Thursday, July 09, 2009

Torchwood. Children of Earth. Day Four.

Day Four.

Shocking revelations, and much more. Today's nuggets: you'll see the object that I was brought into a room to see when I was on set, the object that horrified me and made me wonder if we would actually get away with this. You'll know it when you see it, it's during a scene where you find out the reason for something. This scene was going to be in episode 3, but would have meant too much exposition/delay in the middle of the cliffhanger, so got moved here.

As for last night's overnight figures: 5.9 million viewers. Holy fuckbum titspangling cockbananas. Normally there's a gradual drop off as a series goes on, as viewers forget it's on, or drift away. This is fucking incredible. I'm so, so chuffed and proud. Audience appreciation index was 90, which is fantastic.

Thank you everyone for the amazing response to yesterday's episode - comments, Tweets, emails, and so on - I'm gobsmacked yet again at how cool you all are. I really do get nervous before anything of mine airs, you never know if it just won't catch the audience in the right way, if everyone will hate it. I knew it was a solid, cracking episode, and thankfully, most people seemed to really go for it. I had 100 replies on Twitter, mostly between 10.00pm and 10.09pm. As I was reading those, another 37 came in. As I was reading *those*, another 19 came in. And they kept coming in, it was amazing. I tried to reply to as many questions as possible, but had to stop around midnight, I was knackered. Sorry if I didn't reply to you, but I really appreciate every single comment, thank you so much. This morning, another 70 replies! Blimey, I love Twitter.

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!


Anonymous said...

Can't believe the figures have been holding and in fact getting stronger each night. Those are just the BBC1 figures right? when the iplayer, HD and BBC3 figures.

Party at Russ' house this weekend?

Scaryduck said...

Nikki4noo: Those are what are known as the "overnights", derived from the sample of viewers used to calculate viewing figures.

The "consolidated" number, which includes people watching recorded versions, iplayer etc follows in a couple of weeks, and is usually higher.

RoseDoctorForever said...

The ratings are more than well deserved. I'll be honest. Before Monday I was just kind of "Meh" on Torchwood, mainly watching it because it kills the time while I'm waiting for Doctor Who. Not that TW isn't great in it's own right, but it just didn't grab me in the same way that Doctor Who does. And then Monday hit and suddenly I was GLUED to my screen. You had me creeped out, laughing and generally on the edge of my seat before five minutes had passed. And it just got better from there. All the character development was fantastic. I loved getting to meet Jack and Ianto's families. Not to mention all the non stop action. I was left with an overwhelming need for more which has never happened to me with TW before. (BTW - the SUV theft was a stroke of genius)

Tuesday, for the first time ever, I was excited for TW and you didn't disappoint. Another brilliant, action packed story. And one that has forever convinced me that Ianto is made of awesome. Whoever decided to put him in a construction outfit, drive a tractor and save Jack at the last minute is brilliant! Best rescue in the history of the universe. I don't even get me started on Jack's lack of clothing. John Barrowman must be so proud of himself after all his griping about being cut back in Doctor Who: Parting of the Ways.

Wednesday the fun just kept on coming. Talk about hitting the ground running. I'm impressed at how quickly they got Hub2 up and running (after that fantastic montage of them being "criminals" I laughed so hard, I cried). Alice is amazing. I really hope we get to see a LOT more of her. If there's a season 4, she needs to be a recurring character. Also, I loved the return of the contacts. Best. Gizmo. EVER.

What this long ramble is trying to say, is that this mini-series surpases everything Torchwood to date and is mind blowingly incredible. Everyone in the world needs to see this. It's THAT good. So great job to all of you: Russel, John Fay, and everyone else involved. You should be very proud of what you've created here, it's PHENOMENAL, and I can't wait for part 4 tonight.

Harriettaa said...

Scaryduck: Well the consolidated isnt going to be lower than the overnights is it?

James, last night was just plain amazing, (cept the UK & NI, yeah i noticed it too but didnt realy pay attention till ophelia said it)
Its so great to see Torchwood finally getting the figures it deserves, now all we need is a new 13 part series on bbc1 and were all happy!

Its people like you that make people like me proud to say were torchwood fans. Were happy to sit and talk about it to people as if its all real. I myself have been involved in conversation about the space/time rift over Cardiff.

Speaking of the rift, i have to ask, why it appears to be asleep while the 456 are around. The rift manipulator is exploded and the hub is as good as none existant, and with Torchwood running around London, whos saving Cardiff?

*The whole west coast could fall into the sea and London wouldnt notice*

Anonymous said...

Those ratings are amazing! I imagine Russell is having meetings with BBC execs today, who are begging him to start work on season 4, like, now!

I too hope we get some mankissing in this episode.

Conversation on the train this morning with a fellow commuter who said that this season of TW has been better than Doctor Who. Miles better, in fact. Controversial, I thought, but I think she might even be right. So nice to see TW capitalising on the fact that it can do things, post-watershed, that Who can't.

Anonymous said...

I have now forgiven you for killing off one of my favourite characters in Spooks. This episode was brillant absolutely brillant.

Anonymous said...

First, I love how you write Ianto. He was pretty damn awesome in Sleeper as well, I love his cheekiness and the way he teases Jack, and the subtext in their conversation in 3.03 was amazing. I saw some people complaining that Jack was "dismissive" in just saying "I suppose" instead of talking about his feelings, but I guess those are the fans that want them to declare epic undying love and pick out curtain fabrics, because I thought Jack's adorable little smile said a lot more than his words.

Secondly, I have been instructed by fellow fans to ask an extremely vital question. We wish to know if Clem can smell Jack's sperm on (or in, as the case may be) Ianto, or if gay (/bisexual/Jacksexual) men somehow smell different. Or if he had Jack's pheromones on him or something. Seriously. We are extremely curious about this.

We also love the contact lenses. I saw on Twitter you were going for a stopwatch thing there. :P

Anonymous said...

I should read the other comments first -

@Harriettaa, we frequently talk over the dinner table as though the Who-verse were real and discuss things according to the rules of time travel. I remember once assuring my mother completely straight-faced that the eruption of Mt Vesuvius was a fixed point in time and couldn't be changed.

I was just thinking said...

It was most deffinately worth threatening my boyfriends pneis with a cheesegrater in order to see that episode. However, i was going to have beans on toast for lunh and now i think i would rather get a toothpic and stab each individual bean to its beany death for what they did last night lol.

also. You are a cruel man giving us a cliffhanger like that, but it was fantatially dark and I love that.

a much deserved 5.9 if you ask me. well done on a fantastic piece of telly.

Now the fangirl squeenai (plural of shar's famous squeenis) i throbbing and ready. hopefully that 5.9million will all remember how brilliant it wa a une in for the 4th night in a row. I know i an't wait, however, i may need more booze for the occasion.


Book Maven said...

I had a large Campari to keep me company. Brilliant, James. I like it far more than Who which I stopped watching last series.

Can I ask a question? Why has no-one mentioned the Weevils and possibly other aliens - not to mention the corpses - that would have been blown up in the Hub?

Just curious.

Roll on, episode 4!

Anonymous said...

@Book Maven

We have all been discussing Gray (presumably finally killed now), and mourning Tosh's body, and hoping Myfanwy is okay. Clearly the pteranodon is the important thing in all this!

Anonymous said...

I am intrigued as to the exact details of the snog that has found its way into an alternative universe! Can't you tell us if there's another to compensate before the end of S3?
I've got the next set of books on pre-order and look forward to reading your Janto affection scenes there (4 authors? - it had better be a nice long story!)
Meanwhile, congratulations on a brilliant episode last night ... even though the thought of something that horrified you turning up tonight is truly terrifying ....

Tariqa said...

Fantastic work on Day Three, James. Those ratings are definitely well deserved!

For some reason I am convinced the object you mention is a Pear of Anguish. I know it's highly unlikely, but I just can't think of anything more horrifying than a Pear of Anguish.

Anonymous said...

Just to say I'm loving Torchwood Children of Earth. The five episode format is working really well and I'm so glad we don't have to wait a week between each episode! This is edge of your seat drama at its best!
Well done to all the writers - the last three episodes have had some of the best lines, most memorable moments and some of the most scary scenes of all the Torchwood series so far. I have to admit I was worried about only having three main characters but the scripts are written so well and there's plenty of other characters involved that it's not an issue.
I love how the series is written so new fans can watch it without getting lost (i.e. my Dad and Auntie) and older fans can see the characters develop etc. Jack and Ianto are such a great "couple"!It's a sign of great writing to be able to keep old and new audiences entertained.
I can't wait for the last two parts! I have complete and utter faith that they won't disappoint. Hopefully series 4 won't be too far behind!

Kate Orman said...

(Jon Blum here from Kate's account)

Just finished episode three Down Under, and I feel like I've been hit in the face with a chopping-board.

I'm staggered by how well it's working. You lot are doing Quatermass for the 21st century, or maybe State of Play with aliens in. It just feels like that kind of definitive work, and executed without pulling a single punch.

Bravo, the lot of you!

Nicole said...

I say a hearty congratulations to you Mr. Moran. Fantastic job on your episode.

Can't wait to see what the rest of this series brings.

Gizensha said...

Shocking revelations, and much more. Today's nuggets: you'll see the object that I was brought into a room to see when I was on set, the object that horrified me and made me wonder if we would actually get away with this. You'll know it when you see it, it's during a scene where you find out the reason for something. This scene was going to be in episode 3, but would have meant too much exposition/delay in the middle of the cliffhanger, so got moved here.

...Honestly? You're worse than Moffat with his "A thing on a thing going through a thing" comment about The Girl In The Fireplace's conclusion in DWM.

TallulahBelle said...

I'm so excited about these ratings. It means more more MORE TW which makes me deliriously happy. Congrats on the ep - I effing LOVE how you write Ianto (just as much as I loved how you wrote Donna - Donna Noble and Ianto Jones, two of the greatest characters to come from the DW franchise) and the scene between Ianto and Jack was just sigh inducingly lovely. Oh Jack. A gift? Really. Oh dear. Episode 4 just can not come any faster. (I tried to make it but my time machine is stuck on September 15th 1987. You know what happened Sept 15th 1987? NOTHING. Stupid time machine. Ebay sucks.)

And Ianto (oh, fine AND you) saved the coat! Yay! OBE is in the post.

Anonymous said...

this kinda a'reboot' for Torchwood really and a damn good one at that and normally I don't like week long stories as big commitment unless (as in this case) it's worth it. And now as I'm stuck inside on my own with the plague this has turned out to be just the quality distraction I need!!!

Anonymous said...

Just to say I love this - can't twitter as my laptop interferes with my video recorder's ability to record the Torchwood goodness (and yes, the DVD is on order but even so)

Great scene with Jack and Ianto - bloody beans indeed.

counting down until tonight!

Anonymous said...

I have a question... In last nights episode I loved the part where they had to be criminals and that Ianto pretended to be a waiter.

But, was Jack also trying to be a waiter? Thats what it looked like and I was baffled by how someone could fall for it while hes waring a track suit.

Also excited for tonight <3 Looks like a lot of Janto in the next episode.

Alison said...


