FYI, this is a collaborative blogging effort bought to you by @Captain_Doug and @gingerbreadlady (me). Check out Doug's blog tomorrow for the penultimate installment...
Part I (by me)
Part II (by Doug)
Well, there's one thing to be glad about after Episode III - no more scary chanting children. The aliens (the "456") have finally arrived and agreed to stop using them as communication tools. Goody.
Oh, but they want some kids giftwrapped to take home with them - 10%, in fact. How rude. We build them a nice, comfy little glass box full of poisonous gases to land in and how do they repay us? Make off with our children. Tuh.
Actually, this leads quite well into a discussion of overpopulation issues, which I won't go into in detail here, but as population control measures go, mass alien abduction ain't a bad solution. Depending on the motives of the particular aliens in question, it could be preferable to, say, a horrible flesh-eating infectious disease or some sort of Logan's Run type scenario. At least you get to see space before you die.
But forget the serious issues for a minute... GADGETS! Yay! The BBC, which has obviously spared no expense in creating its aliens (glass box full of smoke and the occasional squelchy sound/Jurassic Park-style screech or splatter of vomit-like liquid), is really spoiling us with its lip-reading software and high-tech contact lenses. Weeeeell, the lenses are kind of cool, I suppose - basically, they give the wearer cameras for eyes, allowing them to transmit pictures of aliens back to Torchwood HQ. Although they come in fairly disappointing white plastic cases, like normal contact lenses.
Where was I? Ah, yes. 10% of the children. Now, as we've known since Episode I, these aliens have a taste for kids. (Just a thought, but perhaps they're actually eating them? Or do we need a more sophisticated reason for monsters stealing children these days?) A few were harvested when the 456 showed up back in the sixties.
But. Shock! Horror! Guess who handed them over before? Why, none other than our hero Captain Jack Harkness! My, what a lot of gasping this caused on Twitter. Come on guys, he only gave them 12 - not so much of a sacrifice really. Especially compared to 10% of all the kids. Luckily, @Blue_Chameleon has a solution: "Easy. Send the dumbest, chavviest 10%." (And, adds @duckorange, "They can have my two if it helps.")
So, what next? Round up all the poor numpties no one wants and wave them off... or... two days of alien ass-kicking punctuated by smutty references to what Captain Jack and Ianto get up to in their tea breaks, a "surprise" late arrival by UNIT's Dr Martha Jones, some tears over Gwen's (probably alien) baby, Jack's absolution for his prior sins and the safe return of all the children to Earth. I dunno, it's a close call.
And it's back to you, Doug.