By Chris Chibnall
Directed by Richard Stokes
Music soundtrack by Ben Foster
& Murray Gold
It’s early evening and the night sky is pitch over Cardiff. Something is hurtling through the atmosphere, large judging by the sound of the roar. In the 10 pin bowling alley, Gwen Cooper is enjoying annihilating her boyfriend Rhys’ scores, while the Kaiser Chief’s belt out ‘Saturday Night’.
The sound of the roar across the night sky has intensified but still it’s unclear what is making its way towards the busy city below.
Later on in the evening Gwen and Rhys exit the cinema, the boring film rendering Gwen asleep before the end.
The roar above is getting louder as it drops in altitude.
Gwen and Rhys sit opposite each other at a table for two outside a restaurant and Rhys asks her about the new job
. “Special Ops?” he enquires, hoping he’s right.
“More like filing.” She smiled.
“Special Admin.” He quips. Gwen smiled, kissed Rhys and suggested they had an early night. He called for the check but a light in the sky caught his eye.
“Is that plane on fire?” Everyone looked at the burning mass advancing towards them.
“That’s not a plane.” Gwen replied getting to her feet, along with Rhys.
As the fireball changed course and hurtled over their heads. Gwen pulled Rhys away from the restaurant, despite his protests that they’d not paid, and both ran out onto the street, following the tail of the fiery mass as it hurtled ahead towards the trees and beyond. Everyone felt the crash and could only stare in horror at what had crashed beyond the trees, the other side of Cardiff.
Within a few seconds Gwen received a call on her mobile. She looked at Rhys. “I’ve got to go to work.”
“A simple locate and clean-up operation.” Jack called from the front passenger seat, turning to look at Gwen. “Good to see you by the way.” She smiled nervously then stared in surprise as the keyboard folded down in front of her and full computers front and back of her seat brightened up the back of the SUV. Owen called to Toshiko as he drove if she’d located the crash site. On a blue screen monitor with a small file open displaying Node 26793053, a red blip was visible.
Gwen was absolutely amazed at the level of kit Torchwood had, but as Toshiko gave her the lowdown on the software they did have, Gwen recognised something familiar on the screen.
“Is this CrimInt? You’re not meant to have this?”
Jack called from the front. “You might want to stop saying you and start saying we.”
Owen changed course from Toshiko’s locations and drove out of the city. The directions took them along a quiet country lane, and as Owen cursed, Jack saw they weren’t the only ones keen to check out the crashed object.
Standing on the foot plate, Captain Jack Harkness located the route through the Army tents to the site of the crash. Gwen was still in total awe and wonderment as to what they might expect to find beyond the tents. As Jack called out for the team to operate usual group formation Gwen enquired to Owen what that might be, she was taken aback by his reply.
“How can a group formation vary?” She replied keeping up with him before realising she still had a kit to collect.
By this time Jack and the team had advanced towards the crash site, leaving Gwen to navigate her way through the army and police at the scene. Entering the first tent she came face to face with two soldiers, Private Moriarty (Adrian Christopher) and Sgt Johnson (Ross O’Hennessy).
Both soldiers tightened the gap and glared at Gwen, assuming she was Press. Gwen fumbled for the correct protocol, unsure how many people had heard of Torchwood, and told them she was Special Ops. When that didn’t raise any response she told them the truth. But Sgt Johnson saw it as another lie and began belittling her before the dashing Captain Harkness came to the rescue of the damsel in distress.
Leading Gwen down to the crash site, Jack thrust his hands into his pockets and instructed the team to hurry up with their findings so they could get out of there. He hated the army as much as he hated the Police.
Owen and Toshiko took readings and samples of the rock, while Jack took readings with a yellow hand held device that monitored the air quality around the site. While Gwen watched the team work Owen called to her.
“Make yourself useful sweetheart and pass the large chisel from the toolbox!”
“Not sweetheart, it’s Gwen, one syllable, I’m sure you can manage it.”
“Not sweet cheeks, freckles, new girl?” Owen teased.
Gwen collected the chisel from the toolbox. “It’s a shame your tool’s not big enough for the job.” Jack grinned. “Catch!” Gwen threw the chisel over arm as Owen yelled. “DON’T.” But it was too late; the chisel had pierced the rock, cutting right into the rock itself. A hiss and smoke released from the hole in the rock sending gas into the atmosphere, a thick moving pink gas, that climbed higher and higher before disappearing into the night sky. It’s one of those moments when Gwen didn’t know where to put herself. Nobody was impressed, least of all Jack!
