does the Right thing. Sometimes they match, mostly they don't. Ianto's death only served to get Gwen back to Wales so she could run across the countryside. Yes, it highlighted the danger of their job but Jack already died five times in the previous three days - how much more danger do we need? Buffy ran for seven seasons and the four characters that were there at the start - Buffy, Giles, Willow and Xander - were there at the end. They weren't whole and Buffy had died but they were alive. The reason I draw this parallel is because their world is just as dangerous but Whedon neatly subverted this by letting the characters evolve. Xander loses an eye and leaves a woman at the altar whilst holding down a good job, Giles leaves and builds a life in England but returns, Willow turns to the dark through magic addiction, comes out and becomes the embodiment of a powerful woman, and Buffy dies, sees Heaven and grows up. All of these could be seen as deaths as very little remains of the original characters. Even though the growth is organic and well done, they are not the characters we met in 'Welcome to the Hellmouth' and yet: they are. Torchwood's writers seem too lazy to let Ianto evolve. In fact the only character that has evolved is Gwen if only because she is no longer wide-eyed and innocent. Although, it could be argued that she wasn't even that anymore after Series One, taking charge of the team in Jack's absence made her harder and more dangerous than before. Ianto didn't need to die to evolve or change another character. He could have walked away - disgusted by Jack's actions in 1965 or Jack's lack of trust. Both would have devastated Jack.

Death seemed a cheap thrill that was useless and unnecessary.

Day Five… Well… Gwen's dashing around the countryside, Jack's given up and the government are evil and the whole problem is easily solved by reversing the signal the 456 sent out to kill Clem - which turns Clem's horrific death into a cheap plot ploy. Oh… and the little boy cops it before Jack runs away. Need I say more?

The next problem I have is the destruction of Jack and Ianto…

Let's start with Ianto. Rather than seem insecure - as GDL tried to act - his lines in Day One make him seem immature. "Ooh they're calling us a couple…" *insert girly giggle*. Ianto has never had a problem talking to Jack: he propositioned him over the dead body of a colleague with a stopwatch for crying out loud! Yes, Ianto is private about his emotions, but he isn't coy. He knows Jack well enough to know Jack won't say things first. So, in all probability he would ask. He'd say - Jack are we a couple? But of course, that isn't good television. Then the character is further chipped away by the discontinuity of super-efficient "I can get hold of an RAF greatcoat whilst on the run" Ianto who turns into the man who walks into a trap. In no way does that work. And the final nail in the coffin is the idea that Ianto has been lying to everyone. Now, if Ianto had survived I would have found this an intriguing plot twist. Why is Ianto hiding his background? The opportunity for character development would be phenomenal. With Ianto dying however, it felt like an unnecessary attack on the popularity of the character instead. It seems childish, furthering no plot and actually destroying any character development done over the previous two series.

Jack's character is lambasted to a greater degree. For a start he comes across as a callous bastard. He either doesn't care about or can't see Ianto's insecurities and doesn't seem all that penitent about the children in 1965. If it hadn't been for Ianto saying, "This must have been eating you up," I don't think I would have realised Jack actually felt anything and that isn't the fault of John Barrowman. The writers didn't do anything to make Jack likeable. Gone was his flirtatious nature and "With a dashing hero like me on the case" attitude. This is heartbreaking. Jack was fresh and fun and whilst he wasn't always the typical hero, he was a good guy. You cared about him because he had a huge heart and was inevitably going to get hurt because he outlives everyone. Yet, he doesn't stop trying. If I was immortal, I might be tempted to take the next century off, watching television, surfing the internet and eating Ben & Jerry's. Jack doesn't even consider it. He tries and he gives, he loves and gets hurt and you love him for it. In five episodes they destroyed that.

You can almost understand the giving up when Ianto dies. If I lost my lover I might think "what's the point?" especially against such odds. But, I think, if I had all the tech that Jack has at his disposal at mine, I'd want payback. Jack is the type to want payback. We saw it with Mary - she hurt Tosh and threatened his team and Jack killed her - we saw it with Lisa, the cannibals and even John. Jack is a vengeful creature. No remorse, no hesitation. With Ianto, the hesitation is forgivable but the apathy? It is out of character and incredibly contrived. And, Ianto didn't need to die for Jack to realise that Steven has to. He is the hero after all. Again, it feels like they are just destroying the character for the sake of it.

