Greeks Bearing Gifts
Episode 7 Series One
Written by Toby Whithouse
Director Colin Teague
Producer Richard Stokes
Music By Murray Gold & Ben Foster
Additional music by Snow Patrol ‘Spitting Games’, Travis ‘Sing’, Placebo ‘Drag’, KT Tunstall ‘Suddenly I see’,
It’s 1812 and the young wench Mary leads a young soldier into the woods, it’s obviously his first time, and when Mary introduces herself, referring to her name as that of the Virgin Mary, the soldier lashes out at her, slapping her causing her to bleed from the mouth. Mary retaliates, curtly replying that she’s not his bloody hound and disfigures his face with three scratches down his cheek. She hikes up her skirts and runs deeper into the forest, aware that the attack will not go unpunished. The soldier gives chase, screaming WHORE as she disappears from view.
In a clearing deeper into the forest, a deafening scream pierces the air and a bright light forces Mary to stop and stare in awe and fear. The soldier hears and sees it also, but in pursuit of his quarry, he spies Mary, and raises his flintlock pistol and utters: “Do whores have prayers?”
Present day Cardiff and the SUV screams into a construction site where a skeletonised body has been unearthed. Police have cordoned off the area and a tent has been erected over the crime scene. The Torchwood team minus Ianto Jones enter the tent, while behind the cordoned tape stands a familiar woman.
Inside the tent and while Jack and Toshiko take readings of the body and the artefact discovered with the body, Owen takes samples of the body and ascertains that it’s a young female who has what appears to be, a gunshot wound to the chest, accounting for the large gaping wound in her ribcage. Gwen asks what the metal device is beside the body, having also ascertained that it is indeed alien, Toshiko picking up readings of ilmanite peroxine and even dark matter. Jack hasn’t a clue on the metal object “...could be a weapon or a very large stapler.”
Toshiko’s readings tell her that the body has been in the ground for 196 years and 11 and a half months, judging by the levels of decay.
Back in the Hub, Toshiko is shocked to discover that while she’s been away, Owen’s antics with a football have rendered her computer dead, having had its plug kicked out.
“I was running a translation program I’d written taking every scrap of alien data we’ve got and broken it down finer to see if there’s any common derivation!” She tells them as she tries to restart the computer and retrieve her data.
“That’s a bit of a mouthful!” Owen quips. Gwen laughs and apologises instantly at the private joke.
“We’re supposed to be professionals! We’ve got a job to do!” Toshiko snaps.
Gwen apologises knowing she’s right but Owen protecting Gwen, his new muse, defends by suggesting that “...even that stick up your arse has a stick up its arse.”
Sometime later that evening, in a bar, with white wine, Toshiko mulls over her day when the woman last seen at the construction site wanders over and introduces herself. She diverts why she’s really there, the ice breaker to win over Toshiko’s trust. Ordering herself a drink she casually asks Toshiko by name what she’s drinking. Aware she’d not introduced herself, Toshiko becomes wary of the woman buying the drinks.
“Born in London 1975, moved to Osaka when you were two, moved back to the UK 1996. Parents in the RAF, grandfather worked at Bletchley Park, very impressive. University, blah blah, snapped up at some government think tank when you were 20, recruited to Torchwood three years ago!” Mary explains further about how she knows about Torchwood and that she’s part of a group of ‘Scavengers’ who know where to look for information, especially about Torchwood.
Despite knowing that talking to Mary about her work could get her fired, there’s something about Mary that Toshiko finds interesting, and in another bar, another few drinks, Toshiko opens up about her day, finding a willing listener.
When Toshiko has opened up enough about Torchwood and herself and her work, Mary reaches into her back bringing out a pendant in a box and instructs Toshiko to put it on. The instant it’s clipped on, a rush of voices, noise floods Toshiko’s mind and to the outsider, looks as though Toshiko is having some form of a fit. As Mary explains to her, they’re people’s thoughts. Eventually as Toshiko appears unable to cope with the voices, Mary tells her to focus purely on her voice only and home in on it. Eventually Toshiko is able to do this, blocking out all others.