At the back of Night Spot night club, Carys Fletcher (Sara Lloyd-Gregory) was on the phone to her boyfriend, she’d been stood up, and no amount of swearing down the phone, wishing she were dead or worse still that Eddie was dead, would make up for the fact that she was without a man for the night.She didn’t see the gas closing in on her as her back was turned. As she turned to head off, she faced the pink cloud that billowed and moved and forever puffed closer towards her. Scared, she backed into the wall. Pinned and unable to move as the gaseous blob reached its tendrils towards her, its foamy arms appeared to hold her against the wall, and unable to stop it, it streamed into her body through her nose and mouth, taking control the moment it entered her.
“Hello Ladies.” Banksy, (Ceri Mears) called as he eyed up the talent for the evening. He was of stocky build, thick neck, bald head, and a bouncer for the night club. He rejoined his fellow bouncers as Carys made to re-enter the club and was stopped in her tracks.
“I only came out to make a phone call.”
“There’s no re-admission.”
Carys kissed him hard taking the bouncer by surprise and for some moments after was still taken aback by the kiss. He allowed her back into the club.
Loud music, louder drunken lads singing out of tune to the song playing saw a frown from Matt Stevens (Justin McDonald) as he made his way to the bar. Of all the talent that appeared to be in the club, nothing took his fancy, and it looked like another night with a curry for one and a few bevies back in the flat, then he saw her across the dance floor. Their eyes met, and Carys makes her move.
Crashing through the Ladies door both of them couldn’t keep their hands off each other, lust, desire, need, urge, Matt couldn’t believe his luck. He asked her name but as Carys continued to kiss him, he pushed the question aside. Picking her up, he knocked into the cubicle, then onto the counter near the sinks. There was nothing stopping him, he wanted her, wanted her badly, and he was ready to give everything for that one moment. He cried out as he climaxed and a brilliant light of dust sparkled around him, just before his body exploded in a powerful orgasmic dust, his scream lingering in the air, and his energy washed over Carys. As she regained her composure she glanced over the counter at the mound of dust on the ground, the last remains of Matt Stevens.
Back at the Hub and Gwen still apologised for the incident, Owen didn’t let up with the sarcasm, but Gwen was determined to sort it, no matter what it was.
“On the plus side.” Jack interrupted as he flipped open the box containing a piece of the space junk. “We have a piece of the barely damaged space debris.”
“On the downside, we have a gas alien on the loose.” Owen quipped. Jack rolled his eyes.
“Give her a break!” Toshiko defended.
Ianto stepped into view, smartly dressed as ever brandishing a clipboard. There was a chance that their gas alien had just made its first contact in a night club, a suspicious death had been reported? “Might be connected?”
PC Andy ran up the steps of the Night Spot as the black SUV driven by Captain Jack Harkness pulled up abruptly the other side of the road. Jack quickly identified himself as he ran past the police officers, the rest of the team following after him. Only as Gwen reached the steps did Andy take notice. He was excited to see her, a new job he was keen to know more about it but Jack called impatiently from the doorway. Gwen glanced back at Andy and relieved him from his post.
“Don’t want you freezing your arses off out here.”
“Boss over me now are you?” Andy quipped.
Inside the Ladies, the full team and Banksy stared at the mound of ash on the floor beside the counter. What Jack couldn’t understand was how the bouncer knew that this had once been a body. After viewing the tape in the bouncers’ office it became clear to the team just how the lad had died, but despite telling Banksy that they had all the information they needed, they were still no further forward in who the girl was and where she was now. As they left the nightclub Jack ordered that Toshiko find another body matching it to the deceased and dump it somewhere remote. “Make it look like suicide.”
“You have a stack of bodies?” Gwen was horrified!
Jack took readings from the back of the nightclub on the hand held device that told him that the same air quality at the site was being detected where they were, and stronger at the wall. Glancing up he spotted the CCTV cameras and back in Banksy’s office found the same girl again but this time just as the alien took control.
“We can’t let her kill again.”
Morning across Cardiff city and in a quiet terraced street, Carys Fletcher stared vacantly at the tv screen as the news reporter reported the news for that day. Her dad Ivan (Brendan Charleson) was busy buttering toast while slagging off his work colleagues. As he came back through finally getting his daughter’s attention she was still spaced out. Assuming she was partying hard last night he kissed her before he left for work, and left her with her thoughts. The thoughts that allowed her to remember what had occurred last night.
In the Hub Gwen watched Jack as he stood guiding a laser pen across a Perspex screen with an odd looking map, definitely not something she’d seen before on any ordnance survey map. As Gwen asked what Jack was doing and was told by the Captain, Toshiko simplified the answer into layman’s terms.
“Hey, sometimes a little technobabble is good for the soul!”
