Children of Earth, Day One
Original Airdate: 6 Jul, 2009
Episode Breakdown by DJ Forrest
Written by Russell T Davies
In 1965, Scotland, a group of young children are being ferried to a location in the middle of nowhere, late at night. When the children file from the bus they are lead towards a bright light. One child hangs back and looks up at the tall adult in the military coat.
In present day Cardiff, Gwen is taking money from the hole in the wall. A commotion causes her to look over. A parent is shouting at their child, who is standing stock still. Another child is doing the same elsewhere. It’s odd, but it’s a school day. Gwen heads to work.
In the Davies’ household, two primary school children sit motionless at the table while their mother with her back turned, informs the eldest child what will happen if he receives any further aggro in school.
In the Frobisher household, unaware of his daughters sitting motionless at the breakfast table, John, the father, continues readying himself for work.
‘I've booked the car for seven thirty, but I might have to leave it on standby. If Baxter starts talking, he never stops, so I can't guarantee what time. I'll tell you what, I'll send you a text when I'm on the motorway.’ He tells his wife.
In Alice Carter’s home, the front door is open and Steven is standing stock still, staring.
‘Steven, if you leave the front door open, those cats are going to get in. Darling, don’t just stand there, you’re going to be late. Steven. Steven?’ She enquires, concerned.
Rhys Williams is unable to advance along the road as the children on the crossing have stopped walking mid-way across.
‘Stop playing games. Get out of the way. Oi, I said bloody shift, man.’
Rhiannon Davies attempts to engage in conversation with her ‘quiet’ children. As if under some kind of spell, all the children across Wales, wake up.
Steven looks at his mother. ‘See you then.’
In England, Anna Frobisher alerts her two daughters that they’re going to be late for school.
Making her way to the Tourist shop on the Quay otherwise known as the entrance into the Hub, Gwen is distracted by Glyn, the Water Taxi man, staring out towards the horizon.
‘Alright Glyn, what’s occurring?’
‘I’ve been watching the bay. No Sea Monsters.’
‘Ah, still early.’ She replies.
The Hub is quiet when Gwen enters.
‘Anyone in? You two having shenanigans in the dark? Jack?’ She switches on the lights and greets a photograph of Toshiko and Owen at her work station.
Taking to the computer, Gwen types in ‘Children’ into the search engine.
Across town and far from any shenanigans, Jack and Ianto are visiting a hospital where a patient has just died. The patient, Mr Williams, is not of interest to them, but the contents of the body is. Rupesh Patanjali, the young doctor has called time on Mr Williams and breaks the news to Jack and Ianto of his passing.
‘I’m sorry. We did everything we could, but he didn’t make it.’
‘Oh that’s a shame.’ Jack expresses his deepest sympathy.
‘Very sad.’ Ianto replies.
‘Poor Mr Williams.’
‘It’s very sad indeed.’
‘There’ll have to be an autopsy, but I’d say his heart gave out.’ Patanjali tells them.
‘Poor old heart.’ Ianto says, sadly.
‘You were neighbours, is that right?’
‘We live next door.’ Jack replies.
‘He’s got no family to speak of. All on his own. We’d just keep an eye on him you know.’
‘Well I’m sure he appreciated it. If only there were more like you two in the world.’
‘I know it’s an imposition,’ says Jack. ‘but with us being such good neighbours; can we see the body?’
Mr Williams lies peacefully in a side room. Jack after a few moments asks Patanjali if they can be left alone with the body. Of course, Rupesh allows this and leaves them alone, expecting a few sad farewells, not returning a few moments later and seeing the American with a pair of tongs holding out a large heart size black mass removed from Williams’ body.
‘There. Now, look at it. That’s not human, is it? Does that look human, no it does not. It’s just a hitchhiker he picked up. It didn’t kill him.’
‘Some say they’re positively beneficial. They release endorphins into the bloodstream. He died a happy man. And I’ve got Tupperware.’ Replies Ianto, holding open the plastic box for the ‘hitchhiker’.
