Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Fair's fair

Episode 2.10: 'From Out Of The Rain'
Tx: 19th March 2008

Torchwood are fighting for the future on behalf of the human race. Anyone else find that a really worrying prospect?

The Past. A fairground. Many sideshows. Moustachioed top-hatted ringmaster man lures a young girl inside one of the attractions. Then the entire fair disappears. A young woman in a nice hat is bewildered, for she is the only one left in the field.


Cardiff! A man is watching old footage of some description. Jack is wandering around Torchwood Three. Cut back to the young man, who is watching random old film clips, and then footage of the fairground. Cut back to Jack, who seems to be confused yet trying to look alert, though this could just be Barrowman's variable acting giving this mixed message. Cut back to the young man, whose window has burst open, and the film is being taken off the projector thing, yet still showing on the screen.

Cardiff! Jack asks Tosh if she heard a pipe organ being played. She did not. He wants to know where Ianto is. He has gone to the cinema with Owen and Gwen. That sounds like a fun night out. [And they apparently did not invite Tosh to accompany them on their jollies. Bitches. - Steve] Outside, it is pissing down. Drenched Ianto looks cute. They go inside the old-fashioned cinema building. The building manager wants to know where his son is, because he has the film. I am guessing the young man with the archive footage is his son. He's running around the back streets of Cardiff, while Jack cruises them in the ObviousMobile.

Ianto loves the old cinema. The manager shouts at his son for being late, and is uninterested in his excuses. The son runs up to the projector room to put the film on. The manager introduces the showing of the archive film, complete with piano music accompaniment from a man named Bernard. Gwen sniggers. Owen encourages her. Ianto is annoyed. The film suddenly switches into fairground footage, and everyone is confused. The manager runs up to the projection room to shout at his son some more. The projector won't switch off.

Gwen takes the piss some more. Owen wants to go. Ianto says, "Wait!" He has just seen Jack on the footage! ZOMG! [And lovely Gwen and lovely Owen find this so credible that they don't even bother to look at the screen. Wankers. - Steve] The screen goes black. Gwen and Owen demand that they leave immediately. There's a weird spooky sound. Ianto is freaked.

Tosh is, of course, still by herself in Torchwood Three doing work. Jack is parked outside the cinema, and then rushes in. Ianto explains that shadows rushed past him, and Jack was on screen as part of the travelling show. Jack says that he heard the music and it was beautiful. Ianto is doing some good tortured thinking. Jack wanders off. How can he not want to cuddle Ianto ALL THE TIME? (He doesn't deserve to have Ianto-cuddles.-Joel)

A girl is on the phone outside the cinema in the pissing rain. Two people from the travelling show, the ringmaster dude and what I presume is a dancer girl, appear and approach her to sell her a ticket, and then try to lure her into joining the show itself. She is understandably freaked out, then more so when they...steal her breath, maybe? I'm sure all will become clear.

Jack and Ianto are interviewing the projection room boy about the film clips and why the machine didn't run. The boy got the footage from the basement of the cinema, and says that wasn't meant to be shown - it was like it wanted to be shown. The boy heard noises and smelt smells. Tosh talks to Jack through his *touches ear* earpiece to report rift activity near the cinema. Shocker. (Seriously. Rift activity is like glowing rocks in early-season Smallville.-Joel)

Cardiff! Jack, Ianto, Gwen and Owen are in the ObviousMobile. They find the girl whose breath has been stolen. Her face is a funny colour and her mouth is all pinched and weird. Jack thinks she might be epileptic. What the fuck? What evidence does he base that on? Owen examines her in doctorly fashion - she has a heartbeat, but she isn't breathing. He recommends taking her to hospital. Ya think? See, I know that he can't do CPR because he has no breath due to BEING DEAD, but surely Gwen or Ianto could?

The two travelling show people approach the window of the Windsor Cafe, where a woman is clearing up for the day. They try to force entry. She lets them in. Why would you let people who look that weird into your empty building? The woman says, "Make her cry...I want to drink her tears." [That's just asking to catch meningitis. - Steve] Not very friendly. The man does the same trick again.

