Monday, July 06, 2009

Torchwood: Children of Earth. Day One.

Day One.

When every single child on Earth stops, Torchwood is thrown into a world of terror.

Just in case you've missed all my blog posts, Twitter mentions, the Radio Times pullout cover, the Telegraph article, the covers of several magazines, the trailers, the TV ads... Torchwood Children of Earth starts today, at 9pm on BBC One.

It's a big, 5 part story, so you'll have to watch the whole thing. If you miss an episode, then it won't make sense. My one is on Wednesday, but you should be watching them all.

And as usual, the pre-broadcast nerves spring into action. They never trouble me until the day before it's on, then suddenly they arrive. We've all been working on it for so long, and are all so proud of what we've achieved, we haven't really had time to think about anything else. But what if everyone hates it? You never, EVER know if something is going to go down well or not. It's worse this time, because I haven't simply done an episode - I'm one of only three writers, and we (me, Russell, John Fay, with the producer, director, script editor, and Julie Gardner) storylined the whole thing, working out the entire plot in a room in Cardiff. There are bits from all of us in every single episode. So I'm partly responsible for the whole thing this time, which scares me a bit.

I'm not fishing for compliments or sympathy here. I genuinely never know if anyone's going to like something. I do the job to the best of my ability, but you still just don't know. But we've made what we think is a damn good show, and really hope you enjoy it.

There's an interview with me over at Den of Geek, in which I talk about the show and a bit more about the writing process - don't worry, there are no spoilers.

I'll do a mini post every day for each episode, with a small nugget of info each time, so feel free to comment and say what you think. Like or dislike, I'm a grown up and honestly don't mind, but let's keep it civil. Also, if you haven't seen the episode and come here after the fact? There will be spoilers in the comments. Be warned.

See you tonight, for episode one, "Day One" - it begins. Today's nugget of info: we'll meet a hitch hiker, but not the sort that thumbs for lifts. And the sentence "We are coming" - that's not the whole sentence. There's more, which you'll find out at the end of the episode...


Rosby said...

I've been looking forward to this for so long, it's quite ironic that I'll actually be out whilst it's on, and will consequently miss fandom exploding with glee, which is always very fun. I've been telling all my friends that they'll absolutely love Day One, and to watch out for Rhiannon and Johnny!

Have a happy viewing; looking forward to further info-nuggets. You'll have to let us know which bits were yours in the first episode!

We are coming. We are coming. We are coming.

walrus456 said...

I'm in a priviledged position, having actually seen the first episode at the preview. It's fantastic, so you can definitely stop worrying, James.

I'll add that Euros said at the Q&A that he wanted to take the hitchhiker home with him, while Russell wanted Dr Rupesh and John said he already had Ianto. :-) No accounting for taste.

jack42 said...

I'm sure it'll suck horribly, and I'll love every minute of it, too, once I get to see it. I have no cable or satellite, so I'm at mercy of friend who can download it, or it becomes available on disc (regardless of download availability, I still will buy it). I've been quite stoked about it, though.

Antonia said...

Thumbs up to the first episode. Brill!

Mary Hoffman said...

Fantastic! Loved every minute of it! More, more more!

And I hope TW gets a full 13-part series next time.

Joe Gibson said...

Holy crap. What an intro to this mini season type of thing.

Loving the revelations, the pace, the characters we fell in love with growing on us. The writing was perfect.

Hating the visual style. What is it with the BBC and that horrible "let's light this really flat, just like we do Eastenders, Krod and everything we do"?

I have my couch booked for the week. Looking forward to Wednesday's ep especially. Don't know why.

Dim said...

Krod. Krod, krod, krod. Word is lost on me....

Joe Gibson said...

Sorry Dim. A wee bit of an assumption on my part there!

Final ep was on BBC tonight. Had it on in the background and was struck by the similar visual style. At least, it was to my eye...

James Moran said...

Glad everyone's liking it so far!

Rosby: Out?? No! Stay in! Bits I came up with: We all worked out the storyline together, but I distinctly remember coming up with the bomb in the stomach. And I named Mr Dekker's in ep3, which was then carried over into the others.

Joe Gibson: Really? I like the lighting and the visual style more so this season, feels more glossy and deep. And blimey, I hadn't heard of Krod either, has that been on, then?