‘And we’re very considerate, we don’t leave any mess.’ Jack replies, sealing up the wound with the laser saw, leaving no scarring. ‘Thank you very much. We’ll just get out of your way.’ Jack says, striding away from the ward with Ianto.
‘Wait a minute! Wait a minute!’ Rupesh hurries after them to the car park. ‘Whatever it was, that was mutilation. I should report you.’
‘Then why don’t you?’ Jack calls back.
‘But that thing. What the hell was it, that hitchhiker?’ Rupesh asks.
‘Try putting it into a report.’ Jack replies from the car.
‘Never heard of them.’ Jack replies.
‘There are bodies going missing.’ Rupesh calls as Ianto prepares to drive away.
‘How many?’ Jack asks, tempted.
‘This whole city talks about you.’
‘What bodies? Where?’ Jack presses.
‘It started two months ago. Bodies, taken down to the mortuary, then the records just stop. Five of them. Five in two months. And none of them white. One of West Indian decent, one African, three Chinese. All male.’
‘What was your name again?’ Jack enquires.
‘Rupesh. Rupesh Patanjali.’
Jack turns to Ianto. ‘What do you think?’
‘Yeah. Too much red tape. Sorry. But good luck with it.’ He offers as he winds up his window.
‘Don’t. Look, wait a minute.’ Rupesh calls after them as they drive away.
In Westminster, London, John Frobisher enters the main office, where he finds a man in uniform waiting for him. It fills him with dread.
Bridget Spears, his secretary introduces Colonel Oduya to him, and reminds him that he has a Category Meeting at quarter past. Frobisher thanks her and invites Oduya into his office.
Lois Habiba arrives for her first day at work. A young girl, she is escorted to her desk by Bridget.
If Colonel Oduya, from UNIT is in Westminster, then clearly there’s something to worry about.
‘Just tell me it’s something small. Tell me it’s a…it’s a meteorite, or a shadow on the moon. Just for once, tell me it’s easy.’ Frobisher begs.
‘Might be nothing, sir. But it’s my job to inform the Government, even if it turns out to be a false alarm.’ Oduya assures him.
‘Then what is it?’ John Frobisher asks.
‘Children, sir. It’s the children.’
It’s all fun and games in the Hub as Jack and Ianto return from the hospital with their hitchhiker.
‘You are going to get us killed.’ Ianto admits.
‘No, you’d get killed, not me. You’d die like a dog. Like an ugly dog.’
‘Oi, Chuckle Brothers, I found something.’ Gwen calls over, grabbing their attention.
‘Yeah? Well, I want you to do a check on St Helen’s Hospital, specifically the morgue.’ Jack replies.
‘There’s a computer, do it yourself. Meanwhile, I’ve been getting reports this morning of seventeen traffic accidents happening right across the country, all the way from Glasgow to St Ives.’ Gwen tells them.
‘Is that above average?’
‘Well, they all occurred between eight forty and eight forty-one. Seventeen road traffic accidents happening in exactly the same minute, and every single one of them involving children.’
‘That’ll be the school run.’ Ianto added.
‘All of them were just standing in the road. Not crossing the road, just standing. I saw it myself, Jack. Two kids on Market Street. Well, they just stopped.’ She tells them.
In Westminster Oduya explained the same occurrences to Frobisher.
‘But the accidents are just one part of a picture. Because every other child stopped at the same time, and not just in Britain.’
In the Hub, Ianto brought up more statistics from across Europe.
‘All timed around nine forty. They’re an hour ahead, so it was simultaneous.’
‘All involving children?’ Gwen asks.
Ianto nods. ‘Hold on, still cross-referencing. Here we go. Reports coming in. RTA’s in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Luxembourg.’
‘Germany, India, Egypt, Guyana…’ Oduya lists.
‘Spain, Portugal, Bosnia, Tokyo.’ Ianto continues.