Hospital. Owen and Jack are chatting over the body of the stolen-breath girl, who is called Netty Williams. Owen says her condition is like when the spider sucks the life out of its victims, except she's been left partly alive. Ianto bursts in - "there's been another one!" It's the cafe woman, of course. Jack diagnoses her as being "the same", even though he has neither doctoral qualifications nor a medical coat.

Cardiff, the extended aerial shot remix. The team are sitting around in the hub watching the fair footage. It is indeed Jack in the film - Ianto is vindicated. Jack was a song-and-dance man. If ever there was a cue for an unwanted Barrowman musical interlude, this is it, surely? [After all, HE KNOWS HIS CRAFT. - Steve] Owen says, "He's part of this freak show!" Jack replies, "Some things never change." Gwen admires the weightlifter's leotard. Jack notices a bunch of people he never worked with, but who worked only in the dead of night, and says there was a ghost story - "they came from out of the rain - that's how people described them...they left a trail of damage and sorrow wherever they performed." Too. Many. Jokes. [And now I have Wendy Moten's 'Come In Out Of The Rain' stuck in my head. Thanks a lot, Torchwood. - Steve]

Ianto asks Tosh to slow the footage down frame by frame. He's not sure what he's looking for, but something is wrong. Then he notices - it's not the same one they saw at the cinema. There was a woman in front of the water tank before - and NOW SHE IS NOT THERE. And there was a man in a top hat - and NOW HE IS NOT THERE EITHER. In case we had not grasped it, Tosh asks, "So what are we saying, two people from a piece of film have decided to go AWOL?" They have been let loose and become physical incarnations again, obviously, and Jack decides that gathering evidence about what they used to do is the best course of action, saying, "Ianto, with me - I need your local knowledge." Gwen pulls a face and says, "Oh, is that what you're calling it these days?"

Jack and Ianto are in the boardroom. Nobody ever knew the Night Travellers were coming - they didn't have a huge publicity campaign like Jack's company. Jack used to be billed as The Man Who Can't Die.

Ooh, black and white, just so we know we're in the past again, then it's into colour, but we are still in the past, at the fairground. The ringmaster is doing shouting and enticing, and is advertising Pearl "who lives in water...a living mermaid", who is the girl who is wandering around with him in today's Cardiff, by the way. He says, "She will take your breath away." OH I SEE. HOW CLEVER.

Jack asks Ianto if there are any other old cinemas in Cardiff. Most of them have been converted. Tosh is "registering the sea...running through the centre of town". A family are driving down the road, and the husband slams the brakes on to avoid the travellers. His wife is confused, and then is terrified when the ringmaster looks through her window. Jack thinks the travellers are here to get revenge and a new audience. Gwen and Owen are sceptical about Tosh picking up 'the sea' on her fancy-schmancy computer system.

The mermaid is putting her hands in puddles then rubbing the water on herself. The ringmaster is watching her and cackling in a sinister fashion. He then sniffs and licks her arms. She asks, "How many now?" He responds, "Six." She says she wishes she could see the air they once breathed, and he tells her that she can't. She enthuses about having an audience of ghosts who can never leave. She wants to bring the others here too, because they should be there with them, and not in a cupboard. He says they need the rest of the film first.

Cardiff! They're in the hospital, and the two little kids from the car-braking family are there and all vaguely coma-ised. So are the parents, but we don't get to see them. "They came from out of the rain," Jack muses. The nurse recognises those words, which one of her patients, Christina, from Providence Park psychiatric hospital, once said to her. Whenever an entertainment show was on, she was scared, and ran away and hid - "She said they were coming to steal her last breath." That's a fortunate coincidence, isn't it, that it was this particular nurse on duty today? Jack is pleased, for he has found their first witness.

Jack and Ianto go to visit Christina, and push her around the grounds in her wheelchair. She tells Jack his eyes are older than his face, and this is a bad thing because he doesn't belong, and he is from nowhere. [And also, because he has had Botox. - Steve] She tells them about the people who came out of the rain - there was hurdy-gurdy music, and acrobats, and a man in dark clothes, and a beautiful young woman in a silvery costume. Cut to the mermaid girl putting her hands in puddles, this time in a disused swimming pool, and rubbing the water on herself again. She opens the door to some sort of beach hut, and there are six figures standing in there, which I presume are the six victims we've seen so far this episode, but it's dark so I can't see that properly. Christina tells Ianto that he was touched by them as they passed by, and that the man asked her if she wanted to join the travelling show. She asked him his name, and he told her he was the Ghost Maker, and wanted to take her breath and put it in his flask, and then she could be in his audience forever. Obviously, Christina ran away. Other people went missing from the village that night, including her parents. Aw. Her parents, who were MADE INTO GHOSTS. (I think they need to draft Christina in permanently. She's awesome, clearly observant, which would serve Torchwood well, and clearly wouldn't put up with Jack or Gwen's bullshit.-Joel)

