Sunday, 12 July 2009

Someone else'll have to make the tea, then

Episode 3.04: Day Four
TX: 9th July 2009

Previously on Torchwood: fuck all happened for two and a half hours, and then some invisible aliens arrived and said vaguely sinister things about stealing children, which it turns out Jack was complicit in back in the day. HORRA!

We're back in 1965 again, and Jack is driving a Land Rover along the road at night. A lady in a headscarf stands waiting for him, and confirms that this is the location "they" specified. She alludes to a virus which the aliens say can kill up to 25 million people, like when Spanish flu killed 5% of the human race in 1918. "I know, I WAS THERE," says Captain Jack, doing that thing where he stares blankly into the distance because that's what internal conflict looks like, apparently. Headscarf Lady exposits that the aliens are offering a cure for the virus - in exchange for some children. 12, to be precise. "What do they want them for?" asks Jack. Maybe they need one more football team for their schools' league? With an extra kid in case of injury? Hey, it could happen. Headscarf Lady says the aliens have said the children will live forever. Jack asks what they need him for: is it because he can't die, assuming the aliens are hostile? No, says Headscarf Lady: it's because he doesn't care. Oh, Headscarf Lady, that's just John Barrowman's acting.

Present day: Barrowman continues to do Distance Face while telling Gwen and Clem the story. "You just handed them over and hoped for the best?" says Gwen, incredulously. Back to 1965: an overly-lit Barrowman summons some kids to join "Uncle Jack". Footage of ADORABLE INNOCENT MOPPETS with music-box style melodies over the top, and an ovary going "ahh-ahh-ahh". I think that's every possible cliché checked off - nice work, Euros Lyn. Jack gets the kids out of the van and tells them to follow him for "an adventure". A bright light appears, and Jack tells them to walk into it. One (Clem, presumably) remains behind and asks if it's safe. Jack rather creepily fondles the back of his head and assures him that it is. WeeClem walks towards the light. "Keep going! You don't want to be left out, do you?" Jack urges. The light flashes, and the children vanish - all except WeeClem, who takes advantage of Jack and Headscarf Lady's temporary blindless to get the fuck out of there. Jack surveys the empty road. Headscarf Lady says that the 5-6-7-8 have sent the antivirus as they promised. She wonders if the children really are in paradise. I'm guessing not.

Present day: Clem tells Jack he's in every nightmare Clem's ever had. Yeah, I know that feeling. "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry," says Jack. Unsurprisingly, Clem does not consider this to be adequate compensation and grabs Gwen's gun from its holster and shoots Jack in the chest. Gwen attempts to coax Clem to give her the gun, but he's appalled that she's on Jack's side and is therefore tainted. Then Clem gets all verklempt at having killed a man, and how he is now dangerous, despite having thought himself not to be. He hands the gun back to Gwen, who gives him a hug. Clem tells Gwen that back in 1965, Jack held his hand and tried to give him over to the aliens. Jack comes back to life; Clem wigs. Gwen tries to point out that this is normal, but Clem is having none of it and runs. Gwen chases him.

In another corner of the warehouse, Clem's cowering behind some debris. "You get to shoot first and ask questions later, how good is that?" smirks Gwen. Yeah, now's not the time for quips, Cooper. She manages to coax Clem back with her AMAZING PEOPLE SKILLS. Back in the main warehouse, Jack and Ianto are sitting in silence, until a clearly disturbed Ianto pipes up: "I can't believe you didn't mention this before." Jack says that the aliens didn't speak through kids back then, so he didn't recognise the signs at first. Clearly, this is not what Ianto was getting at, and he says as much, but before they can resolve it, they're interrupted by Rhys, Gwen and Clem. "The man who sent me and my friends to die can't die himself!" exclaims Clem. Yeah, karma's a bitch, isn't it?

Pat Kerrigan's HQ. "This is to do with Uncle Jack, isn't it?" says Steven, as Pat Kerrigan escorts him and his mother through a gloomy corridor. Alice tries to convince him that it's all a mistake and they'll be out soon. Pat exposits that Steven doesn't even know Captain Jack's his granddad, Alice points out that it would take some explaining, given how Mum looks older than Granddad. Except that isn't actually true, especially since Lucy Cohu is three years younger than John Barrowman, and the Botox hasn't really made Barrowman look younger, just tighter in the face. Alice exposits that she's being held as insurance against Captain Jack, but: "a man who can't die has got nothing to fear, so you watch it."

Jack's being quizzed: "It's a protection racket, you must've known they'd be back, but you still gave them the payoff?" asks Gwen. Jack explains that Clem and his cohorts were chosen because they wouldn't be missed. His only consolation in all this time was that the deal seemed to work. "Why was I left behind? What's wrong with me?" asks Clem. Gwen explains that they only want pre-pubescent kids, so maybe Clem was too close to puberty for the aliens' liking. And, yeah. This is really heading in a deeply dodgy direction right now, isn't it? "Saved by your hormones," adds Rhys.

Suddenly everyone's attention goes back to the laptop, which Ianto confirms is still recording. Malcolm, Bridget and Lois are returning to Floor 13 to consult with the Ambassador. Malcolm wants the aliens to clarify something: what do they intend to do with the children? "Somebody is watching. Some remnant," splutters the Ambassador, and Clem worries that it's talking about him. More squealing, more squelching. Lois visibly gulps. Malcolm explains that the video camera in the room is a feed to the prime minister, and he needs to know what will happen to the children. The Ambassador tells Malcolm to bring the camera into the gassy blue chamber. "It's hiding something," Clem tells Gwen.

Dekker puts the cameraman into a biohazard suit, and he walks through into the airlock. Bet you anything he's dead within the next two minutes. Malcolm and Dekker monitor his blood pressure and suchlike. Camera Guy steps out of the airlock and into the gassy blue chamber. The camera footage shows...blueness, mainly, until there are some grainy shots of the alien, which looks to be about seven feet tall and has snot dangling off its limbs. The readouts start to go crazy, and Dekker realises he can determine three separate heartbeats in the room: there's another lifeform in there. Malcolm tells Camera Guy to get closer. Camera Guy's like "easy for you to fucking say". But he moves tentatively closer to the Ambassador until he catches sight of a little green man back there. Everyone recoils. "No! No! No!" exclaims Clem. It's one of the kids from 1965, of course. "Is he conscious?" asks Rhys. Lois cries, which mists up the feed back to the laptop, something we can all clearly determine for ourselves, but for some reason John Fay feels the need to have Gwen explain it to Clem us anyway. Then the ambassador strikes violently, and Malcolm screams for them to get Camera Guy out of there, while Malcolm's voice plays soundbites like "4-5-6" and "off the record" on a loop coming from the alien. Camera Guy escapes the chamber and stripes out of his biosuit, and then takes off his t-shirt as well, despite there being no logical explanation for it other than he is quite buff and this is Torchwood, where no male should remain clothed any longer than strictly necessary.

"We do not harm the children," explains the Ambassador. "They feel no pain. They live long beyond their years." Gwen is not happy with this explanation. Jack is looking into The Distance again: "But we still don't know. What does it want them for?" Rhys quite rightly points out that it's a bit late in the day to be asking questions like that. The ambassador says that they've given their answer, and that Earth has one day left to round up 10% of its children. "And if we refuse?" asks Malcolm. "We will wipe out your entire species," replies the Ambassador.

The US general, a bit slow on the uptake, asks the PM if this means Britain has had dealings with these aliens before. The PM is all "yes, but I was a child at the time myself. No harm, no foul, amirite?" The General points out that the PM chose to kept those negotiations secret all the same. The PM's reply pretty much amounts to "yeah, my bad". The General informs the PM that the United Nations will hear of this. Tattletale.

Warehouse. Ianto approaches. He wants to know why Jack didn't tell him. Jack tells him he couldn't have helped. Ianto says that he tells Jack everything. Jack snarks, "yeah? So, tell me, what should I have done?" Ianto thinks that "the Jack he knew" would've stood up to them. "I've only just scraped the surface, haven't I?" he asks, sadly. Jack tells him that's all there is, and Ianto hits back that no, that's just what Jack pretends. and blah blah blah blah these two have NO FUCKING CHEMISTRY, seriously. Jack tries to run off, and Ianto calls him on it. Jack curtly informs him that he's off to phone Malcolm, and he can't do it from in the warehouse because the signal will be traced. The signal on my DVR breaks up temporarily, and I am spared having to listen to any more overwrought woobie dialogue. Hooray!