‘Singapore. At eight-forty GMT, most of America was asleep, but even there, we’re beginning to get reports. I think we can assume it’s all of them, sir. As far as we can tell, at eight forty this morning, every single child in the world, stopped.’ Oduya relays to Frobisher.
In the Hub, Gwen wonders if Jack had seen anything like this before in his travels. He hadn’t, or at least not with kids.
In Westminster, Frobisher is informed that the United Nations has taken UNIT up to Yellow Alert, in case the cause is extra-terrestrial in origin. It shocks Frobisher, but when new girl Lois enters with coffee, he quickly changes tact, and enquires after Colonel Mace.
Taking every opportunity, Lois introduces herself, explaining that she’s only just started in her new job. Frobisher thanks her for the coffee. She leaves.
In the outer office, Lois soon learns that you never question who the suits and military uniforms are, it’s business as usual, and ‘if you could start transferring the names and addresses.’
Colonel Oduya asks after Frobisher’s family. Frobisher confirms he has two daughters and considers taking them out of school.
‘I’d be careful, sir. I wouldn’t do anything to draw any attention.’ Oduya insists. ‘Right now, this thing’s random enough to go unnoticed, and if anyone files a news report, we’ll be crushing it. But, so far, we’re the only ones with the software clever enough to piece this all together. Well, us and Torchwood.’
‘Do you want me to talk to them? They're a pain in the backside, but they can be helpful.’ Frobisher asks.
‘We're on to them right now.’
‘Ok, you find out anything, let me know immediately.’ Jack angrily puts the phone down. ‘Of all the times for Martha Jones to go on holiday. I get Sergeant Grunt. I’m talking to a Sergeant.’ He growls.
‘Don’t you dare phone her.’ Gwen says to Jack. ‘She’s on her honeymoon. What did they say?’
‘UNIT base in Washington is running some tests on a couple of kids. Brain scans, blood sugar, checking for radiation. Nothing.’
Ianto views the CCTV.
‘You’re right, he’s back.’ Jack grins and bounds over to the monitor.
‘Ha ha! I said so.’ He laughs.
‘Who’s back?’ Gwen asks curiously.
Sure enough, as predicted, Rupesh Patanjali lingers around the Roald Dahl Plass. It’s been twenty minutes now.
‘Dogmatic’ Jack adds.
‘Always a plus.’
‘Oh Christ, never work with a couple. You two talk like twins. Now tell me who he is.’ She says, peering at the screen at the good looking Asian.
‘Rupesh Patanjali.’ Ianto introduces him. ‘He saw the hitchhiker. He’s the ‘bodies going missing’ man.’
‘Doctor Patanjali. We need a doctor.’ Jack explains.
‘What, and you just let him follow you?’ Gwen is shocked.
‘Ask about Torchwood and most people point towards the Bay.’ Ianto tells her.
Suddenly it clicks to Gwen that this is exactly how she was treated the first time she joined. ‘You bastards…. well sod that, I’m recruiting myself to recruitment officer.’ She heads off to meet Patanjali.
Watching her leave, Ianto smiles.
‘She’s calling us a couple now.’
‘What’s your problem?’ Jack snaps.
‘I hate the word couple.’
‘Me too.’ Ianto replies, a little hurt.
Keen to find out more about Doctor Patanjali, Gwen Cooper heads out to meet him in Roald Dahl Plass. They took coffee outside a little coffee shop in the Bay, where she learnt a little more about him and why he was keen for Torchwood to get involved in the missing bodies.
Gwen pored over the file.
‘Three of the bodies were Chinese. Were they related?’ She asks.
‘No. One was twenty-seven years old and the other two were in their fifties, but not from the same family.’ Patanjali explained.
‘Bit odd though, statistically, in a city this small.’
‘That’s what I thought. Mind you, nothing compared to that hitchhiker.’ He added.
‘Freak you out?’
Gwen explained about the hitchhiker to the surprised young doctor. It had surprised her too when she’d first learnt about alien creatures that can live and breed, breathe and survive inside a human, all undetected.