Clem can smell all kinds of things - Gwen's Pregancy included. I imagine it's more complex than a heightened sense of smell detecting bodily fluids and more along the lines of psychic ability. He seems to know details about people which have nothing to do with scent. Besides which, that would be gross and far less interesting.

That's my take on it, but maybe James has a better explanation.

Is it 9pm yet?

othello said...

So, some people have received their DVDs early and the spoilers are out there. I have to say I'm kind of horrified at the way you are encouraging people you know are going to be devastated by the final out come. Cruel, Mr Moran, cruel.

James Moran said...

Thank you everyone once again for all the comments, I'm still buzzing from the whole thing.

nikki4noo: Yep, party at his house this weekend, whether he wants it or not. I'll just turn up, on my own, with a bottle of cheap gin. He's probably not even in.

Harriettaa: The Rift is in a quiet period, luckily...

phaetonschariot: Something happened to Clem, which is explained tonight, that altered him slightly. May have opened some neural pathways, closed others, given him abilities that were never supposed to work.

Book Maven: I'm sure if/when season 4 arrives, they'll have to do some Weevil rounding up. Among other things. Right now it's the last thing on their minds.

saskafrass: Yes, he was - and anyone fooled by a scruffy bloke in tracky bottoms deserves to have their card nicked, to teach them a lesson...

othello: Haven't seen the spoilers yet, so can't comment on them either way (and wouldn't anyway, until after airing) - but not sure what you mean by that. The only thing I'm encouraging people to do is watch Torchwood, a great show that I love and am proud to be a part of.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with othello, Mr. Moran. You are a wonderful writer and I always enjoy your TW/DW work, but having read the spoilers put out by people that have already received their DVDs, I am extremely displeased with what's coming. I'll be watching the next 2 eps, but if what's been put out there comes true, it may well put me off the next series.

(Even with your spoiler caveat, I'm trying to be deliberately obtuse for other people who don't want to know...yet.)

Estel said...

The episode was absolutely amazing. Cockbanannas indeed. I'M SO EXCITED for today's episode. More so, I'm excited to see what the 456 look like. Staring into that gas cloud is an uncomfortable and unsuccessful way of trying to figure shit. Even with screencaptures and the like. There's nothing. Good on ya for making it creepy as hell.

Also, I keeps the new characters forever. Except for bitchass cunt and Rupesh. One because of him being dead, thus he's hard to keep forever, and the other because she must be put to death.

Anonymous said...

James Moran: The spoiler is mentioned here:

I know you can't confirm nor deny it. However, if it's true I'm afraid the show is over. Really, who is actually going to watch it after that? And advertising it especially with a focus on Jack/Ianto fans would be cruel and extremely disgusting.

Antonia said...

Why look at or read *spoilers* when you know it might spoil things. Anyway, watching the thing and reading isn't the same at all.

Anonymous said...

I'm loving the ride so far - so much packed into three short hours. And I've been pleasantly surprised by the number and variety of people at work, i.e. not just the usual suspects, who are watching and loving it too.

On the downside, I'm desparately trying to avoid spoilers but it's becoming increasing difficult as people comment on them all over the place - however vague they try to be they still give something away. I might just have to go offline until 10pm on Friday :(

Anyway, fingers crossed for series 4...

Anonymous said...

Please help! Somebody on IMDB claims to already have the Torchwood DVD and this is what they say happens:

I have NOT, I repeat not read it and do not wish to, however on the source where I found the original link I accidentaly caught sight of a few comments that claim this ending will "make me cry" and "they cant do that to us".
So although I haven't read it and do not want to read it, it seems bad. Please James, oh please, could you scan through it and tell me it is just a hoax and that good things do come of this series? It has been beyond brilliant so far and I can't believe that will change.

Anonymous said...

Really guys, anyone with an ounce of intelligence is going to work out what that spoiler is - even if only in vague terms - from the comments here. Not that I hadn't already heard the rumours...

James Moran said...

Once again: I WILL NOT confirm or deny any plot questions for episodes that have not aired yet.

Anonymous said...

Like others, I've read the rumored spoilers (from IMB and another blog that put them up Tuesday) and I'm also less than pleased.

It really implies a jerking around of the fans, particularly a core part of the Torchwood viewership, that is above and beyond the call of cruelty.

It's a grim ending, and we've been encoraged to invest in a emotional situation that is going to be destroyed.

Since the earliest existence of this rumor is Tuesday, that actually lessens its liklihood of being true but still ... the kind of writing that suggests contempt or dislike of the viewers.

We don't need to be jerked around to watch the show - in fact, for me anyway, that's how to get me to leave.

SophyL said...

So, the DVDs have been shipped early. If the spoilers prove true, I will feel used and abused in the nastiest possible way by the creator, producers, star and writers of Torchwood.

For over a year, I eagerly awaited the start of Series 3. I read all the articles, watched every interview I could find, bought all the books, listened to the radio dramas and even attended a few conventions.

I read and I listened to what all of you said, ALL OF YOU: the misdirection, the half-truths, the lies. OMG, the lies. Just last month John Barrowman (see if I ever watch anything that man is in again) said that fans who had vested in a certain relationship would be “very happy” with Season 3. Really? Is this how he defines happiness?

I waited patiently and supportively for over a year . . . for this?

This, well, this . . .

This is nothing less than a slap in the face after a kind, warm and loving hug.

Why bother with Series 4 or actually would that be Series 1 of “The Gwen Show (god help us all)?”

Anonymous said...

I know you can't say anything regarding the remaining two eps, but if the rumours of DVDs being viewed are true and the rest of it, all I can say is that a huge percentage of the 5.9 million will turn their backs on TW in disgust ...

James Moran said...

Once again, I'm not confirming or denying anything, or discussing the unaired episodes until they have aired.

But I'll say this: we make the show because we want to entertain people, to give them a good show. If we really had "contempt or dislike" for the viewers, we wouldn't make it in the first place. So can we tone down the aggression, please?

Anonymous said...

Oh honey, if the spoilers are correct it's gonna get a hell of a lot worse than this....

The thing is, Russell T Davies doesn't have a blog for people to rant on.

Catherine B said...

I tried to log in using OpenID, but it didn't work, so I took the opportunity to sign up for Blogger.

First off, your episode was brilliant and chilling, and I felt so sorry for everyone affected, including (perhaps especially) Jack. You more than deserved the ratings you got, and I'm incredibly pleased for you. Well done!

I'll admit to being incredibly worried about what happens tonight and tomorrow, and am uncertain about watching the show in the future. The spoiler that's worrying everyone has a tone to it that belies much of the targeted language used by some to publicise CoE, and that discrepancy might put me off, if the spoiler proves true in all respects. That said, of course, there's nothing like actually waiting and seeing what actually happens.

Regardless, though, I look forward very much to reading the next set of books when they come out, especially your contribution. I promise to buy that one. :)


Anonymous said...

"So can we tone down the aggression, please?"

Sorry if we come across as aggressive ... I think there are a lot of us swiping out blindly in outrage at the content of the rumours ... the trouble is that so many of us have grown to love a particular aspect of Torchwood, that for it to be threatened in any way brings out a fiercely defensive reaction ... we want to protect what has come to mean a hell of a lot to us ... and the credit for that is down to the writers and actors who have created it in the first place, ironically. There are intense emotions involved here ... very strong feelings being evoked and I apologise in advance for any backlash there may be ... the trouble is that you have all created a monster and it's not the 456 ...

Anonymous said...

@James Moran

I'm sorry if I came off as aggressive, which wasn't my intent. I'm also well aware (as I mentioned) that this is only a rumor, nor am I asking for you to reassure me. I am, however, discussing - as a viewer and a fan - what the sort of tearjerking angst that is becoming popular in popular media feels like.

Anonymous said...

It is none too surprising that RTD doesn't have a blog, because contrary to popular belief, they're NOT soapboxes for commenters to RANT on.

James, you're a bloody STAR, ignore the moaning masses. I have been so excited all week over Torchwood and will love it whatever happens.

amaunet said...

I haven't read the spoilers; I don't want to read the spoilers. A group of talented writers, crew and actors and post-production peeps have spent a lot of time, heartache and sweat creating this series for us ; the fans.

Reading spoilers is like opening Christmas presents before the big day.

Last night's episode had me - a 24 year old - hiding behind my pillow at one of the scariest monsters I've seen on tv since the Ice Warriors. Congratulations on understanding that less is more and delivering whats proven to be so far an exceptionally high class sci-fi show thats aimed at a wide audience as well as core fans.

So thankyou. And I'm sorry that comments are getting you down, especially when everyones worked so hard to deliver the show. I for one look forward to the coming episodes with anticipation (and my trusty pillow!)

(inksmudged on twitter)

Hollie said...

I think your writing is lovely. I think RTD is brilliant. I think the whole point of all of this is art and entertainment and you should be proud to be this inspiring. I am sorry people are taking out frustrations on you but that's more a reflection of them than you. I think we're all emotional - its like we are all having our 'time of month'.

Thank you for writing beautifully. It is appreciated. Try, if you can, to see even the negative comments as proof of your art and ability to arouse reaction. Apathy would be much worse.


Anonymous said...

haha we did suspect that it was a "special" sense of smell but thinking about how it might work entertained us more than it probably should.

And seriously, I'm avoiding spoilers, and the complaints about the spoilers have me 90% sure what the spoiler is. :( I refuse to be upset about anything until I see it on screen, though, and I'm sure even if something awful does happen it will be well-written at the very least.

Anonymous said...

I'm sitting here sobbing.
Which makes it very effective drama. And very well written.
And very, very well observed politically. Unfortunately.

Please can we have a big reset button??? Please??

I don't think I can watch Torchwod without Ianto.

clarelouiseallen said...

Your ep was great but after part 4... YOU BASTARDS!!!!

SK said...

So explain to me why everyone's so scared of the aliens? They obviously can't take the children directly, or they wouldn't need to ask for help, and they have the worst biological warfare agent ever (a virus that kills in minutes is not an anti-population weapon).

As alien threats go, they're pretty crap, aren't they? They just.. stand there.

(The other question that occurs is why they have junior secretaries there to take minutes to a criminal conspiracy. But I guess in Torchwood-land politicians aren't as smart as Stringer Bell).

R Strong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R Strong said...

A small part of me wants a Deus Ex Machina ending with the Doctor intervening and leaving these alien's fubar'd.

It does make me wonder who Jack wanted to see those television images.

I don't agree the aliens are crap at all. Releasing a virus that could kill every human being on the face of the planet is a lot cleaner than using big guns. They stand there because they can do these things with ease which is what makes them scary.

Antonia said...

Honestly! It was like this on the Eastenders site when Ronnie's daughter died in a hit and run. I'll say the same here that I said then: It's not REAL. It's a show. Sometime, bad things happen, so get over it.

the_who_ru said...

I only have one question: why? Whywhywhywhywhyyy? *grabs more tissues*

And I wasn't freaked out as you said I would be. I was more scared when they were a bodiless voice, as not being able to associate a voice with anything scares me more than a horrific creature. :P

Gizensha said...

...Wibble :(

SK said...