Malcolm answers the phone to Jack. He barks at Lois to bring him lots of strong coffee. Jack tells Malcolm that if he releases his family, they can work together. Jack tells Malcolm that it doesn't take a genius to work out that the 5-6-7-8 want more children. Just as well, really, because geniuses are in short supply on this show. Jack threatens Malcolm that if he has to stop him, he'll tell the world what's really going on, because there's too much at stake not to. The surveillance folks haven't got a hold on him, but will keep trying. Lois tells Malcolm the PM wants to see him.

Gwen spots that Lois is walking into Cabinet Office Briefing Room A (COBRA, for short), where emergency planning takes place. Team Torchwood huddle around the laptop. Gwen promises Jack that they'll rescue his family. Yes, because that's what's really important right now.

The PM has decided to make the 5-6-7-8 an offer: a realistic number, that they can manage, and then they'll see what happens. "You're going to haggle," translates an official. More exposition: the 5-6-7-8 must have a base of operations somewhere in orbit, but no one can find it. Attacking the gassy blue chamber would involve declaring a war they can't win.

Clem wigs that they're really going to do this. The PM says that every country will be making a "camouflagable" contribution. Malcolm asks Lois for the "FAS" file, from which he reads that there are 21 "units" available right away: the children of asylum-seekers - Gwen deduces that "FAS" stands for "Failed Asylum Seekers". They need more, of course: an official asks Malcolm to obtain 60, Malcolm thinks he can make it happen. The PM tells Malcolm to return to Thames House and make an offer of "60 units". You see? They no longer consider the children to be PEOPLE because they are JUST AS BAD AS THE ALIENS.

Malcolm frets in an official car. Wife Of Malcolm answers the phone to him: he tells her there's nothing to worry about, but he can't say more at this point. She asks if he's safe. He lies to her, a lot. She confirms they have bodyguards in place, to protect the VALUABLE NON-ASYLUM-SEEKING CHILDREN.

Malcolm returns to the Gassy Blue Chamber, and offers them one child per million people on the planet, which totals about 6700 altogether, and 62 from the UK. This is not acceptable to the Ambassador. Malcolm insists that it is "more than generous" and is their final offer. The ambassador starts chanting "three-two-five-zero-zero-zero".

Suddenly we're in Rhiannon's Overrun Daycare Centre, where Johnny is not helping her out as she runs around looking after stuff, and then the children start chanting the numbers in unison. Johnny wonders if these are the lottery numbers. Sigh. In the warehouse, Clem's chanting too. Gwen puts the number into Torchwood's Magic Über-Google to see if it's co-ordinates or what, as the news broadcasts that children in different countries are chanting different numbers: 448,000 in France, for example, or 2,340,000 in America.

Of course, 325,000 is 10% of the number of "units" (an official trips and almost says "children") in the UK. All the numbers being chanted by the children in each country amount to 10% in that country. Their final offer has clearly been rejected. One official suggests it's a handy solution to the growing population problems in the world, if they present it in the right way, blah blah spin.

Pat Kerrigan's HQ. She's taking a squad to That London to find out what's going on.

The PM announces they're facing the worst-case scenario, and there is no time for an ethical discussion: all they have time to discuss is how they would select these children, and how to transport them, and how to sell it to the voters. Malcolm does not want to make the selection himself, but obviously his department can take care of the red tape. One official says it has to be random, another points out that unless some of their children are involved somewhere, the public will never believe it was random. They all start snarking at each other because this is a Sensitive Issue. A steely Government Bitch says she's going to say what's on everyone's mind: if the lottery goes ahead, her kids aren't in it.

"Bastards!" barks Clem, back in the warehouse. One official suggests they put it to the vote to see if their kids get to be exempt, but the PM points out he has the authority to make the final decision: the children and grandchildren of everyone sat around that there table will be exempt. "What about nieces and nephews?" asks Government Bitch. The PM tells her not to push her luck, and everyone starts arguing again. Government Bitch outlines her plan: since the exemption puts the prospect of a fair lottery out of the picture, they should also exempt the decent kids who will go on to staff hospitals and so on, and just target the failing schools whose kids will all end up on the dole or in prison. John Fay looks over at his notepad and crosses "SOCIAL COMMENTARY" off his to-do list. "SUBTLETY", of course, remains in tiny print at the bottom of the page, entirely forgotten.

Warehouse. "We've got enough evidence recorded here to destroy every person in that room," Gwen points out. Barrowman's staring into The Distance again: "And we can use it to force our way into Thames House and finally get face to face with this thing." And get Jack's family back, Gwen adds, having just taken a stand against people who put the safety of their own relatives above that of the masses. Hypocritical bitch. Gwen wonders what'll happen if they can't get Lois to agree. Jack says that they'll just bully and drug her into submission like they do everyone else. Sorry: he says that she's "not let [them] down yet." Jack and Ianto hope in a sports car pointed at That London. Gwen messages Lois to tell her that they need her help. Still.

News montage. They've all figured out that the numbers are 10% of the percentage of children in their respective countries, and everyone's looking suspiciously at the UK, as well they might.

That London. Jack and Ianto arrive. Ianto tries to ring Rhiannon, but she can barely hear the phone above the hubbub. Ianto explains to her that the aliens want children, so whatever happens, she mustn't let anyone take her kids away. Ianto tells all the people listening in that it goes for them too: fuck the Official Secrets Act, they need to get the word out and tell everyone not to hand over their kids. Oh, well if they've all been told not to just hand over their kids, that's the problem sorted, isn't it? Because I'm sure the process was just to knock on a few doors and ask nicely to borrow someone's offspring, and to retreat if they resisted. Idiots. Ianto tells Rhiannon he loves her and the kids, and: "I'm even warming to Johnny a bit." Oh, all right: heh. Rhiannon tells Ianto she loves him too, but he's not there any more. GOSH, I HOPE HE DOESN'T DIE OR ANYTHING.

Warehouse. Gwen tells Rhys they need to mobilise, and sends him off, actually being nice to him for a change, but probably just because she wants something. Shrew. Pat Kerrigan's squad arrives in That London, but too late to catch Ianto. Surveillance Guy tells Pat that they've found an abandoned warehouse in the vicinity that used to be a holding facility for Torchwood One, where Ianto used to work until it got invaded by Cybermen who partially converted his girlfriend in an entirely incomprehensible way and left him to transport her to Cardiff and hide her in a basement until she emerged to wander around looking like an embarrassing cyber-wank fantasy in an episode that most of us wish we could unsee.

Malcolm is briefing the important types, because they need to cover their tracks and encourage participation: he suggests talking of an innoculation that will prevent the children from speaking in unison. When it goes wrong, they'll blame the aliens. Gwen stares at the laptop incredulously. Ianto rings Gwen, and the surveillance types spot Gwen's location on their fancy computers. Gwen messages Lois to tell her to get the plan into action. Meanwhile, the evil government types talk about how they act like they didn't know what was going on, because they are Shady Politicians From London, not Heroes From Beautiful Cardiff.

Lois raises her hand tentatively. No one is looking at her, of course, because she is unimportant. So she says "excuse me" and is fobbed off by the PM who says that this is not the time. Lois starts talking about how she is a voter and speaks on behalf of the many, and the Evil Jaded Politicians start rolling their eyes and talking about referendums and revolutionaries in the way that the rest of us might talk about late-running trains. One of the poor sods playing a Jaded Official is actually given the line "you and whose army?" to say, and of course, Lois replies "Torchwood". Bizarrely, the entire room does not burst out laughing, but actually seems quite scared. Clearly they have not actually dealt with Torchwood before. Lois tells them that Torchwood has been recording all these meetings, and will be making public everything that's been said unless they all do what Torchwood says. So expect all the government officials to get out a stopwatch and some video contact lenses and indulge in sexyfuntiems any minute now.