‘Where are you from then?’
‘Me, I’m from Chesterfield. Came down here eighteen months back.’
‘Very much, yeah.’
‘I bet it doesn’t pay you much though.’ She asks, knowing full well that Torchwood paid more than any other job she’d ever worked at.
‘First pay cheque, I almost fell over.’ Gwen told him. ‘Had to hide it from my boyfriend. I was buying clothes, had to stash them under the bed.’ She told him.
‘What’s it like, inside Torchwood, I mean, what do you do?’ Rupesh asked.
‘Why are you so interested?’
‘Well, from what I’ve heard, it just sounds, I don’t know.’
‘Glamorous?’ she teases.
‘No, more, sort of…The thing is, we’ve all seen it now; the past few years. Alien life. Even though half the world’s still denying it. For me, ok; it’s the suicides. The past few years, suicide rates have doubled, and that’s ever since the first alien. My first case. My first death, was a suicide. Do you know why she did it? Because she’d written all these letters. She’d been a Christian all her life, and then alien life appears. She wrote this bit. She said, it’s like science has won.’
‘Lost her faith.’ Gwen concluded.
‘More than that.’ Rupesh tells her. ‘She said she saw her place in the universe, and it was tiny. She died because she thought she was nothing.’
Gwen could relate. She’d felt it then and she still felt it now. The immensity of it all but yet the sheer brilliance and beauty of it all too, and ‘completely bloody magic. It’s bigger, you know? It’s like, it’s like the whole world is bigger. My life is bigger.’ Gwen confesses to Rupesh.
Suddenly, she’s distracted. She spots a woman trying to move her child, but the child is stock still.
Realising it’s happening again, Gwen calls Jack in the Hub to get himself up to the surface as she and Rupesh run to the scene.
Meeting Gwen, Jack and Ianto survey the scene. Only it’s not isolated to one spot. Right across the country, the world, every child has stopped. The mother in Cardiff still can’t break the spell. Suddenly, Sasha screams. It’s a high pitch scream. Alarmed, the mother is helpless to help her. Rupesh spots another child and rushes over to offer assistance, while Ianto begins filming what he sees for their records.
The screams stop. After a beat…..
‘We. We. We. We. We. We. We. We.’
‘Whoa.’ Rupesh is alarmed.
‘We are. We are. We are. We are. We are coming. We are coming.’
‘Oh my God.’ Gwen is taken aback. Jack and Ianto are equally curious.
‘We are coming. We are coming. We are coming.’
At the Home Office, Frobisher puts down his phone and hastens from his office.
‘Who’s got children? Find me a kid. Find me a bloody kid, now.’ He insists.
In the Duke of York Hospital grounds, a middle aged man chants the same thing over and over again. He’s filmed by one of the hospital staff.
‘He won’t stop. He keeps saying the same thing over and over.’
‘We are coming. We are coming. We are coming. We are coming. We are coming.’ Clem McDonald chants in a trance like state.
At the Roald Dahl Plass the children continue to chant, till a wave of normality reigns over them. Looking at their respected parents it’s as if nothing has happened to them.
At the Duke of York Hospital grounds, Clem falls to his knees. A nurse comes to his aid.
‘Are you alright?’
‘They’ve found me.’ He says, frightened.
Haring back to the Hub, Jack barks his orders, stopping only as he realises Rupesh is with them.
‘Where do you think you’re going?’
‘I don’t know, I could help.’ Rupesh offers.
‘You’re bleeping.’ Gwen notices.
‘Shit, yeah. Sorry.’ End of the road for doctor Patanjali.
‘The whole city’s coming to a standstill. They’re going to need you in A&E.’
‘We’ll get back to you, I promise.’ Gwen assures him.
‘What’s in there?’ Rupesh asks as Jack and Ianto head inside.
‘Big science fiction super base.’ Gwen tells him. ‘Honestly. See you.’
