TARDIS Index File

Children of Earth: Day Five (TV story)

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Children of Earth: Day Five
Children of earth day 5 main
Main character(s): Jack, Gwen, Rhys
Featuring: Lois, Frobisher, Bridget, Alice, Johnson, Andy
Main enemy: The 456
Main setting: Cardiff and London, 2009
Key crew
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Euros Lyn
Producer: Peter Bennett
Release details
Season/series: Series 3
Premiere broadcast: 10 July 2009
Premiere network: BBC One
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Torchwood
Children of Earth: Day Four The New World
Official trailer
Torchwood Children of Earth - Day Five trailer - BBC One00:20

Torchwood Children of Earth - Day Five trailer - BBC One

Memorable moment
Day Five - The end of the world? - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC02:14

Day Five - The end of the world? - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC

Another memorable moment
Fleeing the army - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC03:09

Fleeing the army - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC

One more memorable moment
Jack makes the ultimate sacrifice - Torchwood - BBC03:55

Jack makes the ultimate sacrifice - Torchwood - BBC

RealWorld

Children of Earth: Day Five concluded Torchwood: Children of Earth. It marked the death of the 456 and resolution of the five day crisis. John Frobisher was also driven to kill his respective family in a murder/suicide, after which his co-worker Bridget Spears secured the downfall of Prime Minister Brian Green and let Denise Riley take charge of many governmental affairs, while Lois Habiba was exonerated. Additionally, Ianto Jones's sister Rhiannon Davies and her husband Johnny Davies learnt about his demise.

Perhaps the most traumatic death on this final day of the conflict was that of Captain Jack Harkness's grandson, Steven Carter, an event that caused his daughter Alice Carter to sever all ties with him in grief and disgust. It would be one of the final nails in the coffin for Jack's operations with the Torchwood Institute. Ultimately, he would abandon the institute after a six month period of travelling alone. Jack departed from Earth, and as its leader, officially disbanded Torchwood Three, leaving Gwen Cooper and Rhys Williams a safe world to raise their baby in, though because this branch was the only one known to still be operational, it meant Torchwood as a whole effectively ceased to exist.

The events of AUDIO: The House of the Dead are set shortly before Jack decided to leave the Earth behind. The audio story featured the sealing of the Cardiff Rift, which removed the premise for Torchwood Three to carry on and let Jack move on without any loose threads to consider.

Synopsis edit

Torchwood is defenceless and Gwen Cooper stands alone. As anarchy prevails, an ordinary council estate becomes a battleground for the future of the human race.

Plot edit

Gwen appears on a camcorder tape, asking why the Doctor has not appeared to save them. She remarks that sometimes he must be appalled at the way humanity deals with times of crisis.

The Prime Minister speaks to the nation, telling the UK about the upcoming "inoculations" and saying it is safe for the children to return to school. Colonel Oduya of UNIT talks with the 456, asking them what they need the children for. He is told that the children are for "the hit": they create chemicals which the 456 use as recreational drugs. The government, although horrified at the reason, begins to put their plan into action.

John Frobisher is ordered by the Prime Minister to publicly state that his own children will be taken for "inoculation," to portray themselves as much victims as the public and to make the 456 the true villains. Frobisher threatens to reveal to the press the true nature of the inoculations. Green persuades him not to, noting that Frobisher's children would know their fate. Frobisher decides to murder his family and commit suicide.

Bridget Spears visits Lois Habiba in prison, where she is being held on charges of espionage. She tells Lois that "John Frobisher was a good man and it wasn't his fault, nor will history remember him this way". Spears takes the Torchwood contact lenses to record evidence against Green.

Rhiannon Davies and Johnny, told by Jones that the government is lying, keep their "creche" service running for the local estate. Gwen, Rhys and Andy Davidson arrive to tell them of Ianto's death and warn them special forces will soon arrive to take the children. Gwen also tells Rhys that she has decided to get an abortion, as she doesn't want to bring a child into this kind of world. As Gwen, Rhys and Rhiannon prepare to help the children escape, Johnny goes to stop the soldiers. He warns a nearby crowd of fathers they'll never see their kids again. They begin attacking the army. After downing a few soldiers, the gang are rounded up. Andy tries to call his superiors to learn what is happening. He watches as soldiers break into people's houses and take children away. Realising that what the soldiers are doing is wrong, Andy removes his police jacket and tie and one by one punches the soldiers to the ground. He is soon forced to the ground and a baton is placed round his neck to keep him there.

Rhys, Rhiannon and Gwen take the children to abandoned warehouses at the bottom of a field. After they get the children quiet, Gwen makes the tape. She and Rhys then have a talk, and she agrees that she won't abort the baby, knowing how much her husband will suffer. They are soon discovered by the troops and have to run again. Rhiannon and Rhys are captured by the soldiers as are many of the children. Gwen and one child keep running.

Taken by Johnson to a warehouse full of equipment to try to stop the 456, Jack, with the help of Dekker and Johnson, devises a way to defeat the 456 using a reconstitution wave of the same wavelength the 456 used to kill Clem, using the children as one vast transmitter. Mr Dekker tells him that for it to work, the wave needs to be sent via one child, who will "fry". They only have one child available to them: Steven.

Jack's Sacrifice

Jack saves the world at a terrible price.