Gwen realised it was just a larger sat nav to the one her boyfriend used in the lorries. Toshiko was surprised that Gwen had a life outside of Torchwood; Gwen was equally as surprised to discover that none of the team had any life outside of the job.
Back at the Fletcher’s and the enormity of last night came back in waves. The regret, the realisation that there was nothing she could do about it, Carys sobbed.
In the Hub Toshiko had discovered the two favourite gases, while Ianto brought morning coffee. Toshiko ran a check on Carys using the Crimint software that once again Gwen felt they shouldn’t have.
“Still doing that you instead of we thing?” Jack called over.
Owen came up with 119 possible matches in his search of suspects because of the low res on the CCTV, the search continued. As the fingerprint search came up empty, Jack suggested they reformat the image using recognition software to trace Carys journey back from the club. Gwen added that they cross referenced that with all the possible face matches!
“Nice one newbie, that’s more like it!”
Carys Fletcher sat at her dressing table brushing her hair as a wave of pain shot through her body, it was excruciating and she cried out in agony. Just like an addict craves another hit, so Carys’ visitor craved more sex. The door bell rang and the postie stood on the doorstep with another parcel for Carys. But before he could say “Sign here please.” Carys had pulled him inside, and removed his belt, unbuckled his trousers and pushed him onto the sofa and positioned herself for more sex.
Suddenly, the front and back doors were kicked in and Torchwood entered the lounge. Owen with Gwen entered at the front, Toshiko and Jack aimed their weapons at Carys from the back door.
“GET YOUR TROUSERS ON AND GET OUT. NOW!” Jack hollered at the postie. As the air quality detector signifies it was safe to breathe, Carys makes a run for it. As she passed Gwen heading for the door, Owen tossed a small silver pebble before Carys’ feet, suddenly a forcefield trapped Carys..
Back at the Hub and Carys was escorted through to the cells by Gwen. It’s her first interview with an alien and it doesn’t go strictly to plan. Having asked the usual about enslaving and learning that the only thing the gas alien wants is the orgasmic hit, the struggle between the alien and the human Carys begins. She feels the pain in her body again, desperate for another hit, having lost the postie, Carys makes a pass at Gwen, releasing the energy through Gwen’s system, not something she ever planned on doing on her first day at work, snogging an alien!
But the events in the cell do not go un-noticed. Owen sees and records everything after calling for the rest of the team to view his find.
“We should get her out of there.” Finally realising that the longer Gwen stays in there her life could be compromised, both Jack and Tosh run to the cells. Carys on the other hand after tearing back Gwen’s shirt realises to her horror she’s not what she’s looking for, but with the love pheromones still circulating through Gwen, she’s ready for another crack when Carys pushes her away.
“You’re no good. It has to be a man.”
As another wave of pain courses through Carys, she pleads with Gwen to help her, as she’s losing the fight. Then the alien returns, and the look in Carys eyes changes. Gwen backs out of the cell as her phone rings. Rhys!
Back upstairs after reassuring Toshiko and Jack she was fine, Owen applauded her actions with Carys. Incensed by his dry wit Gwen launched herself at him, a hand gripped around his throat and berates him about Carys and the alien inside of her. As Jack arrived to break up the argument, Ianto arrived with Chinese.
Captain Jack Harkness had always been a mystery to the team at Torchwood and although Owen, Tosh and Ianto had run a search on Jack and drawn very little from the findings, they’d been banking on the policewoman Gwen to bring something new to the table. Aside from his name and his American accent, which Toshiko dismissed, given that no Americans by the name of Jack Harkness had been born in the last 50 years. That the only definite factor was Jack was gay!
“Period military is not the clothes of a straight man!” Owen told her.
As they continued eating, Gwen heard crying from the speakers. Owen switched on the monitor as Jack slipped back into the boardroom and resumed his meal and all eyes viewed Carys sobbing in the cell.
“Why are we all having Chinese when a young girl fights for her life?” Gwen asked after viewing the screen closer and turning her attention to the team.
As Jack gave Gwen the breakdown of what the computers were doing while they ate, Gwen smiled and felt the team had spent too long studying aliens they’d forgotten what it was to be human. So putting a profile together of Carys as a human rather than Carys as the lab rat, she impressed Jack with her level of investigative skills.
Toshiko discovered that the alien was secreting its own airborne pheromones to attract a person. The readings had risen in the last hour. Gwen confessed to snogging the alien and was horrified to discover the team knew. When realising that Carys was a walking aphrodisiac, Gwen realised that putting Carys father in with her would be a bad idea. No man should be allowed anywhere near her. There was a moment of silence as Gwen and Toshiko realised one of the team members was missing.
