SCRIPTEASE #4: Torchwood: Children Of Earth

The Reduced SFX Company presents the five-night mini-series in a five-minute script

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Scriptease #4

Torchwood: Children Of Earth

[ Warning: contains major spoilers and a tiny bit of swearing ]

Aliens possess the children of the world and make them act all creepy-like. The Torchwood team act like Big Damn Heroes until one of them becomes a Big Damn Antihero. Oh, and someone snuffs it.


It’s business as usual at the TOP SECRET BASE known as TORCHWOOD [which apparently nobody knows about, even though it’s situated in one of the most popular and touristy parts of CARDIFF ]. GWEN COOPER arrives for work and greets photos of two former TORCHWOOD members who DIED HORRIBLY in the last series, just to remind us that this show can GET SERIOUS and isn’t really ALL ABOUT SEX . This is known as FORESHADOWING .

CAPTAIN JACK: I fancy some sex.
IANTO: Mind if I make tea first?

Every single CHILD on the planet starts chanting the same thing at exactly the same time.

CREEPY CHILDREN : We are coming. We are coming.
CAPTAIN JACK: Oo-er, missus!
GWEN: Tone it down, Jack. They’re going to air this in America and we have to be serious and Emmy-worthy. No graphic sex, double-entendres or swearing.
CAPTAIN JACK: Fu... I mean, bugger. That means somebody is going to die to give the show dramatic heft.
IANTO: Would you like some Jammie Dodgers with your tea? ...Why are you looking at me like that?

After lots of shenanigans involving a FRIENDLY DOCTOR , it turns out he is not a FRIENDLY DOCTOR after all and some nasty people have planted a bomb in CAPTAIN JACK’S CHEST . CAPTAIN JACK’S CHEST EXPLODES , taking the TOP SECRET BASE with it.

LOCALS & TOURISTS: Bloody Torchwood.


Somewhere in the BRITISH GOVERNMENT , MALCOLM TUCKER from THE THICK OF IT is acting his socks off and trying to remember not to swear. He is in charge of liaising with the ALIENS , who have been using the CHILDREN to announce their arrival the next day.

JOHN FROBISHER: You can build a spaceship but you can’t use Hotmail to warn us instead? Invest in some broadband, guys.
THE 456: Hey, you’re Malcolm Tucker! Go on, insult us. You’re so funny when you insult people!
FROBISHER: I’m not Malcolm Tucker, I’m John Frobisher.
THE 456: Wait a minute, didn’t we last see you in Pompeii around 79AD?
FROBISHER: Just f***ing shut the f*** up you miserable pieces of c****** alien fleabags or I’ll d****** the lot of you!

THE 456: Yay! We love you, Malcolm!

The ALIENS want the BRITISH GOVERNMENT to build them a special LIFE-SUPPORT BOX . The BRITISH GOVERNMENT builds it. They don’t use the same people who built WEMBLEY STADIUM , and thus it is finished bang on time.

GWEN: The aliens call themselves the 456.
CAPTAIN JACK: What a shame they weren’t the 69-ers.
GWEN: Stop it with the smut, Jack. Think of the Emmys we could win if we just play this serious.
CAPTAIN JACK: I just got blown... Up.
GWEN: Jack...
CAPTAIN JACK: Sorry, couldn’t help myself.
GWEN: I’m hoping there’ll be a really good death scene later on where we can emote a lot and impress the critics.
IANTO: Why do you keep staring at me? Is there something on my tie?


THE 456 arrive in the special life-support box. They should be very silly but somehow they are really bloody SCARY . They have LOBSTER-CLAWS and sneeze SNOT all over the glass.

FROBISHER: What do you want, other than a tissue?
THE 456: We want 10 per cent of the world’s children. Give them to us or we will sneeze on you and destroy the Earth with our bogeys.
FROBISHER: Right you are, then.

CAPTAIN JACK has come back to life (did we mention he DIED AGAIN ?) and is rescued from BAD GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS . He has met THE 456 before but is being MYSTERIOUS about it. IANTO asks him about their relationship and where they see it going, thus signalling that he is ABOUT TO DIE because he is in LOVE .

FANS: Nooooooooooooooooooooo!
GWEN: Shhh. Think of the Emmys.


We discover that THE 456 met CAPTAIN JACK in 1965 and he handed over SOME CHILDREN to them. This is VERY IMPORTANT because it shows us that CAPTAIN JACK is an ANTIHERO and he doesn’t always do nice things. This is more FORESHADOWING .

CAPTAIN JACK: I’m going to stop cracking sex-jokes now because this is getting serious.
JACK’S DAUGHTER , WHO HAS APPEARED FROM NOWHERE FOR THIS STORY : You are a bad, bad man. I don’t like you and neither does your grandson.
CAPTAIN JACK: You think you don’t like me now? Wait till the end of episode five...
IANTO: I just looked at my script and I’m not in that episode. Does anyone know why?

The GOVERNMENT decide to hand over the CHILDREN rather than fight THE 456 . It’s all very tense and nerve-wracking and has overtones of NAZISM . This is a PRIME EXAMPLE of a sci-fi show touching on BIG ISSUES and will hopefully win it an EMMY, unless it is nominated against a poignant and expensive World War Two drama series in the same mould as BAND OF BROTHERS .

CAPTAIN JACK and IANTO talk to THE 456 , but they can’t convince the ALIENS to change their minds. THE 456 then KILL IANTO .

CAPTAIN JACK: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaagh!
FANS: Nooooooooooooooooooooo!
IANTO: ...

EVERYBODY WAITS for Ianto to come back to life.




CHILDREN are being rounded up by BAD GOVERNMENT SOLDIERS to be given to THE 456 .

FROBISHER: I can’t live with this! It’s too much! I can’t do it!

He SHOOTS HIS FAMILY and then HIMSELF . This is the bit the EMMY JUDGES will really like because there is no ALIEN SNOT in the vicinity ruining the drama.

CAPTAIN JACK: The death of my lover has made me hard and ruthless. I know how to destroy the aliens. It involves some kind of technobabble about a feedback loop but, more importantly, it means I have to sacrifice my grandson.
GWEN: No! You can’t do that! You’re the hero, not the antihero!
CAPTAIN JACK: Did you not notice all the foreshadowing?

CAPTAIN JACK kills his grandson. It is TRAGIC . THE 456 leave without taking any CHILDREN at all and the world is SAVED .

GWEN: All the people I loved at Torchwood are dead, Jack is having a breakdown from the guilt and I have stretchmarks from my pregnancy. This is a horrible ending to this series. I hate this.
CAPTAIN JACK: Me too. I’m going to leave and travel the universe while I wallow in my suffering. At some point I might be lucky enough to find myself a former Midshipman and pop up on Being Human .
GWEN: Good-o. Now, when are the Emmys announced? We have to be up for Best Miniseries at least!
IANTO: I fear my death was in vain. If we’re nominated, we’ll be going against HBO’s The Pacific . We don’t stand a chance.
GWEN: At least there’s the US version of Torchwood to look forward to.
IANTO: Fox just pulled out of it.
GWEN: Oh... Well, we’re not trying to be serious any more, Jack. You can make a double-entendre about them “pulling out” if you want.
CAPTAIN JACK: No. I’m too depressed.
IANTO: Fancy a shag for old time’s sake?
CAPTAIN JACK: F**k yeah.


Check out our previous Scripteases:

Scriptease #1: Heroes , Season One (opens in new tab)
Scriptease #2: Buffy The Vampire Slayer , Season One (opens in new tab)
Scriptease #3: Ghost Whisperer (any season) (opens in new tab)

Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.