Back at the Home Office, phone calls flood in. Bridget is advised to take no more calls for Frobisher. Lois deals with the Press list. When the Home Secretary demands information, Lois is left to set up an auto reply, which means she’ll have to access Bridget Spears’ account.
‘Password Hastings, capital H, rest of it lower case.’ Spears tells her.
Dekker enters the office and demands to see John Frobisher. Despite his protestations of wishing to speak to nobody else, Dekker is another kettle of fish altogether.
‘Four, five, six. I warned you.’
At the Hub, Jack Harkness tries desperately to connect to Frobisher, except he’s stuck with the new girl. He grows irritable.
‘Just tell him it’s Captain Jack Harkness, he’ll take the call.’
‘I’m sorry, I can’t. If you could just leave a number or…’
‘Tell him it’s Torchwood.’
‘Right, and how do you spell that?’
‘You’re working for the Home Office and you’ve never heard of Torchwood?’ Jack snarls.
‘I’m new. Started today.’
‘Just what I need. Sorry. Not your fault. You picked a hell of a day. Listen, just tell him Torchwood. W.O.O.D. We might be able to help, ok? What was your name?’ He asks of her.
‘Lois. Lois Habiba.’
‘Good luck to you, Lois Habiba.’
After the call, Lois enters Torchwood into the call log system. A red flag pops up. Classified Security Level Two. Using Bridget’s password and username, she reads up on the Torchwood Institute from its humble beginnings. While she reads a little bit of history, Frobisher and Dekker leave the office.
In the Thames House basement, MI5’s headquarters on Millbank, Dekker invites Frobisher into his small office.
‘Been a while since we had visitors down here. Thought you’d forgotten about us. It’s hardly the glamorous side of Thames House, my little domain.’ He jokes, as he shows Frobisher the reason for the visit. ‘We converted the readings onto digital years ago, but I kept the original equipment. Call it nostalgia. Then this morning, it woke up. Eight forty and again at ten thirty, transmitting on the 456.’ Dekker plays the strange noise recording.
‘Just five seconds in duration, but that’s enough.’ He tells him.
‘What’s it saying?’
‘Well, I think it’s a burst of compressed information. I’m running it through the translators. It might take a while. But the point is, the 456 was open.’
‘But why would they change?’ Frobisher asks, curiously.
‘That’s your job to find out.’
Frobisher is aware that the Prime Minister will need to know, but Dekker is only too aware of what politics are like. One elected official after another. ‘The 456 was here before him, it’ll be here long after he’s gone. And so will we. The civil service John. The cockroaches of government.’
‘Have you got kids?’ Frobisher quips.
‘Too busy working. Turns out to be a godsend.’
Back in Cardiff, and the Hub, Jack and Ianto have a theory about the children.
‘So I think it’s a transmission, a pulse, a broadcast.’
‘Like the Mosquito alarm, the one that only kids can hear.’ Ianto adds.
‘Something unique to prepubescence.’ Jack continues.
‘Maybe testosterone interferes with the signal, and oestrogen…
‘Oh no no no. Hold on.’ Gwen interrupts, staring at the computer screen. ‘We’re being dumbos. We’re missing the bleedin’ obvious. Here look. Recorded in Taiwan. The point being, anyone?’ She waits for it to click as Jack and Ianto watch a girl on the monitor chant ‘We are coming’ over and over.
‘It’s English.’ They announce in unison.
‘Exactly. And all the footage is the same. So every single child in the whole wide world is speaking English. So why’s that?’
‘I guess if you scanned the Earth from the outside, you’d register English as the dominant language.’ Jack replies.
‘Actually,’ Ianto corrects him. ‘That would be Chinese. Well Mandarin. There’s about a billion people speaking Mandarin. That’s three times more than English.’
‘Oh my God.’ Gwen exclaims.
‘Ok, ready? So every single child in the world is talking in unison, yeah?’ She says, as if to check they’re still awake.