I don't mind that Jack can't say he loves Ianto - the promise not to forget him is worth more in my eyes - it would have been out of character. But I can't equate this shell of a character we are given with the Jack we know. Gone is everything that made Jack Harkness the phenomenon he was and in his place the writers have left the Universe's Bitch. He's slapped and broken for the sake of it and ultimately is turned into a coward. This is the man who sat on a German bomb because of his guilt. Now, he runs away. It is a character evolution with a Missing Link. He isn't developed enough for this to flow properly. Retreating to the shell of the Hub, exhausted, to hibernate and recover would be more in keeping than cowardice. (And don't get me started on the final scene - "Shake off my boots" and vanishing in a flash of light - it is lazy and downright insulting.)

It almost feels that the writers have waged a jihad on Janto, breaking them in any and everyway possible so that no one can revive them.

Which leads me neatly to the pre-series hype. How many interviews were released where the interviewee discussed the Jack/Ianto relationship, stating in particular that Janto fans would be pleased? I read at least three. Lying is not acceptable. One could almost claim it is false advertising which is liable. Looking back, my heart aches for GDL being interviewed and having to be excited, all the while very aware that his character has been raped. How can you do that? Naoko and Burn at least had heroic and poignant exits. I still love/hate their death scene - especially Owen - because that one line "Your breaking my heart" is perhaps the most evocative line I've ever heard. The pain both actors put into the scene and the beauty of the dialogue makes up for being killed off. Ianto isn't given that poetry or that respect and it is made even worse now that the uproar is being dismissed and lies have come to light. I, in all my fan-girlish wisdom, trusted the actors and writers when they said "Fans will be happy" because really - why wouldn't I? Now, every interview I read will be taken with a huge pinch of salt. Perhaps I was naïve but it doesn't excuse the act.

And my final "Ugly": given the current political climate, terrorist threats around every corner, what government in the world would build a habitat for a potentially hostile alien? Let alone build it in one of the country's most secure facilities. Putting the tank in Thames House i.e. MI5 is like building it in Langley, Virginia (CIA), the J Edgar Hoover Building, Washington DC (FBI), the Pentagon or the headquarters of France's Direction centrale du renseignement intérieur (DCRI). It wouldn't happen. It might happen on a secure army facility somewhere in the middle of nowhere but not in a government security agency in the middle of a major city. It wouldn't happen. And, given the fact that they know the 456 are not "good" why the hell would they build it in the first place? Had the rest of the plot been spectacular, I might have been willing to suspend my disbelief over this, but it wasn't. I can't help but circle back to the thought that if the government hadn't built the habitat the 456 wouldn't have come to Earth - they couldn't have survived it - and the story would have been very different. This one fact causes the whole plot to collapse like a house of cards.


...and The Grotesque

Russell T Davies. His attitude to the fans understandable (if occasionally over the top) uproar over the death of a beloved character has been disgusting. From a purely logical standpoint, fans pay the wages. No one survives in the entertainment industry if they are not bankable. The price we pay for this is mediocre actors, singers and movies simply because they are popular and pretty. However, the fact remains Fans are a precious commodity. Now, there are those out there who make films, television, music, art, literature - entertainment - simply because they love the art form they work in. For a shockingly tiny minority they can do so without having to appreciate the thousands of people who love their work simply because their work is just so consistently very very good. However, off the top of my head, I cannot think of anyone living who would fit that criterion.

That means for everyone else they have to be aware of the masses. They don't have to like it, they don't even have to bow to it - after all it is their intellectual property - however, they should have the decency to respect it. At random I will use JK Rowling as an example. Harry Potter is a phenomenon and that has nothing to do with JK Rowlings's writing ability. Her stories are good and entertaining but in reality they are nothing special. Many of her ideas are the reworking of myths and legends or other artists e.g. Mirror of Erised and Galadriel's Mirror have disturbing parallels. But, there are nuggets of genius in there and the way it is presented makes the books enjoyable. The accessibility of the books has caught the public's attention and it is the public response to these books that will ensure Harry Potter and Ms. Rowling herself go down in history. I know of seven individuals who only read the books because someone said it was entertaining and a further three who read so they knew what everyone was talking about. She wrote the books so yes, she deserves credit, but I very much doubt she would negate the Fan impact.

Fans are wonderful things. Peter Jackson's direction and scripting of the Lord of the Ring's Trilogy was so beautiful and true to the books because he himself was a Fan. Admittedly he also had to turn out something perfect because of the Fan threat - which could be considered a negative - but that pressure ensured the end product was as near to perfect as possible.