Actually, I was kind of hoping that 'we are coming back' meant that this wasn't the four-five-six from 1965, but rather the children who had been given to them... who had overthrown their captors and had returned, transfigured and immortal, to take revenge on the human race who betrayed them.

More interesting than what we got? Less interesting?

SK said...

(And of course they'd be particularly interested in revenge on Jack...)

Anonymous said...

I loved episode 4! I was scared to death and upset me no end but it was amazing! Can't wait for tomorrow night!!
I'm not reading spoilers - whatever happens happens and I trust the writers to include something for the right reasons (because it makes good drama and entertains us).
If your previous work is anything to go by then I'm confident every script choice you and the other writers made was the right one. Characters (except Jack) can't live forever in Torchwood - as much as we want them to - because it wouldn't be realistic. If everything stayed the same we'd all complain that it was boring so we can't complain if things change.
I'm sure this series of Torchwood will be talked about for a long time to come. Even if the critics don't like it at least they watched it!
Well done again James and all the team/cast/crew! Looking forward to tomorrow!!

Anonymous said...

Oh. my. goodness.

I think the horrible thing you saw that you wondered if we could put on tv was Iantos dead body ; _____ ;

I don't know if RTD knows this. But 99.9% of viewers will stop watching unless he promises Ianto back.

I can't even... *grabs tissues*

Anonymous said...

Dear gods. I wonder if some people remember what it looks like 'outside'.

Anonymous said...


First of all your episode was fantastic, as was episodes 1 and 2 and 4, what I particularly love about Torchwood is that it seems 'real', none of this Hollywood stuff, it's how I imagine it'd really go if aliens landed and demanded our children, the government would try and cover it up and then do some dodgy deal and people would fight back, smilies an' all, they'd die and they'd be just as helpless.

Anonymous said...

If people stop watching because characters get killed off, then they need to question why they watched in the first place.

Anonymous said...

That was amazing. I didn't read those detailed spoilers today, and I'm glad, because the snippets that were reported were not entirely accurate.
It was awful too though.
Now, that reset button. You all know you want to.....

SK said...

And it's not like death is ever permanent in Torchwood, anyway. Certainly not for members of the team.

Anonymous said...

Laudanum, honestly, plenty of people have been watching Torchwood from series one precisely because they fell in love with these characters. Plenty of people have stuck with the series despite patchy quality just for Ianto/Jack, partly because they enjoyed the relationship and the chemistry of the actors, but mainly because they don't see anything like it anywhere else. They really invested in that relationship.

Yes, it was beautifully written. Yes, it had that power because we invested. But you have to leave your viewers something to invest in - if you kill off the reason people watch then they'll stop watching!

This time yesterday I was excited at the prospect of another series of TW. Now I don't think I could watch it.

Patrick said...

That was depressing and exhillerating all rolled up into a ball of deftly executed political thriller. Lois has become an enormously endearing character, one that might ease the sting of Ianto's loss. Hope the team triumph somehow!

And where's the bloody Doctor at?! Swanning about I suspect!

Stonecypher said...

Children of Earth has been Torchwood at its absolute best. I don't deny that for a second, and tonight's episode was superb. However, I simply will not be able to watch a potential series 4 without Ianto. The Jack and Gwen Show just wouldn't hold the same appeal to me, and any new characters just won't be able to replace the love I have for Ianto (and previously Tosh!) no matter how well written they are.

And to those who are saying 'it's just a TV show, get over it' - I'm so sorry that you can't comprehend the emotional investment some people have in fictional characters. I would ask you, though, to treat us with the same respect we treat you - not all of us are mindless spammers.

SimsKatie said...

I'm not going to be nasty and I'm not going to make personal remarks about anyone's mothers or various body parts.

This show has been a major changing force in my life. It led me to meet wonderful new people, and to do things I never would have thought I could do. I've for the first time flown thousands of miles across the ocean alone, away from my family and friends and my job, because I want to see the place where it is filmed.

So when I say in all honesty that I feel like not watching the show tomorrow and in series future, I hope you will understand how simply disappointed I am.

Perhaps I'm taking this too seriously, but then it's a testament to the show that it can inspire such an emotional reaction from it's fans. It's just a shame it had to be this one.

Anonymous said...

While I don't condone being threatening or over-aggressive, surely no one is surprised at negative fan reaction to the events of episode 4? Did you really believe that this development would fall into the category of "enjoyment" for the online fandom? Frankly, my biggest reaction is disappointment that the writers were unable to resist such an overused plot, I couldn't believe that you would do something so obvious, and so soon after Tosh and Owen.

SK said...

Seriously, anyone who thinks Ianto's dead:

Have you ever, you know, watched Torchwood?

Here's how drama works. If you're going to kill a major character, for real, you do it at the end. That's when you get maximum dramatic impact, at the climax.

Cliffhangers are not where you kill people for real. Cliffhangers are where you either threaten to kill someone (but then they get out of it at the start of the next episode) or you make it look like they're dead (but then they come back).

You simply don't kill someone for real as a cliffhanger, because cliffhangers are about making peopel go 'what happens next?!?' and there is not 'next' after death -- unless the death is about to be reversed (I suspect by Jack somehow sharing / giving up his immortality).

Anonymous said...

Hello James,

With so much shouting going on, I'm unlurking to say how much I've been loving Torchwood all this week. Alice and her chopping board were magnificent, Ianto missing the coat was gorgeous - and Mr Frobisher with the 456 is the best, most frightening, most real first contact scene I've ever seen. Peter Capaldi is extraordinary. Can't wait for the last episode.

I'm sorry people are screaming at you about events on tonight's show - and it's not even your episode! I thought the Ianto's death was moving and honest, and beautifully played.

Congratulations to the whole Torchwood team, and thanks for so much hard, thoughtful, intelligent work.

Anonymous said...

I've just about stopped crying, and am de-lurking to tell you that I'm utterly loving Children of Earth. Even if it does make me bawl. Seriously, it's one of the best things I've seen in years.

I do wonder, though, when you guys were discussing the bit of plot that involved Ianto's death - did anyone sit there and say, "OMG, the internet is going to explode"?

Anonymous said...

I think that, with Children of Earth, the Torchwood production team has shown what it is truly capable of: magnificence.

Unfortunately, tonight's episode likely spelled the downfall of said potential, as a large faction of the fanbase will be leaving and not returning. This isn't a threat, as I'm barely involved in fandom, but simply me telling you what I've observed. Torchwood is over now. I'm so sorry this happened.

Antonia said...

I reckon the viewing figures will be higher than ever tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Walrus, (and anyone else who thinks this is place to vent when James didn't even WRITE this episode)

You'll all watch tomorrow's episode even if you say you won't. Why? Because deep down, you want to know what happens. I have no idea what happens. I WANT to know. You're all denying yourself a thrilling end to a wonderfully written series because you're stomping your feet over the death of a character.

I mean honestly, you never know what happens in Torchwood. What if by some small miracle, he's not really dead? And you didn't watch it? Heaven forfend! Oh wait, someone would tell you and you'd suddenly watch it again. How hypocritical of you!

That's ridiculous. I understand attachment to things, but it's a series with lots of things going on in it, and as I said before, if ALL you're watching it for is Ianto or Janto or whathaveyou, then really, you need to look at why.

I despair at all these people who are saying such awful things to James both here and on Twitter. He didn't even WRITE this episode, but he has taken so much time to answer questions, and be wonderful to fans regardless of if he wrote things or not. He interacts with people who love Torchwood and is extremely accommodating. RTD doesn't have a blog apparently, but are you really surprised? With all this hatred spewing forth, who could blame him? How exactly does this give anyone the right to come here, to James' blog and be downright rude to him, when all he has ever been is helpful to everyone?

Where do you get off thinking you have any right to do that? More to the point, you don't OWN the Torchwood cast and storylines, so who are you to dictate what's right and wrong?

I'm certainly not, but you won't see me ranting at writers for being realistic. I admit fully, to crying at the end of this episode because it was powerful, gritty and real. Amongst the supernatural aspects of Torchwood, is the REALITY of life and how fragile it is. Jack can't die and realistically he will always stand alone in Torchwood because everyone else around him is mortal and frail.

That's what this whole season has said to me so far. The writers have really outdone themselves in this series, it's the best one so far. I can't wait to see what happens, and neither can you, despite your squawking to the contrary.

If Ianto or any other fictional character is the focus of your life, might I suggest you unplug and GET HELP? Seriously.

Keep it up James, and to all the other writers of Torchwood. You're all FABULOUS.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry people are blaming you for what happened in episode 4. You aren't Russell T. Davies or any of the few other people with decision power to do something like that.

I feel cheated and like the PTB are laughing at me for keeping me waiting 15 months and promising a real not heterosexual relationship on prime time and then pulling the "bury your gays".

They just killed Torchwood for me.

I always read your blog, though I think I'll stay away until there's no talk about Torchwood anymore. Good luck with all the writing projects you have going :)

Indigo said...

Just for the record - we still love you. We know Day Four was not your episode. Everyone is overwhelmed with grief (as a result of amazing writing making us forget this whole thing isn't real - I keep getting very confused when BBC News comes on immediately after Torchwood: 'WHY AREN'T THEY SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THE CHILDREN???'). Sorry people are being dickheads. Yes, we're heartbroken, but as if anyone is ACTUALLY not going to watch tomorrow after the most incredible episode to date. What utter bull.

You are a lovely man!

Alison said...

Sorry you're getting so much grief, mate. Whack 'em with a chopping board.


Samantha said...

"Holy fuckbum titspangling cockbananas" - not only are you a brilliant tv show writer, but you've just made my evening (ok, early morning) with that fine combination of swear words.


Anonymous said...

@laudanum: as much as i'm agreeing with you, there's one point you have forgotten, lol. or maybe it's just me, who's finding it kind of amusing, nevertheless.
i've been watching it on some house-fourms too, when the realisation hit, that nothing was happening. i mean, and there i agree with you regarding reality and grittyness, but why does there always have to be the imminent and excessive desire to put two charas together in a relationship, that might only be a kind of playout from the side of the writers [or being meant totally different than fandom wants it to be] and the imminent [death]threats and the like from fandom if expectations are not met. or, as it seems to be in iantos case, disappointment or wot not else.

plotwise, it was an interesting twist, although the fact that jack hast indeed a family that knows about him, sees him and so forth was more interesting in my eyes, somehow.
and regarding plot and reality, on another note - i don't know who actually wrote that parts, or if it was rtd or whatnot, nevermind - but the political related part of tonights ep was partly a little too close for comfort. something that also hit me in the first ep regarding how fast you can become a target and at the moment when iantos family was raided. there seemed to be some underlying notes that just were ... yeh ...

Anonymous said...

and oh, to those whining ones ... looks like you have forgotten, that ianto originally should have died in ep 1x04.

Anonymous said...

@sahreekah - it might be because it's now the smaller hours of the morning and my brain is slowly melting and oozing from my ears, but I'm not entirely sure what you meant? I've re-read your comment a couple of times and I might just have lost me marbles with failing to understand it, would you mind clarifying? Thanks.

SophyL said...

Okay, you want to impress me, then bring him back. Find a way to bring him back for Series 4.