Pat Kerrigan arrives at the warehouse and her troops run in with guys which do not hire. Jack and Ianto arrive at Thames House and turn in their guns, also expecting that the word "Torchwood" will open any door necessary. Gwen turns to Pat Kerrigan, all "Mr Bond, I've been expecting you", and primly instructs Pat that she will be taking Gwen to Alice and Steven. If I were Pat, I'd have shot the snotty bitch there and then. Pat threatens this, but Gwen tells her that this would be a mistake, because of what they've been recording. Whatever, I still say shoot the bitch. Lois tells the PM that Captain Jack will be dealing with the 5-6-7-8. Gwen tells Pat Kerrigan that Rhys is concealed with the laptop in a secret location, ready to press send unless Pat does what Gwen tells her. JUST SHOOT HER, PAT, IF NOT FOR YOU THEN PLEASE DO IT FOR ME.

Thames House. Jack and Ianto are in the lift. On emerging, Jack hands Dekker a post-it (technical!) and tells him to feed the live TV pictures to that number. Ianto is here for absolutely no reason, by the way. Just pointing that out. Jack (and the spare) stride meaningfully towards the chamber. Jack tells the aliens they're not getting what they want this time. "You yielded in the past," sneers the Ambassador. That's what she said! Jack tells them he won't let it happen again, because an injury to one is an injury to all. Ianto tells them the deal is off, and continues to be superfluous. Jack tells them that everything has been recorded, and that the tapes will be released to the public unless the aliens leave for good. The Ambassador repeats: "You yielded in the past, you will do so again." Jack tells the Ambassador that when word gets out, the entire human race will be carrying arms and out for extraterrestrial blood. Wow, I bet they're quaking in their space boots. Ianto drops Jack's name and tells them what they're up against.

The Ambassador starts waffling on about infant mortality rates and how the human race adapts to it. Jack tells them that they're adapting right now by making it a war. "Then the fight begins," replies the Ambassador. Suddenly alarms go off all over the building, sealing all the doors. Ianto gets a "HO SHIT" look on his face, because he knows what's coming. Jack asks the Ambassador what gives. "You wanted a demonstration of war; a virus has been released. It will kill everyone in the building," is the reply. Watching the footage over in COBRA1, Malcolm reveals that the building is designed to withstand chemical attack: nothing can get in - or out. "Happy now?" snarks the PM at Lois. Hee. People flee Thames House, trampling others underfoot. Jack tells waiting sentries that the air is poisoned, so they should turn off the air con and shut down the air vents and get gas masks. He doesn't sound terribly perturbed.

Ianto gets his gun out and tells them to release the antivirus that they must obviously have (why?), and that if they don't release it now, he'll blow the tank wide open. The alien tells them that they are dying even now. Jack and Ianto open fire. Not much happens. Then suddenly high pitched screeches burst out, causing Clem to cover his ears in agony. Liz screams at Pat Kerrigan to turn off the sound.

Jack turns to Ianto and tells him that they have to get him out, because he's not indestructible like Jack. Ianto replies that it's too late. Jack screams "NOT HIM!" at the aliens, which again: so much for the 'people who prioritise their loved ones over the good of the masses are villains' philosophy. Finally the total lack of chemistry between Jack and Ianto causes the latter to collapse onto the ground.

In the warehouse, Clem is freaking out. Pat Kerrigan looks concerned. Clem start s to bleed from the nose. "The remnant will be disconnected," intones the Ambassador, and then Clem stops screaming. Gwen lays him down, and then informs Pat Kerrigan that he's dead. She puts her head in her hands contemplating the fate of Clem, Jack and Ianto - unfortunately, at this moment Paul Copley visibly continues to breathe behind her. Hee.

People continue to flee the building. Some do not make it. An ovary wails. It is all very sad. Dekker straps himself into a biosuit. Those who did not expire on their way to the doors find the doors to be locked. Oh dear.

Ianto is busy dying. Jack tells him it's his fault. Ianto says that it isn't. Ianto weeps that he loves Jack, and his eyes close. Jack begs him to stay with him, strokes his face, etc. Ianto whimpers "don't forget me" and Jack tells him he never could. "In a thousand years time, you won't remember me," Ianto insists. "I promise, I will," Jack tells him. I'd find this all a lot more moving if it hadn't taken Ianto under ten episodes to forget that he swore he was going to kill Jack and would never forgive him for murdering his Sexy Robot Girlfriend, so I'm not hugely convinced that Ianto's death is going to leave a lasting imprint on Jack's consciousness. Anyway, Ianto dies, and fangirls weep, but Barrowman does not. "He will die," intones the Ambassador. "And tomorrow your people will deliver the children." Jack kisses Ianto's cold, dead lips. He gets exactly the same reaction as he did when Ianto was alive. Told you they had no chemistry. Jack slumps to the floor.

COBRA1. Everyone's looking a bit guilty. "What now?" asks the PM. They have two choices: to fight an enemy they can't beat, or fight their own people for the greater good. Government Bitch thinks they should surrender. The PM looks conflicted, but tells Malcolm to start putting his plan into action.

Gwen is led into a room full of bodybags and directed to numbers 13 and 14. She pulls the covers off Jack, and pulls a "well, he'll be back soon enough" face. She uncovers a pallid Ianto just as Jack returns to life. Gwen weeps quietly. Jack puts his arms around her. Gwen whispers that there's nothing they can do.

Next time: Torchwood versus the Government. The children are rounded up. Gwen records a video to show how the world ends. Jack stares Into The Distance some more.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The gift that keeps on giving

Episode 3.03, Day Three
Tx Wednesday 8th July 2009

Previously on Torchwood - Pat Kerrigan failed to kill all of Torchwood! Peter Capaldi was confused! Children were coming, and so was Clem! Gwen is pregnant and a bitch!

Cardiff, thankfully, is still beautiful. Ianto declares that a warehouse is "home". News reports across the world keep ON AND ON about the BLOODY CHILDREN. Rhys nearly immolates himself, and Gwen complains about being cold. We learn that the warehouse is an old "holding facility". Jack complains about having to wear a t-shirt and trackie bottoms, because he would rather be naked and waving his cock around. Jack lets slip that he knew Gwen was pregnant before Rhys did. Dear dear.

More tedious news reports. Children are under curfew, effective immediately. This is a great idea and ought to be introduced immediately. Home Office dogsbodies survey the television; Lois looks concerned.

Ianto's sister is happy because Ianto is alive; she is less happy about a lactose-intolerant child who is joining her impromptu childminding service.

Jack's daughter tries to ring Jack again. He is in the warehouse with the others, itemising what it is they have left after the KABOOM bomb. Well, you don't have a pterodactyl any more. Gwen suggests that they Live Outside The Law. Fucking hell. I think we can guarantee Torchwood will be the worst criminals of all time.

And indeed they are. They perform horrific acts of non-stealth and steal many things including a twatty car that will not serve as the new Torchwoodmobile because it is too small.

Jack's daughter steals the phone of a young woman and rings the police, who start tracing her call, obviously, as soon as she mentions the name "Captain Jack Harkness". Pat Kerrigan is fascinated to learn that Alice's identity is fake, and instructs her minions to find out who she is.

The Torchwood team return to the warehouse to assess their ill-gotten gains. Ianto has stolen clothes, because he is NOT GAY but just LIKES FASHION. Jack has a new military coat and is happy. Everyone whoops. I really hate the Torchwood team.

Clem is in a pub and putting together his small change to buy alcohol. He wails about being able to smell them. Everyone in the pub fears him. The landlady calls the police.

Jack starts trawling teh interwebz and teh databasez for the names Clem mentioned as being on the same trip as him back in the day. Gwen stalks Lois, who isn't all that happy about the prospect of being charged with treason. Gwen points out that she is not bearing in mind the fact that AS LONG AS IT HELPS GWEN, IT IS FINE, and gives her the magic camera contact lenses to wear. Lois keeps saying, "I can't!" and Gwen keeps begging, "Please!" Give her some pheromone spray, Gwen, that's how you Torchwood people usually force randoms to your will.

Ianto asks Jack how it felt getting blown...up. Oh, I thought we were going somewhere else for a second there. It wasn't good, apparently. Jack says he is a fixed point in time and space and will be immortal forever. Ianto says ominous things about him not being immortal and having to die one day and needing to make the most of their time together. Oh, IANTO. You may as well have written a big sign saying KILL ME PLEASE. They find out that Clem has been arrested in Camden in That London, and Ianto performs some exposition about the kids not arriving in Plymouth when expected. Jack asks Ianto to show photos of the other people killed the same day as him - and then we get some subtle tortured Barrowman acting.