Joss Whedon is a world builder who is very aware of his Fans - hell he gave the fan-fiction slashers out there a throw away line about Spike and Angel simply to show appreciation and awareness of his fan-base. Not once has he bowed to fan pressure but he has always listened and appreciated the support fans give a show. Buffy was a landmark television show that ran for seven years, produced a spin off show, numerous books, soundtracks, figures, memorabilia and comics and may very well return in some form to the screen. Whilst it was a wonderful show - great acting, stories, monsters and characters - the Fans have made it so very successful and Joss is very aware of that fact. So aware that he encourages fans to write fan-fiction and thanks them for their continued support with projects such as Firefly, Serenity and Dollhouse. Each of those shows are slightly off the wall and push the conventions of television but he is guaranteed a fair showing by producers if only for his fan-base.

Now, I am not saying that these people don't deserve their acclaim - because they do! They are talented and ingenious and their minds must be wonderful places to live but they know that they owe a lot to their Fans. It is the law of reciprocity. They give us good entertainment we watch/read/listen. They give us bad we stop. Fans hold the power and can make or break an artist. That is the way of the world.

Therefore you do not insult people who have loyally followed your show for years. Who watched the show when it was on a back-water channel like BBC Three and was only in the TV guide because it was part of the schedule. Fans moved Torchwood from Three to Two to One. I personally convinced three different households - excluding my own - to watch Children of Earth because of my love for the show and desire to see it continue. I couldn't guarantee that it would be BAFTA winning television but I told them that it would be enjoyable. They believed me. Because of ME Torchwood's viewing figures rose by three. Because of the thousands of FANS out there the figures rose even more. We don't account for every one of the extra three million people Children of Earth pulled in but I would bet my life that we account for a large majority of it.

And what does our loyalty warrant? Scorn, derision and debasement. It is unacceptable and even if I hadn't found the series disappointing as a whole I wouldn't watch ever again to simply stop RTD being bankable.

I pray for the day a TV exec turns to him and says - No thanks. You aren't worth it. You have no fans.


So that's it. At the time I did enjoy the show but with the immediacy of the action gone I've had time to think. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing and can cover any flaw but inevitably it fades away and what was left just wasn't enough. There were wonderful bits but not enough to excuse errors or clumsy contrivances.

I won't be watching the next series of Torchwood because, for me, it won't be Torchwood. This has nothing to do with the death of Ianto and everything to do with the death of the show. In addition, the abuse from RTD has just sealed the deal on that one.

Good luck to those of you who do watch - it is your choice and right just like it is mine to disagree with the direction taken and stop here. I am saddened and disappointed but will admit it was a good piece of television. It just wasn't Torchwood.

I welcome your opinions.

ETA... for further information on The Grotesque see this

Comments

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I agree with you on the writers totally. Like I said, after Day One this is not Torchwood it's just the characters and a very contrived plot. With the writers getting so very defensive and insulting it just makes the errors in the story all the more glaring.

I think that once something is put into the public forum you are either incredibly arrogant or very naive not to expect dissension. It is impossible to please everyone - even when your story telling is as close to perfect as humanly possible. This is not an example of that.

If RTD doesn't want to be criticised for his work he should write purely for himself and remove himself from television. I fear criticism but I take it as a learning experience because it only becomes a mistake if you learn nothing from it. RTD is never going to grow as a credible writer or producer simply because he refuses to listen to other people.

I would love to send this to him if only for his reaction. I tried to give a critique rather than criticism but I doubt he'd see it that way.

Thanks x
He could have walked away - disgusted by Jack's actions in 1965 or Jack's lack of trust. Both would have devastated Jack.

I'd have it from the lack of trust, I think - as he's seen Jack do similar things before, but the trust is something that's important to him and if he's continually not getting it, it seems like it would be in his character to draw a line.

Naoko and Burn at least had heroic and poignant exits. I still love/hate their death scene - especially Owen - because that one line "Your breaking my heart" is perhaps the most evocative line I've ever heard.

Omg so, so, so agreed. I cry every time I watch it. That line is amazing. In text it's nothing, but god, Naoko makes it.... magical, in an insanely painful way.

Agreed with everything else too.
I was just throwing ideas around but yeah... I think the only thing to drive Ianto away would be the secrets.

Killing off Naoko and Burn was just a foolish thing to do. All the characters had so much potential - for growth, change, discovery - but all we ever saw was Gwen. This would have been fine for the first few episodes - where she brings us into Torchwood - but Jack is supposedly the main character and the stories revolve around the team and we are left, three series later, knowing absolutely nothing about Owen, Tosh or Ianto in comparison to Gwen.