Mary asks Toshiko what her friend is thinking, when Mary tells Toshiko she’d like to kiss her, Toshiko quickly pulls the pendant off and looks offended. Mary laughs finding it amusing.
“Where did you get it?”
“It’s been in the family a long time.”
“I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s incredible.”
“It’s more than incredible. With this you can read people’s minds, it levels the pitch between man and god.”
“Is it alien?”
“I guess.” Toshiko gives it back to Mary. “No. I want you to keep it.”
“I can’t Mary.”
“Please, I’ve kept it too long. After a while it gets...you hear too much. It changes how you see people.”
“I’ll have to show it to the others.” Toshiko says. Mary just laughs. “What?”
“Nothing, just I bet you don’t.”
“And you know this from finding my CV on the internet?”
“No, because I know the pendant!”
“Well you’re wrong, because I will.”
Again Mary laughs. “Yeah? But you won’t.”
The following day is bright and sunny across Cardiff city. Toshiko enters the building through the Tourist Info booth, pressing the button underneath the counter that will take her through the tunnels. She checks for the pendant just as Ianto enters, quickly she hides it behind her back yet bidding Ianto a good morning. Toshiko quickly clips the pendant on as Ianto disappears through the beaded door.
In the main Hub as the door rolls back, Toshiko hears Owen’s thoughts as he steps from the Autopsy room, his mind on the body. He acknowledges Tosh before slipping back into thought. Gwen bids her good morning as Toshiko announces that she has something to show them, but as Gwen’s thoughts grow progressively more personal about her antics with Owen and a criticism about Toshiko’s attire, Toshiko decides that telling them about the pendant can wait, and offers a lame excuse about an article she read, that she’ll bring in tomorrow, and goes to her station.
Sitting in another part of the Hub, with work that fails to distract her from her thoughts, Toshiko is snapped back to reality by Ianto’s thoughts.
“I can’t imagine a time when this isn’t everything. Pain is so constant, like my stomach’s full of rats. It feels like this is all I am now. There isn’t an inch of me that doesn’t hurt.” Ianto sees Toshiko. “I’m about to brew some of Jack’s industrial strength coffee, would you like a cup?”
Toshiko politely refuses and as Ianto walks away, pulls the pendant off.
It’s later in the day and Toshiko is heading home along the footpath. Mary sits smoking a cigarette on the wall.
“I might have known you’d have my address as well!” Toshiko says bitterly.
Mary enquires after the pendant and whether Toshiko told her colleagues. She smiles when Toshiko confirms what she already guessed and follows her into the house dispensing with her cigarette first.
Angered and hurt at what her work colleagues think of her, Toshiko demands to know from Mary what the pendant was and why she gave it to her. As Mary tries to explain about people’s thoughts, that often they’re not aware of what they’re thinking, she also cases the personal photos on the fridge. Collecting the pendant that Toshiko has slapped on the counter, Mary fastens it around Toshiko’s neck. Toshiko hears only Mary’s thoughts which have been consistent throughout. But then Toshiko discovers another thought, one that surprises her – her own! She kisses Mary who reciprocates the kiss.
Sitting up in bed some time later, wrapped in a red quilted blanket, Toshiko already feels regret. Mary enters the room wearing Toshiko’s kimono dressing gown, with a lit cigarette, and clutching a glass of liquor in one hand and an egg cup in the other, declaring that Toshiko had no ashtrays in her entire house.
Settling back in bed, Mary senses how uncomfortable this is making Toshiko and enquires after her.
“Are you ok? Freaking out a little?” She collects up a card from the bedside cabinet. “Your birthday’s July right?”
“You’re the expert.” Quips Toshiko.
“Isn’t it a little late to still have your cards up?”
“Lots of love, Owen? I’m guessing that’s Owen from work? Like Owen from the building site yesterday morning? Owen from the photo on the fridge?”
Toshiko gets up from the bed, trailing the red quilted blanket behind her and gets dressed in the small room behind the bed. Mary accepts that there’s someone else in Toshiko’s life and tells her it’s “...not the first time I’ve been a rebound shag.”
