Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Articles Episode Breakdown - Something Borrowed by DJ Forrest

Episode Breakdown - Something Borrowed

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Ashley Way
Produced by Richard Stokes
Broadcast 5 Mar, 2008
Breakdown by DJ Forrest

“It matters to me! It's not about the money, Rhys. I want to marry you today, whatever happens. If the skies suddenly fill full of spaceships, or an army of Weevils climb out of the drains on St Mary's Street, you fool! Do you not understand what I'm saying, Rhys Williams? All I want to do today is marry you. That's all I want to do. Please.”


   “What's this?”  Jack asks feeling the ring around Gwen’s finger raising it up to her as they stand in the tunnels together.
   “That's an engagement ring, that is.” Mock horror.
   “You're getting married?”  Jack is shock.
   “ Yes. Rhys asked.”
   “And you said yes.”
   “Well, no one else will have me. I need stability, Jack. Someone I can rely on.”

Flash forward to a hen night in full swing.  Friday night, loud thumping music, flashing lights, party girls dressed in red tops with fur trimmed.
   “Oh, it’s the service she’s meant to be late for not her hen do.  Where is she?”
Megan moans glancing at her watch.
   “There she is.”  Trina announces as Gwen arrives for the do, still in her work clothes but up for a night out.
In unison the girls begin to sing, loudly.  “Here comes the bride, looking for a ride.  Here comes the bride, she’ll take it up the aisle.”
Gwen greets them excitedly, ready to let her hair down after the day she’s had.  Her left arm sports a white bandage. 
   “Hey, I thought you’d bottled it.”
   “No, I had a lot on at work.”

Two hours earlier.  Gwen heads towards a public toilet as Owen messages her from the Hub.
   “Careful Gwen, this thing eats people.”

Gwen carefully proceeds down to the Men’s toilets, her gun gripped tightly in her hands.  She kicks open the cubicles in the cramped room. She looks up as a man enters. 
   “Oh sorry, love.  On your way.”

Suddenly the middle aged man’s complexion changes, his eyes glow red and he displays all the effects of the shape shifting alien she’s been tracking.  He lunges at her, claws out ready to rip her apart.  But Gwen has better ideas and pumps two rounds into its chest.  It takes the shots and staggers back but heads on out of the toilets. 

   “Jack, it's a shape shifter. He could look like anyone now, but he's leaving a trail of black blood.”  She comms Jack.
The man has changed his identity, now a young man clutching his side.  He runs on through the street, putting a distance between them.  Gwen is soon is pursuit.
   “He's changed but it's definitely him. He's heading towards Trinity Street.”

Gwen is changed into her red top and sports a pink Stetson.  She munches on crisps.  The table already has a clutch of bottles in the middle of it. 
   “So, is there anything to eat tonight or is it just booze all the way?”  She asks her two best mates.
   “Well, booze, blokes, bopping and booze!” Trina laughs.
A male voice behind Gwen grabs her attention.
   “Gwen Cooper, you're nicked.”  He removes his policeman’s uniform revealing a tight pair of pink pants.
   “Oh, no.”  She can’t take her eyes off him.

Gwen enters a small churchyard in the town and gun aloft, is wary.  She hears a pedestrian calling and is distracted for a moment.  She turns back just as the shape shifter bursts through the under growth, and rugby tackles her to the ground amid debris and cardboard boxes.  Within seconds he’s upon her and Gwen does all she can to stop him from taking a chunk out of her.  With her hand gripped around his throat she scrabbles in the grass for her gun that was knocked from her hand earlier.

In the night club bathroom Gwen washes her hands.  Her bandaged arm shows two spots of blood through the dressing.

   “This is such a bad idea. I'm getting married in like, what, what, thirteen hours. Oh, look at me! So hot.”
   “Ah, you're gorgeous. Rhys is so lucky.”
   “I know. Have you heard about his cock?”
   “What have you done to your arm?”

The shape shifter breaks free of Gwen’s grasp and grips her arm, sinking his teeth into her soft flesh.  She cries out in pain.  Pushing the creature away, she falls back gripping her arm.  As the shape shifter goes in for the kill, Jack pumps it full of lead.  It falls back, this time it won’t be getting back up. 

Jack races over. 
   “You alright?”
   “Owen should take a look at that.”  Jack tells her, viewing the wound for a second.

   “Er, nothing. It's just a scratch.”  Gwen says of her wound dressing at the night club.

7am Saturday morning.  The alarm goes off.  Gwen lies in bed alone.  She quickly turns the alarm off and falls back into bed.  The hang over from hell is kicking in.
   “Oh Gwen.”  She groans.
Her eyes settle on the wedding dress hanging up over her wardrobe.  A sudden burst of excitement rushes over her.  She beams at the prospect of tying the knot with Rhys and throws back the covers, in preparation for the day. Swinging her legs out of the bed she stares down at her body.  Something is wrong…
Slowly, Gwen turns her head towards the mirror on the wall and gets to her feet.  It can’t be true, but staring back at her is the evidence of a very pregnant belly.
She almost baulks in horror.

   “Gwen?  You’re pregnant…almost full term.”  Owen breaks the news after examining her in the flat.
    “Pregnant? That's not possible.”
    “How are you doing, Gwen?” Jack asks upon entering the flat.
    “Jack, will you tell me what's going on? Owen says I'm pregnant.”
    “What, you think?”
    “Jesus Christ. What with?”
    “Exo-biological insemination.”
    “That alien last night.”
    “Oh, get off.”  She pushes Owen away and strides past Jack in annoyance.  “It bit me, Jack, that's all.”