Downstairs in the cells Owen stood buck naked. Carys had made off with his swipe card and vanished Upstairs however, Jack had located her, and was determined to stop her, but after cornering her near a table of weapons, he isn’t quick enough to grab the savage spiked hammer settling for the long wooden style sword if only to block the assault. Carys determined to leave catches Jack in the leg with the hammer and makes her bid for freedom, grabbing the hand in the jar and backing towards the lift. Even with his gun at the ready, the threat that he’d shoot is not convincing enough for Carys to leave go of the article, and both she and it leave for the surface. . Jack tore after her, up the many flights of steps and along the tunnel to the Tourist Information Booth where Ianto was waiting.
“Need me to do any attacking sir?” Ianto asks stepping in to help.
Toshiko and Gwen run from the building and out onto the Bay in search of Carys, but the girl has gone.
Back in the Hub, hand in a new jar, Jack focuses on that while Gwen can’t believe that THAT is more important than a vulnerable girl.
“You want to prove yourself, find her. Get your old pals in the force to do something useful for once.”
“Alright, I’ll give them a call, put out an APB, woman possessed by gas nobbing fellas to death!”
Jack rolled his eyes and laughed just as Owen interrupted the moment..
Inside the cold storage room a rat sat in a secure glass box, it had already been infected with the two gases that were currently swarming around Carys Fletcher’s body. Owen pointed out on the overhead chart that currently the rat was going through some changes, it’s internal organs were beginning to swell, it’s heart rate was racing and despite the rat looking none too different from any other rat, it suddenly exploded becoming nothing more than RAT JAM!
“Right now it’s a struggle to know where Carys ends and the alien begins.”
At the Hub the team put themselves in Carys’ shoes, if they were her, where would they go? It all becomes apparent when they follow Toshiko’s idea and head to the flat belonging to Eddie Gwynne (Alex Parry) only to find a pile of ash.
“Toshiko was right, she went for the ex boyfriend. If we worked through my back catalogue, we’d be here till the sun explodes.” Jack quipped leaving the flat.
The team had searched through every strip joint and sex parlour in the area and turned up blank, it was now night fall and they were still no further forward than when Carys left the Hub. Locating her place of work, The Conway Clinic, it’s a race against time, because while she’s out there, not only are males at risk, but so was Carys who could quite literally become rat jam.
Carys had had a head start on the team, having worked through several of the sperm donors by the time Toshiko had located her. With nowhere left to run and all guns pointing at her, she grew weak, collapsing to her knees. Owen knew she didn’t have much time left. She begged Gwen for help, to feel alive, to feel human again, but when Gwen refused, Jack stepped in offering her a surplus of alive. A yellow glow emanated around Carys body, the same glow that Matt gave off before he expired. As Jack pulled away and looked at the girl he smiled. “That’s just the kiss imagine the buzz you’d get from the rest.”
Gwen crouched beside Carys, her hands supporting the unconscious girls head and spoke to the alien inside. “Take me, I’m stronger. Let Carys go.” Despite Jack’s doubts, he agreed, admitting it was after all Gwen’s fault. Despite protests from the other team members, Jack knew he needed leverage to draw the creature out of the girl. Gwen got to her feet and backed away as the alien gas released Carys and entered the room, it honed in on Gwen, unaware that Jack was expecting this and cast the pebble onto the floor, the force field that had been used to trap Carys was now trapping the dying gas. Despite the dodgy power cell it lasted long enough to see out the alien turnto dust, just like its victims.
“Travel halfway across the universe for the greatest sex and still end up dying alone.” Said Jack wistfully, after the power cell died. As he reached for the cell, Gwen who knelt down beside him, tilted up his chin and kissed him on the lips.
“Thank you!”It’s uncertain what Jack had divulged to Ivan Fletcher about his daughter, but whatever he’d said, was forgotten when his daughter stepped into the house and ran into her father’s arms.
Back at the Hub after Owen,Toshiko and Ianto had knocked off for the night, Gwen unpicked the posters and files off the wall and placed them in the folder. She didn’t notice Jack until he spoke.
“Don’t let this job consume you. You have a life, respective, we need that.” Gwen placed the folder down and looked at the Captain.
“Who are you Jack?”
“You can’t die; you say the 21st century is when it all changes, that we have to be prepared.”
“And so you do.”
“But how can you know?”
“You think knowing the answers would make you feel better?”
“But who are you, what are you doing here?”
“Go home Gwen Cooper, eat lasagne, kiss your boyfriend, be normal. For me!”
Back at the flat while Rhys talked about his day, Gwen toyed with her lasagne and drank her wine, her mind pondering on the day’s events till Rhys noticed she was a million miles from the table.
“Am I boring you?”
Gwen turned to face him, smiled then kissed him and suggested a very early night.