Grr... it annoys me!

I have to be in a brave mood to watch Exit Wounds - just because of that scene. Not because I'll cry just because it is evocative and really can bring you down.

Thanks x
I wanted to mention that on the videos from ComicCon, John Barrowman said the reason they picked 13 for his number is because his mother's date of birth is the 13th. So they put Ianto on 14. It was unfortunately decided without any deeper meanings.
Well... at least they put some thought into it.

I knew I was right not to put any real faith into that thought.

Thanks for the confirmation though!
What you said.

I enjoyed a large part of CoE (the part before Ianto died) at the time I was watching it, but thinking back on it, it loses a great deal, for all the reasons you thoughtfully mention above.

RTD's behavior the last couple weeks has angered and saddened me. By contrast, Kings, a show I fell deeply in love with, recently ended its run and its creator, Michael Green, wrote a public thank you to everyone who watched and answered some questions he knew people would have. He was gracious and thankful, and I nearly cried reading it because it was in such direct contrast to RTD's arrogance and derision.

I really hope at some point RTD recognizes that he wouldn't be where he is without the people he is currently putting down.

Thank you for your post. It's good to know there are others out there who feel the same way as I do. If I mentioned everything you wrote that I completely agree with, this would be a very long comment. *G*

Edited at 2009-07-29 11:10 pm (UTC)
RTD's behaviour is unacceptable but it's nice to know that some creators do appreciate their audiences.

In regards to RTD - who does he think reads his autobiography? I am seriously beginning to consider that the man lives in a parallel world where he is king.

Glad you liked/agreed with my review.

Love the icon x
I agree with pretty much every single point you've made here, and have brought up most of these complaints before. And I think you rivaled my own review/summary for length lol Cookies for you!
That's quite cool as I haven't read any other reviews apart from the immediate reaction posts on the night!

Great minds eh?
BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO VERY WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I COULDN'T AGREE MORE
Thank you!
"And what does our loyalty warrant? Scorn, derision and debasement. It is unacceptable and even if I hadn't found the series disappointing as a whole I wouldn't watch ever again to simply stop RTD being bankable.

I pray for the day a TV exec turns to him and says - No thanks. You aren't worth it. You have no fans."

I'll second that!
Personally - I'd like to be that exec... or at least a fly on the wall!
Wow, you expressed this very well, very balanced. It's very well put.
Couldn't have said it better.

And I agree: RTD's behaviour is unacceptable! I mean it is understandable that as a writer you might get upset when people write things about you on the net.

But you can't, you just CAN'T behave like this!

I mean he could have voiced his opinion privately, but no, he chose to do it in interviews and on panels and stuff. I hope someone from his team or from the BBC will set him straight. (Obviously he won't listen to fans, but hopefully someone from inside his production team will take him aside and tell him politely "Hey, mate, you can't do this.")

Being impolite and insulting is a big no-no when you are (in a way) a public figure. Being impolite and insulting to the people who are ... well, the consumers of whatever you have to offer is even worse.

And No!!! It doesn't give you a I-am-a-diva-kind-of-charisma or I-am-an-artist-we-are-supposed-to-be-moody-kind-of-look. It just doesn't. It makes you look real bad and impolite. And unless you are indeed Maria Callas or Michelangelo I wouldn't give this strategy a go.
Thank you. I did try to keep it balanced - which is hard when you have invested in something - but I didn't want it to be a rant.

RTD's behaviour is out of line. If he were a politician talking about the voters there would be calls for him to be out of office. Say what you want in private, in public you need to be more tactful.

There are so many ways to accept criticism and protests without being derogatory. A few fans? No - a lot of fans are protesting. It made the news.

I agree - he isn't either famous enough or talented enough to act like a diva. It's unacceptable.

Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall when someone does sit him down and tells him how out of line he is??
I disagree with much of what you say. i won't go through it point by point, as life is, frankly, too short. Instead, here's just a few comments.

You describe yourself as "an aspiring writer". You will learn a lot more about writing if you consider that there may be good reasons of art and of craft for the series being written the way it was, and spend some time figuring out what they might be.

Your rant about how Davies shouldn't insult fans is completely out of touch with reality. Your main error is in failing to appreciate that the world - and even the viewership of Torchwood - is much bigger than you and your LJ friends. Many people, like myself, who have watched all of Torchwood were delighted at how much better Children of Earth was than any previous episode.