Home Office have worked out that Alice is Jack's daughter and that she has a son of her own. Peter Capaldi tells Pat Kerrigan to "bring her in". She is happy. Lois, meanwhile, begs to help, and lies that Mr Frobisher wants her "at his side", as detailed in a private conversation. Least. Convincing. Lie. Ever. Bridget says that Lois is not the first and can come along, because the Home Office make provision for mistresses in meetings.

Gwen rings PC Andy and asks him to release Clem, and she will stand bail. He does so. She goes to get Clem, who would be entirely justified in telling her to piss off because she was so rude to him last time they met, but he just cries instead. Possibly because Gwen has just arrived.

Alice is evidently uneasy in her house, and tells her son that they are leaving immediately, and he must be quiet. She grabs a small armoury, they leg it out of the back door, and really rubbish SAS-types burst in through their front door. The SAS types then chase her and the son down the road, carrying guns but NOT ACTUALLY USING THEM. This is because Pat Kerrigan does not want her dead, as she informs her. Then the son begins to point at the sky because aliens are here!

And yes, children across the world are doing the same thing. As is Clem. They are all pointing at That London, because that is where everything important happens, as Gwen told us yesterday. The civil servants work out that they are pointing at Thames House.

And then a bloody great big fireball descends from the skies, and Peter Capaldi scurries around to watch it. There is much brightness and shielding of eyes. Then it all goes quiet - and then the children announce, "We are here." They giggle in a sinister fashion and carry on with their business.

Peter Capaldi is looking appalled and scared. A disembodied voice demands that he speak. Peter Capaldi gives his name, rank and serial number, and welcomes the aliens on behalf of humanity. A squealing and jellified squelching indicates that the alien is not entirely impressed. On the plus side, they're happy to be called the 4-5-6. Peter Capaldi asks them what it is they actually want. The response? "The world." Riiight. This is because they want to speak. Peter Capaldi gibbers bureaucratic civil service nonsense, because that's what goes down well with aliens who want to take over the world. Oh, and then he adds a condition - also a good move - talking about the 4-5-6's previous visit to Earth, which should be kept "off the record". You're not talking to a tame lobby journalist NOW, Tucker!

Ianto and Rhys watch the news reports, which talk of a "pillar of fire" in London - somewhat poetic, but we'll let it go. Cut to a kind of cabinet meeting - The president of the USA via his military representative we saw on Day One is angry because the alien landing was planned and they are in London. And UNIT are pissed off too. Everyone agrees to put the civil service in general and the expendable Peter Capaldi in particular in the firing line by acting as the intermediaries between humankind and teh alienz.

The Capaldi wife clunks around in her kitchen doing domestic things and chatting on the phone. She fails to notice the big American in a military greatcoat lurking by the wall. He steals her mobile, and then leaves.

Clem is in a car with Gwen, and witters about smelling a man he knew would come back for him. Concubine Lois is sitting quietly pre-meeting and Bridget is bitching. Jack rings Peter Capaldi on his wife's phone and there is exposition about 1965 - they have come back. "All of us dead, so no-one could say anything," says Captain Jack, and Capaldi agrees. Jack wants in to Thames House and wants to talk to the 4-5-6. He thinks he has an excellent bargaining chip until he learns that the Home Office have his daughter and grandson.

Gwen has taken Clem to the warehouse to meet Rhys. Ianto takes offence to being called a "queer" - Clem knows he is a queer, because he can smell it. The subtlety of the script is such that I could cry.

Peter Capaldi is preparing for his negotiation while Team Torchwood wibble about Lois not having her lenses in yet. Of course, she makes a quick excuse to nip to the ladies and bung them in. Gwen types messages to her without using apostrophes - just another reason to loathe her. We learn that Rhys has tried the contact lenses for "fun", as has Ianto. Torchwood: epitome of professionalism.

Lois opens her eyes very wide as she enters the negotiating room, all the better for Gwen to type bossy messages to her. Clem, watching the London activities on the Torchwood laptop, says he can't smell anything at that distance. Capaldi begins tedious bureaucratic narrative of greeting, which are accepted by the 4-5-6. There's more squealing and squelching for reasons unknown. Capaldi asks if he should continue - and yes, he should. He asks that children should not be used as a means of communication - and yes, that's fine. He then wants to know why the 4-5-6 chose lovely Great Britain - and that is because they have no significance. Gwen says this is a lie, because the 4-5-6 have been here before, and Team Torchwood surmise that Capaldi and the 4-5-6 are collaborating. The 4-5-6 want a gift, which is a bit presumptuous, particularly when that gift is "your children". Clem is very upset: "He's coming back!" Gwen tells him to shut up, because she's a bitch, and then we discover that Clem is scared of Captain Jack. The 4-5-6 are still talking about a tithe of the earth's children - ten per cent should do it.

Clem's still scared of Jack, who is "THE SAME - how can he be the same?" Barrowman does some more subtle acting - it was he who shepherded the children into the light in 1965, and it was easier if you didn't know their names. Jack confesses that he gave the aliens the children they asked for back in the day, as a gift.

Whoa. Next time - moar children! Moar Capaldi! Moar Kerrigan! Moar fake computers!

The big bang theories

3.02 - Day Two
TX: Tuesday 7th July 2009

Previously: all the children in the world were coming simultaneously. Oh, and one man too, who told Gwen she was pregnant. Gwen then told Jack before she told Rhys. Worrabitch. We learned about the 4-5-6. Ianto came out to his sister Rhiannon in an "I'm only gay for Jack" way, Malcolm Tucker had some dodgy conversations in the Home Office, a temp called Lois discovered a plot to kill Jack (hooray!) and Jack was da bomb. Literally. Torchwood go boom!

Massive Steaming Crater Where Torchwood Three Used To Be. Gwen scrambles to her feet in a state of panic and temporary deafness (as opposed to temporary deadness, which is what Jack generally has) and trips frenziedly across the rubble looking for the others, but is dragged screaming from the site by two paramedics, who thrust her reluctant ass into an ambulance. One of the paramedics notes that "control said no survivors" (you mean apart from the feral one lying right in front of you?) and as one of them holds Gwen down while the other fills a syringe with what I hope is a sedative powerful enough to knock her out for the next four nights, Gwen bites the former's arm and then punches him in the nads. Those must be those impressive people skills of hers. She then batters both of them with a fire extinguisher and steals guns from both of them (since this is Beautiful Cardiff and not Grimy London, I think this means they're not real paramedics) and prepares to exit.

Not so fast, however, because a distant sniper sitting on top of what I presume is the Millennium Centre (it's dark and kind of hard to tell) [those BASTARDS, preventing us from seeing the BEAUTY OF CARDIFF properly - Carrie] lines Gwen up in his sights, the red laser shining right into her eye. Action Gwen leaps out of the ambulance before he can pull the trigger, firing a couple of retaliation shots in his general direction. Having done that, she hotfoots it into the front of the ambulance and puts her foot down, discarding one of the paramedics onto the streets of Beautiful Cardiff in the process.

Ianto is crawling his way out of the wreckage (suit still looking immaculate, if a little dust-covered) and barely has time to catch his breath before the sniper starts firing at him as well, missing by quite some distance each time. Seriously: worst sniper ever. Ianto runs. Run, Ianto, run! Elsewhere: Gwen keeps driving. The Worst Sniper In The World abandons his post and starts chasing Ianto. Ianto runs in a sort of school sports day fashion, which is rather at odds with the fact that there's a man behind him trying to kill him off. But then perhaps Ianto has realised that this chap appears to be drunk on the job and doesn't really feel that threatened. Who knows? Eventually, Ianto finds a corner and dives for cover.

Malcolm Tucker's house. His wife brings the kids some tea. The phone rings. "I've got to take this," apologises Malcolm. "After what just happened?" says The Wife, incredulously. "Because of it," replies Malcolm. He takes the call: it's Pat Kerrigan, informing him that "Target 1" has been eliminated, while "Targets 2 and 3" have escaped, but they're in pursuit. Malcolm Tucker stresses that they can't afford to leave witnesses, and exhorts Pat Kerrigan to call him when Ian2 and Gw3n have been taken care of. As he hangs up, there's a knock at the door. It's Dekker. The Wife is escorting The Kids up to bed, and marks their caller with suspicion. Dekker tells Malcolm that he's brought "the translations".