They all follow her into the lounge.  Gwen pours herself a glass of water. 
    “It passes the eggs on in the bite. Some species do that. A kind of sneaky way of keeping the bloodline going. Boy, would Darwin have a field day if he'd made it to space.”
    “Mmm. Yeah, great.”
    “Listen, Gwen, you are going to be fine, I promise, OK? If there was any biological incompatibility you would be dead. Now, according to this scan, you are carrying a non-sentient blastopheric mass.” Owen explains as Gwen reaches into the fridge for a jar of gherkins.
    “A what?”
    “It's a kind of alien egg. But don't worry, I'm going to look after you, I promise. We've got procedures in place for this situation.” Owen assures her as Gwen proceeds to eat a gherkin.
    “You mean this has happened before?”
    “You've heard of immaculate conception, haven't you? Well…”
    “Right, we take you back to the Hub. You lie back, I run a bio-xenic microtron, a couple of days off your feet and you'll be right as rain.”
    “Whoa, a couple of days? In five hours I'm walking down the aisle, Owen.”
    “No, you're not.” Jack insists.
    “Gwen, I hate to say this, but you're going to have to postpone the wedding.”
    “No! No way. Have you any idea how much a wedding costs?”
    “Listen, Gwen, you are not carrying the baby Jesus in there.”
    “I don't care, all right? I can't put Rhys through this. He's had to put up with enough as it is, okay? So I'm not postponing the wedding.”
    “You are not thinking straight."
    “Do not bring my bloody hormones into this, Mister Jack Harkness!”  Gwen yells, raising a finger at him angrily.
    “Okay, calm down.”
    ”Owen has said if this wasn't safe, I would know about it by now. Right?”
    “As far as I know, yeah”
    “Okay. So I am good until after the wedding. And then I'll do whatever I have to do. Once I'm Mrs Williams. Not before.”  She tells them, biting in half another gherkin.

At Banana Boat’s flat, Rhys’ phone rings.  It’s Gwen.  Rhys wakes up after a heavy night with his mates.
Rhys sits bolt upright. 
   “Gwen! Morning lovely! Don't worry Banana Boat's on the phone to the florist, checking the buttonholes.”  He assures her, lobbing a toy sheep in Banana’s direction.  He wakes up abruptly.
   “Oh he showed up then.”
   “Yeah, yeah, er..Lanzarote cops let him go with a warning.”  Rhys tells her.
   “Rhys, I need to see you.”
   “It’s bad luck before the wedding.”
   “Oh, he showed up, then.”
   “Yeah, yeah. Lanzarote cops let him go with a warning.”
   “Rhys, I need to see you.”
   “It's bad luck before the wedding.”  He stares at his reflection in the wall mirror.     “What's happened?”

   “How is she?” Toshiko asks as Jack and Owen return from Gwen’s.
   “She's going ahead with the wedding.” Owen informs her.
   “Which is fine, as long as she doesn't go into labour at the altar. Rhys might forgive her going down the aisle pregnant, but not giving birth to a razor-toothed monster that eats half his family.”
   “Could that happen?”
   “Well, look, the pregnancy's advanced and we're not familiar with the species.”
   “Which is why you, Owen, need to open up the guy with the teeth and make sure there's no surprises.”
   “I'm on it.”
   “Tosh, you've got an early pass to the wedding. Keep an eye on Gwen. Ianto.
   “Gwen's going to need a new wedding dress. Bigger.”

Rhys closes the door behind him as he enters their flat.
   “Gwen? What is it? You've got me going out of my head. Don't tell me you're having second thoughts.”
   “No, I'm not.” She replies lifting her arms away from her swollen belly.  Rhys stares, horrified.

Ianto is at the Bridal Shop hunting out a suitable wedding dress for Gwen.  He finds an ideal one and holds it against him in the full mirror, just as a male assistant comes into view.
   “Can I help you?”
   “Yeah, I'm looking for a wedding dress for a friend.”
   “Of course you are, sir. You'd be surprised. We're quite used to men buying for their friends.”

Back at the flat…
   “Bastard Torchwood.” Rhys paces up and down.
   “I know.”
   “Bastard Torchwood.”
   “I know.”
   “Pregnant. You're pregnant!”
   “Sorry. Out of everything that could have screwed things up, I really don't know what to say.”
   “You don't have to say anything, all right?” Rhys yells, then calms.  “Sorry. It's not your fault. It's them. It's Jack. It's not like he didn't know you were getting married today! Why the hell did he have to send you out last night?” He yells again, angry at Jack, at Torchwood, at the fact that just for one day he hoped nothing would screw it up.
   “Because it's my job!” Gwen defends.
   “Well, are you going to be all right?”
   “I'll be fine. They'll take me to the Hub. Owen's got this big machine thing.”
   “Right, erm. Look, I'll er, I'll get Banana to start ringing people. We'll tell everybody you're ill, Appendicitis or something.”
   “We are not postponing the wedding. No way.”
   “Forget the money. I want you where they can look after you, right? Getting married today doesn't matter.”
   “It matters to me! It's not about the money, Rhys. I want to marry you today, whatever happens. If the skies are suddenly filled full of spaceships, or an army of Weevils climb out of the drains on St Mary's Street, you fool!”  She slaps him with a cloth.  “Do you not understand what I'm saying, Rhys Williams? All I want to do today is marry you. That's all I want to do. Please.”

In the Autopsy room, with his hand bandaged and his fingers in splints, Owen unzips the body bag containing the shape shifter.  The creatures eyes are still bright red, its body covered in dark veins.
Toshiko grabs his attention from the steps.  He glances up to notice she’s dressed to impress.
   “Whoohoo, look at you!”  He compliments her.
   “Do you like it?”  She beams from the stairs.
   “Drop dead gorgeous Tosh, and I think I speak with some authority.”
   “I don’t really get a chance to dress up much. What are you wearing?
   “The truth is, Tosh, weddings have never really been me, either. Love 'em and leave 'em. That was me.” Owen replies as he returns to the body after searching for a pair of tweezers.
   “Owen, you should come. It could be fun.”
   “Have you ever seen a dead man dance?”
   “I've seen Fred Astaire in Easter Parade. Twice. Late night TV.”  She confesses.
   “God, you need a date, don't you, which this isn't. Is it?”
   “No, Owen, it isn't. I just want you to come to the wedding. Please.”
   “Oh, all right, I'll dig out my dancing shoes.”

Gwen breaks the news to her parents at her flat.