I know you can do it. I have faith. You are a brilliant writer (Sleeper, one of my favorites), so I know you can think of a very clever and unique way to bring him back.

Seriously, show me your moves.

Anonymous said...

I was completely speechless at the end of this episode. I still am, in a way. I couldn't believe that he's gone. He was so cool... :(

I hope "Day Five" really delivers an epic ending to this week of insanity!

Btw, am I the only one who spotted Dalek VA Nick Briggs? I must be watching too much "Doctor Who Confidential..." :D

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be optimistic here. It's unfathomable to me how RTD could do this to this character in particular, knowing the fan base for this show, and not have a revival plan.

If he wants viewers for series four, this MUST be a cliffhanger, not a period at the end of the season. Anything else, and he's going to have a EXTRAORDINARILY unhappy crowd at Comic Con...

Headline: TORCHWOOD Fans Go Postal at San Diego Convention Center

That being said, I enjoyed the first three episodes immensely. :-)

Sulla said...

This has been a cracking series, so far, the best Torchwood yet.

However, I think this episode was RTD's way of telling us that there will not be a fourth series. He's been cagey about another series - saying it'll depend on ther ratings for these episodes - and I believe that, efectively, he has already made up his mind thazt this is the end.

For a start- the Hub is destroyed. Secondly, tonight's shocking ending (I'm trying not to 'spoil' here) will make it difficult for the writers to develop Jack's character further.

The element which was removed tonight was the element which gave Jack a degree of human interest - the mysteries surrounding his origins & past have already been explained, so his emotions were the main thing keeping us guessing; after all, this particular storyline has been developing since the first series. Without this element, it is difficult to see Jack becoming anything other than a stock 'action hero' figure, which I know would not be RTD's style.

So I believe, myself, that if tonight's events do prove to be irreversible, then this is the official "finale" of the show as a whole. There is too little left of the original TW to carry over to a new series.

Sulla said...

Whoops, apologies for typos in above!

Anonymous said...

Torchwood has been *amazing*. The plot was well done with politics, ethics, drama, everything! That said, I can't imagine watching a fourth season unless it has a RESET button. Losing Tosh and Owen last season still left enough of the original team intact so the show retained everything I originally loved about it. But after this loss? I honestly don't see how you can keep viewer's interest. I guess I'm upset not just by the loss, but by the fact that even if there is a Season 4, it won't match the awesomeness of Season 3.

Chrissy said...

Oh Gee you mean we will finally lose all of these people who are all OTP BLAH BLAH BLAH from the fandom!? Fantastic! less people with jack/ianto gay icons filling up message boards for people who actually like the show not just gay men kissing the better

Anonymous said...

You utter BASTARDS.

(Brilliant, wonderful bastards. but bastards nonetheless. I am still reeling.)

..also, was that Nick Briggs?

Shannon said...

Sorry people are giving you a hard time over this. It's undeserved, for sure. This has been the best season of Torchwood ever. This is the show I always knew it could be.

Having said that, I'm not sure I can watch anymore. Obviously some people are going to sneer at me for feeling that way, but whatever. For me any story--tv, film, novels, anything--is about the characters. The story needs to be there, obviously, but the thing that pulls me in and makes me care is the characters. Always has been and always will be. And for me, the heart of my love for the show died in tonight's episode. I truly wish I didn't feel that way. I do love Jack, but it just feels like there's a big gaping hole now, and Gwen sure isn't going to fill it, not for me. Maybe I'll feel differently later, and Jack will be enough. I hope so.

Lots of people are holding out hope that Ianto will somehow be brought back. I would love that, even if it was the cheesiest, most ridiculously cliched or unlikely plot device ever, but I don't really see how it could happen, and I refuse to get my hopes up only to have them crushed again.

I am happy for everyone involved that the show is doing so well.

Lasha said...

Mr. Moran, you are a class act. I loved your episodes and the way you've handled youself here is amazing. The furor over recent events in Day 4 is not your fault.

However, I've been through this anger/hurt/confusion before as a TV viewer.

Perhaps you remember the TV show, "Beauty & the Beast" with Ron Pearlman (Hellboy)?

The writers killed off Linda Hamilton's character, Catherine, half of a beloved television couple, like Jack and Ianto. Fans were outraged, letters were written, boycotts mentioned. Basically it created a lot of hype around the show that helped it get a pick-up for a 3rd season.

But the show only lasted 10 episodes after the main character of Catherine was killed off. Die hard fans did not want to watch B&B after Linda was gone, nor did they want to see Vincent (Pearlman's character) with another woman on the show. So the ratings fell and show was canned.

Yes, I know TW personnel can die - that was made clear first season. But when the Mr. Davis kills off two main characters in season two (Tosh & Owen) and kill of one of the three remaining actors in season 3, what happens?

Well, I know from my B&B experience, many fans will think why invest anymore of my time or emotional connection with a show that has ripped your heart apart and isn't going to "fix" it? These type of fans get angry and go and watch something else.

I still remember the two writers, Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa, who killed off Catherine at a "Beauty and the Beast" convention YEARS later apologizing to their fans for killing her off. They acknowledged in hindsight it was the worst mistake they'd ever made and caused the show they loved and bled over to be canceled.

So if history repeats itself here - and from the reactions I've read it certainly looks like it will - Russell T. Davis has literally killed his own TV show with this act.

CoE has been brilliantly written, directed and acted in. And speaking as an American who waited up until all hours of the night to get my hands on each night's ep, I have enjoyed this miniseries very much.

But it looks like my time watching Torchwood will pass after Day 5. Yep, I am one of "those fans" who will stop watching if Ianto Jones stays dead. I cannot watch a Torchwood that doesn't have Gwen, Jack AND Ianto. Sorry.

So I thank you for a good 3 year run. I wish you nothing but the best and continued success with your work!

Flobberchops said...

Simple truth #1: people return to a series week after week because they get invested in the characters and the relationships they form.

Simple truth #2: The Jack/Ianto relationship was a big reason a lot of people kept on watching Torchwood.

Because, let's fact it, Torchwood, while occasionally brilliant in Seasons 1 & 2, was more often than not less than stellar in quality. It was the characters and the relationships that kept the viewers coming back.

Simple truth #3: Like it or not, Torchwood just lost a substantial portion of its fanbase.

And for what?

Yes, the scene (and indeed the whole series so far) was beautifully written and realised.

But was it necessary to the overall story?


The story could have been written without this particular storyline and had just as much impact.

Will people watch tomorrow?

Probably, in hopes that somehow there is going to be some big "reset button" and everything will be OK.

If it isn't OK, having lost the principal reason they watched the show, they'll move on.

There's a lot of other good shows out there.

Yep, you can go on all you like about people should get out more and get a life, it's just a character in a TV series, etc, etc.

But in answer, I take you back to "simple truth #1" - people return to TV series for the characters and the relationships.

Leaving aside the whole creative aspect of making a TV series, when you get right down to it, Torchwood the TV series is a business. One that we must assume its creators wants to be successful?

It is therefore difficult to understand how unnecessarily alienating a serious chunk of that business's customer base plays as a good executive decision.

True, you can’t have a show where the story arcs are dictated by the fanbase. But it is a symbiotic relationship. If you drive your fans away because of your storylines, then pretty soon you don’t have a show.

It will be interesting to see what this does to the ratings in the US when it comes out on the 20th.

I hope it isn't true, but I have a horrible feeling you guys just shot yourself in the foot.

Catherine B said...

@Chrissy: Whilst I understand that you feel a certain way, I'm sure that you could understand that not everyone does, and that losing a favourite character, whatever their sexual orientation might be, is hard for many of us. However silly it may seem to those who don't share such sentiments, there is a grieving process involved, and it is a bit harsh to attack everyone who mourns when a given character has just been killed off.

I'm one of those who is sad about the death of Ianto Jones. Could I just ask that perhaps we all might tread carefully around each other's differing views for a day or two? It's the respectful thing to do, especially in someone else's house.

David Webb said...

I avoided spoilers for Children of Earth because I wanted to be entertained and amazed.

I have been entertained and amazed, and more. I'm fascinated at how this is going to be resolved, if it will be.

This is how grown-up sf/drama should be done. Did someone upthread mention Quatermass for the 21st Century? Yep, a deserved accolade.

D. said...

I rarely if ever comment on something like this but I felt it was necessary given the vitriol people have been splashing about.

These past few days have shown positively brilliant writing, well acted and well shot.

Brilliant and heart breaking.

Day 4 left me a bit broken but I am grateful for it. It hurts but only because these are such well loved characters living (& dying) in such a well loved world.

Thank you, and all the other writers, for telling theses stories.

Even when they hurt.

teiira said...

Have heard that people have said some not so nice things about the recent episodes and although I'm very upset over it I'm not angry at YOU! The writing is good and you're telling a story. Shame on everyone who is posting you aggressive comments.

Anonymous said...

I am so sorry for the way people are treating you, James. You'll have a lot of comments to get through, so I'm not going to make this long, especially as I've already ranted about how disgusted I am at some of these comments here:

I just want you to know that you still have my support, and anyone who is disgusted at the way James is being treated, I'd love for you to read that post too.

Anonymous said...

First, this series of Torchwood has exceeded all my expectations, and even my elderly father (who hates Doctor Who) is raving about it (and surprised to find out that there were 2 previous series).

I think in the context of the 5-part drama the death works well. With Jack unable to die it does lessen the risk somewhat, and to the first time watcher there was always a danger of them saying "so what, he'll live."

The death showed the greater risk, that Jack might not die, but those he loves might(and now his family is brought very much into focus).

The issue is in the context of the entire show from seasons 1-3. I can fully understand why a character might be killed off (actor wanting to leave, raise the stakes dramatically) but the problem is that Season 2 saw close to half the cast wiped out. I know it's said that people who are in Torchwood don't live long, but constantly killing people in a series with a large fandom (and I'd argue that whilst there is some crossover the fanbases of Spooks and Torchwood are very different), just feels like a cheap parlour trick to pull at the heartstrings ("we need to raise the stakes, who can we kill off now"). It makes it hard for people to invest in future characters, and seriously it means that any future love interest for Jack is going to a massive challenge for the writers as Ianto was such a great character and Gareth David Lloyd played him so well.

There's also the whole gay element. I may be wrong here, but Jack is the first (or at least one of the first) major action heroes who's openly LGBT (at least in genre). It's not just alluded to, it's full-on-in-your-face. And I think that was important. We're not so many years away from when same sex kissing was on Corry and it's still rare to see same sex couples on television where sexuality is secondary. I think Jack & Ianto represented something larger than the show to some people and his death felt like a cheap plot trick.

However, even with this one major issue I (and others) have, I'm truly loving the show and will be tuning in tonight to watch the finale

Anonymous said...

