The Dead Of Night

TorchwoodAs the reality of the new condition of humanity sinks in with the public, different people deal with their sudden immortality in different ways. Some indulge in every vice imaginable, safe in the knowledge that it won’t kill them, but Dr. Vera Juarez and others in her field are becoming increasingly aware that while death has been eradicated overnight, disease hasn’t: anyone infected with a disease will simply manifest its symptoms forever. Others form a strange cult, the masked Soulless, whose message seems to be that humanity’s sudden immortality is not a blessing. They get no argument from Jack, who finds new ways to revel in his sudden mortality.

With the bewildered Rex and Esther in tow – now on the run from the CIA themselves thanks to their contact with Torchwood – Jack and Gwen fall into familiar old patterns, investigating how the “miracle” happened and at whose behest. But if they think that the CIA fugitives are Torchwood’s latest recruits, Rex’s lone-wolf behavior and Esther’s nervousness make them uneasy allies at best. And for CIA agents, they seem almost too ready to blow their cover. Gwen strong-arms Dr. Juarez into helping her infiltrate Phi-Corp, an international pharmaceutical company which seems poised to profit from the inevitable spread of disease by seeking Congressional approval for the free and easy distribution of its drugs. What’s more, Phi-Corp is so well-stocked that they likely knew of the “miracle” well in advance.

Phicorp has also picked up an unusual spokesman in convicted killer Oswald Danes. Having survived his own execution and obtained the services of a Phi-Corp public relations agent, Danes is a fast-rising celebrity and the subject of cultish adulation from the Soulless. He’s also the subject of Jack’s intense curiosity, but again, Jack’s every move has been anticipated.

Order the DVDsDownload this episodewritten by Jane Espenson
directed by Billy Gierhart
music by Murray Goldr and Stu Kennedy

Cast: John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson), Alexa Havins (Esther Drummond), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes), Arlene Tur (Dr. Vera Juarez), Wayne Knight (Brian Friedkin), Dillon Casey (Brad), Richard Gilliland (Congressman Morganthall), Tasha Ames (Carla), Thea Andrews (Local Reporter), Richard Augustine (George Sayer), Daryl Crittenden (Young Man), Mitchell Edmonds (Senior TV Anchor), Matt Eyde (Atlanta Cop), Mary Garripoli (Woman Tourist), Ted Mattison (Phi-Corp Rep), Jason Medwin (Sunroof Screamer), George Murdock (Preacher), Brian Treitler (Dr. Murphy), Randa Walker (Candice Perlmutter), Maurice Webster (Cop), Michelle Wong (Nurse), David Youse (Dr. Rosenbloom)

Notes: While its original BBC broadcasts were always intended to be adults-only viewing, Torchwood took a brief detour into material that was too strong for UK viewing standards: the montage of sex scenes (both heterosexual and homosexual) were omitted entirely from the UK broadcast, seen only in America on Starz. As little vital story information is imparted in those scenes, however, it simply means that, while the episode is shorter, the story still tracks. Guest actor George Murdock’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo as a televangelist could be indicative of diminished career expectations, as Murdock played God Himself (or an alien facsimile thereof) in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989); he returned to the Star Trek franchise as Admiral Hansen, giving Captain Picard his fateful marching orders against the Borg in the Next Generation two-parter The Best Of Both Worlds (1990). Writer Jane Espenson – one of the stable of writers who worked with Joss Whedon on Buffy, Angel and Firefly – joined the Torchwood writing staff fresh from a short stint as the showrunner of Battlestar Galactica spinoff Caprica.

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