   “I know it's been a while, duckling, but, er, we never dreamed this.” Geraint says in  as much of a shock as Rhys about the bump.
   “Rhys and I wanted it to be a surprise for you.”
   “You're always full of them, but, well, this beats them all.” Mary replies.  
   “Is this why you haven't come to see us? All those cancelled visits?”
   “No, no, Dad. Don't be silly. It's my job.”
   “This mysterious job. All the same, Swansea isn't on another planet.” 
   “You could have phoned duckling.”
   “I'm sorry.”
   “Oh, don't be sorry, Gwen. I can't wait to see the look on Rhys' mum's face.”  Mary gets up to hug her daughter.  “It's wonderful news, Gwen. Your dad's been going blue holding his breath waiting for a little grandchild.”
Gwen feels bad for lying, and just a little bit concerned with how Brenda will react.

At the Hotel reception, Geraint and the Cooper’s alight from the car and make their way inside the beautiful country house. 

   “I was with Rhys and his mates all night last night. No-one said anything about Gwen being pregnant.” Geraint tells his wife while Gwen signs the hotel book.
   “Well, Rhys was probably under orders. Gwen knows how to control her men.”
   “Studied under the Mistress.” Geraint teases.  Mary grins.
   “Oh, here's Rhys' mum and dad.” Gwen makes a quick exit upon hearing of her soon to be in-laws arrival.
   “Lovely to see you, Brenda.”
   “What a lovely outfit. Such a brave choice for you.”
   “And you were so made for green.”
   “Big day at last.”
   “How's the bride?”
All four parents look around, but Gwen has vanished.
   “Er, maybe there's something we should talk about.”

Rhys opens the door to Room 36. 

   “This isn't going to work, Rhys. We haven't thought this through properly. I mean, what about after the wedding?” Gwen says entering the room, as stressed as Rhys.
   “I've been thinking the same.”
   “My mum and dad think that they're getting a grandchild. Your mum and dad are going to be thinking the same thing. They're going to be excited; they're going to be planning things. I can't tell them I've lost a baby. They'd be devastated.”
   “We could tell them the truth.”
   “Whoa. Talk sense now, Rhys.”
   “Well, the lies don't work, Gwen. Remember? You tried it.”
   “What do you think the truth will do to them? We've seen what comes through the Rift. I don't want my mum and dad living in fear of what's prowling around in the sewers.”
Gwen’s phone rings, she pulls it from her back pocket.
   “I'm sorry. Hey, Jack.”
   “Hey. How are you doing?”
   “Oh, you know, so far so good.” Gwen replies taking a seat on the double bed.
   “Look, I just wanted you to know Tosh should be with you any time. Call it moral support.”
   “I don't need a baby-sitter.”
   “Give it here. We don't need you at all, Jack. You've already done plenty to mess up today. Do us both a favour and keep well out of it, yeah?”
   “Yeah, I hear you, Rhys. Look, still, congratulations.” But Rhys has already ended the call. 
   “It's not his fault.”  Gwen insists.

Downstairs in the hotel reception, Rhys and Gwen’s friends have arrived.
   “Oh, this is nice, isn't it, Trina?”
   “Class on toast. Hey, you should get a brochure, Mervyn. If some poor girl ever gets drunk enough to marry you.” The girls burst out in raucous laughter. 
   “Oh, yeah, that's funny. I tell you what; it's going to take more than a swanky hotel to get a catch like me down the aisle.”
   “And here's mad Mervyn, the Minister of Sound.” Banana Boat greets his mate.
   “Well, the Duke of Disco, the Regent of Rock and the Lord of Love.”
   “Whatever you say, mate. Listen, do you want a hand with the decks and the lights?”
   “Aye, but I tell you what; reckon I'm up for a bit of a Mervyn sandwich later.” Mervyn replies as he leers at the bridesmaids checking in.  As he leaves, Banana Boat spies Toshiko entering with Gwen’s wedding dress.
   “All right, love? You've got a big box. Do you want a hand with that?” He offers.
   “No, thank you. I'm fine.”
   “Are you going to the wedding?”
   “I'm a friend of Gwen's.”
   “I'm Banana. I suppose you can tell why.”
   “You come up in spots and go soft quickly?”
   “Actually, I'm the best man.”
   “Evolution is full of surprises.”
   “I get to check everything personally, right. The disco, cake, flowers, seating.”
   “Bridal suite?” Toshiko asks at the main desk, resting the box on the counter.
   “First floor, on the left.”
   “So, do you fancy a little drink later?” Banana Boat asks as Toshiko heads for the stairs.
   “Sorry, I'm intolerant to vasoactive amines.”
   “Bananas make me vomit.”  Toshiko replies climbing the stairs to the bridal suite.

After a few moments Banana Boat makes his way resignedly to the Private Bar, where Mervyn casually hangs his coat over his chair, while eyeing up a female guest.
   “Now, a looker like you must be on the bride's side. I don't think they've got your sort of style in Rhys' family.”
 “I like to put on a show.”  Carrie replies richly.

   “Hi.” Toshiko says over the large yellow box as the door opens to the Bridal Suite.
   “Hi.” Gwen replies.
   “Jack sent me over with this.”
Gwen sits on the floor to open the box.  The wedding dress brings tears to her eyes.
   “It's beautiful.”
   “And I don't blame you for telling Jack and Owen to stick a postponement. I think it's wonderful you're getting married whatever.”
   “Tosh, thank you.”
   “You're very lucky.”
   “Yes. You know, Tosh, it'll happen for you, one day. There's always Owen.”
   “I don't think so. In sickness and in health, till death do us part? It's going to sound like a bad joke, isn't it? I'll let you get on. If you need me, I'll be downstairs. Good luck.”
   “Thank you.”

Jack flips through the bridal book settling for the exact dress that Ianto had chosen.
   “No, I like that one. Good choice.”
   “I estimated Gwen's size from the Hub's security laser scans. As you know, my dad was a master tailor.” Jack is taken aback.  “He could size a man's inside leg measurement by his stride across the shop threshold.”
   “Ah, the family eye. Remind me to test it some time.”
   “Well, if later on.”
   “Jack.” Owen interrupts.
   “Yeah, brilliant, like that one.” Ianto quickly adds.
   “We've got a problem.”