Except she couldn’t have been further from the truth, nothing would ever happen. In a bout of anger Toshiko hurls the pendant across the room and gets back into bed. The pendant clatters to the floor. In a heartbeat, Mary gets out of bed and retrieves the pendant, slipping back in the covers she cuddles up to Toshiko, telling her that the pendant is not all bad. She suggests that Toshiko takes herself out to a public place to try it out, saying that some of the pendant’s qualities are extraordinary but Toshiko has to find that out for herself.
Toshiko sits bolt upright in the bed sick of the riddles, and demands to know who Mary really is. After a few moments Mary tells her that her name is Philoctetes.
In the middle of the busy shopping precinct, Toshiko puts on the pendant and listens to people’s thoughts all around her. Some are quite amusing. Then through the crowd of voices one stands out. A tall Asian who is plotting a big surprise for his family.
“I’m going to kill her! I’m going to kill them! I’m going to kill them, lay their bodies out afterwards and lay next to them, so I’ll have to do myself lying down. I should have practiced that.”
Toshiko bumps into a stranger. It knocks her for a minute as she loses sight of the man with the fishing bag over his shoulder, plotting the murder. She locates him again and follows him.
“Lawrence comes in and finds us and he’ll know this was right, what he’s been doing is trespassing. I won’t miss anything. I won’t miss this city! I won’t miss this body! I won’t miss anything!”
Neil knocks on the door to the house he once shared with his wife and son. His son Danny opens the door then wanders back to the other room with his hand held games console. Neil enters, and instantly hears his ex wife laying down the law as to when she wants Danny back and what not to give him. She talks about her upcoming wedding to Lawrence and slates her ex husband for many failures.
Danny looks for something to eat in the fridge, complaining that he doesn’t want to go with his dad, as it’s boring. Neil unbuckles the fishing bag, pulling out a double barrelled shotgun. His ex wife recoils in horror and pulls her son towards her, begging for mercy.
“I was thinking of the Isle of Wight! You remember we had that chalet, you remember when Danny was walking, and in this chalet was the spiders, and you called me your hero because I wasn’t scared. I just picked them up and threw them out. It was this perfect little memory, we were happy because we were together. And all this nonsense with Lawrence is fine because I forgive you. Because...” he snaps the barrel together. “...It’s ok, it’s just like falling asleep, then we will be together forever!” Before Neil can take aim, Toshiko who has entered the house, and smacked him with a 10 iron that knocks him out.
“You know the skeleton we found at the building site? Well Amanda Burton here has just completed the post mortem.”
“Ok I can explain...” Owen begins before Gwen continues
“As you may remember, at the building site Owen said this was a woman killed by a single gunshot wound. Since then he’s had to tweak some of his finished conclusions. The first fact being that this isn’t a woman but a man.”
“A young man, a very girly man!” He tells Tosh.
“But still ultimately a man! Then there was the cause of death, Owen said, gsw.” Gwen makes the sound from Family Fortunes that signifies a wrong answer and continues. “The correct answer was?” She throws it back to Owen.
“Unidentified trauma.” He replies.
Toshiko is a little lost. Gwen explains.
“You see it in RTA’s when a steering column or a post goes into a body at a great velocity but the one thing that could be ruled out was?”
Gwen makes a gesture to Owen as Jack laughs. “Was there in fact any part of your post mortem that was right?” She asked
“I got that it was a...skeleton!” Owen defended.
Jack left to make a phone call in his office; Toshiko followed, she asked him about Philoctetes, and if he’d heard of him, it was from a pub quiz at the Prince of Tides she explained.
“Philoctetes was an archer in the Trojan War who got in a fight and was marooned on the island of Lemnos for about 10 years!”
“He was just left there?” Toshiko is shocked. As she leaves the office Jack asks her about the list she was preparing for UNIT. When told she was still working on it, Jack indicated that he’d like it as soon as possible before returning to his phone call to the Prime Minister.
“Prime Minister, is this a secure line, can you tell me why Torchwood operations have become part of your security briefings with the leader of the opposition?”
