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Monday, August 10, 2009


Torchwood: Children of Earth
Music by Ben Foster
Silva Screen SILCD1290 (UK)
40 Tracks 77:41 mins

Having graduated from BBCs 3 & 2 to BBC 1, sci-fi show Torchwood came to what looks like its final curtain with a five part adventure shown over five consecutive nights just a few weeks ago. I am sure if you are a sci-fi fan and specifically a follower of the show, you would have done your very best to catch it. I certainly found it very entertaining, if a little overlong, though I was saddened by its format and conclusion, having looked forward to a proper series 3 of the show. I just hope the powers that be decide to bring Captain Jack back from his exraterrestrial travels, even if he has to find a new team.
Ben Foster, having started out assisting Murray Gold on the re- imagined Doctor Who series, has been responsible for writing the bulk of the music to the more adult-orientated Torchwood, and you should certainly check out the previous Silva release of music for series 1 & 2, a thoroughly entertaining listen. With Torchwood: Children of Earth, Foster was given sole responsibility for the score and certainly didn't disappoint, coming up with much exciting new material, as well as revisiting themes established in earlier shows.
The music is predominantly orchestral, enhanced by electronics, with the orchestral parts again performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, with additional contributions from a London-based studio orchestra. Featured vocalists are Annalise Whittlesea (a veteran of the Doctor Who/Torchwood universe) and Lewis Cullen.
The CD is arranged in suites from each day of the min-series, which provides for the proper flow of the score as it unfolds. There is much to admire, the new material including the pivotal three-note theme for the villains of the piece, the aliens 4-5-6; a punchy, brass-lead theme representing the government's machinations; a suitably pacy and heroic theme for Torchwood in action; a suitably innocent piano-lead theme for the children caught up in the aliens' diabolical plot;" and the melancholy theme for "The Children of Earth," which features the aforementioned chorister Lewis Cullen from St. Paul's Cathedral.
Added to this new material are the Captain Jack theme and requiem, established in season 1; the Gwen and Rhys love theme; and a much-developed Ianto theme, with prominent use of guitar.
It's hard to pick highlights, as there is so much good music on display here, but the first introduction to "Diplomatic Cars" is effective; "Countdown to Destruction" builds emotionally to its explosive conclusion; "Torchwood Hunted," "Tractor Attack," and "The World Looks to the Skies" are suitably action-packed; "Judgement Day," featuring the aforementioned Annalise Whittlesea," is suitably heroic, as Jack and Ianto rush to confront the 4-5-6; Ms Whittlesea's moving voicing of the "Requiem for the Fallen;" also featuring in the even more emotional "The Ballad of Ianto Jones," as his theme is given its fullest development to mark his heroic passing; the aforementioned "The Children of Earth;" the tense "Fighting Back," which flows nicely into the pacy "Run for your Lives;" the hugely emotional "Sacrifice & Salvation" and "Redemption;" and the finale, "I Can Run Forever," which brings together the Captain Jack themes and also touches on those of his fallen team members, as he bids farewell to Gwen and Rhys before taking his leave.
As a special treat for fans of the show, the "Here Comes Torchwood" and "Next Time on Torchwood" themes are included as a couple of bonus tracks at the end of the disc.
Silva's very generous presentation of the score includes a 12-page booklet, featuring an interview with and commentary by the composer. Go to for samples and to order your copy of this excellent album.


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