Friday, July 10, 2009

Torchwood. Children of Earth. Day Five.

Day Five.

(Note: this was written before the online stuff happened, will do a full blog post over the weekend addressing it, and what I think, and responding to everyone.)

All hope is lost. Is this the end? Today's nuggets: mild, vague spoiler for yesterday's episode - I helped come up with the reason why they wanted the gift (you know what I mean), and explained what I meant by describing how foie gras is made (look it up, it's horrendous). As for tonight's episode - in the very first storyline meeting, we went through several different versions of the ending before settling on this, and then it changed again. And it's not going to end the way you think.

Good old Broadcast, taking the tiny drop between eps 1 and 2, and spinning it into "OMG TOUCHINGWOOD IS D00MZ0R3D". Every series drops off after the first one, even stripped ones - Criminal Justice lost 700,000 after ep1, but that's normal. Torchwood's smaller drop was actually pretty cool. Unless you're Broadcast. No sign of the "Torchwood leaps back up to 5.9m" story on their site, maybe I'm not looking in the right place. Also, 6.4 million for last night's episode, it went up even higher, which is pretty fantastic.

Don't forget, there'll be spoilers in the comments, so if you haven't seen the episode, don't read the comments. And remember, the Americans and Canadians don't get the show until the 20th, so please don't drop massive spoiler bombs where they can't avoid seeing them (like in your public Twitter feed). Be considerate!


Lucy said...

Gotta love Broadcast ; )

Because of the furore, I ended up watching iPlayer solid for HOURS to catch up... OMG!!! How scary!!! I really mean that. The thought of the government discussing "units" in particular - I actually felt sick. And I had to check my children were still in their beds in case they'd been nicked.

But that's good drama!!!

Keep your pecker up Big Man.

KatyaR said...

Please don't let these idiots get you down--I understand your need to pull back today, but you've done an incredible job, don't let anyone diminish that for you.

TallulahBelle said...

Just watched Day Four. Woah. That . . . was balls out awesome. Unless things go totally screwbally in the next episode, the Torchwood production team and the actors should be swimming in BAFTA's, it's been that good. The writing has been excellent (OBE still coming, they're quite difficult to wrap), Euros Lyn's directing has been superb (the scene at the end of Day Three when Clem was hiding to the side of Gwen as The Man approached him and it was shot from Gwen's right so you could *just* see Clem peeking in terror, highlighting his childishness, like a child hiding behind Mummy's skirts. Inspired) and every one of the actors has brought their A game. (I haven't said it before, but I love the actress playing Ianto's sister, she's aces) And honestly, if Gareth David-Lloyd doesn't win SOMETHING for the last twenty minutes of Day Four, then I may just have to go postal on someone. He was fantastic. He had me a sobbing girly mess, but hey, I'm a Joss Whedon fan, I'm used to that. I lived through Joyce and Tara. I lived through Wesley. I LIVED THROUGH WASH. Ianto joins the list of characters I've been strangely happy to weep for. And that's a testament to Gareth's acting, his chemistry with John and Eve and the marvellous writing he's gotten over this and the last season.

Oh, Jones, Ianto Jones. I shall miss you.

TallulahBelle said...

Oh. And yes, foie gras is disgusting. I was thinking they were more like veal, but I also like your explanation. I may steal it.


Anonymous said...

I just want you to know I think it's been brilliant. Everyone involved -- the writers, the director, the actors -- deserve standing ovations, even if it is (or because it is) breaking my heart.

I am so sorry about the online drama. Please know that a lot of us in the fan community are pretty pained by it. When people accuse you and others of having contempt for the fans, it's really a slap in the face to everyone, including the rest of your audience and fanbase that doesn't think that way. I'd rant more, but you don't need to hear that either.

But seriously, I can see why everyone said the hardcore fans and the folks really just watching for Jack/Ianto would be happy with this. It's been utterly gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I've just seen on Gallifrey Base that the AI figure for your episode was 90!


Thoroughly well-deserved too - congratulations!

Matthew McIntyre said...

They didn't cover the recovery of the amazing small 300,000 but they have written a positive article about the 6.2m: Torchwood hits new heights.

I think we can reasonably guess that 6.2m have made an effort to see the first four parts at some point this week (catching up via iPlayer or similar for any they've missed) and that the word of mouth has been strong. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the iPlayer and timeshift figures keep growing because if this.

Becca Jane St Clair said...

I haven't yet seen any of the episodes, being stuck stateside this time around, but I've managed to get spoiled for 3 things (one each for Gwen, Jack, and Ianto) that I wish I hadn't found out thanks to Twitter and unlocked/un-cut LJ or blog entries. *sigh*

But, since I know the thing that people are up in arms about...Don't sweat it. If we (the fanbase) got over Owen & Tosh dying in one go, we can get over this. I even know lots of fans who said they weren't going to watch S3 because of Owen & Tosh and yet they are watching the episodes and contributing to the discussion, so I really wouldn't take any of the harsh comments seriously.

Jonathan Blum said...

Broadcast's take has shifted a bit...

Torchwood said...

You are a fiendish, hilarious, devious, genius, cunning bastard and I effing love you and RTD and John Fay. Children Of Earth has been absolutely amazing and if TW isn't recommisioned I will lead the march outside the BBC. Also, you and John need to return.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for tonight's episode. I have told all my clients to sod off and leave me alone today because I want to be able to chill out come 9pm in readiness for the awesome.

I think the ratings are going to explode, and rightly so. This has been the best series for a long time. So much brilliance packed into five episodes.

Torchwood cast and the writers are bloody wonderful.

(and I'm brandishing my rusty spoons ready in case we have any more fandom batwank raining down upon the glory.)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to show my support for you, your work, and everyone involved with this series. Everything has been top notch, writing, directing, acting... everything! All of the folks involved can be very, very proud of their work. I have sat on the edge of my seat and loved every minute thus far.

Am I sad? Yes. But I'm so, so sorry about what some folks have been saying and how some fans have been acting. I think you should know that it is most certainly not a universal attitude among fans. Many of us are cheering wildly through our tears for the awesome that is this Children of Earth.

Thank you for being a part of it.

Alex T said...

A couple of things in episode 4 really gave me shivers the like of which I haven't experieneced since I first sneeked in to see Alien aged 15. Firstly the shaky camera inside the 456' chamber, with odd glimpses of organic stuff through the swirling gas - took me straight back to the egg chamber in Alien. Part way through the meeting to discuss the 'units' I suddenly realised I was watching a modern version of the Wannsee conference with Nicholas Farrell's PM reminscent of Branagh's Heydrich in 'Conspiracy'. Bloody good work all round and I personally think the 5 consecutive nights format to be a vast improvement, it all feels very grown up all of a sudden.

Jude said...

What I really loved was the PM and ministers sitting round a table talking out the problem of giving the 456 the "units" without causing a public revolt, when the female starts asking to save her brothers kids as well.

Just WOW it really struck me that this is much closer to what the reality would be, not oval office, fist banging, never giving in to the enemy!

Really very chilling, cant wait to see what happens when the public find out tonight, can you imagine armed men turning up in your street at your door to take your babies!

*Jude locks door!*

Mark Clapham said...

James, you should set yourself a limit to the number of times you'll respond to the stick you've been getting, and make sure you stop then. It's all too easy to get into long drawn out internet arguments, and with some of the, ahem, extreme opinions being thrown around, it really isn't worth getting too involved. Say your piece, follow up once, then don't return to the topic. Seriously, the alternative is a gradual slide into madness.

After this latest ratings jump, I'm guessing it's a matter of time (and any talent negotiations) before season four gets announced. This has been a big, big hitter. Congratulations all!

Justine said...

Points up. All that and more. Best ever. Outstanding and terrifying and horrifying and sad and everything.

Fabulous wonderful job.

Bingethink said...

What online stuff happened?

And what exactly was supposed to be happening in the "foie gras" moment? (It didn't look very nice, whatever it was, but is there any explanation of what the 456 were doing there, or did you figure the specifics don't matter...?)

I have to say, I've been a Torchwood sceptic up till now, and gave up midway through previous series, but this "event" has me hooked. Terrific edge-of-the-seat storytelling. Congratulations.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so quite honestly, I'm dubious about how anything can possibly go well after the end of day four, given that I'm a sucker for happy endings and I don't see one headed my way. Also, the idea of a series four right now makes me very wary.

But, and this is a big but, that does not mean COE or any of the TW writers/producers etc deserve to be spammed by wailing angry fans.

I mean, I get the whole wailing angry thing. Really. But...damn, I've never cried that much for the death of a fictional character. Not Owen or Tosh or Tara or Wash or Fred Weasley or Albus freaking Dumbledore. And that tells me that it was a really good scene and a really good show. There would be no rabid fan response if the episode and the scene and the season had sucked, and while I quite honestly wish it hadn't happened, I am fully aware that that was a damn fine piece of television history.

Because honestly. People laugh about the Simpsons, and b-rate horror movies creep people out, but it takes something really big to make people cry.

Hm. I hope that sounded more supportive than it feels like it did...

Hollie said...

@jamesmoran I believe RTD said that part of this story was that western civilizations are not as 'civilized' as we think - in the real world there is always loss and faith and hope and redemption whether its 'fair' or not.

I can't quite find a way to put this into 140 words or less but the short version is "there are real world children, adults, heroes and villians facing loss, tragedy, suffering, love, joy, redemption and accomplishment" and life isn't fair. Nor is entertainment, art or whatever other much smarter word your brains can think of.

As I said before, the story, the art is brilliant. Thank you for contributing. I'd advise a few days away from the insanity. Internet drama is not real life and your glorious participation in the communication has been appreciated. Sometimes people need to be heard even if what they say is rubbish and i hope in the end you feel the drama, if it hurt you, was still somehow worth it.

We all have our real life dramas and they sometimes play out in the public forum for better or worse.

Boz said...

You poor fella - you've become a lightening rod for people's (some what over the top) distress!!

Awesome telly - your ep and the whole series. Marvellous! Just wanted to say I am thoroughly enjoying it.

Don't really understand some people's reactions, but I guess it's a tribute to the show that they care that much.

Mina said...

James, keep your chin up. Having followed Who from my itty bitty days and the reruns, new Who and Torchwood, I must say, I must commend all the actors, the writers, the creators and the directors for the absolute fabulous work they've done in Children of Earth.

The last 20 minutes of Day Four were profoundly moving and well written and amazingly acted, so bravo.

I do have to say, I did love your Jack/Ianto scene in Day Three - Bloody beans indeed.

Love it, wou;dn't change it for the world, mate.

Dim said...

Er..Mam? Didn't you read what James wrote under "Leave your comment"? Let me show you, it's right here:"Be careful with TV/movie spoilers, too, not everyone has seen everything, and I *hate* having the surprise ruined for me. Above all, as Wil Wheaton says: Don't be a dick."
Seriously, whatever your point, you're being a dick for not having the courtesy to play by the rules of the blog.

Anonymous said...

These last four days have been some of the best TV I can remember watching, and last night was utterly and completely gripping, with - as someone said above - clear echoes of the Wannsee conference. Best of all, it was so achingly, fiercely British - not London-centric or faux-American but touching on so many levels of national (separate national) myths and conflicts. Its confidence, its outstanding coherence and above all its complexity put it in a league of its own. Art, to be worth anything, has to matter and that did - on so many levels. I'm sorry to hear about the idiocy, but I don't think that's what anyone's going to remember about this week. It'll be more like "Why don't they write them like that any more?"

Anonymous said...

Okay, doing the delurking thing before I order a curry.

Last night’s episode was awesome but left me a blubbering mess (even if I found what happened emotionally draining, the writing, direction and acting was phenomenal). Outstanding teamwork to all involved in the episodes so far. Looking forward to tonight.

Now, looking for the reset button on my laptop and if that doesn’t work I’m going to close my eyes and envisage the closing credits over a shot of ‘someone’ inhaling deeply inside a body bag…..

Hey, my glass, half full, mate.

Well back to ordering the chicken chat. No forget that, the puppy’s trying to eat another stone in the pouring rain. Well I hope it’s a stone as she’s very partial to mummified poo… Now she’s got a shoe…

Anonymous said...

To be perfectly honest I think I've somehow avoided all the angry fans. I mean, I've come across angry fans, just not those that have gone out of their way to attack the show and it's writers.

Anyhow. I don't dispute the fact that you all have done an absolutely fantastic job with Children of Earth. These 4 episodes have been the greatest hours of television I've ever witnessed, and you've tugged at my heartstrings more than once.

Was I devastated by the loss of Ianto Jones? Absolutely. I'm a geek, I cried a good half hour. Even now, I still have brief moments, but that's a testament to the stellar storytelling and acting. I have to agree with another commentor, if you guys aren't swimming in BAFTAs, I may have to rally.

After the finale, if Ianto does not, *somehow* return, I won't continue to tune in to Torchwood. If such is the case, I just wanted to say how thoroughly I've enjoyed your episodes, and I wish you continued success in the future. You bloody well deserve it!

Now if you'll excuse me, this Canuck is going to sit patiently for the finale.

Sarah said...

I need to let you know that this girl in the US (me), loves you. I have read all the spoilers and I know what happens. Guess what? I DON'T CARE. Why? Because from what I can see, if people are getting so passionate about the writing of a TELEVISION SHOW, then the writers are doing something right. I love you.

aresnz said...

I just want you to know I think the writing and acting (John & name a couple) have been absolutely brilliant!! COE has accomplished what it set out to an epic miniseries.

While I'm heart broken over Ianto, I support all the writers and actors.
Be upset with RTD ..not the writers or anyone else.

I look forward to COE Day 5 and do hope there's a series 4.

goatsfoot said...

Thanks so much for this series mate - seen 4 eps and looking forward to 5th. You've all done a really great job with this - I felt TW suffered somewhat from a lack of a unified vision before but this is SO on the game for me.

Good on you for engaging with some of the fans. It's a pity some of 'em are blurring fiction and real-life in their reactions though. It's giving me a bit of a laugh though I'll admit. Meanwhile, ratings are over the top! w00t!

The way you've portrayed the Govt in this show takes my breath away - brilliant and savage analysis. Very unsettling. A great catalyst for debate & thought - I wish more television did this.

Anonymous said...

Although the end of last night's episode broke my heart, I am eagerly awaiting tonight's ep. You guys have done such an amazing job and should be so utterly proud of yourselves.
Yes, what happened hurt, but it was fantastic television, and life (as well as TV) is all about getting through those moments! So no matter how this ends, a massive three cheers for James, John and RTD!! (and then three more for John, Gareth, Eve, and Kai).

RachelC said...

Just caught up with Ep 4, just in time for Ep5. Loved the whole event, even the horrible sad bits. That's what good TV should do, immerse you in the story and make you care for these fictional characters. Looking forward to how it all wraps up.

Thanks very much for your insights into the creative process; I very interested in how you perceive the fans who have been a little too engaged and attacking you randomly so await for your post.

Alanna said...

Hi Mr. Moran,

I only recently stumbled across your blog/Twitter, and feel compelled to tell you that I'm a big fan of your writing - most recently, "Day Three" of Children of Earth. This series has been phenomenal.