Mary was impressed after Toshiko’s account of her apparent heroism at saving a wife and child from being murdered by the father and ex, so much so that she had to lean across the table to reward Toshiko with a kiss. After the kiss Mary enquired after the artefact collected from the construction site. Toshiko told her that Jack, her boss was dealing with it. Put out by the fact that often the work of technological stuff was more Toshiko’s line of work, Toshiko explained that often their work would overlap, and she really didn’t mind doing the admin work. But Mary, threw a spanner of doubt into the conversation, suggesting that the only reason Toshiko was given menial work was that they wanted to keep stuff from her, and if that was true, there had to be a reason for them doing that.
Toshiko returns to the Hub with take away coffees and visits Owen in the Autopsy room, the skeleton still his main interest. It has a familiar wound that Owen is certain he’s seen before but asking Toshiko only results in suggestions of chest busters from Alien. As she leaves him to it, she enquires after the hardware they brought back from the building site. Owen has no news to tell on that score. Toshiko pulls on her pendant just before Gwen enters and takes a seat on the top step into the room. She takes the remaining coffee in the tray. Owen’s thoughts were initially upon the skeleton but as Gwen enters the room, he does all he can to keep his thoughts upon that and that alone, not Gwen. Toshiko makes her excuses. “I think my desk is on fire!”
As she passes the Armoury she spies the object on the table and steps into the room for a closer look, unaware that Jack is coming down the spiral staircase. He is very keen to tell her his news. Swinging around the door he smiles at her.
“So I’ve just come from a really interesting conversation with a Detective Inspector Henderson, interesting because firstly the man had the biggest hands I’d ever seen and secondly because of the story he told me of you, saving a woman and her kid from being murdered by her ex husband?”
“Yeah!” Toshiko nodded. “No I was going to tell you.”
“So why didn’t you?”
“I don’t know it wasn’t a work thing, just a thing.” She shrugs. “Stuff happens all the time not pertinent to here.”
“You do this all the time? So you secretly fight crime is that right Tosh?”
“Didn’t want it to look like I was showing off.”
“The guy they arrested, Henderson said that you heard him muttering to himself as he was walking along and that’s what tipped you off!”
“Hmm, I couldn’t really work out what he was saying at first and then I was like ‘Jesus!’” Toshiko exclaims.
“That’s weird.” Jack looks up at Toshiko from his initial inspection of the artefact. “Cos when I’m about to murder someone I’m really careful not to talk to myself about it while I’m in the street.”
“No sure, I mean that’s lesson one.” Toshiko replies. Watching Jack working on the artefact asks: “I was wondering how you were getting on with this?”
“It’s ongoing!” He replies.
“Can you dismantle it?”
“Like I said, it’s ongoing.” He replies again, smiling.
As Toshiko leaves the room she touches the pendant around her neck. Jack sensing something stops in his tracks, Toshiko turns in apparent horror. He stares at her.
“What, have I got something on my face, is it food?” Jack attempts to wipe his mouth with the back of his hand.
“No, sorry, I zoned out!”
“Well, listen, it was a good save, Tosh, well done!” Jack replies countering the moment, but as Toshiko leaves, it’s evident that Jack suspects something.
Back at the house Toshiko stares at the pendant as Mary lets herself in with her own set of keys. She’s bought some shopping, food and drink for the evening. As she unpacks, Toshiko announces that she’s going to give the team the pendant. Toshiko hates what the pendant is doing to her, listening into the thoughts of others, spying on her friends. Mary pleads to her better nature, begging her not to, on account that once Mary goes in there she won’t come out again. Toshiko doesn’t understand and reaches for her phone as Mary shouts her down.
“Put the phone down!” Mary shouts, then reveals her true identity to Toshiko, that she’s an Arcateenian, otherwise referred to as ‘Butterfly people’ (SJA).
“This is why you can’t tell them!” Mary says.
“You’re cold. Who are you?” Toshiko replies having felt Mary’s touch against her open hand.
“Still the person you kissed, the person you caressed.” Mary returns to human form and looks at a stunned Toshiko. “Say something.”
“So I’m shagging a woman in an alien!”
“Which is worse?”
“Well I know which one my parent’s would say.” Toshiko replies. “I read your thoughts, I didn’t see this. What else are you keeping from me?”
