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Torchwood: Children of Earth. RANT!

Ok, so I'm only on Day Four of Torchwood: Children of Earth. And yes, I know I'm behind the times, but I'm in America so we had to do some creative legwork in order to see it. Something has occurred at the end of Day Four that has pissed me off. I need to rant. If you haven't seen it yet, don't look below the cut. Also contains spoilers for the S3 finale of Heroes.

ETA: Now with additional commentary about entire series below!



Goddamn motherfucking sonsofbitches!

Short version, Ianto Jones has irrevocably died, and this makes me sad.

Long version: God damn it, Heroes killed off Nathan, thus ending several ships, and now fucking Torchwood kills of Ianto, thus depriving me of the only open slash relationship on the shows that I watch. Damn it, we don’t get openly gay relationships on American prime-time television because the cable networks are wusses! And also none of the leads look like John Barrowman.

Jack/Ianto, otherwise known as Janto, was the first male/male relationship I ever saw explored on TV. Openly. Not hinted, not thrown in as a mid-season or season finale shocker, not hidden, but open. And I loved it, from the first hint of it to its recent death.

And yes, I did read the interview with Gareth Lloyd-Jones that he felt the Jack/Ianto relationship had been explored as fully as possible, which was why he was willing to die. But, but… Damn your artistic integrity, I want to see my pretty men kissing in an unashamed and natural manner!

In addition, the Children of Earth series managed to bring several other issues in the relationship to the forefront, namely Ianto sort of coming out to his family about Jack, trying to come to terms with Jack’s past, and Ianto realizing that Jack might forget him in the march of his endless years. Heavy issues, and all of them explored in a fairly tight manner. I might have liked to see more of this kind of thing, particularly as this was happening, in the story world, over the course of only four days. They could have used the whole season to explore this.

What also saddens me about Ianto’s death is that we’re now down to only one original member of the Torchwood team, and only one original character from the first season. Toshiko and Owen died at the end of season two, Ianto in this miniseries, leaving just Jack and Gwen. Maybe I’m just too used to American shows of this nature. If a show is about a group of people exploring/battling aliens, generally I expect there to be a certain number of people doing this task. If circumstances take people out of the team, I expect a new member to be brought in within short order. Buffy, Angel, CSI: (all three of them) and numerous other shows all work or worked in this format.

Are they changing the whole format of what Torchwood is going to be? Are we going from a five-man effort to a two-person investigatory team? I used to expect a certain amount of format when watching my shows, so at least I knew a smidgen of what to expect. This entire business of killing off the entire fucking cast does not sit well with me.

I’d invested two seasons in Toshiko and Owen, and a little more than that with Ianto, and now they’re gone. All that emotional investment and character development, gone. Have Gwen and Jack been changed by these dead characters? Yes. But it will be harder and harder to see that on the screen as time goes by. If Torchwood continues going. Heaven knows what they’re going to do with the bloody thing. I don’t even fucking know anymore.

This was how I felt when Nathan was killed on the S3 finale of Heroes. I felt like the show betrayed me, that all that emotional investment I’d had in Nathan and how he affected the people around him had been for naught. This is how I feel about Torchwood right now. I felt as if I’d entered into an unspoken trust with the writers, and they’ve broken that trust anyway.

Damn it Torchwood, why do you torment me so? Why do you have interesting plotlines and good acting and bring up relevant moral issues and then stab me in the heart with your artistically necessary deaths? God you suck.

I’m still gonna finish the miniseries though. Bastards.

Then I’m gonna go write some Janto porn.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ETA: Ok, now I've seen all five days of Children of Earth. Now, let me say I thought this whole thing was well-written, interesting, and showed the heights and depths of human emotions, from utter moral depravity to shining moments of love, from quiet affection to heart-rending personal sacrifice, from the toll a moral quagmire can take on a person to the loss of trust that can sweep an entire world. This is the kind of commentary on the human condition I've come to only expect from the Dr. Who/Torchwood teams. And it was brilliantly done.

It was also totally fucking depressing. It reminded me of the movie Requiem for a Dream, which was crafted with the same kind of care, with excellent acting, storytelling, etc. It was also the most depressing movie I've ever seen.

I don't expect everything I watch to be happy. I certainly don't mind angst in my fiction. I just felt, when I was watching Children of Earth, that a potentially long-lived series was being sacrificed for a story. That takes balls. The writers/producers have, through the course of the end of Season Two and Children of Earth (which is technically Season Three) completely dismantled everything we know about Torchwood. There are virtually no more points of reference. The Hub has been destroyed. The rest of the team is dead. Torchwood is now obsolete. Gwen won't be able to do any adventuring for a very long time, as she'll be having a kid. Jack has run away, being as he has a crushing burden of guilt to learn how to shoulder. Torchwood as we know it, is gone. And I have no idea what is going to be put into its place.

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