Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Torchwood 4/5 - Collatoral Damage

We pass upon the stair
We spoke of weres and when
Although I wasn't there

He said, I was his friend
Which came as some surprise
I spoke into his eyes:
"I thought you'd died alone,
A long, long time ago..."

"Oh, no, not me.
I never lost control
You're face to face
To the man who sold the world!"

Who knows? Not me
We never lost control
When face to face
With the man who sold the world!

Well, Sparacus has been going to town in his belief RTD is ripping off his work with the idea that Jack offering up sacrificial children to aliens is somehow a homage to Ben Chatham. This is of course bollocks - even aside the fact that Jack did the exact same thing in Small Worlds, if RTD truly wanted to capture a Chathamological flavor, this whole series would have been set in the Hub while Jack lay on the sofa, getting drunk, listening to Bowie and texting Doomwatch to sort it out all for him before demanding people ruffle his hair and sing what a jolly good fellow he is. So, once again Mark Goacher's fevered rantings are disproved, and this time even LBC thought he was talking very disturbing crap.

Indeed, Jack's offering of children was crucially not his idea - also, the children were promised to be made immortal rather than dissected, and the 456 were going to let humanity perish from a lethal plague if they didn't get their kids. Furthermore, Jack was only there because the British government assumed he didn't give a rat's arse what happened, as niether the 456 or even their lethal plague could kill him; an assumption that, even at the time, Jack found rather insulting. Another distinction between Jack and Chatham is that his pals are disgusted when they find about his actions, and he wasn't proud of them either.

Matthews isn't impressed either, and blows a hole in the man who has haunted his nightmares for the last 44 years. Jack's immortality gets in the way though, as Gwen notes, "You get to shoot first AND ask questions later!" But, yeah, Jack's not in anyone's good books as not only did he sacrifice children, he did so in a blatantly untrustworthy protection racket. Ianto's definitely not happy and wants the truth, so Jack reveals the whole "by the way, I have two generations of family I never told you about - deal with it" and storms off.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Frobisher is trying to haggle downwards with the 456 who may or may not have twigged Torchwood is watching. Agreeing to go "off the record", Frobisher orders a camera man to don a biohazard suit and decides to talk to the aliens mano-a-monster about what the 456 actually NEED six million kids for. Nick Briggs watches on, acting in a far less human manner than he normally does. He's not even swigging tea and wallowing in self-pity. The cameraman discovers the 456 resemble giant, drooling, slime-coated maggots with beaks, and that there is a hideously mutated "Grey"-looking child keeping the
monster company - one of the kids from 1965. The 456 goes a bit mental, blowing the original deal with Britain to media while simultaneously gutting the poor cameraman in the best Drop the Dead Donkey tradition. The 456 want the children and give humanity a day to choose them or else, Terracide.

As the fourth day begins and the UN make it clear they're not happy with PM Green, Jack contacts Frobisher
and threatens to reveal the whole game to the rest of the world - his descendants be damned. But the Prime

Minister has a plan: get rid of all the asylum seeker children, offer them up to the 456 and prevent the utter annihilation of the human race. The 456 consider the offer of 6700 children from across the planet, and decide they want 325, 000 children and every child on the planet starts chanting the number to make it clear to the audience. And that's just in the UK, as Briggsy reveals to an increasingly-freaked out committee meeting - but, on the bright side, that would prevent overpopulation and help conserve the Earth's resources. OK, Briggsy, you've convinced me. Now justify The Vengeance of Morbius.

As the carving up of the child population is discussed, working on the principles that lead to that delightful future in Threads - only the useful may live. So, basically, that's me stuffed, along with the chavs, the poor, the immigrants, the mentally disabled and everything in between. The fact the speech is made by the barren lady from The Last Train (who saw a world where all the children died out) is just... creepy. Bet you anything RTD knew about that connection. The kids will be rounded off under the cover of giving them "anti-possession-by-aliens jabs", then tell everyone the 456 lied and stole them in secret and, well, what can you do?

With this beyond-incriminating evidence that could set the British government back a century, Ianto and Jack set off to deal with the aliens the Captain submitted to back in the 1960s...

...well, once they can get past the traffic jam, anyway...

...which leads to Lois having to take the initiative and reveal her diabolical secret ("Bwahahah! I've recorded all of this! Your arses are mine! TORCHWOOD NOW RULES BRITAINIA!!") as Aunty Terrorist turns up to find, once again, she's no match for Psycho Gwen.

Ianto and Jack confront the 456 and tell them, in strict chronological order, no way, get stuffed, fuck off. The 456 go, "You wanna piece of me?" and immediately flood Thames House with a lethal airborne pathogen, dooming to death everyone within, simultaneously sending out a silent scream to fry poor Matthews' brains. As they start to drop like flies, the humans within the locked down Thames House trample each other in a futile attempt to escape. Jack, of course, is completely unharmed.

Just Jack, though...

Next time: the conclusion
"Civilization's about to fall..."
Gwen begins her video blog as life as we know it on planet Earth ends. As you do.

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