TARDIS Index File

Children of Earth: Day Three (TV story)

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Children of Earth: Day Three
The 456
Main character(s): Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Rhys
Featuring: Lois, Frobisher, Bridget, Alice, Johnson, Clem, Andy
Main enemy: The 456
Main setting: London and Cardiff, 2009
Key crew
Writer: Russell T Davies and James Moran
Director: Euros Lyn
Producer: Peter Bennett
Release details
Season/series: Series 3
Premiere broadcast: 8 July 2009
Premiere network: BBC One
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Children of Earth: Day Two Children of Earth: Day Four
Official trailer
Torchwood Children of Earth - Day Three trailer - BBC One00:20

Torchwood Children of Earth - Day Three trailer - BBC One

Memorable moment
We are here - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC04:04

We are here - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC

Another memorable moment
The lost children - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC04:04

The lost children - Torchwood Children of Earth - BBC

One more memorable moment
We want the children - Torchwood - BBC03:59

We want the children - Torchwood - BBC

Children of Earth: Day Three was the third episode of the third series of Torchwood. It notably introduced the 456 after the buildup in previous episodes. Torchwood Three also established a new temporary base of operations and pilfered a new car to replace their stolen SUV.

Synopsis Edit

The eyes of the world turn to Britain. The 456 announce: "We are here," as the new Torchwood adventure continues. A pillar of fire descends upon London and Torchwood must battle to protect their own families as the fight gets personal. Will Clem's memories destroy everything?

Plot Edit

The team, including Rhys, have set up a base in an old factory once used by Torchwood One for storage. As a former police officer, Gwen knows all the tricks of the criminal trade, including stealing mobile phones, debit cards and laptops from people off the street. Jack makes off with a car. Soon the base is stocked with creature comforts; coffee, electricity, access to the Torchwood server, toiletries, and new clothes for the group, including replacement World War I era apparel for Jack, thanks to an Army Surplus special. When he researches the other people targeted for assassination, Jack is shocked. He seems to recognise them and he runs off.

In Cardiff, Jack's daughter Alice is still trying to contact him; she goes outside and borrows a girl's mobile to phone the Cardiff police, but the government's scanners pick up Jack's name and try to find the connection between them. Agent Johnson gets word of this. Her team take Alice and her son away to "help" them. Suddenly, Steven points southeastwards to London as all the children on Earth are pointing towards London.

A pillar of light descends from the sky and enters Thames House. Fiery energy fills the gas containment system. John Frobisher and Mr Dekker meet with the aliens, who instruct the humans to call them "456". During the discussion, Frobisher extracts a promise from the 456 that it will not mention its previous visit to Earth in 1965.

Gwen surprises Lois Habiba at a cafe and asks her to wear some special contact lenses to allow Torchwood to see what is going on. Lois protests but takes the contacts. Gwen phones PC Andy to bail Clem McDonald out from police custody and brings him to the base.

Jack sneaks into Frobisher's house and steals his wife's mobile. He phones Frobisher, having made the connection between the children and the events of 1965. He threatens Frobisher with "blow[ing] this thing sky high". Frobisher tells Jack they have taken his daughter and grandson into custody and will kill them if he does. Jack threatens to do the same, but Frobisher knows he would never do such a thing.

That night, Frobisher, Bridget Spears and Lois Habiba enter the gas chamber room, which is being filmed for the Prime Minister and being transmitted to a conference room where UNIT, an American general and the Prime Minister are watching. Frobisher demands the 456 cease using human children to communicate; in return the 456 demand a gift: 10% of the children on Earth.

Back at the warehouse base, Clem tells Gwen he can smell the man who brought the children to the aliens. When Jack walks in, Clem recognises him as the man who gave the twelve children up to the aliens in 1965. When Gwen protests that Jack is a "good guy" who fights aliens, Jack informs them that in this instance, he had done what was asked. He gave the 456 the children... "as a gift."