The insanity that is the internet since last night's episode is perfectly understandable to me, but even though I'm shocked and deeply saddened that Ianto was killed, I don't share the extreme feelings that seem to be cropping up on Twitter, etc.

As someone who has held Ianto as my favourite character since series 1, and as someone who is a big fan of the Jack/Ianto relationship, I just want to extend that not all of us are so willing to cut our ties with Torchwood - I think we're hurt, we're depressed...and yes, angry (with respect to the writers, I don't get the logic behind killing Ianto so soon after Tosh and Owen's deaths) but we're still fans. Die-hard fans.

Long-winded as I've been, I guess this is just an attempt at bolstering any lost confidence in fandom. We're a crazy bunch, but we're not all completely loopy.

RachelC said...

that was hard to watch - in a good way. It gripped me all the way through and I was calling the characters (and the writers) all sorts of names. Brilliant TV to keep the engagement.

Here's hoping we get a new series, because I'd love to know what you do with them next.

Anonymous said...

I am in awe. I really am. I have not been disappointed with ONE little thing in this season, it was absolutely, fucking BRILLIANT.

So dark, so brutal, so beautiful.

I am hoping, so much for a 4th season although I will be interested to see how it can come about. Nothing is impossible, not with those writing skills.


Gizensha said...

Well that's a television drama rarity.

It made me feel physically sick.


I mean that.

I think only one episode of the five was something I didn't think was worthy of 10/10, and that was Day 2 with 9/10.

Gizensha said...

(Oh, as for Broadcast, I think they used to get interns to write the ratings column, since they didn't think the ratings column mattered and it gives interns actual writing experience. They may or may not still do that. Granted, that might have been baseless speculation over on the Outpost Gallifrey ratings threads a couple of years ago)

Book Maven said...

I'm sorry but I'm very unhappy with episode 5.

Not James's fault in any way but what happened to Frobisher was unbearable, particularly since he doesn't seem to have borne any responsibility for 1965 - how could he.

And what was done to and by Jack was too much. And I guess that's the end. Yesterday's left me wrung out but excited, today's just very depressed.

Esther said...

COE made me cry and laugh, sometimes both. You've reached over the boundaries and beyond. Kudos to the cast, the writers and the BBC.

It was a great adventure!

Jeff said...

I was worried about the last episode being a wash out, as happens in a lot of Who episodes (I thought last Years Who Christmas Special had a real stinker of a plot - Sorry!)

Torchwood however stayed the course and the issue of sacrifice of one for millions was one of the most stunning things i've ever seen in a BBC drama.

But I am worried. This series seems like a permanent full stop on the entire show, and the lack of advertising and hype for the show seemd to spell disaster for any further adventures for the TW team. The BBC seemed to have it in for Torchwood, as if they *DONT* want another series the size and complexity of Doctor Who bringing in the viewers.

Although RTD says series 4 is ready to go, 60% of the team is gone, the hub is gone, Jack's done a runner and Gwen is up the duff! Whats left? How can you rebuild TW from this?

But all the negatives aside, these five episodes have been refreshing and a testament to the creative team behind Sci-Fi on the BBC. I do hope the BBC see sense and make Torchwood a permanent fixture on the yearly schedule for BBC1 as anything less will be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Anyway, a brilliant job. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Well if that was the end of Torchwood, what a way to go! Everything about this series has been head and shoulders above what came before. The story, the pace, the acting, the one-liners, everything.

Thank you!

Antonia said...

Fab episode. Loved the whole series.

I don't think gay/straight or whatever, should be an issue regarding what happens to people.

And People is the operative word. Why focus on sexual orientation? That's what separates, instead of unites.

Anonymous said...


That was a well written, well acted, well designed, nihlistic piece of misery.

I don't think I've ever seen something so bleak or cruel in media in my life.

I also find it very difficult to imagine how you can claim that this wasn't engineered to be hurtful - everyone involved with Torchwood was very aware that it was the characters people came to see, were attatched to and what made Torchwood good for people to watch (frankly, episodes in terms of story, were uneven). Every single character, with the exception of Gwen and Rhys, that was introduced - and we were encoraged to care about - was killed or horribly, horribly treated. Jack's cute grandkid? His daughter? Ianto's family? Ianto himself? Jack?

Really, you're right you (as in writers in general, not just you spesifcially) have a responsibilty to tell a good story but as a storyteller you also engage in a relationship of trust with your listeners. You ask us to be emotionally invested and we expect to be rewarded for that, not punished.

You talk about the ultimate responsibility is to the story? Well, I can say if those are the stories you're talking about, I'm not going to be reading them.

R Strong said...

This is how you bring it back: "Have Jack travel around the universe for a few fictional years, have Gwen's kid be slightly more grown up, they meet again, Lois Habiba is drawn back in, and with Jack's 'disappearance' he's got more backstory they could keep mysterious for a bit."

With that said this Torchwood mini-series is exactly the sort of science-fiction that should be on British TV. I hope Steven Moffat can bring the same sort of energy and creativity into the next series of Doctor Who.

I'm a 23 year old writer who is still honing the craft of screenwriting but it inspires me that the BBC is producing this sort of quality TV. It's exactly the sort of creative environment that I hope (and will) work in myself.

Sulla said...

Wow! What an incredible ending - seat-gripping, horrifying and tear-jerking all at the same time.

I have been incredeibly impressed with the quality of the writing, acting and directing of this mini-series - well done Mr Moran, to you & all your colleagues!, sadly, it's looking like my prediction on yesterday's blog was correct - this had very much a "Finale" feel about it for the entire programme. (I can see what John B meant by feeling 'punished' now!). Difficult to see how any pieces could be picked up for a new series.

At least the show has quit at the very top of its game.

Incredible stuff. British TV at its absolute best.

R Strong said...

"That was a well written, well acted, well designed, nihlistic piece of misery."

I know! Wasn't it brilliant?

I hope we see more eventually.

Antonia said...

"That was a well written, well acted, well designed, nihlistic piece of misery."

Agreed. It's sometimes, what makes fabulous dramatic tv.

Andrew said...

bloody hell mate that was a great 5 nights of tv.

It's fantastic that TPTB occasionally let us have something intelligent to watch.

Do try to ignore the mentals, there's only a few of them and they'll go back to their knitting and cats soon.

BaldySlaphead said...

Overall, jaw-droppingly good television. Unbelievably harsh, difficult to watch, genuinely adult...

...and very satisfying, if shocking.


Anonymous said...

I hope this doesn't post twice because my internet is playing up!

Wow! What an amazing series!Amazing, edge of your seat, breath taking drama. Exactly how TV should be!
But I don't know how it can go on from here. I hope this isn't the end, I really do but I wouldn't want to be the writer trying to pick up the pieces. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the move to BBC 1 doesn't kill of such a fantastic and much loved show especially now you've all proven just how good Torchwood can be. This show has brought so many people together.
If this is where Torchwood ends then it ends with a great series.
A real rollercoaster ride of emotions! I loved every second!

P.S. Thank you for letting us post our thoughts. Would you be able to pass on our comments to the other writers / cast /crew?

Shannon said...

There are two impulses at work here. One, the more rational, analytical part of me says that this was amazing, astounding television. Beautifully written, beautifully performed. Note perfect in every way. But the little kid in me who can curl up with a book and get so immersed in a story that I don't notice time passing and come out feeling like the characters are my friends? Broken. Absolutely devastated.

Being a writer myself I know there is a little part of you (maybe not so little) that loves to hear this sort of thing, because you know it means you touched your audience in a very deep and profound way. Doesn't make it any better as a viewer, of course.

Jack is one of the most tragic figures I can think of. My heart breaks for him as much as it did for Ianto, if for different reasons. I don't see how a fourth season can come out of this, at least not one I'd be willing to watch. I hope I'm wrong, but...we'll see.

I'm sorry people have been so hateful. Emotions are running high, and all the TW communities I am part of are full of extremely upset people. Please try to remember that for the most part, even those of us who think we might not ever be able to watch Torchwood again are not represented by those folks. I hear Russell T Davies is going to be at a convention in a couple of weeks. As unhappy as I am about how completely he's devastated this thing that I loved so much, I...kind of feel sorry for him. It's not going to be pretty, because only the most hardcore go out to conventions.

Congratulations to you and your fellow writers on a truly masterful achievement. I just wish it hadn't broken me so completely.

Anonymous said...

II haven't seen ep 5 yet, but agree so far with the overwhelmingly positive feedback you've had about the quality of the story, the acting, the writing and direction. In many ways, this is what I hoped Torchwood could always be.

I also feel that hostility directed toward you is inexcusable, and would repeat what rm said above: it doesn't represent all of fandom; some of us are capable of reasoned discussion about this, even though -- because we feel passionately about the show.

That said: I honestly don't know if I can watch Torchwood in the future. After a story that makes us ask hard questions about the "expendability" of human life, and the value some people place on some lives over others, I have a difficult time with the ready disposal of characters carefully crafted over time, who are the chief reason most of us watch. And a terrible suspicion that the wrong conclusions may be drawn from the show's deservedly stellar ratings.

Lioness said...

I guess I should have expected another Greek tragedy after Cyberwoman. Now Jack Harkness is meat for the Furies. I almost pity him.

aresnz said...

I just finished watching and I've yet to stop crying. How many sacrifices must one man make; i.e., JACK??? Very disturbing story. John was so right when he said Day 5 can very well be considered a finale to Torchwood.

However..COE was absolutely, positively BRILLIANT. Congratulations to all the writers and cast. Especially John, Gareth (who deserve award nominations), Eve, Rhys, Peter. COE deserves so many awards I cannot count.

While it was so heart wrenching, sad, upsetting, and was theatre, an epic series that truly captures our imaginations. The meetings in the PM's office, probably so very true and again, most disturbing.

James, you and all the writers can take a bow and be so very proud of what you've all accomplished. I stand now and applaud all the writers and actors.

NOW, however,if there is to be a series four, those storylines had better be damn good. OR .... there will be a mutiny.

Well done everyone, well done.

Sulla said...

Reading the various net comments, one point has struck me. Leaving aside Ianto's death, one of the most recurring topics has been "Where's the Doctor while all this is happening?"

I thought it was interesting & very perceptive of the writers that Episode 5 opened with Gwen asking exactly the same question!

I think the writers are far more in tune with the fanbase than the fans think.

For example - Ianto's death.
It was fairly clear from tonight's episode that this is The End for Torchwood. The cast are either dead, on maternity leave or off exploring the wider universe. "Torchwood" as a series is clearly over.

If TW was to continue into a 4th series without Ianto, then yes, the show would have lost an important element. BUT oif the show is destined to end with this mini-series, then Ianto's death is actually a superb piece of plotting. It gives closure to an episode which, had the programme ended with Ianto still alive, would have been seen as unfinished business.

nariB said...

Just watched Day 5 you guys did an amazing job with this series, I was totally hooked from Day One, honestly gobsmacked at how good it was. Little standing ovation (I'm Irish we never hit rapturous applause as we are too easily distracted by bright shiny objects) Possibly not the most meaningful comment but you know needed to throw my two cents in.

Jill R said...

James that was one awesome piece of television. I couldn't move while watching it, even though I was watching a recording. In the last ten years there are only two other TV series that have made me do that, State Of Play and The Second Coming. I agree with those who say everyone involved in this series should be swimming in BAFTAs.

Anonymous said...

It was a brilliantly conceived and brilliantly executed piece of television, and kudos to the writers, the actors, the directors, and everyone else involved.

But it does feel like the death knell for Torchwood, simply because I can't even begin to conceive of where it would go. That was our team. Jack, Ianto, Owen, Tosh, and Gwen. And at the end of Exit Wounds -- and I loved Tosh and Owen, and I cried for days -- it was still conceivable that they could carry on, but *now*?

And it feels a little bit like a death knell for Jack, too. As a character. How on earth do you bring him back from that, from what he's lost and from what he's *done*? At least now I understand why JB was worried that we'd all hate him. And to think we were thinking that it was because of what Jack did in 1965. What Jack did tonight made 1965 look like fluffy bunny rabbits.

Anonymous said...

gurl, that was so not what I was wanting from season 3 :(
Even that pansy Frobisher got a better death scene...poor Ianto just got bad angles and no love. maybe I'll be able to lol at the pointlessness later. brb going to find me some fanfic and pretend none of this happened and that we did actually know Ianto. when will peeps learn that crying at seeing tw characters ded does not completely equal good writing? didnt we get enough grief last season? urg this season was so mean to fans.

Morgan said...
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Alexandria said...

My eyes are swollen with the amount I've cried in this series, but I don't think I've ever been happier with the quality Torchwood has presented. It has been beautifully acted, wonderfully written, and included some fantastic direction.

I really hope this isn't the end of Torchwood as we know it. This series has been exemplary, and I'd love to see the stories of Gwen, Jack, Rhys, (and Ianto? aha. D:) continue!

Chrissy said...

This was brilliant. I am so happy with how it ended!

Anonymous said...

The problem here is that you've (everyone) made Torchwood look like a joke. Harkness was weak and ineffective. He couldn't even save his lover. Yes, he might have saved the world at the end but he got lucky.

You've might have written a top job mini series with top rating but you destroyed the show.

Morgan said...
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Hollie said...

My comment is actually a question.

Do you see the 'fans' as different distinct groups of people? Ie, those that are so 'into' the show that they write fan fiction, go to conventions, make youtube clips and other slightly obsessive behavior and those that find a tv series interesting, able to distance themselves from the fictional story and 'enjoy the ride?'

I kind of feel like Children of Earth took Torchwood from being a cult hit like "pitch black" or "Clerks" or "Secretary" and turned it into an Oscar winner with Charlize Theron that leaves you saddened, intellectually stretched and overall just tired.

So it went from a Fun show to watch to something award winning and Dramatic but a show we 'should' watch because its art.

RoseDoctorForever said...

I'm stunned. Episode 5 was so intense that I was on the edge of my seat half the time. The other half I was jumping off my chair in fright and covering my eyes. Not to mention, I cried through most of it. That is the mark of some fabulous writing.

Everything with the children was truly horrific: Dragged from their homes, ushered from their teachers, running away. It was very apocalyptic.

Spears ended up being pretty awesome - I didn't see that coming.

I can't even think about Steven or Alice without tearing up. What an absolutely awful choice for Jack to half to make. His own grandson, or millions of children. He made the right choice but I watched that scene by peeking through my fingers... As I sobbed. What supurb acting from all involved. Alice 's performance was especially moving.

As sad as it is that so much of Torchwood Cardiff was lost, I can't help be draw parallels between Jack and the Doctor at the end of this episode. Jack reminds me of how I imagined the ninth doctor must have been before he met Rose. Now, like the Doctor, Jack is alone and trying to run from his pain.

Bottom line, this was brilliantly written and it brought me to tears. Something TW has never been able to do for me before. Kudos to all of the writers. You have all done a fantastic job

rob said...


Absolutely incredible stuff. So stirring, so bleak, so unforgiving and emotionally draining. I haven't seen anything like it in years. A milestone for drama, not just British television science fiction.