Ignoring his feelings and his own daughter's protests, Jack uses his grandson as the prime transmitter. Alice tries to tell Steven to escape. Steven, still thinking that Jack is his uncle, does not run but asks Jack what he is doing. Jack ignores the question and transmits the signal. Oduya is shown with the 456 as it smacks the tank edges, screeching. Blood appears. There is an explosion of blood and the tank fills with bright light. The beam of fire appears and moves up through the sky, vanishing. Steven, as predicted, is killed, something that affects even the apparently emotionless Johnson.

Gwen, the only one from the estate left uncaptured, happily embraces the liberated children. Jack is left grieving, and Alice severs all contact with him.

Jack leaves Earth

Jack leaves Earth.

Six Months Later

Jack has travelled the world for six months, but this is not enough to rid himself of his guilt. He arranges a meeting with Gwen — now heavily pregnant — and Rhys on a hilltop in a remote location. Jack tells them that there is a cold fusion freighter near the edge of the Sol System. He intends to get onboard for further travels. Gwen tearfully tells him he can't just run away. He replies, "Yes I can. Watch me". He uses his vortex manipulator (which Gwen had retrieved from the ruins of Torchwood) to signal the freighter, which teleports him off Earth.

Gwen is left sobbing in Rhys' arms — with Jack gone, the other members dead, the base destroyed and Gwen awaiting childbirth, Torchwood Three ceases to exist.

Cast edit

Crew edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.
          

This episode did not have a "created by Russell T Davies" credit.


References edit

Individuals edit

The Doctor edit

Languages edit

Story notes edit

  • Russell T Davies originally wrote a role for Noel Clarke as Mickey Smith in both Day Four and Day Five, but these scenes were cut when Clarke became unavailable due to a film commitment. (REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter)
  • Even though Colonel Oduya was in this episode, he was not credited.
  • This is actually not the first time a canonical Doctor Who franchise story has dealt with the subject of converting sentient beings into drugs. TV: Nightmare of Eden dealt with a similar topic, although in that case the drugs were harvested from the corpses of Mandrels rather than from living humans.
  • Originally, the final shot of the episode was to have been of a computer screen reading "TORCHWOOD STATUS: TERMINATED," referring to the cessation of all Torchwood operations in the UK by the end of the miniseries. This was taken out at a late stage, as Davies did not wish to give the impression that the series had been cancelled, even though he knew that Children of Earth might very possibly be the last-ever instalment of Torchwood. As it turned out, Children of Earth would indeed prove to be the finale of the show's original incarnation, but the series continued as a British-American co-production starting in 2011. (REF: Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale - The Final Chapter)
  • Gwen mentions the Doctor, touching on a theme first mentioned in TV: The Christmas Invasion regarding the fact that the Doctor is not always around when a crisis occurs.

Ratings edit

  • 5.8 million BBC One viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures
  • 6.6 million viewers, according to final official viewing figures
  • AI of 90%
  • 12th most-watched programme in Britain during the week of transmission

Filming locations edit

  • Rupert Brooke Drive
  • Thames House - London
  • Maindee Police Station - Newport
  • Cefn Coed Road - The Frobisher residence
  • M.O.D Caerwent

Production errors edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • While Alice is rocking her son's dead body, he moves his hands.

Continuity edit

  • Jack refers to the deaths of Ianto Jones, (TV: Children of Earth: Day Four) Toshiko Sato, (TV: Exit Wounds) Owen Harper, (TV: Reset, Exit Wounds) and Suzie Costello. (TV: Everything Changes, They Keep Killing Suzie)
  • The events of AUDIO: The House of the Dead served as a final catalyst that drove Jack to abandon Earth.
  • Jack is later seen off-world drowning his sorrows at an alien bar following the events of this episode. It is at this bar that the Tenth Doctor pays him a final visit as part of his final reward before he regenerates, though the Doctor simply gives him a passing, wordless acknowledgement. (TV The End of Time)
  • Exhausted with his inability to take the unfolding crisis seriously, Rhiannon silences Johnny's fixation of making "ten quid a kid" off babysitting children. (TV: Children of Earth: Day Three, Children of Earth: Day Four)
  • Johnny triggers a second diversion to thwart the government's hostile actions in his neighbourhood. The first was accusing a pair of surveillance agents of being perverts and paedophiles, leading a group of teenagers in force to harass their vehicle and buy time for Rhiannon to drive off unwitnessed. (Children of Earth: Day Two)
  • Dekker's early quip that elected officials such as prime ministers "just come and go" foreshadowed Brian Green's comeuppance. (Children of Earth: Day One)
  • Bridget used the Eye-5 contact lenses to incriminate Green in the exact same manner as Lois did. (Children of Earth: Day Four)
  • Though PM Brian Green was implied to lose most of his powers in office after Denise Riley took charge of many duties he oversaw, he retained his position of authority at least up to the events of COMIC: Don't Step on the Grass.
  • The events of the encounter with the 456 ambassador would come to be known as the 456 Incident. The 456 would become the namesakes of various resolutions and changes to laws across the globe, including the 456 Regulation in Great Britain and the 456 Amendments to U.S. Code 3184. The 456 Regulation declared the members of Torchwood Three officially deceased, and the 456 Amendments allowed the extradition of the Torchwood team into the United States when captured. (TV: The New World)
  • This is not the first time Gwen has appeared dramatically pregnant. Gwen was previously bitten by a Nostrovite, impregnating her with its child, which Owen Harper destroyed using Torchwood's singularity scalpel, before it tore its way out of her stomach lining. (TV: Something Borrowed) However, Gwen is legitimately carrying a human baby this time around.

Home video releases edit

  • Children of Earth: Day Five was released on DVD along with the rest of Children of Earth on 13 July 2009.