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Everything Changes

TorchwoodA perfectly normal night on the beat for Cardiff policewoman Gwen Cooper is shattered by the arrival of a black vehicle at a murder scene. Even the police back off in deference, as four people emerge and use a strange metallic gauntlet to momentarily bring the murder victim back to life. Gwen watches in horror as the man realizes he only has two minutes to tell these people what happened to him – but can’t, since he was stabbed from behind. She finds out who they are – a mysterious organization called Torchwood, led by an American man named Captain Jack Harkness. The next day, she spots Jack again at a hospital, moments before she sees a grotesque humanoid figure brutally murder a hospital porter. Again, Jack and his Torchwood team are at the ready, subduing and capturing the inhuman killer, and just as quickly vanishing under a well-planned cover story.

Only Gwen isn’t about to let it go – she trails Torchwood’s vehicle to the Millennium Centre at the heart of Cardiff, and then follows them on foot to the waterfall – where they abruptly disappear from sight. Refusing to drop the trail, Gwen pays Torchwood a visit under the guise of delivering a pizza, but once inside their headquarters, she realizes that this organization is dabbling in something stranger than ordinary police work…and that their base of operations is actually nestled away right beneath the waterfall, where no one would think to look for it. Captain Jack introduces himself and his team: his second-in-command, Suzie Costello, medical expert Owen Harper, computer expert Toshiko Sato, and Ianto Jones, who serves as the team’s driver and organizes most of their cover. As members of Torchwood, they round up alien technology (and alien threats) that fall to Earth – activity which is apparently alarmingly common in Wales, thanks to a transdimensional rift running through Cardiff. They even have the alien killer from the hospital in custody, which inspires Gwen to propose a liaison between Torchwood and the police, rather than Torchwood sweeping in and taking over crime scenes under total secrecy.

Instead, Jack slips her an amnesia-inducing drug so she’ll forget the entire visit. But the next day, Gwen learns that more murders have taken place in Cardiff, committed with the same savage bladed weapon that felled the victim she saw Torchwood revive, and she gradually remembers Jack’s secret group – and seeing the weapon in their base of operations. If the alien is in custody, then who is still doing the killing? And has Torchwood met its match in Gwen…or a future recruit?

Season 1 Regular Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones)

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Brian Kelly
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Indira Varma (Suzie Costello), Guy Lewis (Young Cop), Tom Price (P.C. Andy), Jason May (Soco), Rhys Swinburn (Body), Olwen Medi (Yvonne), Dion Davies (Officer), Jāms Thomas (Hospital Porter), Paul Kasey (Weevil), Mark Heal (Security Guard), Gary Sheppeard (Pizza Lad), Gwilym Havard Davies (Man), Cathryn Davis (Woman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green
Notes are included below and contain major spoilers. Continue reading

Day One

TorchwoodAs she celebrates the eve of her first day on the job with Torchwood, Gwen and her boyfriend Rhys witness an awesome sight – a meteorite streaks through the night skies over Cardiff and slams into the countryside outside the city. Suddenly it is Gwen’s first day on the job, but through a mishap on her part, a gas is released into the air from the meteorite. Now the team has to track down an alien presence that could have gone anywhere. The gaseous life form finds a host body – a young girl at a club – and Torchwood is called in to investigate her first victim, apparently killed after he had sex with her. Gwen is able to use her police training to track the girl down, but once she’s in Torchwood custody, nobody seems to know what to do with her – or if she can be saved.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Brian Kelly
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Adrian Christopher (Private Moriarty), Ross O’Hennessy (Sgt. Johnson), Sara Lloyd Gregory (Carys), Ceri Mears (Banksy), Justin McDonald (Matt), Tom Price (P.C. Andy), Brendan Charleson (Ivan Fletcher), Rob Storr (Gavin), Lloyd Everitt (Mikey), Alex Parry (Eddie Gwynne), Felicity Rhys (Bethan), Naomi Martell (Receptionist), David Longden (Mr. Weston)