More importantly, a mass audience tuned in, stayed with the programme, and loved it. The idea that it was fans who brought that increased audience to the show is bonkers. The audience for episode 1 was higher than for the first episode of series 2, but that can simply be accounted for by the shift from BBC2 to BBC1. What is much more significant is the fact that the series held that audience as the series went on. Normally, there's a big drop-off after the first episode of a series, as a chunk of the audience decide they don't like it. Children of Earth bucked that trend, not because fans cajoled their mates into watching it, but because the casual viewer who tuned in thougt it was really good. The Appreciation Index bears this out - figures in the 90s are outstanding, and in combination with high ratings are phenomenal. And you say you would bet your life that fans account for the majority of the ratings increase? That would be a most unwise bet.

If not a single established Torchwood fan had watched Children of Earth, the effects on the ratings would be undetectable. Also, the thing that a lot of Torchwood fans seem not to realise is the effect that being a Doctor Who fan in the mid-1980s is likely to have had on Davies. That was a period when the show increasingly pandered to fans, resulting in some very poor stories and a collapse in the show's audience, not to mention its reputation. No one who understands what happened to Doctor Who at that time would ever sit down to write a script thinking "So, what do the fans want to see?"

So Davies is right to ignore the fans. As for insulting them, he has done no such thing. He has made some comments about a small minority of fans. Some of this minority has been behaving in a silly way, some of it in a silly and vicious way, and Davies has pointed out how silly and/or vicious they have been. I'm a Torchwood fan, and I agree with his comments.
I agree with just about everything you've said except the bit about Ben & Jerry's, I've got 3 tubs of Haagen Dazs in my freezer!

One of the things that I found frustrating about the aftermath of CoE was the implication that if we didn't agree with RTD then we were ignorant children who didn't understand good drama, for that read people dying and lots of gratuitous angst!

Like a lot of people I won't be tuning in if season 4 goes ahead, not *just* because of Ianto's death, but because the series that I watched and enjoyed was destroyed in every way possible.

I also preempted RTD's advise as I was already watching Supernatural, and suggest he takes his own advise, pull up a chair and watch how it should be done!
I will concede that Haagen Dazs make a superior Vanilla ice-cream.

That is exactly why I won't be watching a possible series 4. It won't be Torchwood. Or, even worse, if they try to go back to the previous set up it will be so insulting. I had decided that at the end of Day Five.

And RTD's reaction to criticism has made my resolve all that greater. If his reaction had been - trust us... we have reasons which the next series will deal with - I might have been tempted. But they weren't.

So I think I'll join you with Supernatural - I watched Season One then went to Uni and missed the rest but will endeavour to catch up!

I could have accepted it all if not for RTD's attitude to our sorrow and anger. If he'd said, "I won't bring back Ianto because I think it's better this way" I would have allowed it to pass. However "I can't being Ianto back because it cheapens the story" is blatant bullshit coming from a creative team who already brought back Rhys, Owen, The Master, Rose, the Daleks, and a dead child. But his sneering at our protests is just breathtaking, and I cannot understand why the fans who had the chance to speak up - at ComicCon - simply stood there and applauded.
Hell... even Eastenders brought back Den Watts!

But yes, if RTD had gone about it in a different way saying "there are reasons but I can't go into them now but it impacts series four" I might have thought it ok. His behaviour, his "I'm right, You're wrong" attitude actually inspired me to look at things more closely. And I found them lacking.

You are right - he is a hypocrite. All those characters came back. The Master is coming back again in the one of the next Who shows so how is it that he can say Ianto can't come back. He could have always said - "it's a possibility" and left it there.
It is all about the jacket - you are so very right! :)

I hadn't even thought about the Rift you know. Although, as I understand it the Manipulator didn't control the Rift but could open it. But you are right - it would have had an impact, if only for the fact that the Hub is meant to have been built on the central point of the Rift.

As for my 1314 observation... an earlier comment pointed out that Jack had 13 because it's JB's mum's birthday day. I'm sure she was happy with her gift! At least they put some thought into it, not a lot obviously, but some.

Battle cries are fun aren't they?

Thanks x
I loved CoE and disagree with substantial portions of your assessment but I'm not going to argue them. Opinions are subjective and you have the right to yours .


However when comparing RTD and Joss Whedon it's helpful to go back to the fan reaction to "Seeing Red" . That reaction from some fans was just as angry, just as loud and , from some quarters just as offensive ...only with BTVS it was Marti Noxon who some fans insulted to the point where Joss stepped in with a smackdown. With TW it was of course James Moran.