This season was brilliant... but I can't stand Ianto's death. It's too much for me. So the only one show that really made me hype in my whole life ended last night unless someone tells me that Ianto will come back somehow next season. I won't watch Torchwood only for Jack and Gwen, I'm not into them that much... my favourite character is always being Ianto and I can't watch it without him.
The storylines can be awesome as much as you want but if you're not into the characters and their relationships, you won't come back at it. I didn't complain about a lot of plot holes in the first two seasons because I still have Ianto and Jack/Ianto who were the most beautiful part of the whole show... and I really can't understand the reason to kill it all off at season 3 when their fanbase was keeping growing and their relationship was starting to unfold finally.
I cryed my eyes out the whole night and I have a lot to cry about in real life yet, I would like to be happy at least watching a TV show.

Morgan said...

Hi James,

I'm really sorry that people have been dumping shit on you, and I say that as someone who is absolutely devestated right now (I've been crying all day, and I rarely cry at all over fiction), and who thinks that RTD made a terrible decision there.

Other than that, Torchwood has been brilliant, and I know you put heaps of work into it, and that you just want to be enjoying it along with us. And even though it's hard for many of us to enjoy it at the moment, that doesn't give us the right to spoil your enjoyment. I hope this doesn't put you off, though I would understand if it did.

Bat Masterson said...


Just popped in to say - smashing series. Really enjoying it. I wasn't much of a Torchwood fan before, but this is really good stuff.


Lucy said...

Some of the negative comments on here and on Twitter have beggared belief. A part of your soul has not died - that's reserved for real tragedy, like your kid or spouse or even beloved pet dying. By all means love a show and character, have an emotional response, but end of the day please remember it is fiction. [And I say this as a lover of all things fiction].

Good drama has to evolve, change, take risks: if it doesn't, those same fans complain it's become stale and pedestrian. James, RTD et al do not hate the fans. They love the fans. They've gone out of their way to provide quality entertainment. Calling them out for it now just smacks to me not only of ingratitude, but an attempt to hold show concepts to ransom. Fans might be part of the process, but they do not own the process. If they did, nothing would get made. End of.

My ten year old son watched Torchwood last night, cried his eyes out and then said, "That was brill." A lot of adult fans out there at the minute could learn from him.

Paul Campbell said...

Can't quite believe the amount of crap being aimed at you just because you're open enough to allow the idiots ranting space.

Ignore the no-life low-lifes.

All I can say is that I am incredibly jealous of the part you played in bringing this story to the screen.


Anonymous said...

I think it should be made really really clear that this reaction is because people love Torchwood, and this series, and the way it has been written. People wouldn't care otherwise. And honestly this is not people flinging vitriol at james, who we adore for being a wonderful writer. Anger is part of grief. It's a testament to the show and the actors (especially Gareth David-lloyd) that people are grieving, it really is.

Doesn't change the fact that I'm not sure if I can bear any more bleakness. I have read the spoilers, and if anything I think it gets worse. I'm not even sure if I'll be able to watch Jack in Doctor Who again, let alone a new Torchwood.

And I'm honestly not the most rabid Jack/Ianto fan out there. I thought that, like Tosh and OWen, I would accept Ianto dying if done well. It just didn't feel necessary to the plot, and does feel like a kick int he teeth to the fans. I know that's not a rational reaction, and that I may well be crazy, but that's the way it is.

David Lemon said...

Wow. People are...passionate, aren't they?
And so they should be- this has been a great series. Whoever described it as a 'sci fi State of Play' was right on the money.
The viewing figures -and lack of drop off- have proved beyond doubt that it's not just the Doctor who can make 'genre' TV big and succesful.
Looking forward to more big, terrifying and surprising stuff tonight.

Indigo said...

Okay, I know I've already commented here, so this is more for everyone else's benefit than aimed at James (copy/paste of something I wrote on someone's LJ):

This isn't a popular opinion, but whatever. Yes I cried my eyes out and I don't see how they could do Torchwood long-term without him (which makes me suspect they're not gonna). But from a writing perspective, omg, that was an incredible move. Look at what it changes, look at the huge effect it's hard on everyone (...and by everyone, I mean the internet T__T). Of course they picked the character we had a huge emotional investment in, cause otherwise it wouldn't matter. It's like JKR targeting the main characters in Harry Potter, but braver, because JKR never really had the heart to touch the main trio. It's what makes Torchwood the 'grown up' version of DW; that you *can't* trust it, that *no one* is sacred.

It's bothering me that everyone's acting like it's this huge personal vendetta on RTD's part; like he saw all the Jack/Ianto fans and gave an audible, 'MOO HAR HAR!'. It's really bothering me that everyone's turning against what is -from a film/literary perspective- a work of art. A lot of people have said stuff like 'I just don't really want to watch this any more' and everytime I hear it I'm sort of thinking 'bullshit', cause as if *anyone* is gonna miss the finale to make a point about Ianto. Yeah, in the longterm, TW without Ianto wouldn't be the same. But like I said, I don't think they're likely to continue. And for tonight? Fucking hell, I adore Ianto, and I still wouldn't miss it for the world.

If one more person says 'I'm not watching tonight!' I'm gonna shake them, ugh.

Matthew McIntyre said...

Just popping by to offer my support, such as it is, to everyone involved in this brilliant series. James, I hope the bile doesn't get to you too much. It'd be a shame if you withdrew from public view, although I'd hardly blame you if you did.

Some fans have a weird sense of entitlement and ownership - and perhaps have over-invested in fictional characters and relationships (I've always been a bit worried that some of the Janto stuff has crossed over into the realm of a fetishitic fantasy). If people enjoy having that kind of relationship with a TV show then fine, each to their own - but to take your frustrations out on a writer who is kind enough to give a space to comment is really not acceptable.

None of the people involved in Torchwood owe any particular self-proclaimed group of fans anything. They haven't made you a promise or entered into a contract with you. It isn't a personal relationship, they're just trying to make the best drama they can. You can dislike what they've done to get angry and to take it as a personal insult is ridiculous. I hoping that its a just a symptom of the instant nature of the Internet and people being a bit too wrapped up in themselves and not taking time to think. I hope most of them now regret what they said.

As for the effect on ratings, I confidently predict it will be negligible.

For what it's worth, I thought it was an extremely powerful scene and entirely justified. If John Fay and RTD are passing by, then well done.

Philip Corsius said...

Having tried to follow Torchwood earlier, and just not being gripped...

WOW! can be my only reaction to Children of Earth.

I'm a Whovian. Liked Jack Harkness, heard he has his own show, so I started to follow Torchwood.


No Doctorly goofiness, all very serious and dark (with humour, but you know, nowhere near as light somehow). After a few episodes, I figured Torchwood might not be for me and pretty much forgot about it.

Back to Doctor Who. Huh, Torchwood showing up in the series 4 finale? And I'm actually liking those scenes. And characters. Gwen and Ianto shooting at the Dalek and, in the next episode, being ecstatic while the Earth is flown home... These are characters worth following. If ever there came a third Torchwood series, I decided, I'll try to stick with it.

Turns out I really don't have to make any effort at all. Children of Earth is mind-blowingly brilliant on all levels. Superb writing, good acting, fantastic idea to not have too much rubber/CGI alien stuff and the music has it's glorious moments (when Lois reveals she's Torchwood... well-placed theme use right there)!

Torchwood still doesn't look like Doctor Who. But that's fine. I can see what Torchwood is, now. It's got its own voice, its own style. Gritty realism instead of kid-friendly farting aliens (which I liked, not being negative here).

You guys got me hooked! And how! This is powerful drama, sir. And yes, with powerful drama come events you might not want to happen. Personally - I think it's great. No matter who does or doesn't cop it, does or doesn't go nude, does or doesn't end up happy at the end of Day Five... I'm hooked. You've got me along for the ride that is series 4. (And you know the Beeb would be mad not to commission it, with these viewing figures!)

James Moran said...

Hello, just popping in briefly - I'll be away until tomorrow, as I'm going Oop North to Yorkshire for my mum's birthday. But just want to say, thank you for the support and kind messages.

I will do a proper blog post over the weekend about the events of episode 4, and give my full reaction. Will also reply to everyone who has commented on this post and on Twitter, if I can. For now, I'll say this: I totally understand that people are upset, and I would never say that you have no right to be, or that you're being silly, or anything like that. I'm upset too, it was a heartbreaking scene, and I'm gutted. I'm still angry and upset about Tara Maclay, for God's sake. So I'm not deleting comments or telling you not to rant, I know you're upset, of course you are. But believe me: this was not some bizarre, 3 year plan to deliberately piss people off. We don't hate you. We love the show, love the characters, love you, and do our very best to tell the best stories possible. Sometimes you will like what we do. Sometimes you won't. We cannot let that affect our decisions. So please, vent all you like about the work, but do me the courtesy of (a) knowing who wrote which episode, and (b) not being abusive.

Book Maven said...

If your Twtter went mad on Wednesday, I bet it was even more manic last night - and you didn't even write episode 4!

I was absolutely riveted to my sofa throughout and do understand the emotion of those who say TW is finished for them. I hope it's not true that its finished for RTD.

Of course I'll watch it tonight and I bet the viewing figures will go through the roof!

Well done to the whole team and I hope you give us a break tonight.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to your mum! She must be very proud of your hard work.

Matthew McIntyre said...

6.2 million for last night.

Plus your episode got an Appreciation Index score of 90.


Jude said...

Was so excited by the last four days of Torchwood that I had to see what everyone was writing. Read through the first few days post and giggled and agreed with most of the posts. Then I got to Day 4 and was fairly disgusted by some of the comments here.

Mr Moran has been charming and answered lots of posts, and you use his blog to post some real nasty stuff.

1. I don't want Disney endings, make me laugh and cry, make me scared and happy, Torchood is about doing what you can't believe they could do.

2, Check out what ep's people actually wrote!

3. I think last night was as good as any other, I cried too (yes I have been watching since series 1) but I thought it was a great way to continue the growth of Jack's dark side, just think how he will be tonight?

4. No cast member is safe, I will be on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens and who I will need to pull out the tissues for.

Don't know how I will be able to wait for new series so hope it comes soon. Please everyone remember when you post you post to real people, I think some of you should be really shamefaced.

Thanks for everything Mr Moran

Marjorie said...

Just wanted to pop by and say "Awesome!" I have been watching with bated breath, as it were, and can't wait until onight for the finale.

I am gutted about poor Ianto, but the fact that in TW no-one is safe is one of things which keeps it real.

Thank you!

Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jude said...

Does anyone else think that the fact that it was Jack's lover that was killed (doesn't matter if it was a gay lover or not) is just a really clever writing tool. Who else's death could have such an affect on Jack.

I think everyone should watch tonight before they judge the reasons behind it all. He is immortal he has to watch everyone he loves die, in old age or in the line of duty, I think it's a brill way to move Jack's personality on.

I've been glued since S1 as well and I don't feel hard done by at all.

Lets take a breath and see what happens....

Matthew McIntyre said...

Nicole, it's one thing to be upset, but you've just called James a liar. A slap in the face? As in a deliberate attempt to hurt you? Get real.

And suggest that Russell T Davies has killed Ianto to remove a gay couple from BBC1 is beyond ridiculous.

Get a grip. And apologise.

Anonymous said...

