'Children of War' was the fifth and final episode in the DWO mini-series 'Torchwood: The Fence'. It was published on 2nd October 2011 and was written by Jockie. It was notable for being the final episode in the series and featuring the exits of several major characters.
It is the final stand for Torchwood as, in a desolate prison cell, Captain Jack Harkness is forced to pour his heart out to a victim of circumstance - a victim who didn't survive. Not far away, Gwen Cooper faces the most heartbreaking choice of her life - and the decision she makes will have severe implications for the future of Britain and indeed, the world.
But hope is not completely lost. Deep in the streets of London, revolution has returned and the morale of the British people is undeterred. As Donald Drymen prepares the Faithful for battle, Henry Cratchett is ready to unleash his final, devastating weapon. Are his latest allies enough to topple even the Fence itself?
And amongst the gunfire, the devastation and the destruction, the truth must still be told - and Jack is led down the darkest path imaginable in order to get it. The fate of the world rests in the hands of an unexpected saviour - but with this responsibility comes the greatest sacrifice and the greatest tragedy. Can Torchwood survive sickening revelations and unimaginable choices?
In a prison cell in the basement underneath Parliament, Captain Jack Harkness opens up to the dead body of Mary Cooper (Sharon Morgan). As he does, Tracy Campbell (Angel Coulby) arrives to see him. She tells Jack that she wants to help him and tries to get Brendan Rose (William Roache) on side. However, when Brendan tries to kill her, she agrees to do things Jack's way. Shortly after, a woman takes Tracy's laptop into an internet cafe and logs on as her. Brendan traces the signal but the woman turns out to be Domitila (Penelope Cruz), who evades capture. The distraction means that Cratchett (Bill Nighy) logs off his account and Tracy is able to hack into it using her own laptop.
In the Cleansing Facility, Gwen is forced to watch Rhys being tortured by the Faithful. However, they are both rescued by Domitila. Rhys only just escapes with his life and is in a critical condition. In a police station basement, Torchwood regroups. Tracy's hacking has meant that Bryce (Joseph Morgan) has located the whereabouts of Program #9 and hopes to destroy it. Domitila, meanwhile, plans to fight Drymen's (Ralph Fiennes) army head on. As they discuss what to do, Tracy arrives saying she has contacted Jack, but the government has managed to track her position.
Tracy hands Gwen some pills from Jack, which will paralyse Rhys' body in order to numb the pain. Andy Davidson (Tom Price) offers to watch over him. Gwen decides to find and rescue Anwen. The team escapes the station, with Domitila fighting off the guarding members of the Faithful outside. As Gwen escapes, she guns down another member of the Faithful but is devastated when she sees the dying member is a young child (Alex Francis). She stays with him until she dies but is clearly shaken up.
In Parliament, Jack is brought before Cratchett who begs him to force Gwen to give the Cryzlacs her permission. Jack questions Cratchett about the Faithful and he says that he took weak-minded members of society and placed them under the Cryzlacs' control. When Jack brands him a murderer, Cratchett says he has not killed one member of the Faithful, whereas Torchwood has blood on its hands. Brendan then tells Cratchett that the Cryzlacs are almost here. This prompts Cratchett to release Jack, arguing they are now on the same side and Jack must get Gwen's permission.
As Drymen prepares his army, the gigantic Cryzlacs break through the fence at Dover Ferry Terminal, towering over the country. Drymen realises they will need more troops to fight off the Cryzlacs too. He is surprised when Domitila confronts him, suggesting an alliance in order to fend off the Cryzlacs.
As Bryce arrives at the Cleansing Facility containing Program #9, in Parliament, Gwen manages to break into Cratchett's office, pinning him up against the wall and demanding to see her daughter. Cratchett goads her for a wihle but eventually relents, showing Gwen her wired-up daughter. Gwen goes to shoot Cratchett but he stuns her by allowing her to take Anwen, allowing her some final moments with her. However, he promises her that she will do the right thing soon. Gwen snatches her daughter and attempts to escape.
The Cryzlacs arrive in London and begin terrorising the city, whilst Gwen runs through the burning streets with Anwen. She stumbles across Jack and begs him to help her. In the Cleansing Facility, Bryce infiltrates Program #9 but it is guarded by two smaller Cryzlacs who attack him. He manages to fend them off and shuts down the Program, causing everybody to remember Cratchett's lies.
Jack convinces Gwen that giving up Anwen is the only option and he records her giving her permission. She says a heartfelt goodbye to her daughter and then allows Jack to take her. Meanwhile, Domitila and Drymen manage to destroy their first Cryzlac but Drymen is scolded by Brendan, who orders him to concentrate on suppressing the public rather than the aliens. Brendan informs Cratchett of Program #9's destruction and Cratchett orders that the entire building be quarantined in order to protect the Cabinet. On the battlefield, Drymen turns against Domitila and she is forced to flee on top of a Cryzlac to avoid being shot. At the same time, Bryce leads a revolution to join the fighting.
