Torchwood Logo 'Children of Earth'
(Part 4: 'Day Four')

by John Fay
Torchwood Cast

“We want ten percent of this world’s children.” – the 456

As a shocked Gwen, Ianto and Clem listen, Jack explains the events of 1965: making a night-time rendezvous in the middle of nowhere with a government agent, Jack learnt how the authorities had received instructions from aliens broadcasting on the 456 frequency; these mysterious beings offered a cure to a new strain of Indonesian Flu ravaging the country, in exchange for twelve children. Assigned the task of finding this “sacrifice”, Jack chose Clem and his fellow orphans because they wouldn’t be missed; he was the one who handed them over to the 456, but was unaware that Clem escaped. Jack apologises to Clem for his past actions, but the old man just grabs Gwen’s gun and shoots him dead; when Jack returns to life, the shock is too much for Clem’s fragile mind, and he runs away in panic. At Ashton Down, Johnson leads Alice and Stephen to their holding cell; undaunted, Alice warns her captor that she will soon face her father’s wrath. Back at Torchwood, the team realise they are still receiving the feed from Lois, as the summit reconvenes on Floor 13. Frobisher asks the 456 for clarification on their demands and their intentions towards the children of Earth, but the creature ignores him; aware that the Prime Minister is watching via a camera feed, the 456 invites the cameraman into its chamber for a better look. Donning a protective suit, the cameraman enters the gas-filled tank and relaying footage of the bizarre-looking creature within – and then finds one of the children from 1965, its body ravaged but unaged, connected by a web of cables to the alien. As the terrified cameraman flees from the chamber the 456 goes berserk, and babbles about its visit to Earth in 1965; regaining control, the creature goes on to assure those watching that the children are unharmed – it then states that the government has one day to comply to their request, or all humanity will be wiped out. General Pierce confronts the Prime Minister over his suppression of information on the aliens’ previous visit, and demands that the United Nations be given access to all files on the 456. Back at Hub2, Ianto voices his disappointment that Jack couldn’t trust him with his past; in response, Jack confides to him that the government have his daughter and grandson hostage. Jack then phones Frobisher to demand his family’s release in exchange for his help; but Frobisher refuses to comply, and is then interrupted by a summons from the Prime Minister. Through Lois’ eyes, the Torchwood team watch as Frobisher and his aides travel to the Cabinet Office. Knowing mankind cannot win a war against the 456, the P.N. instructs Frobisher to open negotiations over the aliens’ demands: by handing over failed asylum seekers, the board believe they can offer sixty children from the U.K. Frobisher returns to Floor 13 to present this offer, but the 456 deem it unacceptable; the creature intones the numbers “3,2,5,0,0,0” – a chant echoed by Britain’s children, as well as Clem. As reports come in from across the world, the Torchwood team realise that the children of each country are chanting a different number: ten percent of each country’s child population. Back in the Cabinet Office, the P.M.’s advisor, Rick Yates, suggests putting a ‘spin’ on the situation, noting that a cull of humanity’s children could actually help with the planet’s dwindling resources. As the world grows suspicious of the United Kingdom’s government, the P.M. and the Cabinet begin a clinical debate on how to solve their situation; after agreeing that their children and grandchildren be exempt from being chosen, they decide that the lowest-achieving children from the country’s lesser schools will be the ones supplied to the aliens. Listening to this heartless conversation with mounting disgust, the Torchwood team decide to use their recordings as a weapon against the government. Leaving Gwen and Clem in Hub2, Rhys sets off with one of the laptops, while Jack and Ianto head for Thames House. Walking through the congested streets, Ianto calls Rhiannon and warns her to keep David and Micha safe; elsewhere, his call is intercepted by an M.I.5 operative, who pinpoints Ianto’s location to a disused Torchwood warehouse in Battersea. Johnson immediately takes a team of soldiers to bring in Torchwood. When Frobisher proposes a plan to blame the 456 for the abductions that the government is arranging, Lois finally takes a stand; after informing the assembled politicians that she is working for Torchwood, she tells them that their conversations have been recorded, and will be made public unless they cooperate. As Jack and Ianto enter the reception of Thames House, Johnson and her men burst into Hub2 and hold Gwen and Clem at gunpoint; however, Gwen is unconcerned, and she shows Johnson the live transmission from Downing Street and orders her to stand down; she then instructs the agent to release Jack’s family, or else Rhys will publish his copies of the recordings. Arriving on Floor 13 Jack and Ianto meet Dekker, and instruct him to relay their actions to the P.M. using Jack’s phone. Addressing the 456, Jack announces that the aliens will not take any more children, and demands that the creatures leave the planet; however, the 456 refuses to listen, and, after declaring war on Earth, it uses telekinesis to seal every door and windows in Thames House, and then release a lethal virus inside the building. Jack immediately gives the order for the staff to shut down the air conditioning and break out gas masks; he and Ianto then open fire on the 456’s tank, but their weapons are useless, the glass is bullet-proof. The aliens then transmit a signal to Clem, and as Gwen looks on helplessly, the man dies from a brain haemorrhage. Back at Thames House, a terrified Dekker manages to seal himself inside a containment suit, as the rest of M.I.5’s personnel begin dropping dead to the floor. On Floor 13, Ianto collapses: he has inhaled the toxin. Unable to save his friend and lover, Jack breaks down as Ianto dies in his arms, before he too finally succumbs to the gas. In the Cabinet Office, the Prime Minister has no choice but to begin preparations for handing over his country’s children to the 456. Some time later, Gwen is taken to see the bodies of her comrades, where they lie under blankets amongst the rest of the dead; but while Jack comes back to life, Ianto remains lost forever…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement ‘Clem’ McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Prime Minister Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr Dekker), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Colin McFarlane (General Pierce), Deborah Finlay (Denise Riley), Nicholas Briggs (Rick Yates), Charles Abomeu (Defence Secretary), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hilary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Sophie Millar (Vanessa), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeline Rakic-Platt (Lily Frobisher), Simon Poland (456 Voice), Gregory Ferguson (Young Clem), Ben Lloyd-Holmes (Operative), Louise Minchin (Newsreader), Anthony Debaeck (French Newsreader), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells)

Directed by Euros Lyn
Produced by Peter Bennett
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC 1):
9th July 2009 @ 9:00 pm

*Featuring Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones

*Unlike previous seasons, the episodes in Season Three have a running time of sixty minutes each, and were shown over five consectutive days

*This episode was simulcast in High Definition on the BBC's HD Channel