In the Autopsy room, Owen lifts out a large blackish purple sticky organ from the tray.
   “Look what our friend was hiding.”
   “And that is?” Ianto asks.
   “A proteus gland. The shape shifting organ of a Nostrovite.”
   “And what is that exactly?”
   “Trouble. Big trouble.”

In the Private bar Mervyn is getting along well with the female guest – his luck is in.  He attempts to attach a corsage onto the woman’s dress.
   “No good looking woman should be at a wedding without a flower.”
He pricks her skin with the pin.
   “Oh, ahh, bugger.” 
Carrie dabs it with a paper napkin, placing it down on the counter.
   “Sorry. Can I get you another drink?”
   “Actually, do you feel like getting a bite?” Carrie asks. 
Mervyn’s luck is definitely in.  He follows Carrie out.  Tosh watches them leave and heads on over to the bar. 
   “Another spritzer, please.”
She spies the drop of black blood on the napkin, collects it up and follows the pair out.

Gwen answers the door to her two best friends, Trina and Megan before remembering the bump and quickly but hopelessly tries to hide it.
   “Oh my God, it’s true.  But how?”  Trina asks shocked. 

In a hotel room, Carrie pushes Mervyn back onto the bed and begins to hungrily undress him. 
   “Steady on girl, I’m on stage later!  Ohhh!”  He groans as she pleasures him!

In the hotel corridor, Toshiko listens out for noises coming from any of the rooms.  Banana Boat spies her.
   “Hey, baby, if you're looking for my room, you just passed it, mind.” He smiles as if to head to his room.
   “I'm not, and don't call me baby. “
   “So what shall I call you, then? Beautiful?”
Annoyed, Toshiko slams Banana Boat against the wall.
   “Don't call me anything. Don't say anything.”

In the hotel room, Melvyn’s pleasure turns to pain as Carrie shape shifts, her long dark finger nails reaching for his throat, her teeth clamping down on the soft flesh of his lower torso and ravishes him.  He screams in pain and fright.
Toshiko hears his screams and readies her gun.
   “Don’t move.”  She instructs Banana Boat.
With raised hands he spots the gun, and remains by the wall.

Toshiko kicks open the hotel room door to find Carrie applying lipstick while she sits casually on the bed, having shifted back into human form.  Toshiko spies blood stains on the bed, and just beyond it, the mutilated body of Mervyn.
   “What have you done with him?”
   “What the hell is going on?”  Banana Boat exclaims as he wanders into the room.  Toshiko is punched in the face by the Nostrovite as it lunges for Banana’s throat. 
  “You're lucky. I'm watching my figure. But maybe I'll keep you for tea.”  She tells him before yanking him back towards the bed.

Ianto and Owen follow Jack into his office as Jack explains to Ianto about the threat that lies ahead for Gwen.
   “A Nostrovite is a shape shifting carnivore with a taste for human flesh. It's intelligent and sneaky and, damn it, I should have seen this before.”
   “That's the problem with shape shifters, innit, you never know what you're looking at.”
   “What's the big deal? It's dead.”
   “Yeah. This one is.”
   “Does there have to be more?”
   “A Nostrovite mates for life. You know, like swans and penguins.”
   “Yeah, except you don't find Nostrovites on greetings cards.” Jack replies as Ianto helps him on with his great coat.
   “Right, and then the male Nostrovite carries the fertilized eggs in a sac in its mouth and passes it on to a host with a bite.”
   “And where does the mother come in?”
   “Well, when she tracks down the host and rips it open.”
   “That's Nostrovite childbirth. And momma's out there right now, looking for Gwen. Come on.”

All three head out to the wedding venue.

Still in her t-shirt and tracksuit trousers, Gwen makes her way up the stairs as Carrie Nostrovite heads down.  Gwen suddenly winces and doubles up in pain.  Carrie comes to her aid.
   “Are you alright?”
   “Oh yeah, it was just a twinge.”
   “He’ll be flexing his muscles.  Not long to go now.”  Carrie smiles, as she watches Gwen continue up the stairs, her ears detecting the healthy heartbeat of the young pounding away.

 Standing outside the Water Tower on a damp morning, Jack waits patiently for Ianto to bring around the SUV.  Owen dashes over with his bag in tow.  Jack pulls open the passenger door as Ianto pulls up.
   “Tosh isn't responding.”
   “Then let's get going.” Owen says pulling open the back door.
   “You sure you're ready for this, Owen? You know what Nostrovites can do. You think you've got it covered a hundred feet away, and it's already chewing on your liver.”
   “I don't need my liver. You need me, Jack.”
   “Oh, whoa, whoa, whoa, the singularity scalpel, where are you going with that?”
   “We need to get to Gwen before the Nostrovite does. We might not have a chance to get back to the Hub and the microtron weighs about two tonnes.”
   “That thing kills people.”
   “I saved Martha with it.”
   “Lucky shot.”
   “Listen, you two, you'd better start trusting me, okay? I've been working on it, and I've got it sussed. Besides, with that Nostrovite around, we really don't have too many options.”
   “He's got a point.”
   “What is it with you? Ever since Owen died, all you ever do is agree with him.”
   “I was brought up never to speak ill of the dead. Even if they still do most of the talking for themselves.”
   “Okay, Owen. But you better be sure you know what you're doing.”

Crossing from the gardens and through the wedding arch, Trina and Megan discuss Gwen’s current state.
   “Camouflage dressing? I'm having her dressmaker's number. No way did Gwen look pregnant last night.”
   “Oh, we must have had way too much to drink.”
   “She was late, wasn't she? We must have been out of our heads by the time she showed up.”
   “Oh, must have been, not to notice she was pregnant. Great night or what.”

Inside the Bridal Suite Gwen is in her extended wedding dress.  Mary tidies the back as Gwen stares at her reflection in the mirror.  She’s close to tears.
   “You look like an angel.”
   “Mum, I'm so sorry about this.”
   “Gwen, it's a baby. It's God's blessing.”  She hugs her daughter.  “You will be a good wife and a wonderful mother. And me and your dad, we'll always be there for you, and for our grandchild.”  She blows a kiss to her daughter.  “I'll see you downstairs. I love you.”
  “Mum? I love you too.”
  “Hurry up, Geraint. And make sure you don't leave a wet patch.”
Mary leaves.  Geraint exits the bathroom to see Gwen crying. 
   “Gwen? What is it?”
   “I can't do this. I can't lie to you and Mum, Dad. Dad, this baby isn't Rhys'.”