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics



General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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

Real world Edit

Story notes Edit

  • This is the second time in the recent Doctor Who multiverse that an alien asked for ten percent of a population. The first was in TV: The Sound of Drums when the Master kills 10% of Earth's population. Both stories involved Captain Jack Harkness.
  • The footage of the lift going up is the same used in TV: Rose et al.
  • Trinity Wells and the French newsreader both make their first appearances in Torchwood and become the only two characters to have appeared in Doctor Who and both of the spin-offs.

Ratings Edit

  • 5.9 million BBC One viewers, according to unofficial overnight figures
  • 6.4 million viewers, according to final official viewing figures
  • AI of 90%
  • 14th most-watched programme in Britain during the week of transmission

Filming locations Edit

to be added

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.
  • During the first scene in the warehouse, when Jack "lets slip" he knew about the pregnancy, Gwen mutters, "You promised, John," instead of, "You promised, Jack". This was corrected in home media and streaming releases to "Christ, Jack."
  • When Lois Habiba wears the contact lens, she puts them both in the same eye (her left eye).
  • The green goo sprayed on the front of the tank disappears and reappears in different shapes several times between shots.
  • When Gwen is demonstrating the lenses to Lois, several times she looks in different directions and moves her head, but the display on the laptop doesn't move. Also, when Gwen blinks, the display is unaffected (although the computer program may be able to compensate the blinking).
  • When Torchwood accesses the (production mock-up) BBC News website, the word Minister is misspelled as "Minster".

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

  • Children of Earth: Day Three was released on DVD along with the rest of Children of Earth on 13 July 2009.
Facts about "Children of Earth: Day Three (TV story)"RDF feed
1ADSteffan Morris +
2ADJames DeHaviland +
3ADDavid Chalstrey +
Assistant cameraTom Hartley + and Jon Vidgen +
Assistant editorCarmen Sanchez Roberts +
Assistant location managerGareth Skelding +
Assistant producerBrian Minchin +
Assistant production accountantCarole Wakefield +
Associate producerCatrin Lewis Defis +
Best boySteve Slocombe +
BoomJeff Welch +
Camera operatorJames Leigh + and Alwyn Hughes +
Casting associateAndy Brierley +
Casting directorAndy Pryor CDG +
ColouristJon Everett +
Construction managerMatthew Hywel-Davies +
ContinuityNon Eleri Hughes +
Costume assistantSara Morgan + and Gemma Evans +
Costume designerRay Holman +
Costume supervisorLindsay Bonaccorsi +
DOPRory Taylor +
DirectorEuros Lyn +
DriverSean Evans + and Wynford Finney +
Dubbing mixerTim Ricketts +
EditorJohn Gillanders +
ElectricianBen Griffiths +, Jonathan Cox + and Gareth Williams +
Executive producerRussell T Davies + and Julie Gardner +
Focus pullerSteve Rees + and Jamie Southcott +
GafferMark Hutchings +
GraphicsBBC Wales Graphic Design +
GripClive Baldwin +
Location managerNicky James +
Make-up artistNel Batt + and Hannah Proverbs +
Make-up designerMarie Doris +
Make-up supervisorAbi Brotherton +
MusicBen Foster +
On-line editorGeraint Pari Huws +
Post-production supervisorChris Blatchford + and Helen Vallis +
ProducerPeter Bennett +
Production accountantCeri Tothill +
Production co-ordinatorClare Rutteman +
Production designerEdward Thomas +
Production executiveJulie Scott +
Production or script secretaryClaire Thomas +
Props masterStuart Wooddisse +
ProstheticsMillennium FX +
RunnerAlison Jones +, Nicola Brown + and Tom Evans +
SFXAny Effects +
Set decoratorJulian Luxton +
Sound assistantBryn Thomas +
Sound effects editorHoward Eaves +
Sound recordistJulian Howarth +
Sound supervisorDoug Sinclair +
Standby art directorArwel Wyn Jones +
Standby carpenterWill Pope +
Standby propsPhill Shellard + and Jackson Pope +
Standby riggerKeith Freeman +
Stunt co-ordinatorTom Lucy +
Supervising art directorStephen Nicholas +
ThanksBBC National Orchestra of Wales +
ThemeMurray Gold +
Unit managerRhys Griffiths +
VFXThe Mill +
WriterRussell T Davies + and James Moran +

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