Malcolm Tucker's kitchen. Apparently the aliens want the earthlings to build something for them, pronto. Malcolm Tucker asks why they would do such a thing. Dekker channels his inner Billie Piper and answers "because they want to (scare us)".

Some distance away, Gwen brings the ambulance to a screeching halt and grabs the guns out of the passenger seat. In the back, the remaining 'paramedic' fumbles for the syringe he filled earlier and hides it about his person. Gwen lurches into view and asks him who he works for. Judging by the fact that he carries a gun and appears to be answering to Pat Kerrigan, I'm guessing the answer isn't "Cardiff PCT". Gwen puts a gun to his head and repeats her question. "The NHS?" answers the 'paramedic'. Gwen's not fooled: she fires just to the right of his head and screams her question at him once more. The 'paramedic' says that he works for the government and is "just following orders". [Ceased being a valid defence circa 1946 - Carrie] Gwen's momentarily confused that they're on the same side, and he takes this opportunity to attempt to plunge the syringe into her arm, but Supergwen is too quick for him, of course, and blocks his attempt while shooting him in the foot. "Why would the government want to destroy Torchwood?" shrieks Gwen. Because you're a bunch of bumbling oversexed morons who've come close to destroying the world on several occasions as a result of your incompetence? Just a theory. Sadly, we're not getting any answers because this chap's "just following orders". As sirens ring in the distance, Gwen legs it.

Massive Steaming Crater Where Torchwood Three Used To Be. Pat Kerrigan is stomping around like she owns the place - which for all I know, she does. Poor PC Andy is forced to crack an appalling joke that's entirely beneath him: "If she's anti-terrorist, I would not mind being Uncle Terrorist." Oh, PC Andy. I hope you got a decent price when you SOLD YOUR SOUL TO THIS SHOW. Pat Kerrigan instructs a couple of heavily armoured extras to track down and capture Gwen and Ianto. PC Andy's ears prick up at the mention of Gwen's name, and he tells Pat Kerrigan that she's an ex-police officer, not a terrorist. Pat Kerrigan snorts in derision, but realises that Andy must know where Gwen lives. (Really? I can probably count on one hand the number of work colleagues I've ever had whose addresses I knew. Is that wrong?)

Casa Fertility. Rhys is asleep with a book perched on top of his chest, waking with a start when Gwen bursts in. "Get up, get dressed, we've got to get out of here!" she insists. Rhys, predictably, wants to know what's going on. Gwen tells him that someone's trying to kill her, "and if they're after me, they're going to come after you." I don't see why: I've had murderous thoughts about Gwen Cooper on many occasions, but they've never extended towards Rhys. Anyway, Rhys gets up. Gwen yells at him to go faster. [There's a joke to be made about the conception of their child but I can't think of it. - Carrie]

Police van. PC Andy is giving them directions to Gwen's house, and wondering why there's not been any kind of briefing or risk assessment.

Casa Fertility. Gwen howls at Rhys to tell her where the car keys are - he replies that they're on top of the fridge, which Gwen has already established is not the case, causing Gwen to gripe that if they left them in the same place all the time, they wouldn't have this problem. Of course, if you didn't do shady work for top secret government organisations just because you think you're it, you also wouldn't have this slightly more pressing other problem, you horrible woman. Rhys appears with a mobile phone and a book and says it's his packing; Gwen snorts that he won't have time to read and his phone can be traced. Rhys points out he hasn't gone into hiding before.

Ianto goes into a phonebox, while PC Andy presses the heavily armoured extras for more details regarding their origins. Oh, PC Andy. They don't have their equity cards, you'll find no answers here. He seeks reassurance that they're not going in all guns blazing; Pat Kerrigan and the extras charge their cartridges in response. Hee.

Casa Fertility. The phone rings, and Rhys idiotically runs to answer it, prompting an apoplectic fit from Gwen. It's Ianto, of course, asking if they've heard from Jack. Gwen hasn't, of course, but Ianto theorises that he lived: "he usually does". They swap bits of exposition relating to the mysterious government 'paramedic' and how Rupesh planted the explosives inside Jack. Rhys finds the car keys and Gwen tells him to get out and start the car. She arranges to meet Ianto in a Welsh place I'm sure I can't spell. Then Gwen asks him if he remembers the last time they had ice cream together, and Ianto can't, because ice cream gives him a headache. Presumably this will be relevant later.

Gwen runs into the street just as Pat Kerrigan's police truck comes around the corner; Gwen fires a few shots at the armoured vehicle and then jumps into the passenger seat while Rhys drives away. "Now do you believe she's a terrorist?" snips Pat Kerrigan. The armoured car attempts to give chase, but it has four flat tyres. So Gwen can get four perfect shots in, but a professional sniper can't hit a man who runs like he's wearing concrete shoes? This fucking show, sometimes.

Some distance away, Rhys stops the car. Gwen insists that they ditch it so they can't be traced, while Rhys cries that it's a brand new car. Torchwood obviously offers a very competitive salary. Rhys asks if they shouldn't give themselves up and tell someone what's happened, but Gwen replies that she's not doing that until she knows what's going on. Rhys says she should at least let him carry the bag so she's got her trigger finger free. That's sweet, in a sick sort of way. Gwen seems to think so, anyway.

Ianto's sister's house. The special ops break in, scaring the shit out of Rhiannon and the kids. They burst into the master bedroom, where Ianto's flabby brother-in-law informs them they certainly will not find Ianto in his bed. [Because Ianto's brother-in-law LIKES GIRLS. - Carrie] Ianto is, in fact, walking the streets, being followed by someone in a VW van. Ianto looks momentarily terrified until he realises they're delivering newspapers. He waits for them to pass and grabs an early edition. The headline reads: "Message to the world: 'we are coming'."

Malcolm Tucker's house. He tells his daughters to keep their phones on so he can speak to them if he needs to. The Wife has had enough of being kept in the dark - she's put up with him hiding behind the Official Secrets Act before, but has no truck with that when it affects her kids in her house. Malcolm assures her it's over, but she's having none of it. Malcolm goes to leave for work, but the kids call him back, chanting in unison: "we want a pony". Heh.

Grubby Street, somewhere. Clem is walking. He picks up a different paper to the one Ianto was reading, though the front page is much to the same effect. Jack's daughter from yesterday (whose name is Alice, according to the website) is watching TV with her son, a news report about the explosion. The kid recognises Cardiff as "where Uncle Jack lives", though she assures him that it's a big place. She stops short, however, of giving the full mandated broadcast from the Cardiff Tourist Board. Wow, this must be serious.

Home Office. Lois arrives for work, and sees the reports of the explosion. Looking a bit shifty, she logs on to the info network using the purloined password and logs back onto NotWikipedia to find out more about Torchwood. Seeing the location of the bomb on the news, and the location of Torchwood Three on the computer, she quickly makes the connection. She clicks back to the order to kill Jack.

Malcolm Tucker is having a conversation with the prime minister, explaining how Jack's immortality is thought to be connected to the Torchwood Hub, which is why they blew it up. They're waiting to see if it worked. The topic turns to the building plans they got from the 5-6-7-8, which neither of them can understand, and Malcolm says that work has begun. A work in progress will be ready by 1600 hours, apparently. Malcolm asks if 5-6-7-8 contacted any other country. Apparently, it did not. Malcolm wonders how long it can be kept secret - since the children were saying "we are coming back", when were the visitors here before? Malcolm expresses his gratitude to the PM for trusting him with the responsibility. Au contraire: the PM tells him he's just been put on the front line, where he'll be the first to fall. Ouch.

Massive Steaming Crater Where Torchwood Three Used To Be. Pat Kerrigan is sneering down into it. The firemen investigating the wreckage find an arm, but no body attached to it, apparently. Alice dials Jack's number, but obviously there's no reply. She leaves a message, asking him to call her.

Home Office. Bridget and Lois are getting ready to leave. Pat Kerrigan calls Malcolm Tucker to tell him they've found "an arm, a shoulder, and the remains of a head - it's almost a waste of a bodybag." He asks if it's Captain Jack Harkness; she presumes so. Hey, where's Myfanwy in all of this? Why is no one looking for her? [You'd think they'd notice a fucking great pterodactyl flying round Cardiff. - Carrie] Lois is blatantly eavesdropping and asks if this is the same Captain Jack Harkness who called yesterday, since he said he could help. "Not now he can't," replies Malcolm. Lois insists that Jack said his team were the experts in this field. "He always was an arrogant sod," sniffs Bridget. Yay Bridget! Malcolm informs Lois that the bomb in Cardiff blew Jack to pieces. Lois wonders if the people behind the bomb are also behind the children stopping; Bridget snaps at her to mind her place.