Notes: Though it’s not explicitly stated on screen in this episode, the musical cue heard for the scenes involving the severed hand in the jar would seem to hint that the hand is the one that the Doctor lost to the Sycorax leader’s sword in the Doctor Who episode The Christmas Invasion – which may also explain why Jack prizes it so highly.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Ghost Machine

TorchwoodGwen and Owen are in a foot pursuit of a petty thief who, according to sensors at the Torchwood hub, is making off with some kind of alien technology. Gwen grabs him, but he gets away, leaving her clutching his jacket, but Toshiko insists that Gwen’s snagged the alien tech. The device is found in one of the pockets, and when it activates, it instantly transforms Gwen’s surroundings – she’s still standing in a train station in Cardiff, but no one else is there except a terrified schoolboy, wearing a name tag and wandering alone…and then the experience ends. The name is tracked down to a man who says that the scene Gwen describes did happen to him – as a child, when he was evacuated to Cardiff to escape the Nazi bombing of London in World War II. The next time the device activates, it’s in Owen’s hands, but he witnesses a scene even more terrifying, in which a young man corners a terrified teenage girl. Again, Toshiko is able to narrow down the name of one of the people in Owen’s vision: a girl who was raped and murdered on the very spot where Owen stood. Knowing the identity of the victim, Owen becomes obsessed with finding out who the killer is. Doing so brings him into contact once again with the thief from whom the alien item was recovered, and a curious link between him and a killer who has never been brought to justice for his crime emerges.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by Colin Teague
music by Murray Gold and Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Gareth Thomas (Ed Morgan), Ben McKay (Bernie), Llinos Daniel (Eleri), John Normington (Tom Flanagan), Emily Evans (Lizzie Lewis), Christopher Elson (young Ed Morgan), Christopher Greene (young Tom Flanagan), Julie Gibbs (Bernie’s mum), Ian Kay (Snooker Player), Ryan Conway (Kid in arcade), Kathryn Howard (Woman in shop)

TorchwoodNotes: Welsh actor Gareth Thomas holds a legendary place among fans of British SF; he played revolutionary leader Roj Blake in the late 70s/early 80s space opera Blake’s 7. He has also guest-starred in a Big Finish Doctor Who audio play (Storm Warning, which reintroduced Paul McGann as the Doctor) and starred in the first two “seasons” of Big Finish’s spinoff series Dalek Empire. John Normington also has a long history with Doctor Who, with guest appearances in The Happiness Patrol (1988) and especially his turn as the treacherous Morgus in 1984’s Caves Of Androzani.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Cyberwoman

TorchwoodCompletely against standard operating procedure, Ianto admits a visitor to Torchwood – a Japanese doctor he’s called in to help with a special project. That project is Lisa, Ianto’s girlfriend, partially Cyber-converted and salvaged from the wreckage of the Torchwood London headquarters in Canary Wharf. He has kept her hidden away in the basement level, along with a complete Cyberman conversion pod which he’s managed to turn into a life support system. The doctor is able to help Lisa leave the life support system, but once under her own power, she exhibits little of her own personality – she’s a Cyberman seeking to complete her upgrade and then she’ll begin to convert the rest of the human race. Once Ianto’s project is exposed, Jack decides that yet another branch of Torchwood may have to be sacrificed to stop a Cyber invasion…but Ianto’s loyalties lie elsewhere.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by James Strong
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Caroline Chikezie (Lisa), Togo Igawa (Dr. Tanizaki), Bethan Walker (Annie)

Original Title: The Trouble With Lisa

Notes: Ianto apparently worked at the London branch of Torchwood during the Dalek-Cyberman battle (Doctor Who: Doomsday). This marks the first time a female Cyberman has appeared on screen, though much was made of female Cybermen in the Doctor Who audio story Real Time.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Small Worlds

TorchwoodFreak weather conditions, strange sightings and deaths add up to one thing for Jack – a species that most humans would describe as fairies has returned, eliminating anyone who stands between them and their “chosen one.” Jack has seen their work before, when they wiped out an entire squad of men under his command during his time on Earth in World War II. This time, their chosen one is an ordinary, if lonely, child – and anyone who makes her life miserable, from her stepfather to school bullies, is marked for death. When Torchwood steps in to put an end to the killing, they’re marked too – even Gwen’s home is attacked. When it comes to ridding the human race of the fairies’ influence, what lengths will Jack go to and what sacrifices will he make to protect Earth?