To be honest its kinda hard to belive that TPTB don't hate the Jack/Ianto fans, it feels like all you guys are laughing at us. Even the actors were saying, "Oh you guys (Janto fans) are going to be so happy" so for it to end with 3.5 days of Jack being a dick to Ianto then...well you know, it kinda hurts. I havn't shed a tear for him and it should't be like that but it just felt so gratuitous that the anger took over. Sorry dude, I know it's not your call at the end of the day but this is the only way I know of getting my point accross to the guys in charge. I'm not watching a minute of the Jack and Gwen bloody Cooper show and I won't spend another penny on merchandise. Should have learnt from the horror that was the end of Queer As Folk - well, never again.

evil twinz said...


your saying that you "feel that this was a big slap in the face for the fans who have been around since S1 and have been told since filming of S3 that this is the same Torchwood that will please fans from the beginning" makes two massive assumptions. The first one assumes we all feel the same as you. I for one don't. I thought this seres has been amazing. Yes I will miss Ianto, he was a great character, but great characters should have great exits. He got that. He will be remembered for it. What else does a great character need?

Secondly, who says "the same Torchwood" means LITERALLY in terms of how many cast members or whatever? Besides, for me it IS the same Torchwood - great drama, exciting moments, great characters, great dialogue, etc etc.

As for thinking gay characters *can't* be on anything apart from BBC 2 and 3 - forget the 456, you're the one on another planet. Every soap opera has a gay character and most, if not all of them, are well-drawn, complex, rounded characters as far as I can see - just like Ianto and Jack. Just cos Ianto went and died doesn't change that as far as I'm concerned. I'm with Matthew here.

I love Torchwood and if this is it for the series, naturally I will be dead gutted. But what an end!!! I would like to say thanks to RTD, James and everyone else for making such a great show that has continued to challenge its viewers instead of becoming lazy and patting itself on the back. If it's not the end and there is another series then I CANNOT WAIT to see what happens next.

evil twinz said...

Saphieb, thanks for underlining my point even more.

Nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anya said...

I think Evil Twinz has said everything I wanted to say, so: nice work James. Hope your ok

Jude said...

I could name a dozen shows right now where people lose their hetrosexual partners and we have no back lash about that. Or what about all the shows where the lead characters never quite get together (bones for one). I think the only people who have hang ups about gay relationships on TV are the once posting that it's some kind of BBC1 issue. I live in the 21st century where there is no longer any taboo's on UK TV about gay relationships...come join me here its cool!

Matthew McIntyre said...

What do the people who feel mislead by the advance publicity think should have been said instead? That Janto fans are going to be devastated? That would have been a bit of a giveaway, surely?

I liked the way the relationship was developed, anyway, particularly in Day One. I can perfectly understand how people involved in production would have thought that fans would pleased with those aspects - and be unable to spill the beans about the rest. It may be that they misjudged (although, honestly I think some people are just being oversensitive) - but suggest that they deliberately misled you in order to cause you pain is both insulting and ridiculous. That people think it's appropriate to make such accusations here, just beggars belief.

The writers really do have to stay true to what they think is a good story - it's not about wish-fulfilment for a small but vocal group of fans.

Please, let it go for a few days. Or rant somewhere else. Trying to get to the people who made the decision via this blog is both rude and pointless. What's done is done.

For the record: I've also watched and enjoyed Torchwood from the beginning. I've found all the deaths to be upsetting, but none have felt like a personal affront. I'm glad when drama is brave enough to take you into dark places. I think the episode was brilliant because I love Jack and Ianto - only if I didn't care would it have been pointless.

This is my last comment on this, I really think we should let it go.

Samantha Chisnall said...

Hi James, I'm so sorry that people are giving you a hard time over an episode that you didn't write. As other have said, it's probably because you are more accessible than the other writers, which is all credit to you.

On the other hand, I guess people think you were involved in plotting the story arc for the whole 5 eps, even if you didn't write this particular episode.

But there's no excuse for rudeness or aggression. None. And I'm sorry that people are forgetting their manners just because they can hide behind a keyboard.

But.... I can see why people are upset. Hell, I'm upset, and angry. It's a testament to the writers of TW that the fans care so much, it really is.

And I don't think this was done deliberately to hurt the fans at all, but I do think it was a mistake. A big mistake.

The scene was heart rending, beautifully written, amazing. But I just feel it was unnecessary, and too much too soon.

I can see the point of killing off a character, we have to know working for TW is dangerous, people die young. And I guess, from the writer's point of view, this being a relaunch, it was important to establish this for the new viewers as well.

But, for us old viewers, the loyal fanbase who've supported TW from the beginning, it's too soon. We only just lost two members of the team, it's too soon to lose another. How can TW continue with only 40% of team TW? And I think this is why Ianto's death feels like a slap in the face to the longtime fans. Not because it was done to hurt us, but because it demonstrated something to the new viewers, at our expense.

There is also the sexuality issue. There are so few shows with a gay/bi lead, where that isn't the point of the show, it isn't the whole character, but just part of their personality. I'd felt this was a big leap forward in TV in this respect. And just as these characters settle into a 'real' relationship, one of them is killed off. What message does that send? That it's ok(ish) to be gay, but not gay and happy? That might sound ridiculous, but this show goes out in the States too, where attitudes can be more right wing. The whole "RTD's got a gay agenda" thing has made me chuckle for years (has he got a Welsh agenda too, a brown haired agenda? - come to think of it, no blondes in TW!), but now it almost feels like caving in to the anti-gay agenda. It's Tara's death (Buffy) all over again. Even if the message isn't intended, it's there. (I really hope it isn't intended, I really hope it's not a result of moving to BBC1 "it's ok to have gay couples on 2, but not on mainstream primetime TV". I hope that's not the case).

But perhaps because of the rareness of these depictions in mainstream TV, people WERE invested more than usual in this relationship, whether that's right or wrong. And these people are the very people that's supported TW and kept it going all this time, who've helped make it successful enough to make the leap to BBC 1.

I also can't understand why these reactions weren't predicted. Did anyone honestly think the fans wouldn't be upset, however beautifully written?

So I can understand why people feel betrayed. I'm hoping there's a reset button, not just for me, but because I think this might really damage the show otherwise.

But again, I'm sorry people's emotions have been vented at you and in personal ways.

Thanks for being so generous with your time, and for giving us fans a space to share our thoughts, feelings, and, in this case, rants.


Jude said...

My face remains well and truly un-slapped lol. I watch TW because it is great sci/fi the fact that some of the relationships are same sex hardly even enters my mind.
That's where I feel the writers really have come on in leaps and bounds, surely making it a big gay issue actually causes the problem. My oldest son watches he's 11, he doesn't even comment on the fact that it's two men, surely thats the success of the show.
Yes as a season 1 fan I was really sad last night but I also thought it was brill, I cant wait to see what they do with it tonight and it certainly wont be killing the show for me.

Take a step back people it's only television

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely positively sure it's NOT a case of Jack not being 'allowed'to have a gay lover on BBC1. I mean, Jack's omnisexuality was established on Doctor Who! That's just ridiculous.
It's definitely not that, and to be fair to the people who have been involved in the publicity, the relationship was developed further than last series, and we have found out more about Ianto and Jack than ever before. And that's obviously been done so that people would be emotionally invested - because that's how good drama works. And it is very good drama.

It's just not what a lot of us wanted to happen. I'm sure that the series has picked up more than enough new viewers to be successfull with another series even if us all the Jack/Ianto fans switch off, though.

Chrissy said...

I'm glad that I've got a name to the subset in the fandom that I despise. They're called Janto Fans. Thank you everyone :)

They're the same people who write slash fiction about Harry Potter getting it on with Snape or whatever.

C.A. Young said...

So I saw Day Four last night and am obviously very much in the "holy hell, they did not just do [thing]!" place.

While I'm positively reeling, I can't help but think that's what good fiction does. It makes us care about the story and the characters, it makes us worry, and sometimes it hurts like hell.

Granted, I've also declared an official state of denial, and have been joking that what really happened was 58 minutes of Andy Davidson rolling about in a blueberry pie, and that Saturday morning might find me having finished off all the gin, but I'm told that the liver isn't exactly a vital organ...

Jude said...

GIN! what a fantastic idea C.A., I think day 5 calls for Gin & Tonic watching for sure.... If i'm coughing up my liver by tomorrow morning I'm blaming you : )

Khady said...

Chrissy: I hope you realise that your comments make you sound homophobic.

Dim said...

Couldn't resist tagging on the end your most humongous coments ever!
The only thing that worries me about this scenario is what happens tonight: If Ianto isn't really forever dead (not having seen it, but having had the surprise ruined by angry, crying, screaming fans) then there will undoubtedly be a whole group who will rise up and claim victory, saying that you (meaning the writing team and not in any way singling you out as solely responsible...)have been forced to back down in the face of public protest. I know it's ridiculous, because I've worked in TV. I know you won't have gone to the trouble and expense of having filmed a "safe" ending in case everyone was unhappy, but sadly, there are some odd people in the world. When I did work in TV, they used to show Neighbours in the afternoons. We were eighteen months behind the original broadcast, but when they changed the actress who played a major character, someone rang the station (their LOCAL tv station, mind you) and asked us to change her back because her son didn't like the new actress. Some people don't get it, how the pictures actually arrive on the magic box, just like some fans don't get that the writers and creators of a series have an equal or higher emotional investment in a series. Whoever said it was the instant nature of the internet allowing folks to vent their fury before rational thought could intervene was right. You (again, the whole team, but not exluding you, or anyone tangentially involved in the process such as the people who provided coffee and sandwiches) did a fantastic job - I can tell from the amount of raw emotion sloshing about the internet (and not just here - FB has been awash with it too. I'm wearing wellies as I type) you can be justly proud of your involvement here, and when the damn thing finally airs here, I shall watch it and tell you all this again.

SimsKatie said...

@ sapphieb
That's exactly what I've been wondering too. We were told over and over again that we would walk away from this series pleased; the reaction has been anything but. I'm not saying we've been deliberately strung along because I don't feel the writers and the cast are that cruel - but at the moment it sure feels like it.

And to James, I know you didn't write the episode personally, but I came across your blog through another person's report about the reactions being posted here. It seems like a great deal of discussion is happening on this blog, which is why I'm here. I don't blame you personally for anything.

Anonymous said...

To James: you've been getting so much flak I feel a bit guilty for writing another negative comment. Especially since I thought it was a fantastic episode. I could even have coped with the ending if it wasn't such a cliche.

Because, once again, the gay characters are dead or, in Jack's case, miserable and despressed and having to perform some pretty evil acts to try and save the world. Meanwhile, the happy heterosexual couple gets to have a baby.

I struggle to believe TV writers wouldn't have heard of the dead/evil cliche, but perhaps you haven't. Perhaps you genuniely didn't know that GLBT characters are almost always killed off, made miserable and turned evil in TV shows and movies. I thought I didn't have to worry about such a thing happening in Torchwood. But I guess it can now be added to the long list of shows in which being gay leads to misery and death.

I'm disappointed because I thought Torchwood was a show where gay relationships could be portrayed as normal and even happy. But I guess that, once again, it's only straight people who get to live happily ever after. And I'm especially disappointed because I thought that on a show like Torchwood, you might have tried a bit harder to avoid the dead/evil gay cliche.