In Jack's absence, Ianto is now standing on rooftops, spying on Pat Kerrigan and the teeny bodybag. (Not the same Bodybag she was in prison with, obviously.) He notes down the address of the van driving off with Jack's supposed remains in it.

Rhiannon's house. Johnny is repairing the front door. Some surveillance types photograph him getting a paper from the paperboy. As he walks inside and opens the paper, an envelope falls out. Young David remarks, "It'll be from Uncle Ianto," then adds conspiratorially, "Sssh. We're probably bugged." Heh: cute. John complains loudly about the intrusion and broadcasts to the neighbourhood that the terror caused David to wet the bed; meanwhile, Rhiannon reads Ianto's note, which says "where dad broke my leg, at noon. Bring laptop." What, too busy to write "please"? Even "pls" would've done at a pinch. Rhiannon wonders why things were so bad Ianto couldn't come in person, and a surprisingly empathetic Johnny tells her they're the only family Ianto has.

Pat Kerrigan's HQ. Heavily armoured extras drag the body remains into a cell. Cut to Alice, trying to call Jack again, still getting no reply. Elsewhere, Rhys is taking money out from a cashpoint, but a surveillance team is tracking them via satellite and CCTV. Rhys realises that they've frozen his account as well as Gwen's, and asks her what they're going to do now. Gwen's answer is that they must go to London, which exasperates Rhys: "everything's dearer in London!" Gwen theorises that whoever wants them dead will also be in London, because that's where all the decisions are made. O-kay, then. ["The people who want to kill us are in That London! LET'S GO THERE!" Srsly. - Carrie]

Not At All Beautiful London. Malcolm, Bridget and Lois are on their way to a meeting. This apparently is just here to prove Gwen's point.

Pat Kerrigan's HQ. There's no change in Jack's condition, but there have been queries about whether it's okay now to release Rupesh's body to his family. Pat Kerrigan hones in on the screen monitoring Jack, and we zoom in. It appears to be inflating. Oh dear God, he's regenerating. Pat Kerrigan and the one accomplice who gets to speak go to check it out; when they open the bodybag, it's a gruesome skeleton covered in blood and guts. "It was a bag of bits when we came in," states Pat Kerrigan unnecessarily. She demands her minion cuff it to the wall, a job he doesn't look too pleased about. She rings Malcolm Tucker to tell him the not-so-good news. "If he can survive that, what can't he survive?" she wonders. A week where he's not allowed to get his cock out? It's worth a shot. Malcolm Tucker asks if they've found Ianto or Gwen yet - Pat Kerrigan replies that there's no sign of Ianto yet, but they've spotted Gwen. Malcolm informs her that they have to be out of action by tonight. Malcolm and Bridget go to inspect the 5-6-7-8 construction, but poor Lois has to wait outside. So why did they bring her? Isn't she supposed to be doing data entry?

Rhys is breaking into the back of someone else's lorry, and mocking the owner's pitiful security system into the bargain. They hop on board, though their hopes of finding sustenance are foiled when the cargo turns out to be raw spuds. The driver returns, finds the gap where they crept in, but does nothing more than poking his head through before satisfying himself that he doesn't have any stowaways, Rhys and Gwen having crawled out of sight by this point. He reattaches the clasp, and they're off. London, ho!

Rough estate. Johnny and a bunch of local hoodlums go up to the surveillance car to ask them what gives. When the surveillance guys decline to answer, Johnny baits the others into denouncing them as perverts and attacking the car - which is really all a ruse to allow Rhiannon to drive off unnoticed. Slick!

Pat Kerrigan's HQ. They're watching Jack regenerate. It looks painful. Almost as painful as watching Barrowman try to act it.

Gwen and Rhys are still on their way to Non-Beautiful London, and Gwen mentions in a loaded sort of fashion that she's feeling queasy. "Travelsick, is it?" asks Rhys. Gwen points out that she's never been the travelsick sort. Rhys remains oblivious, so Gwen drops some anvil-like hints until he cottons on that she's up the duff. [Three weeks, though. Morning sickness doesn't normally kick in till month two. Please don't ask me how I know this. - Carrie] Rhys is jubilant, until he realises all the deeply physical activities Gwen has been doing in her fragile state. Gwen insists that this changes nothing, that they're still up shit creek and minus a paddle. "But now there's three of us in the boat," corrects Rhys.

Rhiannon's waiting in the playground with the laptop as Ianto arrives behind her. She assures him that she wasn't followed. "You cracked my code, then," he reasons. Well, it wasn't that hard, you ninny. Rhiannon insists that their dad didn't break his leg on purpose. "He pushed me too hard. He always did," woobies Ianto. He tells Rhiannon that he and his colleagues were the targets of the bomb, that Gwen is alive but uncontactable, and Jack is missing, presumed overacting. Rhiannon prods him to ask if this Jack is the one he was seen having a gay public meal with. And then the children stop. Dun dun dun!

Lorry. Rhys likes Edward for a boy's name, after the King. Lulz. [I have literally only just got that gag. - Carrie] They come to a stop, because there are static children in the road. They begin chanting "we are coming - TOMORROW". Clem is also chanting this in a pub. Bridget breaks the news to Malcolm Tucker, who starts perspiring. Ianto deduces that the children stopping has something to do with the reason they were bombed, as that's what they were working on when it happened. Back in the pub, a barmaid is repeating to Clem what he was just saying, and Clem is greatly distressed. They are coming tomorrow, and he can smell them, apparently. Unsurprisingly, the people in the street think he's a mental.

In the playground, Ianto runs up to a little girl to ask her what happened, but the mother calls him a pervert and drags the girl away. Rhiannon ascertains that the same thing has been happening everywhere again, and Ianto explains to her in a vague sort of way that this is the sort of thing he deals with, and asks her for the laptop so he can track the van that took Jack away, and also her car keys. He then runs (well, "runs") off. "A thank you would be nice!" yells Rhiannon. From a Torchwood employee? You'll be lucky, dear. She yells at him to be careful as he drives off.

London. Lois and Bridget are fielding calls. Lois hands Malcolm two calls on hold: one from the Home Secretary and one from his wife. Hard to say which is scarier at this point. The phone rings again: this time it's Gwen, wanting to speak to Malcolm. The mention of Torchwood causes Lois to bring up NotWikipedia again. Lois tells Gwen that she can't put her through because Malcolm is very busy, and Gwen starts getting hoity-toity about how if Lois knows what Torchwood is, then she'll know why the call is important. Lois asks Gwen why the government would be trying to kill people who can help, and that's what Gwen wants to know. Malcolm appears from his office and Lois minimises the Torchwood page; he wants her to call his wife. When he disappears, Lois agrees to set up a meeting for Gwen.

Gwen and Rhys are waiting for Malcolm in a café. Malcolm does not arrive, but Lois does. Gwen wants to know where Malcolm is. Lois says that this is probably the biggest mistake she's ever made (I'm sure a lot of people say that about their first encounter with Gwen Cooper too), but she's read their files and thinks they're all unsung national heroes. Gwen snips that she doesn't sign autographs, and wants to know why she's talking to Lois and not her boss. "Because," says Lois gravely, "if he knew you were here, you'd be dead. He gave the order to have Jack Harkness killed." Lois asks if Gwen recognises the other names of the people who were killed on the same day as Jack Harkness on Malcolm Tucker's orders. She's appalled at the idea that she signed the Official Secrets Act to cover up murders, and wants to know what's going on. "If you're the good guys, why doesn't it say that on your file?" asks Lois. "And if you're the good guys, who am I working for?" Rhys cuts the conversation short because they're arousing suspicion by not having ordered. This is, I'm sure, prompted by his devotion to national security and not by his rumbling belly. He explains to Lois that they have no money, so she spots him £20. Gwen asks for steak pie, chips, and a cup of tea. Lois asks for a latte, because she is a Poncey London Type. Rhys goes off to get the food. Gwen, in a rare show of humility, thanks Lois for helping them out. Lois, having now apparently disregarded her signature on the Official Secrets Act, tells Lois that everyone thinks that the children are linked to aliens, and that something weird is being build on the roof of MI5, though she doesn't know what. Gwen asks if there's any news about Jack and Ianto. Lois says that there's nothing on Ianto, but Jack's apparently dead. Gwen, of course, refuses to believe this, and so does Lois: why would Malcolm be asking someone to keep tabs on a dead man?