Outside in the grounds Rhys sends out another text to his Best Man, as his Dad strides across the grass towards him.
   “There's still no sign of Banana Boat.”
   “He'll be fine, Dad.”
   “Listen, Rhys. Your mother says this wedding is becoming a nightmare. As if Gwen showing up pregnant wasn't bad enough. Now, you are sure it's yours, aren't you?”
   “Dad, I'm marrying her. I love Gwen, every atom of me loves Gwen. Has done since the first time I laid eyes on her, OK?”
   “You loved Cerys Morgan once.”
   “I was twelve years old!”
   “Still no Banana Boat?”
Rhys shakes his head.

Toshiko begins to come around only to discover that not only is she stuck in a thick black web, but she’s stuck in the thick black web with the most irritating man at the wedding.
   “Get away from me.”
   “Well, I wish I could, love. Don't bother, I've tried. We're stuck fast.”
   “I can't believe it. Can you at least move your hand? Away.”

Back in the Bridal Suite Gwen can no longer keep it a secret about the baby or her job, only her father may take a lot of convincing that she’s not just lost the plot.
   “If there's another man, if you don't want to go through with the wedding, it's alright. We'll sort things out.”
  “There isn't another man.”
  “But you said…”
  “Please listen. Cardiff is in the middle of a space time Rift.”
  “A what?”
  “I work for an organisation that controls what comes through it.”
  “Comes from where?”
  “Other planets. Other dimensions. Aliens, Dad. I'm talking about aliens. That's what I do, Torchwood. We're called Torchwood. We hunt down aliens that come through the Rift.”
  “Oh, my God.”
  “Look, one bit me last night. Don't ask me to explain, I can't. I'm pregnant. Rhys isn't the father. It's an alien. It's an alien.”

Striding through the wedding venue, Geraint is worried for his daughter. 
   “Poor girl, this wedding's got her stressed to pieces. Thinks that baby of hers is an alien from outer space.”
   “It'll be all right. Once we get through the day.”
   “Gwen seems to be taking her time.”
   “You remember how it is, Brenda. The bride likes to make an entrance.”
   “Maybe, but I wasn't late for my wedding.”
   “No. Barry might have got away.”

Stuck to each other in the hotel room, Banana Boat contemplates their fate.
   “If it comes back, it's going to kill us, isn't it?”
   “Calm down. I've got friends. They'll find us.”
   “But what if they don't? What if it comes back? I mean, we're its bloody packed lunch, isn't we? Help! Help!”
   “Shut up.”
   “Help! Someone help!”
   “If it hears you screaming, it'll come and shut you up permanently!”
   “Help! Someone! Help! Ow!” Banana Boat stops yelling when Toshiko takes a firm grip of his delicates!!!
   “That's enough, unless you want to start singing in falsetto.”
   “Ow. That really hurt.”

The moment has finally arrived, Rhys waits at the altar, the guests are in their seats, Carrie watches as the music pipes up and Geraint walks his daughter down the aisle.  The heart beat of the baby is music to the Nostrovites ears.

As Gwen passes the guests, exclamations can be heard over the music, none more so than Brenda’s, much to the mirth of Mary.
Rhys beams at his wife to be as they reach the altar.  Geraint lifts the veil from Gwen’s face and kisses her forehead, beaming.  He takes his seat beside his wife. 

   “Friends and family of Rhys and Gwen, we're here today to celebrate the marriage of two people, a ceremony binding in law.” The registrar begins.

   “How much further?” Owen asks from the back seat of the SUV, as he makes adjustments to the Singularity scalpel.
   “A few minutes.”
   “What I don't understand is if people are going to make such a big deal about getting married, why come all the way out into the middle of nowhere, where no one can find you to do it? That, to me, suggests inner conflict.” Jack asks.
  “It's because the happy couple want everything to be perfect.”
  “An alien egg in your belly and its mother coming to rip you open. Yeah, perfect.”  Owen quips.

Back in the Wedding room, the registrar continues as the two love birds stare into each others eyes, while friends and family and Nostrovite Carrie look on.
   “Rhys and Gwen have chosen to solemnise their commitment before you. But first, the law requires me to ask of you all, if there is anyone here who knows of any reason why these two may not marry?”
   “Stop! Stop it! Stop the wedding! Hold on!” Jack yells bursting in on the wedding.
   “Gwen, believe me, I'm sorry. But this has to stop now.”
   “I just knew that baby wasn't Rhys'.” Brenda mutters getting to her feet.
   “What the hell are you doing here?”
   “Jack, I told you, I am marrying Rhys.”
   “Not now. You can't.”
   “Butt out, Jack. You've screwed things up enough between me and Gwen. You're not going to mess up our wedding.”
   “Listen, I am trying to save Gwen's life. Yours, too.”
   “What's going on, Jack?”

Hurrying down the hotel corridor, Owen cocks the hammer on his pistol.
   “Shush, I’ve got a fix on Tosh’s comms.”  Ianto tells him leading the way with the hand held scanner in his grip.
They kick in the door to the hotel room containing Tosh and the Best Man.
   “Tosh, are you OK?”  Owen asks.
   “Just get me out of here.”
   “All right, but, I'm Banana.”
   ”More like a gooseberry.”
Ianto has found the body of Mervyn. 
   “Oh Jesus, that is disgusting.”
   “I'll get you out of here.”  Ianto takes over from Owen in freeing Toshiko.

Still gripping her bouquet, Gwen enters the bridal suite ahead of Jack and Rhys. 

   “There were two of them?”
   “Ma and Pa Nostrovite. They hunt in pairs, but childbirth is more of a three way. He finds and impregnates a host. She then comes in like the midwife from hell, hanging around, watching, waiting, until the time is right. Then it gets messy.”
  “So you think it's near?” Rhys asks closing the door.
  “She's a shape shifter, Rhys. She could be out there making small talk with your mom and dad.”  Jack informs him.