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Peter J. Hammond
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Eve Pearce (Estelle), Lara Phillipart (Jasmine), Adrienne O’Sullivan (Lynn), William Travis (Roy), Roger Barclay (Goodson), Heledd Baskerville (Kate), Ffion Wilkins (WPC), Nathan Sussex (Custody Sergeant), Paul Jones (Man in street), Sophie Davies (Bully), Victoria Gourley (Bully)

Notes: Peter J. Hammond is also the creator of the cult British SF series Sapphire & Steel. Director Alice Troughton is no relation to the late Patrick Troughton, who was the second Doctor Who.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Countrycide

TorchwoodA number of disappearances in a rural area of Wales sends Torchwood on a camping trip – something to which Owen is just a little bit unaccustomed. But a body turns up nearby, and while the team is examining it, someone hijacks their high-tech SUV. They head toward a building on foot, finding an abandoned pub. Ianto and Sato are separated from the others, finding themselves trapped in a cellar, while Jack, Gwen and Owen discover that they’re not alone when someone shoots Gwen at point-blank range. Owen is able to perform emergency surgery under less than ideal conditions, but it gets Gwen back on her feet. Toshiko and Ianto are in the middle of an escape attempt when a woman shows up, pointing a shotgun at them and telling them that they’re being “collected.” When their captors demonstrate an appetite for human meat, Ianto gives Toshiko a chance to escape the human harvest. Has Torchwood discovered a nest of alien-possessed humans, or simply a cannibal cult?

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Andy Goddard
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

TorchwoodGuest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Owen Teale (Evan Sherman), Maxine Evans (Helen Sherman), Calum Callaghan (Kieran), Rhys ap Trefor (Huw), Emily Bowker (Ellie), Robert Barton (Martin)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Greeks Bearing Gifts

TorchwoodA chance encounter with a woman in a bar changes Toshiko Sato’s life. Her new friend seems to know too much about her, and then introduces her to a pendant that allows her to hear other people’s thoughts. At first it’s overwhelming, but soon Toshiko finds practical applications for it. But her friend seems to want something more from her – and bets that Toshiko won’t tell the rest of Torchwood about it. And she doesn’t tell them, but she does wear the pendant inside the hub, discovering that Gwen and Owen are carrying on a clandestine relationship, Ianto is still wracked with pain and guilt over the death of his girlfriend, but when she tries to focus on Jack’s thoughts, she finds nothing – at all. But when her friend demands to be brought to Torchwood’s headquarters, where will Toshiko’s loyalties lie?

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Toby Whithouse
directed by Colin Teague
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Daniela Denby-Ashe (Mary), Tom Robertson (Soldier), Ravin J. Ganatra (Neil), Eiry Thomas (Carol), Shaheen Jafargholi (Danny), Paul Kasey (Weevil)

Notes: Apparently Torchwood has to submit reports to UNIT, though the nature of those reports is not revealed; also not revealed is which Prime Minister is confronted by Jack over the phone for prying into Torchwood’s business, though it may still be Harriet Jones.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

They Keep Killing Suzie

TorchwoodA grisly murder in a perfectly ordinary Welsh suburb is bad enough, but to make matters worse, two victims’ throats are slashed and “TORCHWOOD” is written on the wall of their home – in their blood. Police find traces of DNA left behind by the killer, including a compound that’s unknown to their crime lab – but it’s a substance that Owen recognizes immediately – the prime ingredient of Torchwood’s “amnesia pills,” including the one that Jack slipped to Gwen when they first met. But over 2,000 doses have been administered during Torchwood’s tenure in Cardiff, and even attempts to use the resurrection gauntlet – an alien artifact whose use had previously been banned by Jack – aren’t producing any results with the murder victims. Then Jack decides that it should be used on the one member of Torchwood who knew how to use it best – one who’s already dead herself. But once brought back to life, how far will Suzy Costello go to stay that way?