As young Mr Grace might say "You've all done very well."

Don't let anyone tell you any different.



clarelouiseallen said...

I sincerly hope that was the last of TW - it was frankly brilliant, though I counldn't watch anything that emotionally straining over such an extended period again! You good sir have the honor of writing the last ep of TW that made me happy I watched it and I thank you

I also thank you in amongst all the 'he's dead' shouting for giving us the best of Ianto, he was hilarious. I think you've actullay assisted the Janto fandom far more than you are being given credit for, certainly here - BBCA blogs, contact lenses... :)

I do have a question - I don't understand why the writers, working as a team with this, decided it made sense to kill Ianto at the end of day 4 rather than in day 5. Neither I nor my - not really a fan - boyfriend could really find the room to care about the subsequent deaths, because the worst had happened, therefore making day 5 a little less good. I wonder if the logic could be explained cos I'm a bit thick! Also I'm presuming it was discussed in the meetings, I know you didn't write it.

I hope that question came out ok, I'm pretty devastated still (I am one of those crazy fans after all!). I'm not having a go, I genuinely want to know, if you know and if it's not a clandestine secret :)

Jude said...

Well that was a magical 5 nights of TV, I would like to thank you and the other writers, I wish every week was like last week. (BBC budget...what do you think? lol)

Last night I cried so much, the children being taken was very upsetting and done brilliantly. I thought Gwen's piece to camera was perfect, captured the hopelessness and horror of it all (very Blairwitch).

I know others don't agree but I thought Jack using his grandchild was a master stroke. Horrifying yes, and his daughter was just unreal, could hardly see through the tears. It showed just how alien Jack really is, I don't know if that was the plan but thats what I got, a character with many sides, a lot of them dark.

It seemed clear from the ending that it was filmed so this could be the last one with no questions left but I hope dearly it's not.

I would like to see Captain Jack in the next Dr Who, the Dr could bring him back to humanity, probably the only person who could. Then reunite him with Gwen who will have tried to re-start torchwood on her own with the help of characters from this series.

If it is Torchwood's swan song I will miss it deeply but what a hell of a way to go.

Thank you and everyone else for a fantastic story.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to ask - what happened to the SUV after it was stolen? I was hoping we might see it again.

Well done again for Children of Earth. I hope Gareth John and Eve get awards for their fantastic acting - John was so heartbreaking to watch in the final episode, Eve had me in tears with her end of the world video and Gareth acted his socks off up until and in Day 4.
I also hope you and the other writers get recognition for your incredible scripts.

Thanks again for reading everyone's comments.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to you, sir, and everyone involved with Children of Earth. Fabulous SF, fabulous storytelling. As for the fannish vitriol, I despair. I hope the many, many voices of appreciation and admiration of what the team has achieved manages to drown out the boorishness of fans who should know better. I look forward to whatever you decide to do next.

Jude said...

After posting I read through some other posts so decided to add this.

I've been a fan of Dr Who since I was old enough to hide behind the sofa, big fan of the new generation of Dr Who and every time the Dr or the assistant (still miss you Rose!) changes I worry I'm not going to take to new cast, then 20 mins in I'm hooked on them already.

While Captain Jack is central to Torchwood and it wouldn't work without him, no one else in my opinion is. We would quickly fall in love with a new cast because thats the skill of the writers.

Just my opinion, please don't have a go lol

hello_starling said...

that was am amazing series! so intense in so many ways. I'm so curious to know where/how/when the next season would go (Capt Jack in Space? Gwen in Cardiff? sometime thousands of years into the future?) Thanks for all the insight and tidbits that you've been sharing this week!

Matthew McIntyre said...

I thought the whole series was pretty wonderful - although, for me, the bleakness was so extreme in the final part that it made things less effective than they had been in part four, only slightly though. That could easily be a defensive reaction on my part though (not wanting to believe that things are so horrible).

I've been critical of the small number of fans who've responded with the "how dare you!" blame the writers reactions, but I do feel some sympathy for them. This feels like a "Dylan goes electric" moment where the nature of an ongoing piece of art fundamentally changes. It can be extremely disorientating, especially as large part of fandom is wanting more of the same - they thing that made you a fan in the first place.

I've always thought, though, that's better to change than to get stale and you should follow your creative instincts. The new direction is brilliant, even if it is very different to what came before. To suggest that you did it out of hatred for any group of fans is obviously nonsense. Hopefully, it's just an instant reaction, though, and people will think things through a bit over the next few days.

I hope the series caries on. Mainly because ending on such a note of despair is somehow too easy. Humanity carries on after its darkest moments. Russell said that his inspiration was things like Rwanda and the idea that they couldn't happen here. All of you have superbly explored that idea. After Rwanda and Cambodia and the Holocaust, though, we carried on and tried to make the world work again. That seems to me to be a brilliant starting point for the next series - and I really hope it comes to pass.

Even if it doesn't, really well done to all involved.

Alison said...

That was possibly the best TV drama I've ever seen. I'm an emotional wreck. Please convey my absolute applause to everyone involved.

As a fan I feel physically sick about what happened to the characters I love, and being me, it was a bit too painful for my taste, but I'm sure I'll be right as rain following a nice mug of cocoa.

Is now a good time for Torchwood the musical?

I hope the success of CoE brings you all the creative freedom you so deserve. And I hope the residing impression of fan reaction is positive.

Lots of love (and eagerly waiting for more of your stuff),

Alison W.

Dozeymagz said...

Brilliant, epic and just downright awesome.

I've loved the show from the start but this was just on a whole new and outstanding level.

Thanks to all involved.

Lisa said...

James, to you and all that worked on this wonderful fiver-parter a big thank you! Quality writing, acting, everything. It's not everyday a piece of writing can make one sit and think, shit, if this were really happening those i charge would almost certainly sell their grandmothers got get themselves out of trouble.

We need more television like this -something that makes people talk, makes people actually look forward to a programme coming on. It really was a television 'event'.


glorafin said...

After seeing the whole thing, I can say that it makes sense for the series to end the way it did. There was a point in all this senseless killing and destruction, albeit one that made most TW fans miserable.

What I'd really want to know now is if there was really plans for a 4th series, because it all looks like a scenaristic dead end. If Torchwood is to rise again, I'm afraid it'll be as a totally different show.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to add my note about how utterly brilliant that was, TV that good doesn't come along very often. I loved it, even though as a parent I found episode 5 highly uncomfortable viewing.

And my tuppenceworth on whether the series will come back, I think it will, as Gwen said to Jack "You can't run away," and I think Jack is going to find that's true.

Indigo said...

Very painful, and yes -I watched with a group and friends and a lot of cake, and we'd all been so excited beforehand but when the credits rolled we found ourselves sat in silence, at a loss, and somewhat depressed. It does feel like the end.

Personally I thought Day 4 was better than 5 - agree with whoever said that Ianto's death in 4 made 5 less awful in a way, since the worst had happened. Though I see why the order was necessary, with Jack's decision to use his grandson. Horrific, by the way; as one the whole room of us pressed our hands over our mouths and could hardly look.

Can't see how series 4 could come after all this, unless you came at it from a completely different angle - my friend suggested 'Torchwood 4' - you know, the one that 'went missing' could be the premise for a new series. But we'd need Jack and Gwen back eventually (if only because I secretly ship them like crazy -second only to Ten/Rose- sorry everyone. Oh! And what happened to all the series 1 & 2 Gwen/Jack in this series? I know obviously you had to focus on Ianto, but after "Adam"'s 'I love him... but not like I love you' from Gwen, I was hoping for *something*! The last thing I wanted was to actually warm to Rhys, which I'm afraid I did - having predicted his death in tones of doom since about episode one).

Also agree with whoever said that only the Doctor could save Jack, where he is at the moment. What people forget is that Jack didn't start off a hero, and that he's run away before. But if we're going to have Jack in DW again, please let's have some character consistency - it'd be quite annoying if he was chirpy, flirty 'DW Jack' the next time we saw him, after all this.

I sound so depressed, haha. But you probably know what a huge compliment that is. This whole week has been a masterpiece, and I don't know what else I could say.

Marjorie said...

Congratulations! I'm not easily moved by TV/Films but I was by TWCoE. I have some niggles - where was the discussion about developing a synthetic 'drug' for the 456? Why wasn't the help of TW sought earlier? Was Lois 'just' a temp or was she planted by someone? Why did the government give in *quite* so easily? ,Why did Jack do so little when he was let in to speak to the 456?, but none of these questions came up until *after* I'd viewed it.

I do hope that this is not the end of Torchwood.

I want to believe that the Hub was rebuilt, before Jack left, and that Gwen (who did pretty well at running things when Jack was away last time) has recruited Lois, and one or two others, (maybe Martha Jones) and is rebuilding things.

I want to belive that Jack will be back, after trying to exorsise his demons.

I would like to believe that we might see more of Ianto, but sadly I don't.

I want to say thank you to the writers.

Shannon said...

One more comment from me. I've heard quite a few people saying that they hope there's a fourth season, and for awhile I didn't really have an opinion on that except to think that without Ianto I wasn't sure I'd be able to watch it if there was. Now I'm kind of hoping there isn't a fourth season. Because I can't see a way back to it for Jack that won't cheapen what he went through in Children of Earth. And for me personally, Jack IS Torchwood, so saying it can start up with new characters, or new characters with Gwen, just isn't acceptable either. Not for me, personally.

I think Ianto's death destroyed the last illusion Jack might have had that he might be able to have any semblance of a normal life. He didn't have many illusions to start with, but with Torchwood he'd found some measure of contentment. Ianto believed in him and stood beside him despite everything, to the end, and for that he died.

At this point, I'm realizing that while I'm sad for Ianto, I'm absolutely devastated for Jack, who has lost everything and has no hope of escape, ever. I mean, even the Doctor can die, eventually.

All this is down to the brilliance of the writing, and for that I congratulate you and your fellow writers. You truly have done something to be proud of here, because I'm starting to get annoyed with myself for being so deeply affected by a fictional character. It's also down to John Barrowman and his masterful portrayal of Jack in CoE. I hope that there is some way that you can convey to him how deeply impressed so many of us are with his performance.

Anonymous said...

Torchwood Children of Earth has been awesome; fantastic drama and seriously thought provoking. Thanks

Shannon said...

I don't suppose there's any chance you'd tell us what the other versions of the ending were, is there?

Anonymous said...

I loved it, absolutely loved every fucking second of it. I laughed, I cried, I bit my lip so hard it started bleeding... After Day Two I publicly announced on Twitter that I had broken up with X-Files for Torchwood. That was a huge step for me but I'd pretty much been two timing it for a few years.

Right now I feel like I'm jazzed on children, I have that much hope.

I think CoE ended exactly as it should have. If I had killed my own grandson and caused my daughter that much anguish, I would bloody well be running away from my pain and guilt, too.

I've noticed that in Torchwood Jack only drinks alcohol when he's really upset (Estelle, the real Captain Jack), otherwise he has water. This to me suggests a former alcohol problem (he was like John Hart, right?). After something of this magnitude, I would imagine that he would spiral back into alcoholism or something.

Hopefully he runs into John in space, now the more stable one and that he beats some sense into him, and drags him back. That was the silver lining of Ianto's death for me... it gives my Jack/John ship a chance :D

Bring in Lois, Mickey, Martha and Andy. Andy should just be in every scene, he is just that awesome. I actually clap and cheer when he comes onscreen.

I don't actually know what I'm on about, I'm just letting words fly out of my fingers. Hmmm, I'll stop now.

Oh, two more things. My poor Myfanwy, please tell me she was out hunting sheep in the countryside.

...and Gray, well, I'm assuming he's all exploded. I guess that solves Jack's problem of what to do with him? I was really hoping he'd wake up and terrorise them again. He was brilliant.

P.S. My Ten action figure is spending the night in the freezer, as punishment for leaving Earth to deal with this alone :D

goatsfoot said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
goatsfoot said...

Bloody awesome, all of it. And I'd tell you if it wasn't.

JustStoppingBy said...

I just wanted to say, what an increidble piece of drama you all produced. I honestly haven't been so thrilled, crushed, excited, devastated and basically reduced to a stunned silence ever by a television show - movies yes, tv never.

Day Three was sweet at times and horrifying at others. "It was easier if you didn't know the names" will stick with me for a while. I can't wait to see what my friends over here think of it when it airs on BBCA. It'll be interesting to see how it's received by the non-DW audience. It really is something you wouldn't see on American tv, and we love things we haven't seen before. :)I'm going to have to keep my mouth sealed shut so I don't ruin a moment for my friends.

THANK YOU so much for taking part in creating something that brilliant. I look forward to more of your work in the future!

Anonymous said...

In the wake of the CoE finale, I just wanted to de-lurk (LOVE the blog by the way) and say a huge congratulations to you and everyone involved for creating one of the most stunning brilliant pieces of television I’ll ever be lucky enough to see. I’ve been a fan of Torchwood since the very beginning, so figured I’d love this no matter what, but I wasn’t prepared for quite how much better than the hype it turned out to be. I laughed, cheered, gasped, shrieked, watched the second half of your ep from behind a cushion, and most of all, bawled my eyes out for hours on end. If there’s any justice this’ll get a landslide of awards…

It’s also the single most devastating piece of fiction I’ve ever encountered; I’m quite genuinely utterly, utterly heartbroken by it. And yes, my big person’s head is telling me not to be ridiculous, it’s only a TV show, but in the end I can’t really pay you a bigger compliment than that, because you made it THAT real for me. Can someone please fix my poor, broken, Big Damn Hero of a Captain now though, if that’s okay? (And a special mention has to go to JB for his mesmerizing performance of what must be the most tragically heroic figure ever created.)

Anyway, much love to you and all the team for being so unutterably brilliant and talented, and for being brave enough to take the chance on doing this. Just, y’know, Season Four please. Now. Cos I can’t have it end forever like that! As for the – probably fairly inevitable – fan meltdown; not criticising anyone, but I kinda hoped people would have a bit more faith in a show they love. It hurt more than I ever thought possible, but I just don’t understand the “there’s no way back from this” mentality. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion; I just don’t follow the logic of it. It’s sci-fi, anything’s possible! I trust the team behind this show – and its collective ability to take things forward to somewhere else equally stunning in the future – far too much to give up just because this series broke me into pieces. As long as there’s Jack, I’ll be there… And I sincerely hope you’ll grace us with your incredible talent again if we do get another series, cos we’re damned lucky to have you on board. In short, you all rock! Maybe something just a touch cheerier next time though? ;o)

Right, I’m off to continue being an emotional wreck and watch all five eps back to back.

x said...

Just wanted to say that this is easily the most impressive piece of television I have ever seen. Watching it was agonising, painful and gut-wrenching - and utterly brilliant. Keep it up, please! :D

Anonymous said...

A week of brilliance - thank you everyone. Beautifully written and stunning acting. It's easy to assume John can't act because a) he's ridiculously beautiful and b) he shares that easy flirtatious charm with Jack - but boy did he pull out the stops. Really hoping there will be a series four...
Thank you all.