The answer, of course, is unfolding at Pat Kerrigan's HQ: Jack's regenerated, and Barrowman's lying there buck-naked. My eyes! He demands to know the name of his captor, so Pat Kerrigan makes herself known to him. Since he can't die, she's not going to tell him anything, she's just going to keep him trapped in a bunker. Fair enough. She walks off, and a pipe chucks cement in on top of Naked Barrowman, who screams. Ianto is watching from a distance. Kinky!

Back in That London, Lois hands Gwen a floorplan of where Jack's being kept. Gwen asks how they get inside. Lois, who's quite the shrewd operator, tells her that Rupesh's body is being picked up today, and that hijacking a funeral operator is easier than getting access to a maximum security compound, and hands Gwen everything she needs to put the plan into action. "I'm a PA. This is what I do," she offers, by way of explanation. "When this is all over, and you want a job? Come and see me," says Recruitment Officer Gwen. Lois smiles.

Next thing we know, Gwen and Rhys have bundled the undertaker into a coffin and stolen his hearse, assuring him that it's all in the national interest. I bet that's a huge comfort to the naked, terrified man you've just abandoned in the woods.

The PM meets Malcolm and Bridget at MI5. He asks if there's been any further information; Malcolm says they have operators on the 5-6-7-8 wavelength round the clock, but nothing's coming back. We finally see what they're building; it looks like a bizarre glass-panelled operating chamber. Dekker grins in a sinister fashion.

Gwen and Rhys arrive at Pat Kerrigan's HQ and pass the security gate. They meet with their contact, who apparently doesn't recognise Terrorist Threat Gwen Cooper even though she's made no attempt to disguise herself. Gwen walks through the mortuary with the Slow-Witted Soldier, who begins to wonder if he knows her from somewhere. They let Rhys in through the fire doors, and the Slow-Witted Soldier, who is of course dazzled by Gwen's moxie, asks Rhys if Gwen's seeing anyone. Rhys explodes that she's married and pregnant, despite Gwen's silent protests, and it looks like the Slow-Witted Soldier has sussed...that they're a couple. Wow, someone's recruitment policy is seriously lacking an IQ test.

They unzip the bodybag of poor pretty dead Rupesh as Gwen pulls out her sonic pen and switches off the CCTV. Pat Kerrigan's Chief Accomplice radios in to ask Slow-Witted Soldier if everything's okay, since the picture's gone all fuzzy. He replies in the affirmative just as Gwen clubs him in the back of the head with her gun. Dumbass.

She nicks his keys and they break into another cell, switching off CCTV as they go, causing Pat Kerrigan's Chief Accomplice to set off the alarm for the intruders. Gwen blasts her way into another lockup, only to find a huge block of concrete. She barely has time to "wtf?" before the soldiers arrive and open fire, though of course the idiots miss. Gwen tries to take out the next batch of soldiers, but Pat Kerrigan arrives and tells her she's "as trapped and helpless as the man in the concrete cell" and tells her to put down her weapons. As Gwen drops her firearms on the floor, the concrete cell rapidly recedes from view, because Ianto has just removed the entire bloody thing with a forklift truck. I shit you not. Gwen and Rhys run for it, and they make their escape on the forklife truck. At a presumed top speed of about 10mph. And the snipers still can't hit them. Sigh. Gwen instructs Rhys to move the cement lorry across the entrance while Ianto drives the forklift out - once this has been done, she fires at the fuel tank and ignites the whole damn thing. The trio made their snail-like escape as Pat Kerrigan phones Malcolm Tucker to tell him she fucked up.

Ianto drives them to a quarry, and instructs Gwen and Rhys to start the car. Ianto and the forkift crane drop the concrete cell over a cliff, where it smashes to bits on the floor. He leaps into the car, and they drive down to the bottom, where naked Barrowman is just coming back to life. Jack asks his team what's going on, and they have to admit that they don't know, but the children have revealed that whatever it is will happen tomorrow. Rhys gives his jacket to Gwen to give to Jack, and Eve Myles does a brilliant "I am trying really hard not to acknowledge your nudity, really" face as John Barrowman takes it from her. The quartet get into the car.

Evil London. Malcom and Bridget stride down an important corridor as a news report echoes on the soundtrack. Dekker unveils the finished chamber to them, which now seems to be a gas chamber, built to a very specific chemical concoction as demanded by the 5-6-7-8. It's a poisonous gas to humans, but it's what the aliens breathe. Bridget wants to know if they can't use this knowledge to work out what sort of aliens they are. "If we had all the time in the world," sneers Dekker. Malcolm wants to know what happens when they arrive. Dekker says that the room could be an ambassadorial suite, or a slaughterhouse. Now Bridget wants to know how they'll arrive inside it. Nobody knows. Malcolm wonders if every other country in the world has received the same instructions, built a chamber, and kept schtum about it. Dekker doesn't think so: whoever they are, they're coming for Britain, and he thinks Malcolm Tucker knows why. Malcolm and Bridget leave, and Dekker rubs himself up against the tank. Creepy!

Next time: Malcolm Tucker is expendable. Lois frets about being charged with treason. The aliens arrive. Alice has a gun! Lots of people are running!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Dead. Again.

3.01 - Day One
Tx: Monday 6th July 2009

1965, Scotland. It is dark. A minibus full of children drives down a rain-swept road. A blond boy looks like a Child of the Corn. His comrades chatter. The bus stops, and they troop out in the darkness, into a bright white light.


And here is beautiful Cardiff, just as picturesque as ever, you'll be pleased to know. Gwen is at the cash machine and looks disapprovingly at parents telling their recalcitrant children off, because her judgemental bitch-ness is not at all reduced. More children stand stock-still in houses, across roads, in front of Rhys's lorry, and so on.

Then they all start moving again. All the parents (and Rhys) are relieved. One schoolgirl looks disapprovingly at Gwen, which is quite funny.

Gwen thinks she is funny by greeting Glyn by the Torchwood base with "What's occurrin'?" She is mistaken. And there's nobody in Torchwood. Well, where are they?

Cut to hospital in an emergency room, where the medics are attempting defibrillation on a body, as Captain Jack and Ianto look through the window. The doctor tells them that Mr Williams is dead of heart failure. Ianto does a very bad job of looking sad. Captain Jack looks...fatter, a bit? Squarer in the face? They ask if they can have a look at the body, and the doctor agrees, because they are his caring neighbours.

As soon as the doctor leaves them alone, they begin to unwrap the corpse to laser-saw him, and Ianto squees about being referred to as a couple. The doctor walks back in as Captain Jack rips out some alien organ (fnar), then they make a quick exit. The doctor runs after them, threatening to report them - "You're Torchwood!" "Never heard of them!" replies Captain Jack, despite the fact it's emblazoned in neon letters over his car. The doctor says that bodies are going missing from the mortuary - five of them in two months, none of them white, all of them male. Captain Jack considers taking the doctor onto the team, for they have no medical doctor IN A WHITE COAT to do doctoring at the moment, but then can't be arsed. [First time for everything. Fnar. - Steve]

Civil servants and military types mill around, in what I presume is a secret service building. Peter Capaldi seems to be in charge. A military man tells him to BEWARE OF TEH CHILDRENS.

Torchwood Three. Ianto and Jack return, and Gwen whines about them leaving her by herself when there are lots of road-traffic accidents going on, all involving children.

Cross-exposition between military man and Torchwood Three. There have been accidents all over the world, and they all list many countries. Well done, everyone, excellent geographical knowledge. At 8.40am, every child in the world STOPPED. Military man is interrupted by the new tea-girl Lois, who starts asking questions about his uniform. Subtle as a brick. Sign her up to Torchwood, you think?

