Tag Archive: Children Of Earth

Episode 79 – Prognosticating Podcasters

In this week’s episode we take an “evening newscast” look at things as we review the remarkable Torchwood: Children of Earth mini-series. We go almost step by step through the monumental television event that changed the series and mood of the Whonivers on the whole.

Also, a bit of serendipity, (or perhaps we just channeled our inner fortune tellers powers) as Dr. Phil points out that CERN is about to announce the Higgs boson or “God Particle” has been found. A bit spooky, huh?

Plus, a look at other things making news in Doctor Who including some speculation on a possible start date for Series 7.

And of course, your feedback.


UPDATE: It was brought to our attention that the feed was not updating yesterday (thanks Dr. Phil). The problem should now be resolved. Sorry for any inconvience this caused our listeners.

UPDATE 2: Here’s David Warners IMDb page, for those interested, we forgot to post it…

David Warner – IMDb

Other links mentioned on the show:

Torchwood: Children of Earth – Gwen’s Speech
Stephen King Fancast

June Events In The Vortex (Revised 5/29)

* REVISED! In order to give the Vortex Boys just a bit more time to get though all the Shada goodies, we’ve flip flopped two weeks on the upcoming schedule.  City Of Death has been bumped back a week, and The Keys Of Marinus and Phantasmagoria move up one.

Once again it’s time to update you all on the joyous goodness coming your way. (Or the giggle inducing horror of it all, whichever you prefer!)

Tonight we’ll record episode #74, an Adversary Archive on The Daleks (again). Can’t help it they’ve just got so many episodes.  We’ll discuss the Jon Pertwee stories “Frontier In Space” and “Planet Of The Daleks” that make up the Dalek war box set, as well as Big Finish #7 “The Genocide Machine (Dalek Empire 1)” with Sylvester McCoy.

Next week’s Friday Night Who on 6/1 is the Matt Smith story “The Eleventh Hour”.

And then, the big massive spectacular 75th epiversary is our first set of BOOK REVIEWS!  Glenn will be sharing his thoughts on Crooked World featuring the eighth Doctor by Steve Lyons, Shaun reviews Only Human with the ninth Doctor by Gareth Roberts, and Keith talks about The Story Of Martha with the tenth Doctor by Dan Abnett.

June 8th’s Friday Night Who takes us back to William Hartnell’s First Doctor with “The Keys Of Marinus”.

On Traveling The Vortex episode #76 we’ll review “The Keys Of Marinus” and Big Finish #2 “Phantasmagoria”.

Friday Night Who on 6/15 is the Tom Baker classic “City Of Death” written by Douglas Adams!

For episode #77 is an explosion of Douglas Adams, as we cover “City Of Death” and ALL THINGS SHADA: Shada The Book, Shada The VHS Reconstruction, Shada The Animated Story, Shada The Flash Animation, Shada The Big Finish, Shada The Flame Thrower!

Colin Baker makes a return to Friday Night Who on June 22 with the story “Timelash”.

And then we’ll review “Timelash” and Big Finish #3 “Whispers Of Terror”.

FNW 6/29 is one of Shaun’s all time favorite stories, “The Android Invasion” with Tom Baker. 

TTV #79 covers “The Android Invasion” and the BBC Radio drama: “Torchwood: Lost Souls”.

And our first Friday Night Who of June ( 7/6) is the awesome series one two parter “The Doctor Dances / The Empty Child” with Christopher Eccleston.

Wait!  …what was that? Did you say TORCHWOOD was on the schedule again?  Can that mean?  Yep.  It’s time to subject Keith to the glory of “Torchwood: Children Of Earth” which we’ll cover in episode 80.

As always, an amazing thank you to all of our amazing listeners for joining us on these travels.  Thanks for putting up with us!

Passing The Torch(wood)?

Coming up this week will be our first serious look into Doctor Who spin off series Torchwood. While not everyone is a fan of the show, and welcome to their opinions, I’d like to throw out a counter argument in favor of the spin off.

Generally (if incorrectly) thought of as “Doctor Who for adults”, Torchwood started off a little rocky. The concept was sound, a group of investigators tackling the strange and unusual for the benefit of England. The problem is, we’ve already seen that show. It was called “The X-Files” and it was pretty good. Yes, there was (at least originally) more sex and violence and swearing than what you’d find on Doctor Who (that’s where the adult comes in) Torchwood has its share of monster of the week episodes, and a few mythology arcs thrown in, and as Glenn calls it, it’s the cherry on top of the Doctor Who sundae. You don’t need to see it, but it makes the over all experience a bit more enjoyable.

The show grows up a bit in its second season, (although there are still a handful of meh thrown in) becoming even more thoughtful and thought provoking science fiction. But it was the third season “Children Of Earth” miniseries where Torchwood blew the doors off its conventions and came into its own. It did this by going DARKER. Now, Torchwood was already a darker show, especially when compared to Doctor Who, and I think that’s where some people got off the carousel, and that’s fine. But for those who also enjoy a wilder ride, it became some of the most riveting television I have ever seen.

The biggest difference between the two shows is that Doctor Who shows humanity at its best, usually through the rose colored lens that is the Doctor. He wants to believe in our ability to be better than we are, and because of his faith, we frequently rise to his expectations. That is a powerful way of looking at the world. It’s joyous and infectious and makes the show fun to watch. Torchwood tackles some of the same issues and aliens as Who, but does it with just us humans. There is no all powerful savior watching over us, we’re left to our own devices, and we muddle through the best we can. As such, the violence and sex doesn’t seem out of place, it seems… well, human.

At the center of the maelstrom is Captain Jack Harkness. He’s not quite the same cheeky hero we remember from Who, but is himself dark and jaded. As the events of Torchwood play out, we discover the transformation of Jack. Who wouldn’t change after becoming immortal? We understand his detachment, who wouldn’t tune out after hundreds of years without the marvels of the universe to keep one occupied? And eventually, we see his long fall from grace in “Children Of Earth”. It’s a great character arc, it’s well written and compelling. Reminds me a bit of Stephen King. People ask me why I read him when I’m not much of a horror fan. And I always reply with, even if I dislike the subject matter, I enjoy the way the story is told. Torchwood’s story—if nothing else—is well told.

And now with Miracle Day, I’m hoping to see Jacks resurrection. While Torchwood is dark, I can still find the hope. Doctor Who gives me hope for humanity, Torchwood gives me hope for television. Because it’s consistently the most thoughtful thing on, and in today’s wasteland of reality TV, news magazines and game shows, a tightly woven, thinking-man’s science fiction script is a commodity to be cherished. <>