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Paul Tomalin & Daniel McCulloch
directed by James Strong
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Indira Varma (Suzie), Yasmin Bannerman (Swanson), Daniel Llewellyn-Williams (Alex Arwyn), Gary Pillai (Mark Brisco), Shend (Max), Badi Uzzaman (Suzie’s father)

Still killing SuzieNotes: In pre-broadcast publicity, this episode’s title was listed as They Keep Killing, in order to preserve the surprise elements of the plot (in much the same way as Cyberwoman was referred to by the working title The Trouble With Lisa). The title switcheroo is a bit of a Doctor Who tradition, with Invasion Of The Dinosaurs part 1 having been aired only as Invasion part 1 – which created problems during a 1970s purge of the BBC archives intended to destroy another story with the same name.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Random Shoes

TorchwoodYoung UFO enthusiast Eugene Jones is found dead in the road, his life snuffed out in what seems to be a perfectly normal, if tragic, accident. As her colleagues shrug it off as a random event, Gwen can’t help but feel there’s more to it than that. Eugene had encountered Torchwood a few times before, his own natural fascination with the unexplained bringing him to the scene of the same incidents they were investigating, and he found a receptive ear in Gwen – and still does, as apparently only she can still see him as his walks invisibly among the living. Eugene had also found an unusual eye some time before, apparently his own little alien artifact, and as Gwen continues to pry into the circumstances surrounding his death, she discovers that Eugene’s fate and the eye are intertwined – and perhaps the eye could even bring him back, even as his family mourns.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Jacquetta May
directed by James Erskine
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Paul Chequer (Eugene), Luke Bromley (young Eugene), Nicola Duffett (Bronwen Jones), Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mr. Garrett), Steven Meo (Josh), Celyn Jones (Gary), Robyn Isaac (Linda), Gareth Potter (Shaun Jones), Joshua Hughes (Terry Jones), Amy Starling (Waitress), Leroy Liburd (Cafe Owner), Ryan Chappell (Pete)

Original title: Invisible Eugene

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Out Of Time

TorchwoodCaptain Jack is waiting on the tarmac as a plane comes in to land; its three passengers left just half an hour ago – in the year 1953. He takes them back to the Torchwood Hub, where it falls to him to break it to them that over 50 years have passed, and they can’t go back. Slowly but surely, the team tries to help the trio of temporal castaways adjust to 21st century life, but naturally some have more trouble than others. Owen covers up his feelings for Gwen and embarks on a fling with freewheeling pilot Diane Holmes, only to find that he’s terrified to fall in love with her. Gwen takes in the youngest of the two women and tries to help her adjust to modern life, but also finds out a few things about herself in the process. And Jack may have the toughest assignment of all, dealing with a man who, if he can’t live in 1953, doesn’t want to live at all.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Catherine Tregenna
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Louise Delamere (Diane), Mark Lewis Jones (John Ellis), Olivia Hallinan (Emma), Sam Beezely (Alan Ellis), Marion Fenner (Nurse), Janine Carrington (Alesha), Rhea Bailey (Jade), Andrew MacBean (Flying Instructor), Ciaran Dowd (Barman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Combat