‘Every single child, and one man.’ She shows them Clem McDonald, filmed earlier by a nurse, and uploaded to the internet, chanting the same as the children, over and over.
‘What the hell? Who’s he?’
‘Name’s Timothy White. He’s a patient in a psychiatric ward at the Duke of York Hospital, East Grinstead.’
‘How did you get this footage?’ Jack enquires.
‘Staff emailed it to the Police. But every police force is swamped with mums and dads going absolutely mental, so it’s just waiting in line. I reckon no one else has noticed him yet.’
‘East Grindstead, that’s what…two hours?’ Ianto guesses.
‘I’m on it.’ Gwen replies.
In a quiet suburb, Rhys is house hunting. He’s found an ideal house for sale. Unfortunately, Gwen can’t make it, Rhys understands.
‘Oh, it’s alright, I thought you’d be busy. ‘We are coming.’ He smiles.
‘Eh, but what’s it like?’ She asks, changing the subject.
‘The estate agent hasn’t turned up. Ah, fair do’s though, she’s probably got kids. So, what do you think’s causing it?’ he asks.
‘I can’t say. Top Secret.’
‘You haven’t got a clue have you?
‘No idea.’ She confesses, driving away from Cardiff.
Rhys gives her the lowdown on the property, the rooms, and how much he reckons he could knock off the asking price. When he talks about a nursery room, Gwen changes the subject.
‘You can adopt a Filipino and get her to clean the chimneys.’ She tells him.
Rhys thinks back to the moment the children stopped. He had a theory. The times the children were most visible was during school hours, going to school, and the school break times.
‘Specific British hours, yeah? It might be worldwide, but I reckon someone’s looking right at us.’
‘That’s brilliant. That is brilliant. You’re not bad, you, are you?’ Gwen marvelled, Rhys was the one person who could look at the world with a less critical eye, but nail it perfectly.
‘I’m bloody superb.’ He laughed.
‘Oh, my God. Severn Bridge. I’m going into England. Farewell forever.’
‘Good luck.’ Rhys called. ‘Have you got currency?’
‘Yes, and I’ve had my injections. See you.’
Sitting on the steps of the basin, Jack and Ianto observed the quiet Roald Dahl Plass. It was lunch time, usually buzzing with school children.
‘Everyone’s taken them home.’
‘We need a child. Because we need to test those frequencies. Find the right frequency, and we can find out who’s transmitting.’
‘Where do you get a child though? I can find you lasers and Weevils and hitchhikers, but kids?’
Jack suddenly knew exactly where he’d find one. He got to his feet.
‘See you later?’
‘Where are you going?’ Ianto called after him.
‘Now who’s a couple?’ Jack snapped.
In the Prime Minister’s Office, Brian Green, the Prime Minister, reads through the file quietly while Frobisher sits uncomfortably waiting. Big Ben chimes. It’s one o’clock.
‘When I was a kid,’ laments Green. ‘It was the bomb. Iron Curtain. Reds under the bed. It was all so bloody simple. Now it comes raining down from the skies, made of metal, stinking green and God knows what. I find myself running a country under siege from above.’
‘What do you recommend that we do?’ Frobisher asks.
‘You tell me.’
‘Given that this is now worldwide, Prime Minister, it might be best if certain historical events were taken off the record.’
‘So Britain gets a clean sheet?’
‘How do we know if these, what do we call them?’ The Prime Minister asks.
‘The 456. They never gave a name. We just called them the 456 after the frequency allocation.’
‘Then how do we know that the 456 will keep quiet?’
‘We don’t. All we can do is hope to cover ourselves. You’ll have to issue a Blank Page.’
Green refuses. He doesn't want his name on any of it. He doesn't want any part of it. He doesn't want to hear of it any more. It is something he hopes will go away.
It came as no surprise to Alice Carter, that her father would arrive on the doorstep the instant that something ‘unknown’ was going on. But as there was no way of turning him away after Steven launches himself at his ‘Uncle’, she invites him in.