Back when Seeing Red aired the "Fuck you Joss you ruined everything I'm never watching again" contingent argued endlessly on line and yes they even protested at conventions. Poor Adam Busch came in for some major flack for playing the character who killed Tara and even more so when he made a light hearted comment about it at a convention.


History repeats itself . And in fact there was a similar reaction a year later when "Chosen" aired with the death of Anya being an especial sore point for some fans along with a certain line about shopping. Once again the voice of the "Fuck you Joss" contingent was loud on the interwebs :)

So it's strange to me to see Joss held up now as an example of someone who respects the fans whilst RTD is vilified as the opposite.

In my view both are great writers who sometimes anger certain sections of the fandom and neither is a saint nor a villain.

They did their job right because people care enough to get angry.



Edited at 2009-07-30 06:57 am (UTC)
I think that the difference with Joss Whedon is that he acknowledged that the fans were upset and indeed had a right to be upset. He didn't treat them like children and laugh at them for being so worked up over a fictional character.
I agree with most of what you're saying. :D
Cool!
You know, I really agree with all of this. It seems that there is a view that those who have issues with CoE are just bonkers J/I fans who are upset about dead Ianto, and they are also stupid to boot, and probably don't know about poetry.

I remember reading reviews of the National Film Theatre presentation of Day one. Now they were all good, however at that point fans who are now critical did say that it was terribly derivative, and point out a couple of concerns they had, which then played out in the way you say. This is being ignored now, and their objections are dismissed. I can't prove to anyone that, aside from the fact that it's the exact plot of Quatermass, down to the grandson sacrifice, I turned to my friend in Day one and said "OK, The Midwich Cuckoos" Then with Decker said "OK, they have been watching Contact" By the way, that was also outrageous, the scene with the sound coming in via the radio, then the sounds turning out to be blueprints, EXACTLY the same as Contact.

On first watch I was enjoying it the way I enjoy Spooks or 24, not the way I loved Torchwood. The adrenaline carried me through but as it went on I found the nihilism and bleakness wearing and felt almost reluctant. I also found it difficult to suspend disbelief with the Wansee style conference, it just became ludicrous. Of course you point out the plot fails very well, so I won't reiterate.

I have been watching the repeats on BBC 3 and finding that I can't engage with it the way I can with repeated viewings of the first two seasons, it is due to the lack of the team, and the lack of Torchwood really.
I had not even thought to draw the "Contact" parallel! Dear Lord. I'd seen the Quartermass one (although how it could have been missed is beyond me) but now you make me want to rewatch to see which other sci-fi stories are being recycled.

I think the problem with it is that when you watch it you get caught up in the adrenaline - just like Spooks and 24. However, they have a finesse about them. Their plots are well balanced and not full of gaping holes you can fire a rocket through. Torchwood may have grown up in this season - become more of a drama - but the substance wasn't there to support it.

It isn't Torchwood really anymore is it? Everything is gone. I watched a repeat of KKBB the other day and just the feel was different. I laughed for one. My dad walked in, saw Cpt Jack and, having seen CoE but nothing else, asked "is this the same programme?"

I think that summs it up really!

And we aren't bonkers - we just care. Should we apologise for demanding well thought-out entertainment? I don't think so. And that has nothing to do with being a J/I lover. It has everthing to do with being a viewer.

Ciao x
This is excellently written and I can't disagree with any of it, but I would like to add that for my part, the 'plot' fell apart in the first episode with the government sending someone to kill a man they believed unkillable in order to keep him quiet about the past. He'd been quiet about it for 44 years, why would they suppose he'd start talking about it now? It wasn't even them who handed over the children in the first place, so why should they even care about other people finding out? They had an alien threat approaching so they tried to kill the very people who might be able to help them fight it? They had Jack in their hands so they put a bomb inside him and sent him off so he could explode somewhere else? What if he'd gone off in a crowded street? Why didn't they just take him prisoner instead of letting him go? What did they gain by destroying his base with all its alien weaponry that could have helped? It was complete and utter nonsense.
RTD keeps going on about realism, but Torchwood in the first 2 series (the Torchwood I loved) was anything but realistic. Frankly, I don't watch S.F. for realism - I watch for entertainment and escapism. If I wanted a grim and ugly political thriller, I would watch something described in the TV listings as such. I thought I was tuning in to Torchwood, but apparently I was watching '24' with aliens and the Torchwood cast added. If a global threat was needed for the mini series, why couldn't the Sleeper Agents from season 2 have been used? At least then the destruction of the Hub might have made sense.
If there i a 4th series, I won't be watching. Everything I loved about Torchwood has been systematically destroyed, there's nothing left for me.
It wasn't even them who handed over the children in the first place, so why should they even care about other people finding out?

