Welcome to TV Geek Week -- a new weekly column about sci-fi TV news and programming.
Screw Harry Potter. For me, the U.S. premiere of Torchwood: Children of Earth is the biggest and most anticipated geek event of the month. After a record-breaking run in the U.K., the five-part miniseries lands stateside tonight with an absorbing first hour on BBC America.
With its first two seasons, The Doctor Who spin-off offered a mature and sexy but undeniably quirky look at a team of Cardiff-based investigators fighting alien threats. Judging by the raves from the British press, and the promising first hour, Children of Earth takes things to a higher level with an epic scope, a bigger budget, and more twists and turns than the series' first two seasons combined.
Tonight's ep sees the Torchwood team responding to an alien invader that announces itself by possessing the world's children and making them chant a creepy warning, "We are coming." It's even more unsettling than it sounds, and it sets our heroes – the debonair Captain Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), reliable Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd), and the fetching Gwen (Eve Myles) – off on a dangerous adventure involving cagey new characters, government conspiracies and, er, blood-spewing monsters.
If it sounds like Torchwood is full of cheap thrills, well, that's because it is. But the series handles all the B-movie business with wit, charm and heart – three things sorely lacking from some of this summer's big screen blockbusters. (Tonight through Friday, 9 p.m. ET on BBC America.)
Check out more TV picks and the first seven minutes of Children of Earth after the jump.