TorchwoodAt 8:40 one morning, every child on Earth stands absolutely still and begins reciting a message, in unison and in English: “We are coming.” Both Torchwood and UNIT try to track down the meaning behind the message, but in Whitehall, a seemingly innocuous civil servant named John Frobisher understands precisely what the message means. Captain Jack tries to contact Frobisher – Torchwood’s point of contact with the government – to offer help, but Frobisher’s new personal assistant, Lois Habiba, has no idea who Jack is and simply takes a message. Lois is nothing if not inquisitive, however, and manages to look up Torchwood in the government’s files, and what she learns there turns her world upside-down. Another civil servant, Mr. Dekker, pays Frobisher a visit with a simple but ominous warning: the 456 are returning, and they have sent a message in an incredibly compressed data stream that will take time to translate. At regular intervals, the world’s children come to a stop, either to deliver another message or to unleash a piercing, blood-curdling scream. Hoping to understand what’s going on, Jack and Ianto each set out to observe a little bit closer to home. Ianto visits his sister, where his niece and nephew are acting decidedly normal, while Jack visits a daughter, Alice Carter, who he’s never mentioned to any of his teammates. Alice, wary of Jack’s apparent immortality, would rather he stayed away from her and from his own grandson, who knows him as “Uncle Jack.” Gwen visits a man named Clement McDonald in a mental institution, learning that he somehow knows of an alien threat; he claims to have escaped the 456 in 1965. McDonald is the only adult in the world to have repeated the same messages as the children due to his close call with the aliens. As more messages are relayed through the children, John Frobisher puts a top-secret plan into action, calling for the elimination of a list of individuals – including one Captain Jack Harkness – and the entire Torchwood organization. Jack’s immortality is about to be put to the test.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Ben Foster

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Peter Capaldi (John Frobisher), Paul Copley (Clement McDonald), Nicholas Farrell (Brian Green), Susan Brown (Bridget Spears), Lucy Cohu (Alice Carter), Ian Gelder (Mr. Dekker), Cush Jumbo (Lois Habiba), Liz May Brice (Johnson), Charles Abomeli (Colonel Oduya), Rik Makarem (Rupesh Patanjali), Katy Wix (Rhiannon Davies), Rhodri Lewis (Johnny Davies), Hillary Maclean (Anna Frobisher), Anna Lawson (Nurse), Rachel Ferjani (Parliamentary Secretary), Christopher James (Press Officer), Phylip Harries (Water Taxi man), Ben Lloyd-Holmes (Operative), Luke Perry (David Davies), Aimee Davies (Mica Davies), Bear McCausland (Steven Carter), Julia Joyce (Holly Frobisher), Madeleine Rakic-Platt (Lilly Frobisher), Gregory Ferguson (young Clem), Crisian Emmanuel (Mother), Melanie Barker (Mother 2), Scott Bailey (Father)

Notes: Martha is said to be on her honeymoon and out of touch with Torchwood; in reality, actress Freema Agyeman had accepted a job as one of the regular cast of Law & Order: UK, a British adaptation (also starring Battlestar Galactica’s Jamie Bamber) of the popular American crime drama. Though early drafts of the script included Martha, no contract had been drawn up for Agyeman and she took the other job. As Jack is sizing up Rupesh Patanjali as a new medical expert for Torchwood, it would seem that neither Martha nor Mickey Smith joined Torchwood (which was heavily implied at the end of the Doctor Who episode Journey’s End); presumably Martha remains with UNIT.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

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