Yes, exactly. As the Prime Minister points out, he was a child in 1965. I'd understand if it was the other people involved trying to cover up their own guilt, but since the government has all of them assassinated by Johnson's squad, that can't be it. Why don't the government just sit tight? If Jack does go public they can claim to be shocked and horrified at this 'outside the government' agency secretly giving children to aliens, which the government of the time, of course, knew absolutely nothing about.
I agree with your every point, and thank you for finding words where I couldn't.

The worst thing about this whole thing, really, is that once again this teaches me that it doesn't pay to care. Invariably you're putting your heart in the hands of people who treat your emotional investment with, at best, mild condescension, at worst, outright disdain. I'm not asking the writers to pander to me, but some respect for the characters they've made me care about isn't that much to ask, is it?

I wish I could be a casual viewer, but alas, I'm just not built that way.

Thank God for Fandom.
Amen to that!

Fandom will survive - if only to spite RTD.

I agree - it seems the more you care about something the more people are determined to destroy it. It might only be my opinion of fandom but I feel that Ianto had more fans. RTD wanted Gwen to be the fav so got rid of the competition.

I don't want the writers to pander to me either. I want to be entertained - even if the character I love dies. But when I'm not I don't want to be insulted because I felt it was lacking. That's not my fault.

My mother is a casual viewer - she really does have a simpler life. Perhaps we should start watching Corrie only. It's hard to get fanatical about real life.
Fantastic post. I wish those who liked CofE could post intelligently about why exactly, with examples instead of just "it was brilliant and if you didn't think so you are just a moron!"
An attitude which, I am forced to admit, makes me respond in kind..
It really is like being back in the playground isn't it! It often makes me suspect that subconsciously they know that it doesn't stand up to scrutiny so throw the "moron" line in to distract you!

But sometimes... being a moron can be fun!
I wish I could come up with something more intelligent than 'I agree'. But I do agree. My problem with Children of Earth was that it wasn't Torchwood. Or at least, it wasn't the Torchwood that I loved. But my goodness, it was pretty. So beautifully shot...(and in certain places, so beautifully cruel in the way it was shot..)

I love your insight into 1314. Wow. I wish so much foresight had actually gone into it. I also wish I could have noticed that myself (I mean, duh!) but then again, the first time I watched it, I couldn't see through my tears. The second time I don't think I was even paying attention to the screen (I don't think I even cared about COE anymore).

Something I'd add is probably the way there was no real hope at the end of it all. As compared to seasons 1 and two and in particular, when Tosh and Owen died and they could still rebuild from there. You still got a sense that Torchwood survived. That the human race was worth saving and fighting for. But at the end of Day Five?

Then, if we're talking about plot points...I would have been okay with it all if it hadn't been 'Torchwood'. If it was just some new little series, I would probably have given the benefit of a doubt, gotten absorbed and fallen in love with it (the way it was shot adding heavily to this). But as Torchwood?

As it is, I enjoyed Day One the most. The rest slowly dropped away as I waited for Torchwood to come back. Which then died suddenly at the end of Day Four. And then I found I really didn't care about Day Five.

Hmm..it looks like I had more to say than I thought.
I thought my review would be short.... Turns out I had more to say to!

It was beautifully shot - the crew did a marvelous job in that respect. It was so bleak. But you are right there was a lack of hope and I too didn't care about Day Five... so much so that it took me a week to get round to watch it as I'd had to record it on the Friday.

It wasn't Torchwood and it wasn't a tale about Good triumphing over Evil. It lacked that spark that made Torchwood fun even when it wasn't good!

I too wish that the team had had the foresight with 1314 - it would have been a lovely touch.

Thanks for commenting!

Jack and the children of 1965

For a start he comes across as a callous bastard. He either doesn't care about or can't see Ianto's insecurities and doesn't seem all that penitent about the children in 1965. If it hadn't been for Ianto saying, "This must have been eating you up," I don't think I would have realised Jack actually felt anything and that isn't the fault of John Barrowman.

I have got to disagree with this - at the beginning of Day Four (after the revelation about Jack's part in 1965) Jack looks striken. Really guilty.
I suppose reading emotions from the screen is subjective, but I genuinely saw this.

I couldn't find the exact section I'm talking about on Youtube, but in this vid before Ianto goes to talk to Jack at 2.40 mins in I can see how guilty Jack looks - I was pleasantly surprised about the subtle acting from JB actually!