Back at the hub, Gwen has evidence of people going missing when the fair was in town, and breath being stolen from people. The team decide that if they can find the flask, they can save the victims. Whoop!

Projection boy is wandering around with his satchel. He is spooked by spooky noises. He goes into his flat, where there are reels of film lying around, and also a bath full to the brim with water. Guess who's in it? Yep, mermaid girl. She sits bolt upright, terrifies him, and he runs away very fast. Ringmaster man says it's time to bring the others. Projection boy rings Jack and tells them to get over there in the ObviousMobile straight away. Jack and Ianto go in with guns poised. No sign of the travellers now, though, just a hella lot of water everywhere.

Projection boy's parents are at the cinema, and don't understand why they can hear the piano playing. They understand even less when they go into the auditorium and there's no bugger sitting at the piano. Mermaid girl approaches them and shines a torch in their faces. "This way, please," she says.

Projection boy says that all his cases of film have been opened, and they had clips from circus sideshows on. Jack says they need to stop them bringing the others through. No kidding. Projection boy and Ianto can both smell chemicals. Jack wonders what would happen if they filmed the travellers. They hypothesise that they would be TRAPPED, and then if they over-exposed the film, then the travellers would be LOST FOREVER.

Gwen calls for assistance at the cinema, and the team burst through the locked doors. Projection boy's parents have had their breath stolen, of course. Ianto tells him that they've been frozen in place because the circus needs an audience. The curtains open, the lights blaze, and footage begins to run of the fair. Owen runs upsairs, while Jack and Ianto stand there with their camera. They are a little surprised, however, when the strongman comes out of the film and into the room. And then so do the rest of the travellers. Cut to Owen bashing on the projection room door. Cut back to the mermaid declaring, "This whole city belongs to us!" Cut back to Owen outside the door, which opens, with the ringmaster coming out and demanding, "What are you?", for, as we know, Owen has no breath to steal. (Owen's mouth strethes out all wide and freaks me the HELL out.-Joel) The ringmaster tries to hit Gwen, which is understandable, and while he's caught unaware, Ianto steals the flask of breath and runs and runs. Meanwhile, the travellers march around the auditorium. And then the ringmaster sneaks up on Ianto and steals the flask back. He throws it into the air, and Ianto shouts, "No! Please! If the breath escapes, all the victims will die!" Jack is racing after them, and is filming the entire exchange on his camera, then tugs the film out. The travellers disappear, but, although Ianto has caught the flask, so do some of the non-breathing victims. Ianto can only hear one breathing pattern in the flask. He is upset. Jack is pleased because they have saved one. BUT WHICH ONE?

They're back in the hospital, and the only one WHO IS NOT DEAD is the little boy from the car family. Jack checks his breathing, and tells the nurse to help him. Yeah, that's great medical care - let clunking old Captain Jack march in, pick up small children and pour breath from a flask into his body. The child does worse acting than Barrowman at this point, and begins to cough. "It worked," says Ianto, just in case we hadn't noticed, and he goes all teary-eyed. (Good news little boy - your entire family is DEAD, but you're okay!-Joel) [See you on The X Factor in August! - Steve]

Cardiff at night; Cardiff in the morning. Ianto has destroyed the films. Jack is worried about all the other long-lost pieces of footage that could be used by the Night Travellers. Ianto seems unbothered, and gives Jack the flask.

A car-boot sale. A man buys a reel of film. Cut back to Torchwood Three, where Jack opens the safe. Cut back to the car-boot sale, where the reel is dropped on the floor, and Jack can suddenly hear the pipe organ music again. And that's your lot. Ooooh, how dramatic, a cliffhanger ending of sorts. [Ten quid says we never hear from them again, though. - Steve]

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