Anonymous said...

I watched the last three episodes in one giant fan gorge last night and hyperbole aside, I was blown away.

I totally agree with Lucy - the portrayal of the governemnt was sick, and I fear, most likey acccurate (I mean that with no offence to anyone connected to the government).

I have to say that the part that packed the biggest punch for me was when we realised 456's motives and what EXACTLY they wanted the children for. That was genius. I hope Torchwood can scopp up some nice shiny rewards for this - they totally deserve it. And I can't wait for the next series!

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you've had to put up with a backlash - that's just truly awful.

I thought Children of Earth was a stunning hard hitting piece of sci-fi drama. Well written (your episode was an absolute masterpiece of tension building and creeped me out completely (and I mean that as a compliment!))and superbly acted (especially Peter Capaldi) and directed piece of television. But to me it didn't quite feel like Torchwood - it was more State of Play with aliens. The emphasis shift from team Torchwood to the government and their sinister machinations meant that Team Torchwood sometimes felt a bit like cameo players at times in their own universe.

Mostly I'm just intrigued as to how Torchwood could possibly continue now. The show was fantastic but far too bleak and dark. Jack has lost absolutely everything - brother (who got blown up in the Hub), lover, daughter and grandson - how do you get him back from that to marching jauntily around Cardiff, cracking wise and fighting aliens? The character of Ianto Jones was phenomenally popular. I watch for the characters and Ianto and the Jack/Ianto relationship was a huge part of my emotional investment in the show - without that its going to be difficult for me to remain engaged. I fear by the time another series airs the fandom who are for the most part fairly devastated by how the series has gone will have moved on to something else. I just don't see how you could do another series of Torchwood with Jack, Gwen and newbies - too much of what made the show has been destroyed. Now a radically different approach - say a series looking at Torchwood through different eras with Jack the only constant - that I would watch but another series of Torchwood in a similar format without 3 of the original cast - just doesn't appeal.

LaCroix said...

If I may. With what happens on Torchwood and Jack is supposed to make an apperance on Doctor Who. Do you see any backlash at all ratings wise?

Thank you

Sofia said...

Just finished watching day 5 and the whole thing was amazing. You guys did a fantastic job - you evil bastards :)

5 reasons I loved CoE (because I like things just a bit twisted):
- John Frobisher (magnificent!)
- 'Units' of children
- the Ep4 shock twist (poor baby)
- the 456's unconventional choice of mind-altering substance-of-choice
- Jack - you rock my world - and they totally fucked you up - and I loved them to bits for it.

Anonymous said...

hey james moran.

thank you to you and all other writers/producers/directer etc who made season three such a mind blowing experience. Still holding onto the hope that there might be a resurection for out fav tea boy in season 4? something really cool and original? please? Can i ask whether you know whos decision it was in the end cause just have to say that took major balls. Gareth Is such an amazing actor and im so sad to see him go. I thought with all the lead up in the first 3 episodes regarding the janto relationship it might be leading up to something special. boy was it special but not really in the way I was hoping. But none the less i have to say it was all bloody brilliant even when it was heart wrenchly sad. and isnt that a mark of great televison. My hat off to the whole torchwood team.

Anonymous said...

Adding my voice to those saying that this series has been an amazing drama, not just amazing sci-fi, and everyone involved should be proud of it.

Sorry you've been caught by the wave of fan anger and grief - I hope it doesn't stop you putting yourself out there to interact with the fans in the future.

Mel said...

Last week, I watched an episode of the original series of Star Trek called 'A Taste of Armageddon'. The whole time I was in awe over how utterly original it was. They effectively overhauled and reinvented the concept of War in 45 minutes. For days I was walking around lamenting the fact that no modern series seems to have the intellect or the willingness to write breathtakingly smart, original sci-fi stories nowadays. I kept telling people over and over, "they just don't make 'em like that anymore".

When the 456 revealed exactly what they wanted the children for, I took it all back.

HUGE congratulations Mr Moran. Seriously. What you guys did was pretty damn spectacular.

Re. Ianto... did I want him to die? No. Did he *need* to die for the story to work? Probably not. Does it make any sense whatsoever to kill one of the only three remaining leads, so soon after controversially killing two others, effectively reducing the TW 'team' to nothing? No. Did it make for amazing television and an incredibly heartwrenching moment? Hell yes. But, will that moment be worth it in the long run when you come back for s4 without him? Most likely not. (bear with me)

Because, lets face it, everything I just outlined... that's not something that tv shows are *meant* to *do*. Killing off arguably the most popular character after already loosing two leads, and doing it towards the end of episode four in a little room before the grand finale has even *begun*. Writers just don't DO that. Tv shows in general... don't do that.

BUT. You know what does 'do that'?

REAL frakking LIFE.

In real life, people die in small rooms before the fight has even begun. Yes, even the nice, popular lover of the dashing hero. Because real life doesn't discriminate between supporting characters and leads. Real life doesn't always let the nice guys live to see the final stand and watch the evil being defeated. So what you guys did, was sacrifice even the most standard, established conventions of popular television for the sake of keeping the story unwaveringly, unflinchingly real.

I literally cant convey how much respect I have for you for that.

Yes the decision made no long term sense from a show point of view, beyond creating a hearbreaking moment. But I think most people had such a violent reaction because we're not used to being confronted with an on-screen reality totally devoid of tv gloss. People whined that it was only in ep 4, that it was a bad death because he didn't go out a hero, that it wasn't big enough etc etc. Life is not a Bruce Willis movie. It just doesn't work like that. And yet we've been so conditioned to think that tv should.

I've always thought RTD is a genius. I can count on one hand the times over the past few years that I thought his work was less than absolutely stellar. But man has COE sealed that for me. I cant think of another showrunner (with the exception of Joss Whedon) who would have had the balls to do what he, and you guys, did.

So yes, I ADORED Children of Earth. Not only was it some of the most suspenseful, scary, funny, courageous, heartbreaking, action packed, phenomenally written and stunningly acted tv i've seen in years... but it was also fiercely intelligent. And damn it had heart. All the while breaking every rule in the book.

So congrats Mr Moran. Take a much deserved bow :) xx

Anonymous said...

@Mel This. This is how it felt. Real.

And that is the best possible thing they could have done.

Kerrianne said...

I think I can say that objectively, had I never watched Torchwood before, I would have been very entertained with Children of Earth. I can definitely see why it got good ratings. However, I feel like ratings were obtained in a trade for what was compelling about the show in the first place.

I think it used to be something different, maybe less mainstream, and that's why. This series was bleak and tragic...but also, in very cliched ways. Yes, sacrifice, we get it, it's tough. But hell, didn't we just do character death with Owen and Tosh? Weren't there any other ideas? It was objectively entertaining, but that doesn't equate to original.

Killing off Ianto was...unfortunate. A beautifully written and beautifully acted scene, but utterly heartbreaking. And yes, if Ianto is truly gone, I can't continue watching the show anymore. And that isn't pouting because I lost my favorite toy, it's because the show just lost what appealed to me in the first place, through Ianto's character, and the relationship between Jack & Ianto.

Speaking of the relationship between Jack and Ianto...I think we all know that it inevitably ends in Ianto dying, and Jack continuing on. But there was so much more that could have been done that was complex and difficult and heart-wrenching about a relationship between a regular man and an immortal out of his own time. I think you guys kind of got was visible in this series, but rushed and cut short. It's a shame, as there was much more to be done.

And as the show became more of a mainstream commercial force, I can't help but notice that the only happy ending was for heterosexual Gwen, with her husband and her baby, representing the stereotypical family. And that the whole premise kind of seemed like a way to just get Jack back on Doctor Who.

And while, obviously, you have no obligation to the fans to please them and pander to guys had to realize that this sort of reaction was coming, right? We were emotionally invested in a relationship, in these characters, and it was all ripped apart. And while you say it wasn't content for the can understand why it feels like content for the fans, right?

Though I suppose the commercial success may make up for the loss of a large portion of the original fans. And really, it's not meant as some sort of threat or tantrum, there's just no draw for me anymore. Best of luck.

Tom said...

Wow. That was incredibly, horribly dark and unpleasant (in a really, really bad way) - you very much lost me in tone and content. Thematically, the series harkened back to the 50's style of homophobia - where all the queer folks died (except for the one that can't die) and the straight people walk away completely unscathed. I'm not a fan of what was done with Jack - he seemed highly out of character on many levels. Honestly, thise mini-season completely ruined the whole show for me and a whole lot of other people, and as asci-fi writer and a scientist used to some very unpleasant subjects, that's saying something.

Fenz said...

One word - amazing.

The issues raised by CoE regarding todays society were so pertinent, yet so chilling. Big thumbs up for daring to go there.

The human factor is what made it for me, Frobisher and his actions with his family, Clem, Ianto, Alice & Steven. Simply outstanding. I don't think any sci-fi has or will come close to this series in a long long time.

10/10 from me, take a bow everyone :)

Anonymous said...

I don't know if you actually read these comments, but here goes.

I want to say how wonderful CoE has been. From the beginning, Torchwood was supposed to do what Doctor Who couldn't. This week was the first time that Torchwood really, truly fulfilled that promise. It isn't about swearing and sex aliens, it's about the breakdown of civilization. It's about the fact that there isn't always a happy ending. It's about the fact that in real life, the good guys don't always make it. Thank you so much for that. I feel like you touched on it in Sleeper, but CoE has really done what Doctor Who could never do. Thank you for making Torchwood what it should have been all along, even if it meant burning everything down.

This is the first time I enjoyed Jack Harkness as a character. Children of Earth finally made him a human being, not an archetype. Captain Jack Harkness isn't the Doctor. He's just as weak as anyone else. That moment when he tried to trade the children for Ianto's life was amazing. Once again, thank you for that. I know you didn't write it, but you were on the team, so I feel that you deserve my thanks.

Similarly, that conversation about what exploding felt like? Brilliant, and that was all yours. That was a natural, human conversation on a rather unnatural subject. You provided a logical reason for how Jack manages to explode, or wake up without skin, or be buried alive for a thousand years without going mad. Good job.

I was shocked by Ianto's death. I cried. It was the first time I have ever cried for a television character. Ianto Jones is what kept me watching seasons one and two. I related to him quite a bit. His love of poetry, the suits, the insecurity, his (somewhat misplaced) unwavering loyalty to Jack. He was beautiful and interesting.

I admit the eye candy was part of the reason I stuck with Torchwood. I wasn't emotionally involved with it; it was a bit of fun with attractive men and women making out. I watched because I liked one of the characters. I hope to continue watching for amazing stories like Children of Earth.

Some people have accused Ianto's death as being an example of the "bury your gays" trope. I don't think that's the case though. Torchwood's been telling us from the start that nobody lives to draw a pension. The only reason Gwen survived was because she wasn't drawn into Torchwood completely. Story-wise, it had to be Ianto. Jack is estranged from his family, and the viewer had no connection to them. Ianto was the only person Jack stood to lose. I don't think it's that there can't be happy, long lived gay couples, it's that there can't be happy, long lived any sort of couples in Torchwood. If Gwen/Jack had happened, it would have been Gwen in that room.

I loved the moment in Day Five when Ianto's sister revealed that Ianto's father wasn't a master tailor. That we really didn't know Ianto at all. I hope that we get to find out more about him, even if he is dead. I feel like, if nothing else, his death reminded Jack that Jack is only human. Humbling Jack Harkness is quite a feat. It was a memorable end for a memorable character.

Sam said...

Hi James. You are definitely one of my favorite TW writers and your episode of S3 was perhaps my favorite. So thank you for all the good work you've done for the show. I'm glad the people attacking you were vilified and scared off by the fandom to rant elsewhere, because you don't deserve that.

I'm not going to rant and rave at you, because I think the things I'd rant about would be better directed at RTD. So please note that none of this is directed at you, just TPTB in general. I'm just sharing my opinion, in the understanding that opinions that aren't 100% positive are allowed here.

I am having trouble wrapping my mind around S3. It was far from what I expected, and when it comes down to it, I rather wish I hadn't watched it, or that I had stopped after your episode. The last couple episodes were grim and quite sickening. I don't understand why you seem surprised by the reaction, to be honest. It certainly wasn't feel-good tv, and it wasn't the Torchwood I know and loved. And frankly it blows my mind that anyone could possibly be shocked at the reaction to Ianto's death. I realize that, as you said, the writers focus on putting out a well-written and entertaining story. But grim and dark tv can still be satisfying and enjoyable to watch, and I have never enjoyed a series less in my life; the last 2 episodes were a chore to watch. I was honestly overwhelmingly relieved when it was over. I'm really looking forward to the blog you mentioned with your reaction to the whole thing. Hopefully, it will help me understand many of the creative decisions that were made, because right now I am utterly baffled at how my favorite show became this.

I felt rather depressed after watching this series, and I can only assume that is the reaction you guys were going for. So I do want to congratulate you, with genuine sincerity, on a job well done in that regard. The series certainly made an impression. I don't in any way want a S4, but I will look out for your future work. Thank you again for your wonderful contributions to this fandom. :)

Anonymous said...

The most horrifying thing for me, well possibly on par with how they chose the 10% and watching my favourite character die, was the fact that his death was so pointless. And I don't mean pointless to the show (though I'm still trying to understand why he had to go to Thames House anyway, Jack did everything there), but pointless in the grand scheme of things. He was killed just so the 456 could get a fix. It's really chilling. Sometimes murder has no big significance, it just happens. That's terrifying.

I want to congratulate you on what is possibly the finest piece of television I have ever seen (and I don't say that lightly, I was one of those pretty much screaming "THE WIRE IS AMAZING!" at passers-by, and CoE has even eclipsed that), and I hope that if I achieve my dream of becoming a screenwriter, I can one day create something as powerful, heartbreaking, funny and horrifying as this. The angry fan reaction, though not pleasant, and definitely uncalled for, is a testament to just how wonderful this series was.

I am one of those who doesn't want a series 4. Yes, it wouldn't be the same without Ianto (I didn't want to name names, but the other comments have already spoiled it), Tosh and Owen. They are the team I fell in love with. But my main reason for not wanting it is that this series ended it so perfectly. I'd love for this series to depart as RTD's Doctor Who tenure ends and begin with a clean slate with Moffat. If there is a series 4, I will probably watch it, but with so much changed I don't know if I'll enjoy it (I guess I won't until it's on). You need to make up for Ianto with lots of Rhys.

I am so sorry for all of the negativity you have been getting. Children of Earth was incredible, and deserving of every award it could possibly get. I agree with earlier comments, if Gareth doesn't win SOMETHING I will be very annoyed. Although I think Day Four was the finest hour of television Britain has ever produced, your episode was my favourite. It was horrifying, but it also remembered the humour that made Torchwood, and Ianto and Rhys in particular, so popular in the first place.

I've been a fan of your writing since Severance. It's inspired me in my career ambitions and I continue to look forward to all your projects.

Again, well done, even though you broke my heart into a million pieces, and I hope you're okay.

C.Mowatt said...

I've had favourite characters die before, its saddened me and made me a little down, but I've always gone "It's okay, they're not really real, let's dealio."