Out in the gardens, the wedding party linger in groups. Trina and Megan ponder over the good looking American who crashed the wedding.
   “You reckon it's all over, then?”
   “Some good-looking guy sweeps up the aisle and tells you to hold off on the confetti? What are you going to do? Marry Rhys?”
   “So the baby's his, is it?”
   “Didn't you see the look on her face when he showed up? Anyway, I'd better go and find Mervyn. Tell him not to bother getting George Michael out the back of the van.”

In the Bridal Suite Gwen is determined the day is going ahead, unhindered.

   “We're not stopping the wedding.”
   “Gwen, there isn't a choice here.”
   “Ever since I've met you, Jack, all Rhys has had to put up with, with me, is crap. The lies. The danger. The complications. But he's stood by me. Who else would do that? Who else would marry me knowing that I am carrying some kind of monster inside me? I love him, and I'm going to marry him, today.” Gwen tells Jack, reminding him that there were many occasions when he could have had the opportunity with her.
   “Thanks, but it is my wedding, too. Don't I get a say?”
A woman screams from another room cutting Jack off before he can utter a word.  All three head in the direction of the hotel room where Megan has discovered the remains of Mervyn’s body.

   “That's all we need.” Owen remarks before returning to the remains of the body.  Megan runs from the room before Jack, Gwen and Rhys arrive.
   “Ianto after the girl. I need this contained.” Jack instructs Ianto.
   “Jack. Oh, God. I want Gwen out of here now, Jack.”
   “Jack, I've seen the shape shifter. It's a woman. She's in black.”  Toshiko tells him.

In the Wedding room, the guests retake their seats. 
   “Do you know what's going on?”
   “I'm in the dark, too, Brenda.”
   “The problem seems to be an American with no sense of timing or fashion. And your daughter.”
Megan, still screaming enters the wedding room.
   “Call the police! Mervyn's been murdered!”
   “Jack, I'm afraid the situation is uncontained.” Ianto is too late.

Jack moves to Plan B.
   “Okay. Ianto, get to the SUV, jam the phone lines. The last thing we need is someone calling the police. Tosh, you're with me. We'll find that woman in black. Gwen, Owen needs to operate now.”
  “I want Gwen safe Jack, now.”
  “I want her safe, too, Rhys, so we do what I say!”
  “Rhys, Jack knows what he's doing, darling, OK?”
  “Look, if we run, the Nostrovite will be waiting for us. And we're running out of time.”
  “What's the plan, Jack?”
  “I've got an idea.” Owen announces, raising his bag in the air.
  “Then I'm staying here, OK?” Rhys insists.
  “Fine. Tosh with me.” Jack heads out of the room, Toshiko in tow.

Ianto has managed to jam the phone lines.

   “What the hell's going on here?” Barry curses.
   “I had a signal before.”
   “Move! I need everyone to stay calm and do exactly as I tell you.” Jack insists as he returns to the Wedding room.  Toshiko edges in slowly, weapon gripped tightly in her hands. 
   “And who the hell are you?”
   “Gwen's Torchwood? You mean you're real?” Geraint asks. 
   “Jack, there she is.”
   “Everybody down!” Jack yells as he opens fire on Carrie as she shape shifts into her true form.  The terrified guests scream, and dive for cover.  Carrie having taken several shots to the body throws herself through the large glass window.  Jack and Tosh leap after her. 
   “My God.”  Geraint exclaims as he watches Jack and Toshiko leave. 

Out in the gardens, Jack and Toshiko have lost sight of the Nostrovite.
   “Damn, that thing's fast.” Jack exclaims out of breath.
   “But it won't have gone far.”
   “Not without what it came for. Come on.”

In the Bridal Suite, Owen holds up the Singularity Scalpel.
   “That. The singularity scalpel? That is your idea?”
   “Gwen, its cool, believe me, okay? I've done a lot of work on it since the whole Mayfly business.”
   “What is it?”
   “Alien medical apparatus, so Owen thinks.”
There’s a sudden knock on the door, quick as lightning Owen is on his feet, weapon drawn.
   “Rhys? Rhys, are you in there, Rhys?”
   “That's his mother. That's Rhys' mother.”
Rhys opens the door.  Brenda is beside herself.
   “There's, there's a monster, Rhys. That American and the Japanese girl, they went after it.”
   “Stay here.”
Owen instructs and leaves the room. Brenda glares at Gwen.

Striding along the corridor, Owen comms Jack out in the garden.
   “Jack, everything okay?”
   “It got away Owen. How's the patient?”
   “Rhys and his mum are with her.”
   “Jack, that's Rhys’ mum there.” Toshiko informs him as she spies her talking with Gwen’s mother.
   “Come on.”
Owen heads back to the Bridal Suite.

Gwen finally comes clean about the baby bump to Brenda.
   “This isn't Rhys's baby, Brenda. It's an alien.”  She reveals from behind the bouquet.
At that moment, Jack kicks the door in and Torchwood enter, guns raised.
   “Get back, you ugly bitch!” Jack yells at Brenda.
   “What the hell do you think you're doing? That's my mother!”
   “No. It's the alien.” Jack insists.
   “I'm not an alien!”
   “Oh, you're good, I'll give you that.”
   “But I'm not!”
   “Yeah, and the Lone Ranger didn't have a thing with Tonto.”
   “Jack, does the shape shifter copy smells too?” Gwen asks.
   “No, it's just physical.”
   “Well, I'd recognise that bloody awful perfume anywhere. It's Brenda, Jack. It's Brenda.” Gwen replies pulling a face. 
Jack lowers his gun in time for Rhys to punch him in the face.
   “That's for calling my mother an ugly bitch.”
   “If that's Rhys' mum then who's that outside?”  Toshiko asks.
Growling his frustration, Jack heads out after Ianto as the others file out after him.  Including Brenda.