Matthew McIntyre said...

I was going to leave this well alone but one more thing...

Patronising authors (including Russell T "Queer as Folk" Davies) that they don't understand some ropey theory gleaned from too much hanging around on tvtropes and not enough critical thinking is just ludicrous.

Ianto didn't die because he was gay, he died because shit happens - and it happens tenfold if you're a member of Torchwood. The fate of characters isn't a moral punishment - there's no deity of fiction handing out lessons.

The line: "The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means." from The Importance of Being Earnest is a piss-take of just that kind of thinking.

My personal theory is that all the people who go on about "bury the gays" in this context are straight women with an emotional fetish for idealised gay relationships which borders on exploitative objectification. Apologies to anyone for whom that's entirely wrong, but some of this shipping and slash stuff makes me uneasy - and seems to have precious little to do with good drama and storytelling. And even less to a serious consideration of gay rights and the representations of gay people in fiction.

Lasha said...

@Matthew McIntyre

At first, I sort of agreed with you. I don't think RTD killed Ianto off because he was gay, I think he killed Ianto off to remove any lasting ties Jack has with Torchwood so Captain Jack can go back to the Who universe. This leaves room for Gwen take over Torchwood and a new series to begin with new actors. BUT...

I did a little research and some posters have a point about the dead/evil gay cliche. Here's a list of some television (albeit American ones) that had or have gay characters on the show and their fates.

1.) Buffy, the Vampire Slayer - Willow & Tara. Tara dies and Willow turns evil (she tries to end the world). Two hits for dead and evil lesbians there.

2.) True Blood - Lafayette. He's a drug dealer and pornographer (some would say that's evil). One hit for evil, none for being dead - yet - he barely made it out of season 1.

3.) Battlestar Galactica - Lt. Felix Gaeta. He betrayed Adama and ends up dead. Two hits - one for being evil and another for being dead - out the airlock!

4.) The Young and the Restless (US soap opera) - Adam. He pretending to be gay - by having sex with a male character - in order to cover up the fact he's gaslighting his stepmother, Ashley. One hit for evilness and none for the dead cliche - yet.

5.) As the World Turns (soap opera)- Luke Synder. Fell in love with Noah, so Noah's homophobic father shot him, put him in a wheelchair as a cripple. Since it was a soap, that didn't last long. He walks now. Not dead or evil, but gets a 1/2 point for the injury, nearly dead storyline.

6.) Xena, the Warrior Princess - Xena. Kisses Gabrielle, in another universe marries her and guess what? She's dead by the finale. Oh yeah, Xena was evil in a few eps too.

7.) Nip/Tuck - The Carver. He raped Christian, killed a bunch of people, was completely insane, but didn't die. Ran off with his sister (seems they were *more* than brother & sister on that show) and is probably killing people somehwere in the south of France.

8.) Torchwood - Ianto Jones. Falls in love with his boss. Dead, but a hero.

Besides All My Children's Bianca, I cannot think of any gay rolemodels on television that haven't either been dead or evil at some time.

If you can figure out some, I'd like to know, because the evidence is sort of favoring their side. So maybe they do have a point.

Anonymous said...

@ Lasha

Sorry chick, that's bollox.

Plenty of hetero people get bumped off, in hideous ways, it's just that BECAUSE people see gay/lesbian relationships as special in movies or TV, they notice more. They're not being favoured for death over Hetero people at all, and to claim so is preposterous. Gay/lesbian people don't die now? Do they live forever or something?

It shouldn't even be thought about, but of course if anyone breathes on seeming alternatives the wrong way it's discrimination. Oh how I roll my eyes..

Anonymous said...

Why do people see gay/lesbian characters and relationships as special? Because there are so freaking few of them, and even fewer that get any kind of lasting happiness. So, if this is about showing us how risky it is in Torchwood - why are Gwen and Rhys untouchable? Why did Rhys come back from the dead in series 1 and why do they look like ending up with a happy family instead of miserable and alone and guilt-ridden like Jack?

dweo said...

Laudanum: Show me a good happy gay/lesbian character on TV and I show hundreds of good, happy straight characters.

Show me one happy gay/lesbian couple on TV. And I show you hundreds of happy straight couples.

Gays and lesbians have been and still are rarely shown on tv in a positive light or at all.

Lasha said...


You need to reread my first sentence where I said I AGREED with Matthew's assessment of the reasons why Ianto died - and it wasn't because he was gay.

I said RTD killed off Ianto to free up Jack for Who - and to probably prove that no character on TW was safe, not even a fan favorite.

However, b/c I am a researcher in real life, I wanted to see if I could prove/disprove the "bury the gays" theory and I was shocked to see that the only gay characters on mainstream television shows in the U.S. do lean towards either dying or winding up dead in the long-run.

For me empirical evidence proves or disproves a theory and right now THAT side is winning if you look at the examples I provided.

If you have specific examples of other gay characters who are on mainstream TV that did not wind up dead or evil, please post them. (I took Queer as Folk out of the equation as it was a gay-themed show and was not on mainstream US TV).

Myself, I could only come up with the Bianca Montgomery example from All My Children as a lesbian character who wasn't evil or gay, but then I don't watch a lot of TV outside of dramas like Law & Order. (For example, I know Brothers & Sisters and Desperate Housewives have gay characters, but I know nothing of their storylines).

Considering the fact that U.S. TV shows have a very low percentage of gay, lesbian or bisexual characters on the air - I bet it's lower than 3% - those examples are very intruiging for US viewers. Could be totally different for European TV shows.

Anonymous said...

@Lasha, I read it.

@dweo, why do I need to? Why is it even relevant? It shouldn't be. It doesn't matter, the story does.

Anonymous said...

@Matthew McIntyre and Laudanum

The fact that Torchwood was created by RTD is the reason I'm so disappointed - because I thought it would be different. And, for your information, I'm not a straight woman with an 'emotional fetish'. I'm a lesbian who'd like to see GLBT characters getting the odd happy ending.

This trope is a well-known one. More information can be found here (focus on Buffy), here (a bit of history), and here (a list of dead/evil gays and lesbians going up to 2002). In addition, Vito Russo's book 'The Celluloid Closet' examines the cliche in more depth. It was also made into a documentary. So, you see, this goes a little further than TV tropes.

Lasha missed a few characters in the shows she mentioned. In Battlestar Galactica, McCain went evil, then was murdered (the same fate that met their only other non-het character). In Buffy, along with Willow and Tara, the only non-straight characters were Andrew and Larry. Larry ended up dead, Andrew was evil.

But evil/dead gays and lesbians have appeared on 24, All My Children, Babylon 5, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Angel, ER, For the People, Law & Order, Millennium, Northern Exposure, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Quantum Leap, Smallville, and more. Now Torchwood can be added to that list as well.

I think it can be difficult for heterosexuals to understand how much it means to see people like you represented on screen. You can take it for granted, because every television show there is features heterosexual characters. And yeah, some die and some are evil. Some come to horrible ends and many have unhappy endings.

But gay people don't have that experience. If one gay character dies, they can't just change to another show, because gay characters are so rare. So the fact that a huge percentage of gay characters end up evil or dead or just plain miserable? That is a big deal.

I'm disappointed because I thought Torchwood would be different. But, as in many, many other shows, the gay characters are dead or miserable while the straight couple is happy.

Anonymous said...

anita seriously, the issue of sexual orientation is only an issue because people keep making it one by moaning about it. That's it really, doesn't matter how long winded a reply you make.

I'm too busy reeling over the wonderful series to care to be honest.

Anonymous said...


Sexual orientation is an issue. You can deny that it's an issue because you are privileged, because for you, it doesn't have to be an issue. You're straight.

But please do me the courtesy of not telling me whether or not sexual orientation is an issue in my life. It is, and not because I 'go on about it'. Please try to understand that while you can ignore the fact that most gay characters end up evil or dead, I cannot - because they are representations of me and people like me, and seeing them all come to unhappy ends is utterly depressing.

Flobberchops said...

Ok, one more comment then I am going to shut up until after the weekend.

First, if anything I said in my previous post could be construed as vitriolic and aggressive, I apologise. I don't think I was, but people perceive things differently and everyone's a bit tender right now.

SO - re. all the "it's only a tv show, get over it" comments from posters, my answer is this: when it comes to fandom, you don't get to have your cake and eat it too.

If the creators of a show want a fanbase that is sufficiently invested that it will show up week after week, will buy DVDs, tie-in novels, audio-books, merchandising, listen to radio-plays, attend conventions, create massive on-line communities that stay loyal to a show despite a 14-month hiatus between series, they kind of have to accept that if they then do something which many of that fanbase perceive as ripping the guts out of the show, the fans are going to be pissed and they will react.

Does this excuse abusing the writers, abusive posting, threats, and all the wankery and ass-hattery that has gone on.


There is no excuse for some of the stuff that has been said and aimed at the writers. And I hope that when everyone calms down (although admittedly this could probably take a while) people will if not kiss and make up will at least apologise, shake hands and return to neutral corners.

But, stepping resolutely back into the real world, it is a truth universally acknowledged that if you poke the bear with pointy sticks, the bear will tend to react unfavourably.

Since the fondness of the fanbase for this particular pairing was not exactly a secret, I have to believe that the reaction wasn't entirely unexpected on the part of the creative team. Although the depth of the reaction and the level of personal invective no doubt was.

Again, no excuse and I'm not in any way condoning it.

But like I said, if you want a committed fanbase - and what show doesn't - then this is what you will get when you take away something they particularly enjoyed about the show.

I reiterate and stand by my earlier post, you can't have a storyline dictated by the fans. But the relationship of fans and a show is a symbiotic one. One really cannot exist without the other.

My next point is, yes, story is key above all.

But story is also organic and flexible and can go in many directions.

The creative team didn't have to go down this particular road. They chose to.

And so I am really looking forward to James' posts this weekend (and subsequently, I hope) when he and other members of the creative team explain why they made the choices they did.

I ask out of curiosity and not a sense of entitlement.

As a writer I genuinely want to understand what went into this creative process and led to this point.

So, like I said at the top, signing off now, watching tonight and waiting for James to post this weekend.

dweo said...


Read what anitabuchan wrote, google straight privilege, educate yourself on this subject, because your words can hurt people and make you look bad.

I personally loved these 5 shows, they were brutal, they were sad, exciting; they made me smile; they made me cry.

But part of me is disappointed that they followed an overused cliché and killed half the gay couple.I expected better of the makers of Torchwood.

Anonymous said...

What? No see I have an appointment with some icecream and then bed. Have fun!

Anonymous said...

I have been so impressed with this week of Torchwood! I'll confess going in, I wasn't that excited, but here at week's end I am so impressed with what you guys turned out! Great job and many, many kudos! :)

Chrissy said...

I'm not homophobic at all. I am "girls-obsessed-with-gay-men-relationship-aphobic" you're an idiot if you think otherwise

What's the next OTP now? Enlighten me

Jude said...

I didn't really want to post here again as it is James's blog and I don't know if its fair to him but after reading some posts I just couldn't help myself!