Take it as a testament to all you Torchwood writer's quality then that I sobbed like a little baby with Ianto Jones. I didn't even realise I loved him that much (I mean, I knew I liked him a lot but MAN!) so to find myself like that was kind of enlightening. John and Gareth made that one hell of a scene too, no one was messing around this series!

This isn't a complaint by the way, in fact I'm impressed a fictional story could upset me like that (and don't get me started on the chilling scene of the Government picking the children) ! So well done to you guys for bringing out all the stops in telling this story.

You're alright if I live in denial though, and Ianto Jones is living quite contently in the alternate 'Pete's World' with his JCB and Captain? Right? I mean, that'll be okay yeah? ;)

Matthew McIntyre said...

Something I've noticed, looking through the comments. Here, xtricks said:


That was a well written, well acted, well designed, nihlistic piece of misery.

I don't think I've ever seen something so bleak or cruel in media in my life."

He then went to ask the kind of questions and make the kind of implicit accusations of deliberate malice on the part of the writers ("I also find it very difficult to imagine how you can claim that this wasn't engineered to be hurtful...") that others have made.

This post is extremely disingenuous (if not downright dishonest) since xtricks hasn't actually seen any of Children of Earth and feels he doesn't need to:

"Okay, unsurprisingly, I have thinky thoughts (and opinionated ones) about Torchwood S3 (yes, spoilers!). Believe it or not, I haven't seen the series, nor am I going to, and I don't believe that makes a difference for my opinions below, though your milage may vary, of course." - full post here.

I find it odd that xtricks faith in the validity of his comments didn't extend to admitting on this blog that he hasn't seen it.

xtricks: I'm afraid to say that my mileage very much does vary and that you have invalidated your own arguments by not taking the time to see how things work in a dramatic context. My criticism of your more general point about the fate of LGBT characters in drama is best summed up in another comment on this blog.

Anonymous said...

NICE one Matthew LOL

How can anyone, honestly claim to have such a strong position on something they've never even seen? How does that work exactly? It doesn't, which invalidates everything they've spewed.


Antonia said...

I don't understand how anyone can be heavily involved in fandom, write a review of sorts and not have watched the series!!!! Beggars belief.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't going to comment, but no -- I have to get this off my chest.

As everyone who's ever fired off a letter in anger should know, it's easy enough to create something that's technically brilliant and beautifully executed, but still ultimately a very bad decision. As far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter how good COE was in an objective sense, it was a terrible decision.

And while I don't know that it will ever make much difference to the TW showrunners, at least not in the sense that it conflicts with their own vision of the show, there are a lot of us who feel the sting of the "angry letter" we just received and it's burned some bridges in a way that I don't think can ever be repaired.

Anonymous said...

well I agree with xtricks and after watching CoE I really wish I hadn't seen any of it. I cant even look at anything torchwood now because I am so destroyed about what happened to the show and its characters. And all for some stupid junkie aliens.

Jude said...

In agreement with some other bloggers, I have no idea how anyone can form an opinion when they have not even watched something, absolutely mental, like saying you hate the taste of meat when you've been a vegan all your life.

I do think you can take some heart from this though Mr Moran, there is no arguing with this level of daftness, It wouldn't matter what you said in reply.

You were part of a brilliantly conceived piece of television. People with what are clearly very different agendas are always going to disagree, you can walk away without worrying about it knowing you did your job as a writer and in my opinion did it brilliantly.

Allen W. Wright said...

James, I heard about the nasty comments and just wanted to say the reason people are upset is that you and everyone else on Torchwood did your jobs correctly.

Thank you for some great episodes that did not cop out or shy away from their true potential.

Matthew McIntyre said...

All the Appreciation Index (AI) are in and they're frankly astonishing:

Day One: 88
Day Two: 90
Day Three: 90
Day Four: 91
Day Five: 90

That should put the lie to the idea that this series has objectively ruined the show. Or that people in general won't want to tune in to another series.

Those are amazing results and almost unheard of for a show with such high ratings (90+ AIs only usually happen for niche shows on cable channels, with small dedicated audiences).

I think it's wonderful that such a challenging piece of work has found a large audience who absolutely love it. It's a shame for those who have been left behind by the changes, but its pretty obvious they they're a small minority of the viewership. For the vast majority, you have really hit the spot.

For comparison, here are the AI figures for the other Torchwood episodes, as shown on BBC3 and/or BBC2, with much lower audiences:

Everything Changes: 82 (80 on BBC2, with more viewers)
Day One: 83 (80)
Ghost Machine: 84 (78)
Cyberwoman: 84 (80)
Small Worlds: 85 (81)
Countrycide: 83 (80)
Greeks Bearing Gifts: 83 (81)
They Keep Killing Suzie: 85 (82)
Random Shoes: 83 (78)
Out of Time: 80 (79)
Combat: 85 (80)
Captain Jack Harkness/End of Days: 86 (84)

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang: 84
Sleeper: 85
To the Last Man: 85
Meat: 85
Adam: 85
Reset: (87, BBC3 premier - fewer viewers) 87
Dead Man Walking: (87) 86
A Day in the Death: (88) 85
Something Borrowed: (87) 86
From Out of the Rain: (87) 84
Adrift: (87) 86
Fragments: (88) 88
Exit Wounds: 90

Sulla said...

That's astonishing, Matthew, thanks.

...and very, very well deserved. All credit must go to James and his fellow writers for such a gripping piece of television.

This show has surely earned it's 4th series...and let's face it, this is SciFi land, Jack's presumably off-screen meeting up with a time-travelling doctor...who knows? Far too early to be judgemental about how any future series would be, before it's even written!

Well done James & associates!

Marjorie said...

It looks like you have closed comments on the new post, so I just wanted to say how sorry I am that you've had such an awful backlash and I hope it won't put you off blogging in future.

So far as TW is concerned, the fact that people feel so strongly (even though they have been so unpleasant and hostile in their response) is surely a sign that yu and the other writers, and actors, have done your jobs supremely well. If you had not moved and involved the viewers so deeply, people woudn't care so much.

Very best wishes.

aresnz said...

After Day 5..... I think Jack did what he had to do. End of story. This has been an epic series to say the least and the ratings through the roof. I'm so sorry people are taking their frustrations about Ianto out on you. There's absolutely no reason for it. You're writers and as such will do what is best for the storyline..good, bad, indifferent, heart breaking, etc. All was accomplished that's for sure.

Once again I must say the acting was brilliant. John brought Capt Jack to life as he's never done before. I felt all the emotion he was going through. Gareth, Peter...Eve...

Thank you for this blog and I hope to see you with TW4. (should there be a series 4...) I'll be watching no matter what.

Thank you for everything James.

Sharon said...

Your latest post made me sadder than any of the episodes... I went through a whole rainbow of emotions watching last weeks episodes. I was exhausted by the end of it and can't remember the last time a damn TV show did that to me.

And you know what? That meant a lot to me. The fact that people - mere people! - could come up with something that could affect me so deeply. It felt amazing and kinda awesome that a programme could affect me so much.

So when I found out that people have acted in such a digusting and unforgivable ways it makes me so angry. So angry. I don't have words to say how I feel about these people, not just becuase of their immature ways but also that they're taking it out on someone who's given me - given us - so much good stuff.

I'm glad I do'nt know any of these people or I'd be seriously laying some smackdown on people right about now!

Amanda said...

I see that you've turned off the comments in the new post and I just wanted to applaud you for not backing down and for standing steadfast and true to the things you believe in and telling the naysayers and completely childish people on the internet to grow up.

I remember speaking with you briefly after your writing panel at Gallifrey One in LA this past February and asked you what it takes to get noticed as a writer not only in the US but in the UK as well. You responded with 'just write good stories, don't be afraid to test the limits of your characters and yourself. If your story is good, it will get noticed.'

Thank you for that advice and thank you for sticking by it, even in the face of all of this ridiculous backlash. I thoroughly enjoyed this past series. I confess, it made me angry in parts, it made me sad, it made me throw popcorn at the screen out of frustration, but it was good TV. Hell, it was awesome TV and after the shock wore off it was still brilliant and while I will miss the old team, I'm excited to see what the future holds for this program.

Thank you and keep strong!

Bettina said...

I'm sorry about all the hate and the insults! I thought it was a brilliant series. I didn't like all of it, but it still was great, with great writing and great acting!

Cat said...

I don't know if you'll read this and generally I try not to bother writers of shows and books because I do figure you're likely quite busy writing awesome things for viewers/readers etc to enjoy.

At any rate, the whole series was unbelievably awesome. I think it's unfortunate that the topics that are addressed are overshadowed in most discussions by Ianto's heroic death.

Maybe I'm reading to much into things or applying my own feelings, but I think for Ianto Jack was loosing his shininess because of what happened in 1965. I think possibly Ianto HAD to die in order for Jack to do what he did at the end. Which to me is totally and utterly unforgivable.

Then there is the whole issue of the UK's leader actually putting into motion rounding up 10% of the world's child population (with the UN's help presumably?) and getting ready to hand them over! I imagine once the next earth based DW ep turns up we'll hear of a government upheaval. At least one would hope. But I'm sure a massive cover up as well.

The idea of those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it comes to mind.

The Torchwood world is mad I think - and I can only hope that in reality we would fight to the death before we ever even THOUGHT about actually giving up anyone child or not.

I'm absolutely appalled that Jack killed his grandson. Maybe I'm wrong but he's supposed to look up to the Doctor, surely he knows the Doctor would have found another way?

Anything but killing someone, not to mention an INNOCENT. That boy's only mistake was being in the building. Oddly however, in a way it did not feel out of character for Jack to do what he did. Though in a DW story the character that ended up dying would likely be say a cancer patient that wants his/her life to mean something and sacrifices the short bit of life they have left to save the world.

It seems to me he has a history of not looking beyond the obvious but extremely questionable answer. That there is no better way.

Obviously since way back when he let/caused the original transaction to take place.

How dare he. I really hope the Doctor has a good scream at him. Is this perhaps how Jack ends up a giant head in a jar? If memory serves the Doc can deal out some spectacularly nasty "justice."

Over all I enjoyed CoE completely. It's a modern tragedy/cautionary tale. And kudos to you and the rest of the writing team, cast, and production crew for job well done!

It's made me think a lot and wonder and hope that in reality governments (the US, the UK and other "civilized nations") would NEVER EVER EVER do such a thing.

Hopefully we learned from WWII?

Anonymous said...

I love you. And I think you did a great job. This week I saw the best TV I've seen in a long, long time. And I reckon you've got to have some considerable skill as a writer to have what you write affect so many people so strongly, either positively or not. And to get what you write on the telly in the first place, for that matter.
What was screened this week was brave and powerful, and I absolutely loved it. Well done that man. (And everyone else on the team)

Indigo said...

-Not that I have anything of any intelligence/importance left to say, but comments are off on your latest post (understandably), and I wanted to give you a good cheer and a standing ovation. Thanks so much for everything.

Anonymous said...

This final episode is probably the best episode i have seen of any show. It was truely an epic story and more going beyond to the stories and tragedies that most shows fear to tell and most writers daren't write about and i am talking about the show as a whole there. The episode invoked such strong emotions through brillant plots, acting and writing, all coming together to make a masterpiece.

People do have tendancies to say it was good but it was not Torchwood but in my opinion i don't believe the series as a whole could of been more Torchwood.

Although the plots and storylines were heart-wrenching at times they were amazing right down to the last second of that last devistatingly brillant second of the final episode.

I think Ianto's death was the right decesion (and that is coming from a hardcore Torchwood fan who usually hates it when characters die). It wasn't pointless or meaningless as people have said infact i think it was perfect for the show and the characters, granted you could of got by without it but that just wouldn't fit in with Torchwood. And Ianto's death re-inforces what Torchwood is a dangerous job and in reality an adult show. It also added so much drama and angst to the episode and was done in a beautiful fashion.

I only now wait in hope for the return of jack and season 4 of this brillant show.

Foxy said...

Please don't let the lunatics destroy your relationship with the fans, James. Your blog and Twitter are really insightful and interesting. I'm sorry you've had to tolerate such abuse from the insane minority. I thought Children of Men was the best thing to come out of the BBC offices in years. You and the rest of the cast and crew should be damn proud of yourselves for producing such a hard hitting, gripping, adult science fiction series. I hope BAFTA sees fit to reward you with many precious things come awards season.

All the best.

Anonymous said...


I wanted, and in a way needed to let you know I thought you all did an amazing job!!!!!

It's very rare as an artist in performance to work on something that actually turns into a piece of art. That one piece where everyone involved gives their all and it meshes perfectly to create perhaps what it's actually supposed to be, or perhaps beyond what it's supposed to be. I've never really known, just know for me it's only happened once. I'd say it happened here.

Fantastic job! Well done to all the writers, actors, and crew! You guys did an amazing job!

Anonymous said...

If the crazy minority has driven you away from this blog as it's been for so long, I think that might make me sadder than any of the episodes of CoE have. You've been wonderful, writing about your process and opinions, interacting with fans, and just generally being a cool guy. I hate that some of the vitriol certain "fans" have been spewing at you might bring an end to all that.

So I just wanted to say thank you so much - for a brilliant week of television, but especially for having been so open and engaged. I hope this craziness all fades in the near future, and I wish you the best. You've been fantastic.

Mel said...

My god there are times when I hate fandom. It's this kind of ignorant, hurtful, mob mentality that every so often makes me ashamed to call myself a fan. And yes, damn straight The Doctor would turn away in shame.

James, you're such a class act. And I hate that you've been pushed to a point where you'll stop blogging, temporarily or otherwise. I only discovered your blog recently and spent literally all of yesterday reading it. I was technically at work so I kept getting distracted by, you know, the need to do that pesky job thing, but I managed to get all the way back to June 2008 to say I absolutely loved it would be an understatement. I just couldn't stop reading. I spent last night raving about it to my sister. Its so entertaining, so heartfelt and do full of life. You obviously enjoy it so much, and I cant stand that some people have destroyed that for you.

Reading conversations with people accusing RTD of homophobia (I didn't even know they were accusing you too) made me SO furious. I'm sorry, but for fucks sake, how many times can RTD say that he believes that one of the most important things in combating prejudice is to just get the idea of homosexuality *out there*, to continually remind people that that successful writer, actor, artist, showrunner, character etc, is actually gay. So the idea that the references to Ianto's sexuality arose out of the repressed homophobia of the writers is pretty much more horrifying than the damn episodes were. Not to mention mind blowingly idiotic. People need to grow the frak up.

Thank you, so much, for every single little bit of hard work you've put in... on Torchwood, Doctor Who and everything else. Incidentally, I should also mention that the last ten minutes of Fires of Pompeii had more of an impact on me than anything else on Doctor Who since. I'm serious. I was shell shocked. It took me days to get over, it was that moving.