<ahref="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hurgtlm1nco&feature=related">Jack looking guilty IMO</a>

Re: Jack and the children of 1965

Maybe that was just my take on it... But I do agree that JB's acting has gotten better!

Thanks for the link x

Sorry


Sorry, my link was pants - anyway this was what I meant to post:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=huRgTlm1nCo&feature=related
brilliantly put ... a wonderful analysis of what those 5 days achieved ... retrospectively it is easier to see how we were misled ... at the start of the week I was hopeful and excited, by the end of it, disillusioned and shattered ... the show I'd grown to love had been destroyed and the man responsible gloating at us for being so damn upset...
... like you I feel especially bad for GDL who made so many appearances at conventions and signings promoting the show ... and the fact that he'd found out the fate of his character by virtue of being offered a contract for 4 out of 5 programmes ... to me that shows absolutely no respect for him as an actor. I know that Julie Gardner met with him to discuss what was planned, but only after he'd figured it out from the contract ...

I feel as if I've been mugged ... RTD gleefully distracted me with false promises whilst stealing from me that which I loved so much and then breaking it in such a way that I can never get it back ...
Mugged... that is a good analogy for the whole thing. And it does feel like he is gloating! He's sitting and smirking on his throne of Ianto bones... (I might be feeling a tad melodramatic!)

But yes! Mugged... that's how I feel. And then the mugger is turning round and saying its my fault for having that phone!

My respect for GDL soared after the series. Especially after having read/seen the interviews before hand. Now that I find out he heard about this by how they contracted him my respect just doubles. Especially when you hear JB whining about only doing five episodes. It's really harsh.

So... Love GDL even more than before!

ps... this: "...RTD gleefully distracted me with false promises..." made me picture him as a little elf/fairy thing creeping into bedrooms and stealing precious things.

My mind is a strange place.

Edited at 2009-07-30 05:44 pm (UTC)
*clap clap clap clap* Standing ovation, seriously.

I've been trying to put together something like this for weeks, and failing miserably. I have ranted about Ianto's unnecessary and pointless death, about the plotholes, but I haven't managed to articulate it so clearly. What can I say, you hit the nail on the head.

Would you mind if I link to this from my "three weeks on it still sucks" post later on?
Not at all - go for it.

I seriously didn't intend to write anything but then read one of RTD's "I am god and you are all whiny children" interviews and my fingers hit the keyboard. I didn't expect it to be so long, I was thinking a short pity 1000 word piece. My head had different ideas.

Or maybe it was my heart.

I didn't want to rant or whine but present a balanced view that doesn't just revolve around Ianto's untimely and poorly-conceived demise. I'm glad you like it!

You are much more civilized than I am

After I read about what RTD said, I pictured myself beating him unconscious with a dead codfish.

Re: You are much more civilized than I am

If you ever get round to it - video it and put it on YouTube - I image it would go down very well!

Thanks. I was just trying to be fair really!
Excellent meta!

'The third series of Torchwood was slick and beautiful in ways that the previous two were not.'
That is so true. It was a beautiful mini-series, it just wasn't a beautiful Torchwood mini-series; the characters were so OOC that I thought I was watching some sort of Torchwood AU. I won't be watching any more Torchwood because it's not Torchwood anymore.

'With Ianto dying however, it felt like an unnecessary attack on the popularity of the character instead. It seems childish, furthering no plot and actually destroying any character development done over the previous two series.'
I would like to believe that they were trying to show that Ianto is very good at reinventing himself (we saw that in Fragments when he tried many different ways to get his job) to be what people want, but maybe it really was a big TAKE THAT to Ianto fans.

By the way have you seen RTD latest interview over at AfterElton.com? Now he's saying that only nine hysterical women are upset over Ianto death. Everytime I think he can't say anything worse, he does. I would be mad, but I find it funny that he still just doesn't 'get' it. How can this man not realize that fans equal money and money equals a job? Maybe he's hoping that all those casual viewers will watch series 4 (since he doesn't seem to think he needs his fanbase); if there's a 14-month hiatus like there was between series 2 and 3, I doubt they'll even remember Torchwood.
RTD does not need a fanbase for Torchwood, especially not if S4 will be something like S3, a stand-alone story that attracts loads of new viewers. Nontheless, Torchwood still has a massive fan base. More figures: at the Torchwood forum, 54% gave Day 5 a 9/10 or a 10/10.

Lots of people will watch S4, and if it's half as good as CoE, I for one will be a very happy fan.
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