In the grounds Jack and the team locate the other Brenda.  Jack yells for the party to move and aims his Webley towards the creature, just as she transforms into her original form and takes a firm hold of Mary, Gwen’s mother by the throat.
  “Don't move.”
   “The bond between mother and child is a wonderful thing.”
   “Let her go, OK?”
   “Your mother for my child.”
   “No deal.” Jack replies.
   “You don't have a say.”
   “Don't listen to it, Gwen.”
   “It's OK, Mum, I'll make sure you're safe. It won't kill you, you'll be OK.”
   “Gwen, you can't do this. Gwen.”
   “It's my Mum, Rhys. Jack.”
   “Okay, Mum”
   “You're going to be OK.” Gwen remains calm as she walks towards her mother and the Nostrovite.
  “It's OK, Mum. Stay calm, still.”
The Torchwood team keep their weapons trained on the Nostrovite.  While the Nostrovite keeps a firm eye upon Gwen carrying her child.
   “Come to momma!”
As Gwen nears, the Nostrovite releases Mary and Gwen loosens off several rounds into the body of the creature, but still it’s not enough.  The Nostrovite runs off again.
  “That's the kind of daughter every mother must dream of. Cool as ice, packing an automatic.” Owen says, following Jack to the entrance of the garden, but no sign of the Nostrovite.
  “Gwen told me about you but I didn't believe her.” Geraint says, catching his breath, as Jack returns to the party.
  “It'll be back. Owen, get Gwen ready, I want that thing dealt with now.”

Hurrying along the hotel corridor, Owen supports Gwen who clutches her swollen belly.
   “Listen, Gwen, I'll be with you in a minute. I need to talk to Rhys.”
   “What about?”
   “Just something and nothing. Trust me.”
   “What, what?”
Gwen returns to the Bridal Suite. 
   “Listen, Rhys, the singularity scalpel. The thing is, the last time I used it I had two good mitts.”
   “So you're telling me you can't operate it?”
   “What I'm saying is, I know you'd be more happy that whoever had Gwen's life in their hands could well, rely on both of them. Now I thought I could ask Jack”
   “No, no. Show me what to do.”
   “Right, it kind of works itself. Let's just try this.”

Gwen stares at her reflection in the upright mirror and holds her hands over her bump.  She smiles as Jack enters the room, closing the door behind him.
   “Hello, Jack. Not quite the blushing bride, am I? But I'd given up on things going to plan a long time ago.”
Jack casually strolls over, placing his hands upon her shoulders and smiles at her reflection.
   “If life always turned out the way we expected, what would be the point of living?” Gwen takes a firm hold of his hand.
   “I didn't expect to meet someone like you. If I hadn't, I'd be married by now.”
   “You're not the only one who met somebody that knocked their world out of kilter.” Jack inhales her scent.  Gwen turns to properly face him.
   “Rhys has always been there for me. Through all this madness, even when I haven't even deserved it.” Jack holds a finger to her lips, to hush her.  “He's not afraid to tell me he loves me.”
As they move in for a kiss, Jack becomes the shape shifting Nostrovite.  Realising this, Gwen head butts him and quickly grabs the candlestick, waving it at him, as Rhys and Owen enter. 
   “Gwen!” Rhys shouts grabbing a nearby chair and breaking it over ‘Jack’s back.
   “Grab the bag and get her out of here!” Owen instructs and empties more bullets into the Nostrovite.  ‘Jack’ falls back on the bed. Could it finally be dead? Owen leans over to be sure, but it’s back on its feet, and its after fresh meat.  It sniffs at Owen, but doesn’t like what it finds. Repulsed, it heads off in search of Gwen. 

Gwen and Rhys race through the gardens away from the house, and out towards the stables.  After a while the weight of the baby inside of her slows her down, and the contractions begin.
   “Hey, are you all right?”
   “I'm running around in a wedding dress with what feels like a keg of lager stuck up my skirt. What do you think, Rhys?”
   “Come on.”

Jack, Ianto and Toshiko return to the Bridal Suite after the volley of shots could be heard throughout the hotel.  Owen pushes in a new magazine just as Jack enters.  He turns his gun on Jack. 
   “Whoa! What happened?” Owen doesn’t lower his weapon.  “Put it down, Owen.”
   “It thought that I'd gone off.” Owen replies lowering his weapon.
   “Where's Gwen and Rhys?”
   “They've done a runner. Listen, I emptied a clip into that thing, as did Gwen, but some mother instinct or something is making that cow unstoppable. Our guns don't work.”
   “Then I guess we're gonna need a bigger gun.”
Jack was prepared for all eventualities.  He raised the boot lid of the SUV as Ianto pulled open the two boxes simultaneously, and lifted out the various parts to a very large and powerful gun, that Jack snapped together with confidence. 

Safely in the Stables, Rhys secures the door as Gwen collapses in the hay.  She’s exhausted and in pain. 
   “Rhys, I can’t go any further.”
Something raps on the door.
   “It’s here! It’s here.”  Rhys panics.
   “Shush it's going to hear us.”
   “I don't think there's any point in keeping quiet, Gwen. Lie down, lie down.”
   “What the hell are you doing with that?”
   “Owen showed me how to use it.”
Gwen screams in agony.  The Nostrovite continues to attack the door from the other side, desperate to get in.
   “Just do it! Do it! Do it!” Gwen pleads, lying back to allow Rhys to hone in on the Nostrovite egg.   Locked on target Rhys presses the controls.  A flowerpot behind Gwen explodes in spectacular fashion.
   “RHYS!” Gwen screams at him.
   “All right, all right. I've got it. I've got it now.”
   “I love you. I really love you, okay? Hurry.”
   “I love you.”
He locks on target again, the device activates and the egg is destroyed.  He has only momentary happiness as Gwen gasps at the effects of the device before passing out.  Rhys drops the Scalpel and rushes to her side.  For a moment or two, she’s completely still.
   “Gwen. Gwen. Gwen?”
Gwen refocuses and breathes.  Rhys kisses her, relieved.  Gwen checks her abdomen, completely flat, the egg containing the Nostrovite child is well and truly eliminated. 
The Nostrovite assuming the identity of Brenda Williams destroys one half of the stable door and points a warning finger at Rhys.
   “Get away from her, Rhys! Let me have my young and I won't hurt you.”
Determined, Rhys grabs hold of a nearby chainsaw and starts it up.
   “You're too late. It's gone! I've had a gutful of you. You get my girlfriend pregnant, you impersonate my mum and you ruin my wedding day!”
Gwen is impressed at his masterful speech especially brandishing the chainsaw, but as he holds it aloft towards the Nostrovite, it dies.
   “Rhys, you're a bad boy. And you know what bad boys get?”
The Nostrovite explodes spraying Rhys and the surrounding area with black gunk.
   “How's that for a shape shift?” Jack asks resting the large gun against his shoulder. 
   “Hey, that whole Evil Dead thing looks pretty good on you, Rhys.” Jack says, in mild admiration.  His gun set down he comes over to Gwen and picks her up. 
Gwen can’t take her eyes off Jack as he carries her towards her husband to be.  He sets her down beside Rhys and places both their hands together.
   “And the hero always gets the girl.”
Gwen turns to properly face Rhys after Jack leaves, his face and clothes still plastered in Nostrovite goo.
   “I'm sorry. I have spoilt everything, haven't I? Do you still want to marry me?”