So once again, thank you for all the blood, sweat and tears you put in to give us absolute gold every time we sit down to watch something you've had a part in. If you're in contact with Russell, *please* tell him that some of us really do think he is an honest to god genius and genuinely appreciate the surely inhumane amount of work he's put in over the past few years across three shows. Three shows! I get so riled up when people take pot shots at him because MY GOD how much work that man must put in to give us the television we so quickly and easily tear to shreds with the most shocking malice.

I'm gonna stop rambling now, a) because i'm getting too angry, and b) so that I can pick up where I left off making my way through the back entries of your blog :) I wish you all the very best for all the projects you're working on. You really do deserve every bit of success and praise that comes your way :)

~ Mel xx

P.S. I'm not sure if you read my previous comment(the one where I elevate CoE to the same level as ToS Star Trek). If you did, I hope you didn't stop reading at my initial, seemingly negative remarks. Because I only used the negative stuff to segue into how phenomenal I thought CoE actually was :)

Carnivac said...

Simply the best bit of TV I've seen in years. A great story and well acted by the superb cast. Buying the Blu Ray disc so I can watch it all again in one go. Congrats to everyone involved in making the show and to hell with all those idiots making us fans look bad. I enjoyed seeing those events happen to the characters and the hard decisions they had to take. These kinda of stories are always more memorable and thought provoking than the happily ever after 'everybody lives' endings (though those are kinda nice once in a while too). If Torchwood is indeed over I can't imagine it going out in any better way. Been a fantastic week thanks to CoE.

Ed said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ed said...

Thank you for an amazing set of Torchwood episodes - every one of them was a treat. Some of the finest drama on UK television recently, and to think it came out of a Doctor Who spin off! What you and the team did was incredibly brave and showed a great dedication to the characters and the art of storytelling. I loved it all. As a writer myself, I know I wouldn't hesitate to make a decision (no matter how unpopular it would be with the "fans"), if I felt the story completely warranted it. And why? Because such things happen to real people all the time, and these difficult and challenging ideas need to be reflected in fiction by complex characters. I'm glad this series of Torchwood allowed the audience to see the characters for more than just the indestructible and irreproachable "heroes" that most, by the very nature of a long-running series, often become. Your characters had foibles... big ones... tragic ones... and those associations brought tragic consequences. However, it was all handled beautifully, both in the writing and the directing, coupled with some pretty solid and amazing acting.

I am keeping my fingers crossed for a forth instalment of Torchwood somewhere down the line. It would be incredible to see more like this. But if it is not to be, at least the series went out on a massively impressive note.

So, congratulations. And remember: Those people out there who feel the need to be so extremely proprietorial about every little thing and take fictional plot decisions as personal affronts, really don't represent the actual, mature viewing public. We appreciate good drama and all that hard work is so blatantly evident on screen.

yehnica said...

I've never commented here before (I've only just found this blog) but I want to add to the voices saying that it's a shame that you were driven to take a step back from something you obviously enjoyed. The great majority of the Torchwood fans aren't completely batshit insane (at least not in *that* way) and the interaction between fandom and author (which is something quite amazing and productive for everyone, imo) shouldn't be lost because some people can't behave themselves.

As for the series itself, I am still recovering (oh the pain), but the fact that it reminded me of a tragedy by Euripides should be some indication of the level of respect I have for it.

Also, looking through your blog I discovered that you were in my country (at Fantasporto) and were overwhelmed by good-crazy people, meat and alcohol. Good to know you were given a good Portuguese welcome, come back any time.

Rona said...

I think the arc was bloody brilliant. I hated some of the things that happened, but they were all in the service of the story and they worked. They hurt, and they made me cry, and I was thrilled that the writers hadn't wussed out with an easy ending or a quick fix. My favorite character may be gone, but he is gone in the service of a story that worked, and it's hard to ask for more. (Okay, that's a lie. There was one more thing that I will continue to want, which is more exploration of how Jack can stay even remotely sane after he survives these nightmarish things happening to him over and over again. It was touched on a little, which pleased me, but I want more.) Great work, and I am completely and utterly appalled that people would threaten you and your compatriots for your art. That's why I had to write this to say thank you. Thank you for doing brave things in the service of writing a wonderful story. If the writers had found some way to bring Ianto back after that... it would have been a cop out and the story would have gone from brilliant to making me scream in frustration at the cop out. Bad things happen. People die. Even people we love. It should hurt. Why is it so wrong for fiction to show that?

Chuck said...

Even though it's been said or alluded to, I feel the need to be counted.

James is a class act, and if he feels justified in pulling away from this blog then who could blame him. He's done far more to help the art than most.

As far as what has been done and who has died. I think it's good drama to kill off the leads. Ultimately this is the sort of thing that drove me away from Stargate. After the each of the lead characters had died at least once and come back, then what's point? If life and loss mean nothing then there is NO DRAMA.

Personally I am tired of the lead actors living for ever no matter what.

If and when Torchwood returns I expect that I'll love it an the new characters as much as the old, and I will always be very afraid of them being taken away, but that's life.

Hopefully we'll have quality writers like James swinging the axe for a good long time.

Tom said...

I am surprised at the amount of support here. I would have hoped there would be more disappointment which was politely articulated and logically outlined. (I am sure that some academics will take care of that!).
I just want to say that I am ashamed of the attacks you have endured. It makes me sad to say that I do agree with them but I don't condone their messages. It's childish and abusive and I don't identify with that at all. I am truly sorry.
As for me, I would simply like to express an honest, ADULT, disagreement over our points of view. I just want to say that I enjoyed the show but I am disappointed with what happened. As a faithful viewer, I feel cheated. I was gutted by an incredibly sad death scene with the 1 sided I love you (oh the tears!). This was, unfortunately, weakened as we didn't really get all the good stuff up to that scene. Where was the love? Why did Ianto waste his dying words on declaring his love? Where was the reason for this declaration? Where was the post-coital canoodling and banter? Where were the shopping trips to IKEA for flat packed cohabitory bliss fantasies? Where was occasional candle lit dinner? Where was the awkward trip to the gay bar? Viewers didn't get to experience that and we were left to imagine that all on our own. Aside one real kiss and a mutual masturbation scene, that's all the expression we had of a gay relationship.(granted, the other relationships are even more messed up) This one just existed in our minds, for the most part. So we get the death scene but it's left meaningless because I can't believe they had a relationship, besides a quickie in the greenhouse.
There was so much potential for Ianto's death to have much more impact and meaning. However, I feel that impact was lost and, thus, my disappointment and sadness for what is NOT to come in Torchwood.
As this series has apparently ended, I am grateful for your hard work and the work of others who make Torchwood such a stunning and original work. I wish you and everyone the best in your future endeavors and will look forward to your future projects.

Katy said...

That Jack (and we) had to lose Ianto was heartbreaking, (ditto for Owen last year) but we know that losing major characters is something you sign up to with a good drama. But as Sci-Fi fans, the bulk of the shows out there have got us used to the idea that no one is ever really dead, Daniel Jackson being the classic example. And as much as it's easy to be revieved and happy when a favourite returns, you do feel rather cheated. You know there is no point in investing any emotion in the series as next year they'll most likely be back as good as new! Out of US Writers probably only JJ Abrams and Joss Whedon are brave enough to drop the knife for the sake of the story. (there probably are more - these just spring to mind)

To me Torchwood is Jack Harkness - it's about living forever, being responsible for saving the planet and living with the consequences of both of these situations. We and Jack knows that he's going to outlive everyone he comes into contact with eventually - coupled with daily peril that will most likely mean sooner rather than later.

We need the loss to feel empathy with the characters. Tt was necessary to balance some of the horror... if millions of children are being sent to their death, but a major character escapes with all their loved ones around them unscathed, it would have been frankly crap.

It's the same with Dr Who - (just with less death!) The Dr (in some form - will always outlive his assistants) and we've seen wrenching losses on his part - Rose, Donna etc etc. You can't have drama without some pain.

RTD, JM etc are masters but at the end of the day, we know what to expect - uncompromising, heart wrenching, and mind blowing drama. And long may it continue.

Jude said...

I don't think anyone could blame you for wanting to take a step back, your involvement has been spoiled I know.

I loved reading your posts, your obvious excitement and enthusiasm for what you do was always infectious.

All the very best for the future and I look forward to watching all your future work, always feels like Christmas.

To those who felt it was ok to abuse, I hope in the days to come, when you calm the fuck down, you feel some real shame and take the time to say sorry, with no buts or excuses.

Matthew McIntyre said...


And definitely my last post on the matter.

You say:

I just want to say that I enjoyed the show but I am disappointed with what happened. As a faithful viewer, I feel cheated.

This kind of thing is why people should leave it alone until they realise the impact of what they're saying. You're trying to fudge the issue somewhat but, in effect, you're saying, "I am a faithful viewer and you, the writers, cheated me." This is mild compared to some of the stuff that James got, but if you can't see how it comes across as a personal attack on James and the people he worked with to make the series, who he loves and respects, then you need to work on your empathy.

Put simply, you have no contract with the writers of any show, they have no obligation to you to do anything, therefore you cannot be cheated by them. You have no right to feel cheated - disappointed yes, cheated no. This bizarre sense of fan entitlement is dealt with well by Neil Gaiman here. I'm also reminded of Dylan going electric - a move which was followed by arguably his best three albums.

Matthew McIntyre said...

@tom, continued

You go on to say:

Where was the love? Why did Ianto waste his dying words on declaring his love? Where was the reason for this declaration? Where was the post-coital canoodling and banter? Where were the shopping trips to IKEA for flat packed cohabitory bliss fantasies? Where was occasional candle lit dinner? Where was the awkward trip to the gay bar? Viewers didn't get to experience that and we were left to imagine that all on our own. Aside one real kiss and a mutual masturbation scene, that's all the expression we had of a gay relationship.

How many dramas of any kind have scenes like that, for any kind of relationship, gay or otherwise? Even romantic comedies focus on struggle and things going wrong - they don't dwell on the stuff that happens after the happy ending because that is generally excruciatingly dull. At most you can do a montage, but those are usually pretty naff - to expand the cheesy montage into fully realised scenes would be beyond painful. On top of that Torchwood is an action-adventure show, it's main focus has always been stories, despite what some fans are now saying.

I didn't need, or want, any of the stuff you mentioned to feel sad for Jack and Ianto and to be sure that they had something pretty good. It was easy to imagine it (as you do with pretty much all drama). If you genuinely can't pick it up from the banter at the beginning of Day One then that amazes me - however I think that you're just whinging.

If you really want the minutiae of a relationship detailed, then there's plenty of fan fiction to fill that need. Most people aren't interested, though, which is why you don't see that kind of thing in any dramas.

Ultimately your disappointment is irrelevant - Torchwood has gone electric and a huge audience absolutely loves it. That justifies the decision that the writers made and if there is more, it will become the starting point of the next series. What's done won't be undone (and it would be terrible if they tried) - so all your really doing on this blog is confirming to one of the writers that a few people are upset by what they did. I think James already knew that. Things aren't going to change because your views aren't useful criticism, they're just an expression of disappointment which the writers are pretty much honoured bound to ignore by staying true to their vision of what the story should be - a vision which is, incidentally, more popular and successful than any previous incarnation of Torchwood. James, and the other writers, do not owe you an explanation or a justification - their only obligation is to produce the work, which stands on its own.

It's hardly surprising that most authors, for the sake of their artistic integrity, put a distance between themselves and the fans of their work. James' openess has been abused in the last few days - and I count stuff like "I feel cheated" and "why didn't you do x?" as part of that, regardless of how politely its put. You're assuming an obligation to justify and/or explain that he just doesn't have - and putting pressure on him for answers on his own blog, which just isn't on.

That's all from me now, as I suspect it'll never end.

Congratulations once more to all involved in Children of Earth for some of the best TV ever. James, thanks again for everything you've done - maybe you should consider closing comments on the most recent posts until everything has died down?

Dozeymagz said...

Mr Moran,

I've just read your last post, and am so sorry that things have come to this.
As usual, a minority has spoiled it for the rest of us.
I have enjoyed your blog for a long time now and been thoroughly entertained and inspired. I have learned so much from you and have found myself going down a new path that I would never normally considered and am so saddened how these few have treated you. Quite frankly it's disgusting.
You should be immensely proud of what you've achieved (particularly last week) and I thank you most sincerely.
Good luck and all the best for the future sir.

Magz Wiseman

Anonymous said...

From my blog (part one):

"I don't mean to make light of anyone's reactions to fiction. If it hurts to read, if it brings on joy or horror it's doing its job. That's the way it should work, and if you feel these emotions because of it, it just means that you're reading with an open heart.

It isn't personal, though. The creators aren't writing it for you. They're writing it for them, for their muse, and sometimes for the money. If it hurts you, it's not an attack, no more than it would be a love letter were it to arouse you.

It's art. That's what it does."

This is a quote from uncledark's <( post where he responds to news of the nasty fan mail some have written to the creators of Torchwood over their recent miniseries, Children of Earth. While I know some fans were upset with the show, I will never understand people who behave this way. I’ve gotten a taste of some of this myself. If you write dark, there always seem to be people who think you are doing it to hurt them. I find it one of the more bizarre aspects of fans.

My own reaction to the show and the objections by some fans:

It was after midnight Friday here in California when my whole family just finished watching the Torchwood mini-series, Children of Earth. We watched the first two last night and the other three tonight. We couldn't have stopped after four.

I have been a pretty serious Torchwood watcher, and have read a lot of Jack Harkness fan fiction as well. One of my husbands is a long time Doctor Who fan and got us all addicted to the new Doctor Who. He is also part of several of the fan communities. As a bisexual triad, it was exciting for us to have an openly bisexual character we liked. For our teenage son, who declared himself bi very young, it has meant a lot to him to see a “hero” like Jack Harkness. Most the openly bisexual characters in television and films are villains.

Anonymous said...

Part two:

We had absolute consensus with four adults and one teen, that we all felt, despite small quibbles, that this mini-series is brilliant. Some of the best written and acted television we have seen. I know it was hard and nearly all the characters we love died. And we felt it was one of the most “emotionally real” stories we have ever seen on television. The politics, both personal and political were so spot on that we were stunned.

I have seen people express anger in their journals over Ianto’s death. Actually, I believe it was a necessary one. It was Ianto whose idea it was to stand up to the aliens. It was his lover’s insistence on doing the right thing that let Jack go along with the confrontation even when he knew that it was dangerous. With Ianto alive, Jack could not have made the “lesser evil” choice of killing his own grandson to save the world’s children. His reaction as Ianto was dying conveyed that. A part of him broke with Ianto and the final moments of the show really reinforced that.

Some people have claimed that killing Ianto was homophobic. I disagree. I think that letting a male/male love story be the center of such an important story arc was one of the most anti-homophobic things I have ever seen in fiction. The entire plot depended on the audience sympathizing with the love these two men shared and the way the loss of his lover affected Jack. This was no more homophobic than saying Romeo and Juliet was anti-heterosexual. Love was a major motivation through-out the story.

Others have suggested that the homophobic comments of some characters meant the show was homophobic. No. Those statements were clearly there to illustrate the stupidity of those views and the obstacles that Ianto and Jack faced in openly acknowledging their relationship. Do any of these viewers ever watch films made by gay, lesbian or bi folks? Almost all of them show references to facing this kind of thing. This is our reality. There are always people who say thoughtless or cruel things to us. We live with it daily and are usually not impressed with shows that ignore that.