TorchwoodA series of deaths corresponding to Weevil attacks may be an indication that the rift is widening. Based on the evidence at hand, Jack thinks that Weevils are coming through the rift, being captured and then used as untraceable murder weapons. Even an attempt to use the one Weevil that Torchwood has in captivity fails, and so Owen is assigned to go undercover to find out more about a warehouse where the latest victim’s body was found. Posing as a businessman seeking warehouse space on the wharf, Owen meets Mark Lynch, an enigmatic but successful entrepreneur who complains that even wealth and power don’t satisfy him. He introduces Owen to a secret organization in which men who feel emasculated by modern life try to regain their manhood – by surviving a cage match with a captured Weevil. When Lynch discovers that there’s more to Owen than meets the eye, he decides that Owen will be the next gladiator.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Noel Clarke
directed by Andy Goddard
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Alex Hassell (Mark Lynch), Paul Kasey (Weevil), Alexandra Dunn (Barmaid), Matthew Raymond (Boyfriend), David Gyasi (Hospital Patient)

Notes: Writer and actor Noel Clarke, who was also behind the screenplay of the acclaimed (and somewhat controversial) film Kidulthood, is better known to Doctor Who fans in the role of Mickey Smith, Rose’s boyfriend during the first two seasons of that series’ revival. Elements of the story strongly resemble the novel “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk, upon which the popular movie of the same name was based.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Captain Jack Harkness

TorchwoodReports of music from an abandoned dance hall get Jack’s attention; when he and Toshiko go to investigate, something strange happens and they slip through time to 1941. Jack quickly finds that he has to shield Toshiko from the locals’ suspicions of the Japanese at the height of World War II, and in the meantime, he’s introduced to a dashingly handsome American captain…named Jack Harkness. When Toshiko insists, Jack explains that this is the man whose identity he took after tumbling through time into Earth’s past. Worse yet, Jack is torn between falling for his namesake and trying to urge the real Captain Harkness to live his life to the fullest, for history records that tomorrow is the day he dies, heroically saving his men from a German ambush. Hovering about the dance hall at all times is Mr. Bilis Manger, the proprietor of the establishment – and curiously, Gwen sees him in the present day as well, completely untouched by the passage of time, and completely uncooperative in her search for evidence that could help to retrieve Jack and Toshiko. Owen has his own ideas on getting them back: open the temporal rift that runs through Cardiff.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Catherine Tregenna
directed by Ashley Way
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Matt Rippy (The Captain), Murray Melvin (Bilis Manger), Elen Rhys (Nancy), Nadine Beaton (Audrey), Gavin Brocker (George), Peter Sandys-Clark (Tim), Ciaran Joyce (Smiler), Melissa Moore (Singer)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

End Of Days

TorchwoodThough he and Toshiko have returned safely to the present, Jack is furious with Owen for opening the rift, especially when people from throughout Earth’s history begin appearing, resulting in, among other things, a revival of the bubonic plague in the heart of Cardiff. Jack and Gwen go to pay Bilis Manger another visit, but he proves to be full of cryptic, less-than-helpful advice – until he shows Gwen a vision of what he claims is the future, in which she sees Rhys murdered. Gwen brings Rhys to the Torchwood Hub for his own safety, but another appearance by Bilis proves that no one is safe even there – and it is Bilis himself who fulfills the prophecy and kills Rhys just before vanishing again. One by one, the other members of Torchwood experience visions of long-lost loved ones, each urging them to open the rift again to save the world. Jack is the only one who doesn’t have an unsettling vision, but it’s already too late: the rest of his team is convinced that opening the rift will set things right, and Owen is willing to kill Jack to keep him from interfering. But when all hell breaks loose through the rift, who will save Torchwood – and the world – now?

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Chris Chibnall
directed by Ashley Way
music by Murray Gold & Ben Foster

Guest Cast: Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Murray Melvin (Bilis), Tom Price (PC Andy), Caroline Chikezie (Lisa), Louise Delamere (Diane), Matthew Gravelle (Doctor), Noriko Aida (Toshiko’s Mother), Jamie Belton (Roman Soldier), Carrie Grace (Newsreader), Paul Kasey (Weevil), Rhian Wyn Jones (Religious Woman)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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