Meanwhile, Gwen arrives at Andy and Rhys' hiding place and sits with her paralysed husband, telling him what she has done in order to save the world. Hearing this, Andy is appalled that Gwen is willing to give up so easily and convinces her to fight one last time for her daughter. She runs back into the city and finds Jack's dead body but no Anwen. Brendan tells Cratchett that they have secured Anwen and plays back Gwen's recorded permission that they found on Jack. At the same time, Jack comes round and he and Bryce run to Parliament to find Gwen.
Gwen arrives in Parliament just as the building is being quarantined and manages to take back Anwen. She then heads to the roof with her daughter. Elsewhere in London, Domitila and Drymen engage in a cutlass fight on top of the largest Cryzlac. Domitila manages to better Drymen and he is sent tumbling off the edge of the Cryzlac to his death. In Parliament, Jack barges into Cratchett's office to find him with Jenny's (Rita Simons) body. Cratchett says that if Gwen jumps to her death then the whole world is finished. Cratchett then reveals to Jack that he is in fact part-Cryzlac, with a pulsating Cryzlac sitting in his chest.
On the roof, the Faithful goad Gwen as she debates whether to jump off. In Cratchett's office, Cratchett explained that the red light he saw all those years ago possessed him. He says he is still human but they have been able to listen and control him. They offered Britain protection whilst they looked for a temporary child as long as Cratchett gave them their perfect child - a child born of war.
However, Jack deduces that Anwen was not their first choice - they were after Jenny. Jack realises that Cratchett's situation meant that the Cryzlacs were drawn to him as Jenny was in a war zone due to the affair and subsequent murders. Cratchett says he couldn't let them take Jenny and so he killed her in order to protect her. He said he attempted to distract the Cryzlacs with Anwen so they would no longer want Jenny, and then threw Jenny out in order to distance himself from her. He tells Jack that they could have still used her body as a power supply and so he sent it to Torchwood to get rid of it.
Jack realises that Cratchett is still lying to protect Jenny as there is another way. He argues that if Cratchett forces the Cryzlacs to lock onto Jenny's body, they will mistakenly attempt to feed off her, thus starving themselves to death as she is dead. Cratchett realises that Cryzlac part of him will die too, killing him. Jack convinces him to go through with it for Jenny's sake. Cratchett connects himself to all of the other Cryzlacs and their power converges on Jenny. Gradually, the Cryzlacs turn to dust as they starve themselves, whilst the Cryzlac part of Cratchett peels away.
Cratchett asks Jack not to judge him as a father, before dying in his arms. However, behind him, the wires that held Jenny have now ignited and Jack is thrown across the room as the machine overloads and explodes. On the roof, Gwen steps back, whilst Bryce and Domitila notice the flames from below and try to find a way in. As politicians evacuate the building, Gwen races onto the top floor with the flames chasing her.
Bryce finds a way in and runs in to rescue Gwen who makes it to the ground floor. However, the roof caves in and Gwen and Anwen are now trapped. Bryce hears her screams and tries to move one of the beams blocking their path, but realises that, if he does so, the whole roof will cave in and crush them. Bryce manages to squeeze in between the beams to push them the other way, but another one falls, trapping them further. Bryce finds it easier to push the beams from this angle and Gwen manages to crawl out but, before Bryce can pass her Anwen, more of the roof caves in.
As Gwen goes to get help, Byce looks up to see Jack above him, lodged between the collapsing structure. Jack throws a teleport to Bryce that he took from Cratchett's office - stolen Cryzlac technology. However, it only has enough power for one trip. Bryce offers to save Anwen rather than himself and teleports her to safety. He tells Jack that he is glad he is not dying alone, as the entire building is engulfed in a ball of flames, much to Gwen and Domitila's horror.
Several days later, Tracy Campbell arrives at the office of Brendan Rose to hand in her resignation. He begs her for forgiveness but she says she will leave it up to the jury to decide, urging him to enjoy his retirement. In hospital, Gwen and a newly-recovered Rhys receive some positive news about Anwen.
Gwen spots Jack loitering at the hospital and goes to see him. She says she is taking leave from Torchwood as she needs to be a mother and a wife again. Jack tells her the Fence is being knocked down and airports are re-opening so he is taking advantage of it by going to Madrid with Domitila. Jack promises he will come back soon and the pair say their goodbyes before parting in the night...
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Domitila - Penelope Cruz
- Bryce Owen - Joseph Morgan
- Henry Cratchett - Bill Nighy
- Tracy Campbell - Angel Coulby
- Jenny Cratchett - Rita Simons
- Donald Drymen - Ralph Fiennes
- Brendan Rose - William Roache
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Andy Davidson - Tom Price
- Mary Cooper - Sharon Morgan
- Boy - Alex Francis
- News Reporter - Kate Silverton
- Young Man - Alex Carter
- Voice of the Faithful - Silas Carson
The episode received an AI of 98.8.