“You think there could be anything bigger than this?” Mary replies. “The freedom you have. When I first got here I found it almost obscene. My world was savage, it forced worship inside of temples the size of cities. Execution squads roaming the streets, dissent of any kind meant death, or transportation to what they called a feral outpost.”
“And the pendant?”
“It’s how my people communicated, its how my people have communicated for centuries. Speaking orally using a prearranged finite of words, is so archaic, and it’s gross to look at.” Mary lights a cigarette. “The machine you found is a transporter, it brought me here, it can get me home again, and I need it back before you dismantle it.”
“Won’t you be in danger?” Toshiko asked, concerned.
“Two hundred years have passed, there’ll be a new government, there’ll have been twenty new governments by now.”
“Then why hasn’t someone come back for you?”
“I’ve been forgotten.” Mary smirks. “Like Philoctetes on Lemnos!”
“Let me take you to Torchwood, maybe we can help you, fix the transporter, we can get you back home!”
“You won’t. You’ll examine me, assess whether or not I’m useful or a danger and then lock me away in a cell. You’re not interested in understanding alien cultures. It’s just as well you haven’t got the technology to reach out to other planets yet. Yours is a culture of invasion. Do you really think I’m going to walk, hands raised in surrender into that?”
Toshiko wearing the pendant walks through crowds of commuters, shoppers and city dwellers in a hope to find something good come from the pendant, but there are just too many negative words flooding her mind. She tears off the pendant.
It’s the end of the day and Owen is ready for home. He flops the clipboard onto his desk and lifts his coat from the back of the chair as the screen in front of him displays the full computerised skeletal image. He can’t let it go, perhaps he’ll find what he’s looking for. He retakes his seat and opens up old files in a bid to locate what caused the chest cavity in the victim.
In her grey pyjamas and lying on her own bed distraught, Toshiko can’t cope with the power of the pendant and its hold on her.
“I can’t stand it anymore, the weight, the depravity, the fear knots me up.” She says as Owen digs through more files. “It’s in my mouth, my hair, my eyes, like I’m drowning in ink.”
Owen locates one particular link and using Jack’s Torchwood ID clearance code accesses old data.
“And even when I don’t have the pendant on it feels like there’s nothing. I can’t forget the things I’ve seen, the things I’ve found out.”
Owen locates a file of ‘heart removed’ victims from the archives. “How far back does this go?”
“It’s like a curse, something that god sent to drive someone mad. I’d hoped I’d see something, a little random act of kindness, make me think it was safe. Some such good in us – there isn’t. It’s like the weevils.” Owen calls Jack when he locates the file.
“You look inside and it’s this great yawning scream. You were right, everything you said about us. I’m frightened. Callous. And I don’t want to be a part of it any longer. I don’t know what to do. Tell me what to do?”
“Get me into Torchwood!”
Despite her apparent worry about entering the Hub, Mary relished the opportunity as she entered the building from the lift behind the solid metal door. While Toshiko went to the Armoury to locate the device, Mary recited ‘Kubla Khan’ by Coleridge as she took in the Institute. Locating Toshiko she enquires after the device. Toshiko tells her that Jack her boss will likely have it and heads in the direction of his office as Mary grabs her arm.
“Be quick, I’ve a long journey ahead of me and I might need something to eat before I go!”
“Is this what you’re looking for?” Jack calls from over the gantry, the transporter in his hands. He makes his way towards the stairs as he talks. “A friend of mine...” he begins. “...let’s call him Vincent, was his name after all, regular guy, girlfriend, likes sport, likes the beer. Starts acting a little strange, a little distracted. Suddenly,” Jack laughs. “...he disappears for a couple of months, he comes back and we’ve got to start calling him Vanessa. Since then I’ve always been a little nervous when a friend behaves out of character.” Reaching halfway down the stairs, he looks over at Mary. “I’m sorry we haven’t been introduced, Jack Harkness, my guess is you’re not from around these parts? Now this, whoa, is incredible.” Jack runs down the last few steps and meets them by the water tower. “You know what this is?”
“It’s a transporter. Mary was a political prisoner. She was exiled here. Look Jack...” Toshiko began.