Anonymous said...

Part three:

The other major response I have seen is anger that about how dark the story was or that so many people died. Or that the theme of killing children was too harsh.

I would have expected this episode to trigger me more. I usually do very badly with stories about kids in jeopardy. I am a person who sustained a permanent disability when I was assaulted by someone trying to kidnap my son. My son was two at the time. Maybe it was possible for me to watch because my now teenage son was sitting with me during the show. He is a very grounded and interesting person and I think his calm helped me.

My son was one of the first to point that he understood that people who love their children would do almost anything to save them. (He does have first hand experience with that.) He also understood the impossible position that Jack was place in, having to choose between his own family and the world. He does not hate Jack for his decision, but felt sympathy for what Jack went through in the story. I know my son is an unusually empathetic and intelligent person, but it seems to me that if a thirteen year old can understand the point, adults should be able to as well.

For my part, I hate stories that give us cartoon endings. If people suffer real fear and loss, I don’t want to see them celebrating as if nothing happened in the end. My only real objection to the story would be a desire to see more of the fall out afterwards. Yet, as much as people objected to how dark this was, I could see how that would have been even messier. If the series continues, I would want to know more about what happened to the politicians in that story, for example. It was one of my primary complaints with the story arc involving The Master, that no real consequences seemed part of the series.

I don’t find violence offensive in fiction. I do find violence without consequences makes me angry. It demeans those of us who have to suffer it in real life to make it seem meaningless and easy to just “get over.”

My family has watched every episode of both the new Doctor Who series and Torchwood. We would love to see the shows continue. Yet, even if Torchwood is ended by this mini series, then we congratulate the writers, producers and actors in doing so with daring befitting the characters they wrote.

Falada said...

I said it on twitter, and join the chorus here: Some 'fans' are just fanatics in the sense of the word - irrational, biased, and incredibly unfair.

Please don't give in to the bullies. They are a loud, but tiny minority. Most of us enjoyed CoE immensely (even though the ending was hard to stomach). It was brilliant TV. Kudos to the writers, director and actors!

Keep on blogging! Please! :)

M. said...

James! As gutwrenching it was to watch as a fan with some degree of love for the characters, the whole mini-series was absolutely amazing. I have done a bit of a write up over here - - and i'd love to hear what you think. i really hope that the minority and their ridiculous behaviour doesn't put you off interacting with the rest of us non-nutter types. It was gripping television from start to finish, and I'm glad it didn't pander to the whims of fans (like resurrecting Ianto) because it was all the better for it.

Good on all of you!

Maz (@robots_ on twitter) :D

Sofia said...

Dear Uncle Jimbo,

I'm really sorry to hear about all the crap you've had to deal with the last few days. People suck.

I just wanted to say I've really enjoyed reading/lurking your blog these last few years now and I'll miss it heaps. You're an awesome writer and I've enjoyed not only your DW and Torchwood ('fuckflaps' was pretty classic), but Spooks (you killed Ben! *grins*)and Primeval (Danny!).

*Hugs* (in a totally non-stalkerish-cause-I'm-quite-normal-kinda-way)

All the best - it's been a pleasure.


(ps: the overuse of brackets in blog comments is a sign of superior intelligence, therefore, one day soon, I will rule the world)

NPMR said...

James, I wanted to say thank you for the wonderful series. Having said that and that I understand the need for drama and that with the loss of Ianto, Jack's heart was lost (in that with Ianto there, it was easier to be the hero) and it was easier to make the decisions that lead to his other loss.

But having said that, to Katy, who wrote:

if millions of children are being sent to their death, but a major character escapes with all their loved ones around them unscathed, it would have been frankly crap.

Guess what, a major character escaped having her loved ones unscathed. The articles leading into this show stated that all 3 would have sacrifices, 2 did and the other didn't and she still looked deflated that he wouldn't stay for her.

I think that's what rankles in a lot of the Jack/Ianto fans, that we never really had a building up to have them be a couple in the little ways that we got to see with Rhys and Gwen. The writing always left it so you wanted to see them lean on each other as R/G did.

We didn't need to see them go about doing what a previous poster was on about, but things like in adrift, when Gwen's taking solace in Rhys about what she had seen in Flat Holm, why not the same for Jack/Ianto?

Or in after the rain, a small scene where Jack comforts Ianto and tells him that if you can at least save one, its still a good day?

You build up in little ways (and should have with the chemistry that GDL/JB have) and then when you DO drop the acme anvil on 'em then you really feel it.

So to the writers, thank you for all that you've given us over the 3years. I won't be watching any further shows if the fates are kind and give you guys the chance to shine again. The true heart of Torchwood, who was played by GDL is gone and I'm so sorry that you had to endure the rantings of a few who in a lot of ways, don't speak for all.

Andrew W said...

That piece in Broadcast was... completely factual. No 'Torchwood is doomed' gnashing or wailing to be seen. Is it possible that you were being a teensy bit over-sensitive?

The Diabolical One: said...

For what it's worth boss, your job is to write great TV and for my money, you knocked the balls out of the park every night last week. Torchwood has been stunning TV from the very beginning and you have pressed the buttons that needed pressing - the ones that made people tune in night after night. Any negative comments are the same ones that have been thrown at Wyndham and Golding which (in my day) were taught in schools as classics. Keep it up brother!

Gronitas said...

I'm sorry to hear you've received some not very constructive critics about your work, or even personal accusations. I followed Torchwood, not like a fan really but I've been a fan of series that ended breaking up my heart (and OMG, what an ending you guys came up with!!) so I guess I understand fandom somehow.

Anyway, I'm just amazed how much the relationship between viewers & tv has changed in the last few years. In Spain, where I live, there was this tv show called "Sin Tetas no hay Paraiso" with amazingly high share ratings. Well, when it ended (and everybody knew from day 1 the ending was going to be very tragic) the pression on the tv channel by fans was so strong they had to record and air two endings so people could select which one suited their expectations best. Of course it was a completely success.

What you did guys was very brave. Tragedy and all it was beautifully made and well... it's sci-fi, anything can happen, right (please!???)?

Congats! :)

Anonymous said...

I read your "Stepping Back" post, and I just wanted to say I'm sorry so-called fans feel like they can insult you, get you to pass on vitriolic messages and so on.

I suppose I want you to know that there can be people who didn't like CoE (and yeah, the fourth episode gutted me, with Ianto's death), but I don't blame you. I can accept that my perceptions might be wrong, and that my thought 'Ianto was sacrificed for nothing, that Jack was capable of doing what he did in episode five without Ianto's death, or that if he needed the death of someone he loved, it should have been Gwen since there's so much talk in interviews of how she's the heart of Torchwood, so what better way to destroy Jack emotionally than to take away that heart?' is simply my thought.

Thanks for having been approachable, and thanks for answering a question or two from me in the past. I hope this makes you feel a bit better, that not all fans are crazy. I realize you've gotten a ton of comments and if you don't say anything to this, that's okay.

Good luck and good wishes to you, in your future writing.

Sharpie said...

This series made me cry, it made me angry, and it made me think, a LOT, about the implications of immortality, but the one thing that never ever crossed my mind was that there was an ounce of homophobia there. His death was presented as the most tragic thing that could possibly happen, and it's even more ridiculous to avoid good plot and emotional oomph for the sake of giving the lgbt folk a happy ending. Nobody gets a happy ending, regardless of everything.

Drew Payne said...

Children of Earth was of a wonderfully high standard, we watched it in almost silence (a miracle in our household). You should be very, very proud of your involvement in it.

There's a saying: those that can do, those that have done teach, and those with no talent criticise and piss of everyone else (!!).

Yours, from behind the sofa,

Samantha Chisnall said...

You're trying to fudge the issue somewhat but, in effect, you're saying, "I am a faithful viewer and you, the writers, cheated me."

To the above poster, I have to say, that to say you FEEL cheated is very different to saying you WERE cheated. As fans, we may feel cheated, CoE may not have been what we expected, or what we wanted, from S3. I'm sure no cheating was intended, but that doesn't mean people aren't entitled to their feelings. I feel hurt by Ianto's death, bruised - but that does not mean James or RTD intended to hurt me. But their lack of intent should not invalidate my feelings.
James himself has said he appreciates people's feelings, but there's no excuse for being rude, aggressive or insulting, and I couldn't agree more.

While I think to interpret Clem's homophobic comments as meaning the show is homophobic is ridiculous, I do feel that killing off the gay character sends a subtle message, in combination with Tv as a whole, however unintentional.

To James, I'm so sorry you feel you need to step back, but it's completely understandable. You've been very generous with your time, and even in trying to reason with the more rabid fans.

I was upset by CoE, there were some decisions I disagree with, and I don't think that will change. But that's my opinion, that's all. And I'm not the writer. You guys are, for good reason. I can't see how a series 4 could work, but I'm willing to be proved wrong (I remember thinking no one could top Eccleston!)

Thank you and well done James,

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I haven't watched the entire series YET. But when I do, be assured that I know you're a professional writer doing a professional job. I also know that, as much as I love it, Torchwood is "just" a television show. I am quite embarrassed that people actually left you nasty messages and can't focus that energy into something that would actually make a difference. Thank you for doing such a fantastic job and don't let the nutters get to you.

Vanessa said...

I have to say that I got into TW and Primeval because BSG ended, and yes my heart broke for my poor Lee, out in the tall waving grass.

However, I enjoyed this show, and I believe aside from some epis from s1&2, the writing was the best ever, and characters very consistent. As a new member of the fanclubs, I have found the vitriolic nature of some of fans of the lanto/jack ship very difficult, as I enjoy posting and having fun talking about Gwen and Jack. It is the oddest thing that I have ever encountered; but I would like to say this: isn't the point of TW and Captain Jack that it doesn't matter who man/woman you love, it's about the person? That to me was the message about love in this series, which was reiterated by lanto to his sister.

I loved how this you showed, much like BSG, what it means to be human in a subtle way, and that we were really the biggest monsters of all. As so well put by Gwen in her video--

I thought lanto was a great character, very funny sometimes, but I had felt that by this point his severe depression from losing Lisa, had turned into suicidal tendancies, --which is ultimately why he died.

As for Jack, I love him more than ever--he always could make the choice of the killing the few to save the many, and it was well done. My only request is that he has suffered more than any other character--emotionally, physically and the deaths this time, worse than ever. He reminded me a lot of the way Lee Adama grew throughout BSG, and I feel like this series really gave Jack, as a well-rounded character a lot of potential. I just hope he can learn to love someone fully, and have a tiny bit of happiness one day.

Thus, when we see Captain Jack again, and Gwen who was fantastic in this series, I look forward to seeing their development as characters and people since this wonderful, dramatic series.


midnightz said...

As pretty much a newcomer to the TW universe I was expecting good TV with a lot of 'limitations' that I've come to expect from British TV. However, after watching ep 1 I was totally blown away, so much so that I commented on my Facebook and Twitter accounts about how brilliant this episode was!

As experience has taught me, I was expecting the brilliance to be reduced with the next episode... didn't happen... then I knew to be disappointed with the aliens once they showed up... didn't happen... and then I knew the ending could not possibly live up to the rest of it... wrong again. What a brilliant piece of writing and what amazing TV - quality, well paced, well acted and truly mesmerising.

Fantastic job; don't let the small but vocal idiots spoil all the accolades you WILL receive for this. All the praise coming your way is well deserved.

crispy.melon said...

I've lurked around reading your blog on and off for a while now. Hell, it even got me to sit down and start writing stuff. (I'm not sure anything will ever come of it, but that's not the point.)

It's a huge shame you've had to step back from it, at least from my entirely selfish perspective. For what it's worth, I felt Torchwood was superb, and I'm yet to meet a real life human being who didn't agree.

That so many people are angry, abusive, and frankly deranged is, bizarrely, testament to you and the team's writing. No one ever gets this upset about 2 dimensional wafer thin cyphers...

Still. Congratulations on your fine work, both with Torchwood, and with the blog itself. Ignore us all, and enjoy your rather wonderful job.

Asura3 said...

I think Torchwood was just fabulous, brave and suprising in all the right ways.

James, I'd be gutted if self-important and rude individuals stop you from engaging with us all in the wonderful way you have in your blog.

Loving your work!!

neerod said...

I understand and respect your withdrawal.

What ever some people will write...
Don't let it get you down!

First and foremost it's only a TV-Show and what a great one too!!
I really enjoyed watching it.

Greetings from Germany

mr bish said...

Random comment of support here: just discovered the blog and went all "wow, cool" etc, before reading the most recent post and wondering how and why people can have been such cocks. I guess the internet doesn't always (often?) bring out the best in people.

For the record, there were bits of CofE I LOVED, and then other bits I laughed pompously at, mentally noting them for later ridicule with friends (safe in the knowledge that my writing will never be ridiculed because it's too awful to film). But none of that detracted from the fact that you and the rest of the team served up a solid five hours of thoroughly entertaining television, which is a colossal feat in itself.

As for the ending, I didn't have a problem with it at all. It was certainly bleak, but so what!? I think perhaps some of these internet-wielding tv-junkies have slightly too personal a relationship with their favourite characters, which I suppose is a reflection on both the effectiveness of your (and the team's) writing, and the naysayers' lack of a real life to get upset about.

So there you go, perhaps it's really praise, cunningly disguised as cruel, hurtful personal attacks? As your newest reader, I sincerely hope the reactions of a bunch of callous dickheads doesn't force you to abandon the blogging altogether. Cause - y'know - it's a damned noble pursuit, demystifying tvland.

Best wishes and good luck with whatever you're working on...

Moonwynd said...

Hi James!

I'm probably one of the very few that actually enjoyed the story, and even consider Torchwood Series 3 to be the best series yet! It had three of the things that I enjoy the most in a story: intensity, drama, and depth. Every episode kept me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. While the ending was very intense, it was also very powerful and emotional. My hat goes down to both you and RTD!

I'm sorry to hear that you were subject to alot of abuse from fans as a result, but hopefully that won't keep you from making any more posts in the future about your projects. It was very immature of fans to overreact the way they did.

Matthew McIntyre said...

Moonwynd, just in passing: you certainly aren't "one of the few". Around six million people watched the series (and more recorded it to watch later, although we don't know how many yet). A representative sample of viewers gave the episodes Audience Appreciation (AI) scores of 88, 90, 90, 91 and 90 - so roughly 9/10 on average. We can safely say that millions of people, the vast majority of the audience, absolutely loved it.

This doesn't mean that people shouldn't be upset or not like it or campaign to bring Ianto back, if they want to. But it is clear that they are a tiny minority of the viewing audience.

The "fan view" that comes through is often that of those who shout the loudest. Some of them feel that they have an entitlement because of the emotional investment they have in a show, that their views and feeling matter more than the "casual viewer" (although there's no firm line between fan and casual viewer as far as I can see). That simply isn't the case: the writers have a duty to the story they want to tell and the whole of the audience they want to tell it to, not just the vocal self-proclaimed fans.