The Wedding can finally proceed, and all of the guests, including Jack, Toshiko, Owen and Ianto sit wearing their yellow buttonhole.  As the vows are spoken, Jack quietly laments over what could have been.

   “I call upon these persons here present to witness that I, Gwen Elizabeth Cooper…”  She turns to face the guests as the reveal of her middle name is given, and pulls a face.   “Do take thee, Rhys Alun Williams, to be my lawful wedded husband”.  She replies after prompts from the registrar.   Gwen giggles. (as you do).
Brenda finally smiles.
They exchange rings.
   “Come here.” Gwen pulls Rhys into a kiss.  The guests applaud.

It’s almost the end of the evening; a few couples remain on the dance floor including the wedded couple.  Paul Weller’s ‘You Do Something to Me’ plays on the turntable.  Owen, wearing his dancing shoes, holds his hand out to Toshiko.
   “You ready to see that dead man dance, Tosh? Come on.”
Jack sits quietly at the table watching the couples, especially Gwen.  After a few moments he gets up and crosses the dance floor and puts his hand on Rhys’ shoulder.
   “Mind if I cut in?”
   “Why not? I'm danced off my feet. I'm gonna find a beer.” Rhys takes his well earned break allowing Jack to dance with his wife.  Jack can’t take his eyes off Gwen, nor she him. 
   “Enjoy the honeymoon.”
   “I will. What will you do while I'm gone?”
   “ Ooo, the usual. Pizza, Ianto.” They both laugh.  “Save the world a couple of times.”
   “Will you miss me?”
   “Always. Rhys is a lucky man, a perfect husband. He's loyal, brave. He's got a hell of a swing on him. And best of all, he really loves you.”
   “I know.”
   “May I er?” Ianto clears his throat.
   “Yes.” Gwen steps back thinking Ianto wishes to dance with her, but as her arms open out for him, she quickly claps them shut, when she sees he only wants to dance with Jack.  She takes her leave and rejoins her husband at the other side of the dance floor.  Jack watches her leave.

Tainted Love by Soft Cell plays on the turntable towards the very end of the evening.  The guests are all but spent and slump against each other or rest against the furniture.  Ianto brings over a beer for Rhys. 
   “There you go.”
   “Cheers mate.”  Rhys notices two women slumped against each other at a table.    
   “You’d never think a couple of hours ago they all nearly got torn apart by some alien psycho bitch.”
   “It's all been a bit too much for my mum and Brenda.”
   “I never thought I'd see that.”
Gwen glances around at the guests who are nearly all asleep.
   “Okay, Jack, what's going on?”
   “Strange thing when you mix Level Six retcon with champagne. Really makes the party go with a swing, then you fall asleep.”
   “You retconned our families?”  Jack feigns surprise then grins like a naughty schoolboy.  “It's probably for the best.”  Gwen says.  “I don't want my mam remembering what happened to her today.”
   “Maybe the happy couple shouldn't either?” Jack replies, pushing two sparkling glasses of champagne towards Rhys and Gwen.
   “No, thank you. There'll be no secrets in this marriage.”
Rhys scoffs, and shakes his head.
   “Time for bed, I think.” Owen announces.
   “We'll see you after the honeymoon. Stay out of trouble.”  Rhys says, pushing back the chair. Gwen laughs.  She kisses Owen and Ianto, thanking him for the wedding dress.  “It was beautiful.” She tells him. Eventually after the last farewells, the pair retire to their room.
   “Something tells me our bed time is a long way off.” Toshiko says.
   “That's right, guys. It's been a busy day, but we are not finished yet. We've got a lot to do. We've got a major mop-up operation. And I want your best work. Remember, it's Gwen's wedding.”
   “That's what I love about Torchwood. By day you're chasing the scum of the universe. Come midnight, you're the Wedding Fairy."

It’s early morning, the sun is waking.  Jack enters the Hub through the tunnel system.  He finds confetti in his pocket and blows it from his hand, it falls like paper snow. Shrugging off his coat he strolls towards his office.  He lifts a tired old yellow tin box from the drawer in his desk and pops it open.  A small collection of old black and white photographs stare back up at him.  He chuckles to himself at the way he looked back then.  He finds a yellow piece of parchment that he’s forgotten about and opens it curiously.  His smile fades and he stares upon the photo of him and a young bride on their wedding day.  The smile returns momentarily, before his mind begins to ponder…

Just who is she I wonder, and will we ever find that out?

Next month…

From Out of the Rain. 

1 comment:

  1. Not my favourite episode at all, far too much Gwen. Though some funny moments. Especially when Gwen is ready to dump her oh-so-beloved Rhys for Jack on her wedding day! :D As if Jack would want her - oh, too bad, it's only the Nostrovite. I always laugh so much at that scene. As well as at the scene in the bridal dress shop with Ianto! :) And the scene between Jack and Ianto in the Hub, "the family eye".