“You got half of it right. Mary? It is Mary isn’t it? You want to tell her the really interesting bit? Chatty isn’t she, I don’t know how you got a word in edgeways, Tosh. It’s a two man transporter, or whatever you people might be, you could be squids for all I know. A two squid transporter. Room for one prisoner and one guard. You want to tell us what happened to the guard, Mary?”
“I killed him, but I was disturbed.” Mary recalled the events of 1812 when the real Mary happened upon the Arcateenian. The security door closes, Owen and Ianto appear near the Armoury room, Gwen steps up near Jack. “Then came a soldier, he tried to shoot me, so I plunged my new human hand into his chest and plucked out his heart.”
“And that’s what you’ve been doing ever since?” Owen says appalled.
“This form needs to be fed.”
Owen realises that all the unsolved cases, with the puncture holes the size of a fist were Mary all along.
“I fled before any more soldiers came.” Mary walks past Owen. “I had so much to explore. And how I love this body, so soft, so wicked. The power such a body has in this world. Within a few years the forests had gone, the transporter was safely buried under the spread of the city, I didn’t care, I wasn’t exactly in a hurry to get home.”
“And you’ve been killing ever since?”
“I knew there might come a time when my life here could become complicated.”
Toshiko puts on the pendant and instantly hears the thoughts of the team.
“But I was safe so long as I knew where the transporter was.” Mary says.
The Armoury door is open, Owen contemplates capturing Mary when Toshiko cries out NO! Quick as a flash, Mary has dashed from where she stands to the Armoury room, filches a dagger from there and grabs hold of Toshiko, the knife against her throat. The thoughts of her team rise in her head.
Knowing Toshiko could hear her colleague’s thoughts; Mary cast the idea of taking Gwen, swapping her for Toshiko, prompting Owen to think this a bad idea, playing into Mary’s hands. Jack spoke to Toshiko through the power of the mind, instructing her to not move, to not do anything till he told her otherwise. He then offered a trade to Mary, the transporter for Toshiko. It was too good an offer to refuse. Pushing Toshiko away, Mary took the transporter held out by Jack, with both hands. Upon being this close to Jack however, Mary noticed something about him.
“You smell different to them.”
“That’s nothing. It’s when you compare teeth with a British guy that’s when it’s really scary.”
“What are you?” Mary asks.
“I don’t know.”
“And you would have put me in a cage?” Suddenly the transporter bursts into life. Mary takes a step back, the transporter already has her locked in. “What’s happening?”
“Oh that, I reprogrammed it for you. It’s set to Enable.” In a blinding flash of light Mary is transported from the Hub to the Sun. “Sort of now!”
Toshiko knows it was wrong to read the minds of her closest colleagues and it will take time for her to win back their trust.
Outside, sitting on a stone seat near the Millennium Centre, in the cool night air, Toshiko sits and talks to Jack.
“It’s funny, this small thing could be the most powerful piece of technology we’ve ever found. It could tear down governments, wipe out armies, what do we do with it?”
“It’s a curse.” Toshiko lowers it to the ground and scrapes her black boots over it, grinding the alien device into the concrete. Jack seems to breathe a sigh of relief.
“Why couldn’t I read your mind?”
“I don’t know. Although I could feel you scrabbling around in there.” Jack laughs.
“I got nothing. It’s like you were, I don’t know, dead!”
Jack’s smile fades. He returns his gaze towards Toshiko. “I want that list for UNIT on my desk tomorrow. Or I’ll...what do bosses do in situations like these, you know, regular bosses? Do I get to beat people?”
“We’ve got rules for that!” Toshiko disappoints him.
“Grr! Red tape!” He mock punches the air.
“Jack?” He turns to face her again. “Something Mary said, probably the only honest thing she did say. I asked her why she gave it to me, she said after a while it gets to you. It changes how you see people. How can I live with that?”
Jack sympathetically places his hand over hers. “There are some things we’re not supposed to know. You got a snapshot, nothing more.”
“I don’t mean Gwen, Ianto, and Owen, I mean the whole world. It doesn’t matter.” Toshiko smiles, tearfully as Jack rises to his feet. Toshiko looks up at Jack, who wipes the tear from her eye, before walking away into the darkness.
© BBC Torchwood 2006