Paul Campbell said...


Good, or what?!

Joe Gibson said...

Been on and finished, James. That was the first I had saw of it and let's just say I wasn't a fan. India seems nice though.

Maybe I'm just nit picking with the visual style thing. I just noticed that there didn't seem to be any shadows anywhere. It was most noticeable when Gwen was interviewing Timothy.

There's a wide shot showing the wall in the background that showed a square window light source over Timothy's left shoulder. We saw there was a wall on his right side so why were their faces so evenly lit? Where did the other light souce come from? And it must be some light to match the sun.

I may have egg on my face at the end of this debate. I realise that this is a writing blog so I should probably stop there about it!

Loved the wee touches in the script. The mysterious female agent shouting "Sight" and the bad ass soldiers calmly stepping aside. Nice.

I bet the stolen car comes back into it. Any takers? No, not you James. I think you'd skew the odds. ;)

Mary Hoffman said...

Krod looked pretty awful; I preferred the very silly Elvenquest on Radio 4.

Sorry but I simply never notice how things are lit unless they are too dark for me to see what's going on.

I see the DVD is out next Monday and can be pre-ordered from

Interesting about the bomb in the belly - I wondered if this had ever been tried on Jack. Must be grisly feeling your bits reassembling after the blast.

David Lemon said...

Top stuff- fast, funny and some nifty twists. For about a millisecond I expected Peter Capaldi to go all Malcolm Tucker on his fellow Whitehall wonks but this a very different sort of character- and, in his own way, much scarier.

If only I didn't have to wait a whole week- wait a minute...!

Dozeymagz said...

The wait was well worth it!

Loved Ep1 and if that's anything to go by this really will be epic.

Was nice to see a bit more of the character's backgrounds and 'normal' lives. Don't want to give any spoilers though so will just say I loved every second of it.

Top stuff.

Just going to faint with the general squeeness of it all now :)

Revive me in time for 9pm tonight.

Justine said...

This really was a phenomenal episode. You have all done an amazing job. Very very impressed.

Danny Stack said...

To Joe: I think she shouted "Sides!" not "Sight". At least, that's what the subtitles said. I watch everything with subtitles these days, in case I miss anything, which is surprisingly easy to do (for me anyway). Also, better to understand names and plot stuff. Also gives you a good sense of dialogue. Also why don't I shut up already.

TallulahBelle said...

Oo-er. Well, that was a bit awesome, wasn't it? Huzzah and mighty ups for Australian cable networks and the decision to fast track the whole bloody thing this week in a tremendously timely manner; so all the way down here we're watching it not too long after you Brits. And yes, it was pretty damn good. The suicide discussion was incredibly sad but a nice realistic touch. Loved seeing Ianto's family and Jack's daughter. And I've never liked Gwen quite so much. Her compassion whilst she was interviewing Clement was lovely - well done to both RTD's writing and Eve's acting. Lovely all round. Keep it up.
*stern look*
Also, the kids screaming was bloody creepy. Niiiiiiiice. Erm. Is Jack's coat going to be okay??

James Moran said...

Joe + Danny: Yep, she shouts "Sides!", to make them all hit the walls to give her a clear shot. She's brilliant, too.

TallulahBelle: That may be my favourite scene from episode 1, Eve and Paul were *amazing*. Such a lovely moment.

faldor said...

I've always been on the fence with Torchwood, some of it I've really liked other bits I really haven't but I've found last nights episode to be really something, I was actually gutted at having to wait 24 hours for the next one.

I was also very impressed with the visual style this series, much more shallow depth of field and generally being more cinematic, as a writer I'm sure this is all down to you, noting it in the scripts, obviously ;)

James Moran said...

Faldor: Of course! At the start of every scene, we all would write: "Mayk this sceen rly cinematic and cool, kthxbye", so it's definitely all down to us.

madaboutscorpy said...

Please don't hate me. I'm an American, and I was WAY too impatient to wait until it aired over here, so I downloaded "Children of Earth: Day One" from a torrent site.

That said, I thought it was spectacular! I almost teared up when Gwen said "Hello" to that pic of Owen and Tosh at the beginning.

Also, there were so many twists I didn't see coming! Very solid and brilliant all the way through. I look forward to "Day Two"... :)