By DJ Forrest
Sgt Andy Davidson is to Torchwood what Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is to the Doctor
PC Andy Davidson and WPC Gwen Cooper had worked together for four years before Gwen discovered Torchwood. In all the time that Andy had worked with Gwen, not a single criticism about her work was uttered, not until the tussle in the pub where Gwen received stitches to a cut to her head did Andy begin to doubt her.
It wasn’t possible that four people could vanish from sight on the Plass, there one minute, gone the next. The fact that Gwen had followed a hunch by tearing after the SUV from the incident in the hospital, in the squad car, leaving poor old Andy to walk to her location in the sodding rain didn’t go down well. “I’ve walked, I have bloody walked!”
Or that strange creature in the blue boiler suit with the sharp teeth that had attacked the hospital porter, that she’d seen with her own eyes, that couldn’t have been real, because details in the hospital records disproved her story about the porter.
And the American in the RAF greatcoat, who by all accounts couldn’t be the real Captain Jack Harkness as he had disappeared in 1941, and couldn’t possibly be the same person.
When Gwen followed her hunch and uncovered the truth and was taken on by Torchwood, it left Andy without a partner, but by ‘Day One’ he was with another WPC, standing outside in the cold, same as usual, while investigations into the death of young lad Matt Stevens, continued inside the Night Spot nightclub. Upon seeing Gwen, out of uniform, in her new role as Special Ops, was a sight for sore eyes for Andy, but it bothered him a lot that she was now the one issuing orders.
“Boss of me now are you?”
If there was one thing Andy could not accept it was the existence of aliens, this was something that never happened, least of all in Cardiff, so when an exuberant Roman soldier found his way into the police cells spouting Latin and mentioning a fort in Gelligaer it was worth phoning Gwen, who might shed some light on it. Because when the past starts entering the present, the only ones likely to have any answers are the secret organisation that your best friend works for!
Yet there was still an element of doubt about how real the situation was with the events in ‘End of Days’ as far as Andy was concerned. The world was going crazy he couldn’t deny that, and the prophecies of End of the World didn’t sit too well with him but...
“Alright, Mulder and Scully say I do believe you, which I don't, because it's bollocks. But say I do. How exactly are we meant to handle a prisoner from two thousand years ago? I mean has he got the same rights as everyone else? How is this going to work with the CPS?”
Once again, Gwen remained tight lipped about Torchwood. About whom they were and what they did and when Andy questioned Gwen about the possibility of the end of the world, she did that all too familiar smile that she used for when deep down, she knew everything was going to shit. At this point, Andy knew that as much as he loved Gwen, that whatever was happening, he’d never get a straight answer, not now, probably not ever.
When 15 year old Jonah Bevan vanished from the barrage, several months prior, Andy called on Gwen for help, although it wasn’t so much her help, but clarification as to why her boss, Captain Jack Harkness was on the barrage a few moments after Jonah vanished. Andy smelt a cover up, and with Gwen’s evasive answers, he was certain she knew more than she was letting on. The truth was however, that Gwen was as much in the dark as Andy. Investigating further, Gwen did discover the truth, but again it was something Andy was not going to be privy to, and heading to Flat Holm on her own just proved it, leaving Andy holding the teas on the jetty.
Although Jonah was found, he would never return home to his Mum, as would none of the other people who had been spat back from the negative rift spikes, all residing at Flat Holm Island, run by Torchwood. Again, Andy may have been told that Jonah had been found, but he was as much in the dark as to where the boy had been, and just how much he’d changed on his return.
Yet the friendship between Gwen and Andy was still just as strong as it had been when they were partnered together in the early days. Although it was all one sided and Gwen only considered Andy as a friend, Andy’s friendship with Gwen was a little stronger, he loved her, and may have only made one pass at her, at a party perhaps, but he found it hard to switch his feelings on and off like a tap, and he despised her choice in boyfriend, positively loathed Rhys, but had never until Jonah’s disappearance said anything to Gwen about how he felt. “How's Rhys, other than hungry?” And the only reason any of it had surfaced, was because of his absence at Gwen’s wedding.
As the years progressed, the knowledge of Torchwood increased and the acceptance of aliens finally sunk in, ‘Asylum’, with the discovery of an alien child from the future, falling into theirs, and connected with Torchwood. Even though when he realised who the girl was, his reactions were less than calm and relaxed.
Andy became the link with which Torchwood used, through locating prisoners to be released into their custody – Clem McDonald ‘Children of Earth’ to name but one, or for any other information that deemed important to their investigations.
When the station was under attack by weevils and hoix towards the end of Series 2, it was Andy’s turn to call Gwen.
Andy also provided the service of driving Gwen and Rhys to Rhiannon Davies’ house to break the sad news of her brother’s death, in COE, and to hopefully take her children somewhere safe before the Army came to take them. But when they entered the house and saw more than just two, it was down to Andy to act as decoy while Gwen and Rhys with Rhiannon smuggled the children to safety when the Army stormed the estate.
This tested Andy’s loyalty for his job. A defender of the Law, but to serve the people, he couldn’t simply stand by and watch as innocent children were ripped from the heart of their families, he had to act. Tearing off his fluorescent jacket and ripping off his stab vest, Andy stormed into action and took a valiant stand against the oppressors.
It’s hard to say whether his actions on this day earned him the promotion to Sgt, but it would be nice to think that it was.
On the day that nobody died, Gwen received a cryptic phone call while she’s holed up in a safe house by the beach.
“This is Sergeant Davidson confirming reports of one suspect, male, in the vicinity of St. Helen's Hospital, Cardiff City. Suggest rendezvous 0200 hours in the agreed position.”
It brings Gwen back to Cardiff, and back to Andy, who now as Sergeant has a lot more clout. But he’s as much in the dark again as to what the Miracle is all about and why people are now suddenly not dying, and why the Americans are interested in Gwen and Torchwood?
Sergeant Davidson proved to be an asset to Gwen during the time of the Miracle. He safely moved Rhys and Anwen to a safe house but despite his efforts, those desperate to seek Jack Harkness, managed to kidnap Gwen’s family and hold them hostage. This was the first time in Andy’s life as a police officer that he had ever had to fire a weapon. It shook him up and it took him a little while to recover. He’d never killed anyone before and probably hoped he wouldn’t make a habit of it.
The link with Torchwood increased again when instead of Gwen calling for assistance, it came from the dashing Captain. In ‘Mr Invincible’ Jack contacted Andy to inform him that Gwen Cooper had been killed and he’d seen it, although things weren’t quite as simple as all of that.
It would be interesting if when Torchwood returns for a 5th series if Andy receives a further promotion to perhaps a title more fitting – Captain Andy!
I think we’ll just have to wait and see.
©BBC Torchwood 2006