Lots of lists have been made about gay relationships that never end well, I watch a bit of drama, and I tried to think of any real drama where heterosexual relationships end well (I'm sure you will have a long list for me) I struggled alot! Drama is all about emotional turmoil in my humble opinion, I would be bored stiff if everyone was happy and it all went swimmingly.

Buffy (tara and willow) has been mentioned a lot, please when listing these things remember, buffy lost Angel, she lost another lover to special ops, then in the final show she lost spike. Being so one sided in your argument just makes it flawed in the extreme, Relationships, Gay, Straight or otherwise generally don't go well in drama because it wouldn't be drama otherwise.

I am not attacking anyone elses opinion in this post, or suggesting they don't have value, this is just how I see things.

midge-harris said...

Hello James

This is the first time I've written but I've been reading for awhile (actually since I was 4 but that's beside the point!)
Congratulations on your wonderful episode,what a shame about the silly comments from
some quarters. Watched the last episode late last night- i just couldn't wait until Saturday and
the alcohol helped num the pain a little!
Initially I was gutted, I love Torchwood! But this morning all I keep remembering are all those lovely touching
moments that have had me in tears quite a few times over the week. RTD is a fantastic writer, yes killing off
Ianto was so heartbreaking, Frobisher and familly was so sad and Stephen (acually couldn't watch this bit) was horrific but
God what a story and the cast were amazing. The 'Debenhams' line had me laughing and crying!
Thank-you so much for your contribution to this fantastic roller coaster of a story.

Anonymous said...


I know, I feel a bit bad for having this discussion in his blog. But I just wanted to say that you've not quite understood what I was saying. I'm not talking about relationships, I'm simply talking about characters. Make a list of gay characters in SFF (or any genre). Pretty much all of them will be evil or dead.

Christ, I wish the issue was just that we didn't have enough gay couples with happy endings!

Jude said...


I would agree with you Anita that there are too few gay couples/story lines on TV, for the % in the real world.

I'm a single mother, scottish and blonde, I find blondes often portrayed as shallow and dim, Scottish people are either , evil, drunk, mental or all three.

As for single mothers (one of the most marginalised groups in the UK today) you find almost none on TV at all, if they are there they are money grabbing job dodgers. More worryingly the way we are portrayed in the real world, we can't bring up our kids they all have asbo's and end up in prison, we only had them to get a house and money, we are really hated in todays world.

I would love to see some positive single parent roles on TV but I think because the writers and money men want to appeal to all and offend none, we see very little.

Because of this I take my TV as pure entertainment, but I do think RTD and the rest have done a fab job in the last few years to bring a positive gay image to the screen, I wish he would do it for single mother's I might drop him a line :)

Sorry for the messy spelling trying to get this done quick before I take my asbo kids swimming lol

Matthew McIntyre said...

"Of all the people to survive, he's not the one you would have chosen, is he? But if you could choose, Doctor, if you decide who lives and who dies that would make you a monster." - Mr Copper, Voyage of the Damned.

Captain Jack is neither evil nor dead. Ianto is not dead because he was in a gay relationship. The universe does not sit in moral judgement of people, bad things happen to good people and vice versa. If Captain Jack had had a girlfriend she would have died in the same way as Ianto did. There was a storytelling reason for doing it - you may not like it, but that's the only reason.

Also, to simply make a character simply evil is bad drama - regardless of their sexuality. Bad drama in the service of homophobia is even worse, but that doesn't mean that LGBT characters can't have moral complexity or failings. Making a character simply good is equally bad drama, regardless of a the worthiness of the cause it is apparently supporting. Moving away from dramatic truth and towards propaganda always damages the cause you're trying to advance.

If, as some of the more conspiracy-oriented postings here and elsewhere have suggested, the idea was to "de-gay" the show for BBC1, then Ianto would have been written out on Day One (or even before), not placed in the emotional centre of the story. Just look at Russell T Davies' history in mainstream TV (which includes introducing Captain Jack on BBC1 in a family slot) to see what arrant nonsense this is.

As has already been said, drama tends to be about crisis, so happy relationships and people are few and far between regardless of sexuality. Also people tend to die, especially in thrillers (see also Spooks).

Off the top of my head, though, here are three happy, not-dead, not-evil, not-hetrosexual couples: the Cassini "sisters" in Gridlock, the private detectives in Jekyll and Maxxie and James in Skins. Also, I'd say that Ian Gallagher is one of the more well-adjusted (and non-evil, non-dead) characters in Shameless - not currently in a relationship, but he is only twenty.

Last of all, the success of Doctor Who and Torchwood has brought a number of happy, successful gay men (and their stable relationships) into the spotlght: including John Barrowman, Russell T Davies and Mark Gatiss.

This whole dead/evil gay thing is overly simplistic and only applies (if at all) to bad, propagandist drama which is mainly, thankfully, in the past (I'd accept that The Celluloid Closet has some valid points about this). You can't just trot out the trope every time an LGBT character dies, that's just a lazy knee-jerk reaction. If you're trying to make a point about the portrayal of LGBT characters in drama you need a much more thoughtful anaylsis, not just "thou shalt not kill the gays".

You also have to be honest about your personal attachments to a character and your feelings about their death and what extent they may be leading you to an erroneous conclusion about the cultural impact of that death. I think some comments are confusing this and, in the emotion of the moment, are unwittingly accusing the writers reinforcing homophobia - not understanding how offensive such a simplistic conclusion is.

None of this is to belittle how hurt some people are feeling at the moment. I just think you should be a bit more thoughtful in your critical analysis - and maybe the best way to start would be to give it some time so that you can detach the analysis from your emotional response. Especially if you're planning to comment here, on the blog of someone who is closely involved and who cannot help but take ill-thought out remarks personally.

jp said...

It's Sunday afternoon and I'm still thinking about the ending to CoE.
What has amazed about this show is that the truly frightening stuff wasn't the monstors or CGI (I think we're starting to become immune now) but the conversations and choices people made. The cabinet meeting day 4 was a prime example; you were disgusted by what they were saying, yet disturbingly you could understand it and see the logic behind what they were doing,almost a sense of empathy and that scared you.

The writing was excellent throughout but Euros Lyn deserves a BAFTA/EMMY for his directing, the direction and editing in peter Capaldi's last scene in particular was exceptional.

Buying the Blu tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

I saw your most recent post, and perhaps you won't read this because you are stepping back, and understandably so. As a fan and a writer, I find it curious how there can be a fourth season, and I hope that it doesn't lose that spark.

I am a fan. I love this show, and despite the fact that one of my favorite characters has gone, I am open to trying to give it a try with a new format should it continue.

As a writer, I think this was an incredibly ending. If the series continues after this, I think it will be difficult to match what you achieved here with this series. I ignore the gutted feeling that the fan in me is going through from the whole drama/sadness/angst/etc. of the last two episodes. The writer in me knows this was brilliant television, and anything that would have saved that character would have been little more than deus ex machina. I am curious, should there be a fourth season, if it would be in a totally different format/setting and how writers will work to pull the viewers in having lost so many familiar characters so quickly. It is a very difficult task ahead of you if a season four is in the cards, but I have faith you can do it well, perhaps well enough the fan in me can not only bear to watch but enjoy watching all over again.

I am sorry that the fandom is giving you such a hard time. I will admit that there were comments that some felt misleading that made newspapers, that the jack/ianto fans would be happy with this season, and in some places, I think they were. However, the anger that you are all receiving, the personal attacks are beyond initial response and hurt. I do not believe you or the other writers did this with any intention to cause pain or to kill the show (give it an awesome end should there be no fourth season, sure, but not kill it). I only hope that the other fans will calm down and appreciate once again what you have given to us here, a writer working in the field who is completely accessible to the public and giving updates on the process.

I am sorry for what you've gone through. It is, after all, about the story and making it work, not making everyone happy.

Anonymous said...

It was dark and depressing and tore apart the characters we love. It was cruel to the fans because through cons, pictures and interviews, we were promised things and given something else completely.

Show us what a fantastic writer you really are and bring Ianto back. In Who or if there is a season 4.

It's one thing to tell a great story. It's another thing to destroyed a beloved universe and it's characters. That is what you did for many.

I'm sorry if that hurts you. I'm sorry that you can't see that. I'm sorry that you've been abused but that how high emotions are running out there. You took everything from us and then stabbed us in the back. It's really super because you got those high rating, though.

Matthew McIntyre said...


I'd be surprised if James is reading any comments now. This is why writers often keep a distance from the fans - they have no obligation to any of them. And it's not even as if there's a consistent "true fan" view of things. Those who feel betrayed are clearly a very small majority. Shows don't get an AI of 90 or 91 without the 2 million or so who have watched since the beginning plus the 4 million that have joined since (a million or so for series two plus another 3 million for Children of Earth). What makes the people are complaining so special? Where does this sense of entitlement come from?

The writers have written the story they wanted - absolutely correctly, since no-one should compromise by attempting to second-guess the audience (or, worse, still a tiny unrepresentative group of very vocal fans). That story has been extremely well received by its audience - if it hadn't then that should have given them pause and they'd have rethought any plans for future series. As it is, their decision was entirely justified.

As for you, nobody is forcing you to watch any more - and commenting on a authors blog to demand the return of Ianto is beyond pointless. Nobody owes you anything.

For some perspective on the pre-publicity here is part of a post on the BBC America site:

Heck, several of them also showed how capable they are as actors at conventions and interviews. After reading the "Wheel of Time" novels several years ago, I got into a habit of paying attention to what someone actually says and not what I think they meant. And I'm surprised at how much those appearing at conventions and those interviewed were able to hide, and yet how much of what they said was true in a way. I'm not upset with any of the actors or with what they said; instead, I'm amazed. That was misdirection and prevarication at its best.

Which reminds me of something many people are complaining about all over the net. It's about JB saying that people would "be happy" with something involving Jack and Ianto in CoE. It seems like many people are taking his response out of context though. If I remember correctly (and please correct me if I'm wrong here, as I can't find the original post mentioning it), his comment that people "will be happy" was in response to someone asking if Ianto or Jack say "I love you" to one or the other; that or if they show that they love each other. If that's the case, then he told the truth. *shrug*

Full post here.

I don't think that anybody went out of their way to make things hurtful for certain fans. They simply had to answer questions and couldn't give the story away. They can't be blamed for some fans hearing what they wanted to hear and for dreaming up all sorts of stuff that was never promised.

So please, drop all the stuff about being betrayed or stabbed in the back - it's silly and offensive and its giving fandom a bad name.

SahJonOJon said...

I am part way through Ep. 5, the last one, and was very disappointed to see it was written by Russell T Davies. The others were by Moran or RTD and Moran. Already major characters have been wiped out with no particular expansion, enemies who were obviously supposed to die horrible deaths have gone woosy and helpful, the dramatic music and boring speeches are swelling to fill all voids, and I just KNOW the ending of this ep. is going to be so bad its going to make me want to punch my fist through this screen.

Torchwood 1 was a deluge of average with occasional patches of intriguing zapness.

Torchwood 2 was an abomination before the universe and everyone involved in its creation should have been killed by now. Has this been done yet?

Now this.....

RTD. Die. Just. Please, die.