It must be acknowledged, above all else, that we, the fans, hold a great deal of love for Torchwood and its characters, and we wish for nothing more than a continuation of both.
In itself, we consider Children of Earth to be an exciting and well-acted piece of television: pacy, dark, raw, and with no punches pulled. Its success when regarded as a five-part standalone is not only considerable, but well-deserved, and therefore we do not hesitate to recognise the achievements of all those involved with both its inception and development.
However, within the larger context of Torchwood as we have grown to love it, Children of Earth seems far more appropriate as a series farewell than as a third series intended to lead into a fourth and beyond. For many fans, the main draw of Torchwood has always been its characters. In the first two years of the series, we were led to believe that Jack was preparing his team for vast changes which would shake humanity to its core. As we watched them grow as characters and learn about the challenges they were facing, we became emotionally invested in Ianto, Jack, and Gwen’s coping with whatever the Universe brought them; yet by the end of Children of Earth two of our three reasons for tuning in – namely, Ianto Jones and Jack Harkness – were gone. This loss has saddened and angered many fans to the point that we cannot foresee watching a version of Torchwood that does not include Ianto, Jack, and Gwen, together.
We are the UK viewers who established Torchwood’s initial success, facilitated its move to BBC2, and trusted the creative team behind it to bring us a brilliant and explosive hit on BBC1. We are the US viewers who have made Torchwood one of BBC America’s top-rated programs. We are the fans, the consumers at home and abroad, who purchase the novels, DVDs, audio books, sound tracks, action figures, and other related merchandise. As an audience, we now implore the creative team responsible for Torchwood to take the following actions so that they might continue bringing us the series we love.
We ask that the character of Ianto Jones, as portrayed by Gareth David-Lloyd, return as a regular member of the team. We acknowledge that, given the trauma he experienced in Children of Earth, Ianto will have to struggle with new issues, but Torchwood, the series that captured the fans’ hearts, cannot continue without him.
A large part of the core audience relates to Ianto as an individual struggling to identify himself and his place in the world. He is just coming into his own, not only in terms of character development, but also as a full member of the team and a vital, stabilizing force for, and brilliant foil to, the sometimes reckless Captain Jack Harkness. For many fans Ianto, more than any other character, is the true heart and soul, even the humanity, of Torchwood.
In the Doctor Who universe, ‘lost’ characters have been brought back several times already, and with the wonders of that universe at their disposal, we are confident the writers will be able to devise a brilliant and plausible way to restore Ianto.
Once Ianto Jones returns and is reunited with Gwen Cooper, as portrayed by Eve Myles, they will need Jack Harkness, his charisma, and his knowledge of space, time, and the Universe. Again, it is accepted as given that Jack will have to face the consequences of certain actions taken in Children of Earth, but without Jack Harkness, as without Ianto Jones, Torchwood as we have loved it is finished.
In the future we would encourage the creative team behind Torchwood to explore other ways of maintaining drama and suspense rather than simply executing beloved characters. While we do, of course, recognise character-death as a valid and sometimes necessary plot device, writing out three-fifths of the Torchwood team in just five episodes seems excessive. There are fates worse than death. We fans would prefer to follow those characters we already know and love as they endure, survive, and transcend such hardships, and we are convinced that the writers of Torchwood can rise to such a challenge.
This is our position as dedicated fans of the brilliant television series Torchwood as it existed in its first two series. We may have been disappointed, but we are not yet discouraged. We still trust the minds behind Torchwood to consider sincerely our concerns and respectfully request that they take them into account in producing any further seasons of Torchwood.