Even if you did accept the idea that fans' views are somehow more valid, a quick look at the polls and postings in places like Gallifrey Base shows that the "bring back Ianto" people are a pretty small minority even within fandom.

So yes, you are one of the many who enjoyed Children of Earth.

Anonymous said...

First of all, sorry for my bad English, I'm French ;)
This is the first time I write here, because I can't help but respond to your post of July, 12th.

I stopped visiting websites about Torchwood just before the UK broadcast because I could'nt see CoE before this week. Now that it's done, I go back to visit your blog, and I am devastated to learn that a minority of brainless, aggressive and ridiculous fans have managed to demoralize you.

Please focus on constructive criticism, positive or negative, and on all the messages of fans who respect you and your work. Forget the rest, it's only noise.
And please don't abandon your blog, and don't stop talking about the creative process : keep the hope that this handful of idiots understand one day what a writer is !

Don't let them win. And good luck for your next projects ;)

Moonwynd said...

Hi Matthew, thank you for your reassurance. I must have been looking at the wrong sites then cause most of the reactions I saw were mostly fan rage especially after episode 4 with Ianto's death.

I agree with everything else you said as well. I also believe that a writer's responsibility is to the story and to the target market it is intended for, not just the people who are emotionally invested in the series.

While I can certainly understand feeling upset over the death of a favourite character (I myself was actually quite upset when Tosh was killed off), at the same time I don't feel like it is something to work oneself into a rage over. The fact that some fans resorted to even verbally abusing the staff responsible for the episode, is nothing short of an overreaction and childish really. I was actually quite surprised to find out that some fans took it that far.

With that being said, I really don't think the powerful ending of series 3 should be cheapened by a deux es machina that some fans were hoping for, especially if it's only one character that died.

I think another thing as well is that some of the more vocal fans, forgot is that Torchwood isn't Doctor Who. Despite being a spin-off of the series, Torchwood is still Jack's show and unlike the Doctor who can turn back time and reverse certain catastrophes caused by his enemies, Jack's technology by contrast is very limited to whatever resources he has. So I think the fact that Jack has to make some very difficult sacrifices for "the greater good" is actually quite justified.

Also, if looked at from a positive point of view, sometimes a character death will make you appreciate that character more in the previous series. In my case, Tosh's death made me appreciate the first two series even more.

chris said...

I hope the few haven't ruined this wonderful blog for the many. Looking forward to your return when it all settles down.

Dim said...

So pleased to see the positive comments flooding in. We've just watched Day One on the Space Channel here in Vancouver and were well impressed. Got the rest of our week booked, and I bought a Hard Drive recorder this morning BECAUSE OF TORCHWOOD! $400 mate. Plus sales tax. Worth every penny. Plus it has a DVDR so I can run it off onto disc and keep it forever.
Miss your posts, but feel you've earned more than a little break. Hope the writing is still rocking for you.

Tim said...

Here's what I think about the whole angry fans death issue:

Congrats on a fantastic miniseries!

Chuck said...

I am not going to moan on about the fan silliness that has happened, instead I think I'll celebrate by commenting on the episodes. I think this is more what any good writer would want to read about their work. So here goes.

Just finished Day Two on BBC America. Very good so far.

Love the following:

1. Jack blown up. Always wondered if there was a limit to immortality, apparently not.

2. Clem's ticks and flinching, very cool. I must do this at work tomorrow. Don't know if I'll get away with sniffing the women.

3. Can't remember his name, but the guy who was in charge of building the case, when he fogs the glass at the end of Ep 2. Reminds me of something really creepy, can't put my finger on it.

4. Jack's daughter. Nice to see Jack's been omni.

5. Sealing Jack in concrete. Not bad, could have been hot asphalt. Made me squirm a bit.

Things I am outraged about.

1. The loss of the Range Rover. Have you no shame.

2. Shooting the medic in the foot, Gwen could of aimed higher.

3. Gratuitous naked fat guy on bed and not one hint of female cleavage. This is just not fair or balanced.

4. Naked Jack, see cleavage, above.

Can't wait for tomorrows episode.

Anonymous said...

Hey Chuck, at least the naked dude bits were pixelated LOL!


Chuck said...

Laudanum, thanks for providing the hint of cleavage. I needed that.

Just finished Day three.

Things I like:

1. The 456 smacking the glass with green slime. This got me thinking, it would be interesting to try to identify which bits came which writers. The slime wacking seems like James.

2. Jack being asked if he felt being blown...up. That seems like a RTD thing. Good bit, and the kind of question that needs asking.

Often these sorts of details get left out. I really loved it when Star Trek NG finally got around to showing what transporting is like from the perspective of the transportee.

Jack saying he felt it was all the detail we really needed.

3. The lady running out of the room during the sliming. Small and insignificant but lends a good background feel to whole thing.

4. Porsche Boxster, yeah Porsche, more of 928 guy myself, the Boxster seems a bit feminine...oh wait.

5. Government officials eating there own. (Frobisher is expendable) This lends a good sense of credibility and reality to the show.

6. The huge gaping pregnant pauses in replies from the 456. Must be a James thing, just trying to screw us all to the wall. That together with the part where the 456 glitch and repeat Frobisher is really really good.

7 "can't see moth" Yes it took valuable story time but you just got to love it.

8 The hard ass army / killer bitch seems to be softening. A good thing, it makes less her one dimensional. Now if she would just invite us over for nice home cooked meal and a bit poetry reading.

Things I disliked

1. The music was a bit to on. Nicely scored but just there all of the time.

2. Running away suddenly after stealing a credit card. Needed to be a bit more relaxed about it. Just seemed uncool for people who fight aliens for a living.

3. Gwen seemed to get Clem out of jail too easily.

All in all a really fine episode that people will be talking about for decades. Can't wait for tomorrows Day 4.

Chuck said...

Day four

Another great episode.


1. Usually a bunch stuffed shirts sitting around a table is BORING. But how these leaders choose which units are going to be given up was just riveting. Brave to just come out and say what everyone's thinking. In today's enlightened free world most of us are not comfortable saying whats on our minds. Very nice.

2. Going into the tank. Yikes!


1. Most probably did not notice, and I did not at first. In the scene where the virus is being released, Gwen is watching and listening to the events at Mi5 from her position at Hub2. Problem is there was no one at Mi5 with a camera or contact lenses to transmit to the Hub. Maybe it's anal of me but it ruins the reality when something like this gets missed.

2. Killing Clem needed a reason.

As far as Ianto goes. I'll be brave and say the politically incorrect thing. "So what". Ianto was interesting, a bit pathetic, especially in the CyberWoman episode. And for a lot of Torchwood he was mostly invisible relative to the other characters.

I don't even know who he is, really. I mean, is he boxers or briefs, steak or salad, liberal or conservative, shaken or stirred.

Not that he was not well played, he was. Ianto just never obtained the standing of Owen, or Tosh, and certainly not Gwen. I don't have anything against him, it just that for me he was not what made Torchwood, Torchwood and with him gone Gwen will just need to get her own damn coffee.

If this is what all the fuss is about, then I think a lot of people need to take a deep breath and go outside for a nice walk.

All in all I enjoyed it and I am anxious for Day 5.

TallulahBelle said...

Chuck; "1. Most probably did not notice, and I did not at first. In the scene where the virus is being released, Gwen is watching and listening to the events at Mi5 from her position at Hub2. Problem is there was no one at Mi5 with a camera or contact lenses to transmit to the Hub. Maybe it's anal of me but it ruins the reality when something like this gets missed."

I think you'll find because of Lois doing the whole "I'm with Torchwood, bitches" at the Prime Minister and TW taking over the 'negotiations' with the 456, that they were given access to the same camera that the PM and staff were watching via previously . . . so less stuff up and actually quite cunning. And probably Ianto's idea, because he was always the smartest person when Tosh wasn't in the room. At least that's what I always noticed about him. *quiet sob*

Dim said...

So cool that people still come here. I'm a day behind because we were out last night and I have fingers crossed that the new gizmo recorded the whole episode and not just half a Venezuelan cartoon and the Lottery...Anyway, the upside is that we all get to watch the final two episodes tonight, without an agonizing wait in between. Friday nights rock. If there's beer too, that is.

Tony Sarrecchia... said...

Wow. Episode 5 just ended. Wow. Damn. As much as I would hate to see Torchwood end, if it's going to end, you couldn't ask for a better ending. Wow. Why can't there be more scifi writers like you and the WhoTorch team in the US. Great series. (I know, I am gushing like a fat fan boy).

Chuck said...

Great end to the series.

The Bad:
I think Torchwood won't be back. Jack is too damaged, Gwen's got a family to worry about. If Torchwood does come back it will seem forced and commercial.

The Good:
I think Captain Jack went on to find another life, to evolve, and I am sure that new life might just make a good series..someday.

Great job Russell, James and John for ending the series with dignity.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dim said...

Hooray! Finally caught up with the Uk and loved the whole thing (except for the five minutes when my daughter switched channnels while I was recording...Just the part where Jack has to make the decision to sacrifice his own grandson, nothing, you know, important, or anything. D'oh!)
Anyway, the end of Torchwood? I don't see why. Jack's been absent for periods before, and yes they'd need to build a new team, but in this last week we've seen plenty of interesting people who could step up. I always thought TW was Gwen's story, not Jack's, though. It was Gwen who brought us into the Torchwood world, and her home/work conflicts that have been at the front. Ianto's death was a shocker, but it raised the stakes, and you couldn't be sure anyone would survive. The tables turned so often in the last three episodes I thought I was in a Chinese restaurant...You know, they have those tables...that turn...Ahem. Brilliant story, well presented and great to have it appear as a tv event. Reminded me of when the first "V" mini-series popped up on tv. You should be very proud of your involvement.

Phil said...

Sorry I'm a Johnny-come-lately to the party, but since 'Children of Earth' just finished broadcasting Friday nite here in the U.S., I My reaction to the series was, in a word, wow. (That's definitely the stunned 'wow' with a period after, not the excited wow!). Although I have a hard time buying the reluctant willingness of the gov't to sacrifice the kids (and the ease with which the American General bullied the British...of course, I work for the U.S. gov't, so I'm either naive or part of the conspiracy), I think the overall writing--particularly with some of the incredibly powerful scenes--renders those doubts as minor quibbles.

On Ianto's death: Hey, I like the Ianto character, even if I think he's been developed inconsistently. Like so many others, I didn't want him to die and hoped--this being Torchwood/Dr. Whoniverse--he could come back. And given all the c**p you've gotten over his death, that makes it brilliant. I think it was very telling of Jack's character that when he couldn't change the outcome, he'd give it all up for Ianto's life, but when he controlled the fate of the world, he sacrificed his own grandson.

Speaking of which, there's a scene I said to myself, no, they're not going to do that. And then y'all did. Like I said, wow.

(And to those out there who think television/movie writing is all about dialogue, watch those scenes again. Other than the screaming, there's what, one or two lines of dialogue, the most powerful of which is Steven's hard to hear line to Jack. Then add to that Frobisher's last scene.)

And beyond the writing, he directing and the acting, particularly John Barrowman and Peter Capaldi, were excellent as well.

Was it perfect? No, but it was brilliant. Thanks to an great team of writers (and everyone else who contributed). Wow.

farsighted said...

I'm wondering if enough time has passed by so you could finish your comments of Day 5 and your summation... of the 3rd series. I'd really like to hear what you were going to say, before you were so rudely interrupted by the nutters and fringes of fandom.... (not the majority, believe me).

Please reconsider. It's not fair to those of us who think RTD and yourself did such a brilliant job on this last series of Torchwood.

I think you all did too GOOD of a job. That's really what the backlash was all about. Idiots bloody believing the story was real!!! they somehow got ratched down a few notches on their reality scale!

Anyway, the best to you; I hope things have settled down for you again, and don't take it personally.

Zora said...

Children of Earth was exciting, uplifting, harrowing - Damn Good Televison™. Ianto's death was absolutely heart breaking. Some fans are lashing out because they are in pain. They really came to love Ianto. Kudos to you for writing his character, and his relationship with Jack so well. Unfortunately a few fans went off on a deep end, but they are only a vocal minority. Most fans are understanding, even though heart-broken.

It's a rewarding aspect of the show that despite of being about aliens and time rifts and all that stuff, it's also so much about the human condition; life, death, love, grief - all the things that make up being human. Ianto's death - to me at least - ended up being a life-affirming: You can't have the joy without the pain, and you just have to take your chances.

Chuck said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chatterbox said...

Delurking to say that although I missed all the furore, I thought Children of Earth was an amazing bit of work, which avoided the manufactured feel-good happy ending and the fact that it made so many people unhappy is testament to the power of it.

This blog has been somewhere I've come at intervals, coffee in hand, for a good long read, and I am sad to see that the internet idiots got you down. I hope that at some point when everything has calmed down you can resume the good work.

KimOlearyCFC said...

I probably am not the first one to say this, but you are absolutely incredible at what you do. I've watched CoE at least 5 times now, and it still brings me tears and excitement as if I were watching it for the first time. It was truly one of the most well written story lines I've seen, and had me clutching the sides of my armchair at times with the tensions of the story. Its a brilliant work showing the darkness of the decisions each character involved had to make, and showing the repercussions of those actions, especially in Captain Jack's case. This story felt more real and larger than any other Doctor Who and Torchwood episode had before. I hope you and the rest of the gang land some major awards for this, because it is one of the most finest pieces of writing I have seen!
I have to also admit, Torchwood beats the crap out of most every American television drama out there, IMO. I find it vastly more enjoyable than all those CSI shows! Keep up the great work that you and the DW/TW writing crew does!

Dim said...

*Wanders round, shaking his head at the dust and cobwebs. When he speaks, his voice echoes* Blimey. I remember when this was the place to be. Everyone came here, and the party went on til dawn. Hellooo? Hellooo? Oh, shit, what a sad waste. Those bastards.
*sound of footsteps retreating*

Farsighted said...

still looking for Myfanwy! A live pteranodon is hard to come by these days! Be nice to hear about Torchwood 4 being commissioned...

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

I've read your last post and am really sorry that it has to be that way. I worked on those 5 episodes of Torchwood, and really enjoyed doing them. I was one of the PM's aides.

I do a follow friday (blogs) on my newest writing blog and have done one for this site today. Don't worry, you don't have to do anything, but can read it if you like. It's here

Best wishes and good luck with your fine and beautiful writing.

JS said...

Torchwood is a great series and Children of the Earth was an exciting five-parter. I just saw it, rented from netflix. I hope Torchwood goes on for years and years, the staff and actors are geniuses. Thanks for your work and ignore the idiots who go rabid at the loss of their favorite characters.

David said...

Ep5 has just been shown FTA for the first time on Sydney TV, ABC2. The whole of Torchwood is just brilliant. Children of the Earth was just stunning. I thought though, that the killing off of Bear McCausland's character was just taking the whole death thing a bit too far and that soured it a bit for me. The death of a child was just over doing it. But that doesn't take away for the series as a whole and all the incredible creativity of you all. But less death please!