Captain Jack rings Martha, but she is on her honeymoon and Gwen warns him not to disturb her. The doctor, Rupesh, is loitering outside the base - "Ask about Torchwood, and most people will point you towards the bay," says Ianto. Brilliant secret-keeping. Ianto squees a bit more about Gwen calling him and Jack a couple. Jack says he hates the word "couple" and Ianto pretends he does too. Oh, this is going to end in tears.

Gwen goes out to talk to Rupesh, who is originally from Chesterfield, and is very tempted by the money on offer at Torchwood. "What do you DO?" asks Rupesh, which is an excellent question. Rupesh expresses his concern about the growing suicide rate in the past years, which he seems to be attributing to aliens. Gwen talks about how brilliant and beautiful the universe is, and then adds on, "My life is bigger," because as we know most things have to be explained in relation to its specific effect on Gwen's life.

Then Gwen sees a little girl rooted to the spot despite her mother's protestations, and more children ACROSS THE WORLD are doing the same thing (some more successfully than others, I might add). Then they all begin to scream. I presume this is supposed to be an awful unearthly sound, but to be honest it just sounds like my Brownie pack playing stuck-in-the-mud every Friday evening.

They stop screaming and begin chanting - "WE ARE COMING!" Gwen panics. Peter Capaldi is informed of the situation and demands a child immediately. People have been put in prison for similar. At a nursing home, a man is chanting along with the children. Then they all stop chanting and he falls to his knees, wailing, "They found me!"

The Torchwood team run about; Rupesh is ordered back to A&E by bossy-boots Jack. More running about and flapping in the base of secret-service power. Lois looks shifty. Mr Decker (whoever he is) tells Peter Capaldi, "I warned you." Captain Jack is on the phone to Lois (ah, it's the Home Office) who claims to be the only person in the world not to have heard of Torchwood. She stealthily accesses the computer database beyond her menial powers and seems to be on some kind of high-security Wikipedia, reading a definition of what Torchwood is and does.

Mr Decker turns out to be some kind of extra-terrestrial tracker man, and he takes Peter Capaldi down to his lair to hear all today's recorded activity. The Torchwood team are speculating about what on earth is happening; Gwen points out that all the children are speaking English; and Captain Jack says the most stupid thing he has ever said by claiming that if you were surveying the world from the outside, you would think English was the dominant language. Ianto corrects him. Jack sneers. The inventors of Esperanto weep. Gwen finds footage of Timothy White - the man who chanted along with the children.

Rhys is looking at houses, while Gwen talks to him on speakerphone, revealing all the state secrets she can possibly manage and being a total cow when he suggests that one of the house's spare rooms could be a nursery. Rhys tells her that they ought to consider the fact that the children were chanting at 8.40am - before school starts in the UK.

Ianto and Jack muse over where they could find a child. Jack saunters off, Ianto quite reasonably asks him where he's going, and Jack snarks about being a couple again.

The prime minister asks Peter Capaldi what to do. Capaldi wants "certain historical events" taken off the record so that Britain has a clean slate, and hopes that "the 4-5-6" will keep quiet. The prime minister says he will not have his name on it; he was never told; he never knew. Ooh, mysterious.

Captain Jack goes to visit people, a middle-aged lady and a little boy. "Uncle Jack! I was talking like an alien! Everyone was!" shouts the boy. Elsewhere, Ianto thrusts money into the hand of his niece and nephew, and unsuccessfully tries to convince his sister to let him take the girl to the cinema this afternoon.

Back with Captain Jack, and Barrowman doing subtle acting. The middle-aged woman he is talking to is his daughter, complaing that he looks younger than her. That'd be the Botox, love. Maybe you should try it too? Jack reckons he wants to be a proper grandad to him, and the daughter is clever enough to work out that really he wants to do some kind of experimentation on him. She tells him he's a bastard and should stay away because he's dangerous. Marvellous. I want HER to join Torchwood.

Rupesh is back at the hospital, and Jack rings him because he wants to steal a child from the children's ward. Ianto's sister quizzes him about being spotted having dinner in town With A Man - a GORGEOUS one, like a film star, or an escort [I wonder how much Barrowman paid RTD to insert that line into the script. - Steve]: "Have you gone bender?" she asks. Ianto fails to answer, and then she is sad because he never tells her anything. That elicits the following gem from Ianto: "He is VERY handsome." His sister squees. "He's nice, though, is he? Is he?" she asks, in an extremely sisterly way. Ianto tries to describe the purity of his love for Jack, while making it clear that his lust is not for men in general. Then his rowdy brother-in-law rolls in making many gay jokes, and then the alarm on the Torchwoodmobile goes off. Ianto does not understand how they broke in, when it has three deadlocks. Ah, Torchwood. High security indeed.

Gwen is in the nursery home talking about Timothy White and getting all the gossip from a nurse, before interviewing him in a very nasty stark room. She says she thinks the voices he heard came from aliens, and he tells her there is no such thing. He asks for her hand, she gives it, and he sniffs it. Apparently this is a method for ascertaining the verity of statements. He does not want to talk about what he knows while he is being observed by CCTV, and Gwen uses a magic pen to switch the filming off. He is greatly amused.

He begins to narrate his experience of aliens - he's a child from the pre-titles scene, it would seem, and tells Gwen that they took all his friends, but not him. His name before all the weirdness began was Clement Macdonald, and Gwen tries to get more information from him but then he tells her that she's three weeks' pregnant and everything goes a bit strange. The nurse interrupts them and takes him off for his medication - he bids her farewell by saying, "Congratulations," and she TURNS HER BACK and WALKS OUT without saying ANYTHING because she is a BITCH.

Gwen rings Ianto to ask him to find records of Clement Macdonald; other techie spies are logging their intercept activity; Peter Capaldi gives his most senior underling orders relating to the 4-5-6 while Lois pretends she's not watching. Oh, seriously, Home Office, does anyone actually keep their username and passwords on a post-it on their monitors? Well, in this universe they do, and that's enabling Lois to log on to the senior underling's sent items folder, and see that she has issued an Order To Kill Captain Jack. Presumably that the Crown, paying Torchwood's wages and all, would know that Captain Jack is immortal, having had him on the payroll for the last two or three centuries?

Jack is at the hospital with Rupesh, and there has been another death, this time of a Chinese man. They go to the morgue and Jack begins inspecting the corpse, talking self-importantly in a medical diagnostic way. And then Rupesh shoots Jack, which is nice. Lots of gunmen then troop in. Secret service techies says that the name Clement Macdonald hasn't been "active" for 45 years and now Torchwood have found him. Pat Kerrigan from Bad Girls says, "That's way beyond coincidence. Bring him in." Rupesh whines about The Plan being changed, because he did so much research and now he cannot infiltrate lovely Torchwood. Then surveying the deathly beauty of Jack, he asks Pat Kerrigan if she thinks it's true, "what they say about him" (ie Jack's immortality). Jack suddenly sits bolt upright, gasping for air, and Pat Kerrigan shoots him dead again. HA. "He was dead!" whinges Rupesh. "And now he's dead again. And we'll keep killing him till he's ready," replies Pat Kerrigan, who reveals that the orders changed because of the children.

Police march in to the nursing home to kidnap Timothy White, who makes a run for it out of the back door. Great security there too.

Back at the hospital, Pat Kerrigan tells Rupesh that he will not be disappearing, and then Rupesh too makes a run for it. Pat Kerrigan shoots him. Everyone leaves the morgue. Then Jack wakes up again, and sees Rupesh's corpse next to him.

Back at Torchwood Three, Ianto has traced Clement Macdonald, and is telling Gwen all about it. She is not interested.

Jack heads back to the base and is being spied upon by Pat Kerrigan and her minions.

Gwen does a weird pregnancy test via her hand.

Jack wants to find out about Rupesh being dead; Ianto asks if they killed him too, and when he is answered with the affirmative, he takes the opportunity for a quick hug. Gwen is being odd about being pregnant. Obviously Jack and Ianto are the first ones to know before she rings Rhys.

The Gwen Alert sirens go off! But she's already there! What is it? Perhaps it is a bomb! Jack tells Gwen to get the fuck out because she is PREGNANT and a GIVER OF LIFE. Then all the weird children start their chanting again. Torchwood goes into lock-down and Jack manhandles Ianto out of the building through the medium of French-kissing. [And they still have absolutely no chemistry whatsoever. - Steve] "I'll come back. I always do," says Jack. Peter Capaldi shouts at his children to stop chanting. Torchwood explodes.