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July 10, 2009

I know what you did 44 summers ago...

Children of Earth: Day Four

Sweet. Mothering. Sunday.

Towards the end, I suspect like most people, I was thinking that they're not going to gas the entire building - they're going to merely open the doors and quickly reveal in half Tweet's worth of flimflam that the gas would lose its effectiveness as it met the polluted London atmosphere. Or there would be a handy suck label on a less than convenient air-con lever that our heroes would locate and throw just in time (after traversing an obstacle course of inappropriately positioned locked doors, abandoned tea trolleys and discarded ministerial red boxes). But no. They actually all died.

He's dead.

And Ianto. If this entire series wasn't good enough they actually killed off Ianto. Of course, you sit there thinking, bet he's taken his anti-gas pills this morning and he'll be right as rain. Or his gentleman's relish sessions with Jack has resulted in some immortality rubbing off (so to speak) onto him. Or he reveals, in the mildly humours coda at the end that, of course, he was the Porthcawl Buttlins' breath holding champion for 6 summers running. Oh how we'd laugh. And throw our fists through LCD screens. But no... Just when you thought things couldn't get any better, they killed him. They killed them all. All apart from the people in the Cobra room and Dexter.

No... he really is dead.

The Cobra room as basically an amateur dramatics retelling of what happens in the Deal of No Deal Banker's mind every time he mulls over the latest offer to make to mugs with boxes (except, with slightly less Nick Briggs). Earlier, the meeting with the PM and military figures was full of the sorts of recriminations and backbiting a partner might be subject too if their other half were to find a piece of suspicious underwear in a compromising position, ie on the end of a car radio aerial. "You should have told us you'd had dealings with The 456 before - oh why didn't you tell us", the Americans asked jealously. I'm surprised at that point the PM didn't through the entire back catalogue of Target novelisations at them and ask for 367 other incidents to be taken into account. What was the UNIT chap doing as all these discussions were going on? Thinking to himself "Please don't mention the Yeti. Please don't mention the Yeti. Please don't mention the Yeti.". A bit like Ianto's shock at Jack not telling him about events from his past. I'm surprised he stopped at the existence of Alice and Stephen and didn't as for another 367 incidents, at least, to be taken into account.

He's still dead. He ain't coming back. He is stone dead.

Whilst the trip into the tank might have taken a little bit of a shine off the threat (revealing a less than menacing load of latex) at least death on a massive scale will always trump bad alien prosthetics (and why am I being constantly reminded of the Jed Mercurio epic Invasion: Earth when it comes to the alien threat?). Even if the death was mostly down to that old standby - sheer bloody-minded Torchwood arrogance.

There is no returning from this one. He's definitely not coming back. He's as dead as crushed nylon three-quarter slacks with an embroidered Chuckle Brother on each knee. He... is... DEAD.

What will they do tonight? Catapult the Isle of Wight into the heart of a sun? Orchestrate the destruction of the eastern seaboard of the United States by turning the Atlantic into a bath of acid? Or simply crack open the planet like a Kinder Surprise and play keepy-uppy with the molten core as humanity fizzles into blistered nothingness in the vacuum of space?

Whatever happens, I can't wait. And that's the most surprising thing of all...

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