Rhiannon is surprised when her brother Ianto arrives. It must be Christmas she tells him. He enquires after his niece and nephew, and learns that they are home in case it’s a group hysteria thing, that had caused a lot of girls to faint one time. He gives Mica a fiver while she plays a video game, and gives David a tenner when he bounds down the stairs after his mother’s hollering.
‘I was thinking, I missed Mica’s birthday. I thought I could take her to McDonald’s or something.’ Ianto offers.
‘That’s all of £3.95, you big spender.’
‘Alright, cinema.’ He offers again.
Rhiannon likes the idea, Mica nods from the game. Ianto offers to take her today, but after the scares Rhiannon is less inclined.
‘No chance, what about Saturday?’
‘I’m kind of busy on Saturday.’ Ianto confesses.
‘You’re a civil servant. They don’t work weekends. They invented weekends. And I’m not having her going out. Not today, not with all that voice thing. I want ‘em where I can see them.’ She replies, defiantly.
‘She’ll be with me.’ Ianto offers again.e
Again his sister refuses. He lets it drop.
‘Just an idea. I won’t bother you.’
‘Oh that’s it is it? You’re just going to go now? Oh, sit down, you daft sod. I’ve got some spinach dip. And you and me, well, we’ve got things to talk about.’
Ianto is curious. ‘What things?’
‘You’ve been seen.’
In a bright, clean kitchen, Jack and Alice sit down to coffee, while Steven plays out in the garden.
‘They said on the news that we should send them back to school tomorrow. Do you think it’s safe?’
‘Well, I don’t know any more than you.’ Jack confesses. Alice doesn’t believe him. ‘I don’t.’ He replies. Changing tact Jack asks after her ex-husband Joe.
‘In Italy, with her.’ She says bitterly. ‘They finally got married. But he er…he phones every now and then, and sends Steven postcards, remembers his birthday. There are worse fathers.’ She replies, having a dig at her old man.
‘How are you off for money?’ Jack asks.
‘Don’t worry about that, you give me enough. Kind of easy writing cheques, huh?’
‘Alice, you’re the one who asked me to stay away. I’d come round her every week, if you wanted me to. Every day.’
‘Yeah, I just can’t stand it, Dad. I look older than you do and it’s never going to stop. I get older and older and you stay the same. One day, you’re going to be standing at my funeral looking just like you did when you were standing at Mum’s. No wonder she was so furious. You make us feel old.’
Jack thought for a moment. ‘Actually, I found a grey hair.’ The tension in the room was finally lifted, albeit for a short period of time.
Watching Steven play, Jack pressed on. ‘You ever gonna tell him?’
‘What do I say, that you’re his grandfather?’
‘He’s too young to notice right now that I don’t age. But one day, he’s going to realise.’
‘And that’s another reason for you to stay away.’ Alice replies.
‘I suppose. I could make the most of it while he’s still young. Take him out, buy him stuff. Me and him, sort of thing.’
‘You mean today?’ Alice grew suspicious.
‘While I’m here, may as well.’
‘Oh, you bastard.’ The penny finally drops. ‘Something happens to kids, and you want to spend time with him on the same day. You are not experimenting on that boy, Dad. Not ever. That’s why I want you to stay away. Because you’re dangerous.’
At the hospital, Patanjali is paged by Captain Jack Harkness. He realises that there’s a children’s ward at the hospital. He needs a child.
Over a spinach dip, Rhiannon interrogates her brother about Jack. It comes as a surprise to her that he’s gone ‘bender’ when she always thought he was only interested in girls.
‘It’s weird.’ Ianto confesses. ‘It’s just different. It’s not men, it’s just him. It’s only him. And I don’t even know what it is, really, so…So I’m not broadcasting it.’ He says finally, aiming to keep a lid on the whole thing.
Johnny arrives home and greets Ianto in the usual bear hug fashion, with the casual brother in law teasing.
‘Aye, aye, gay boy. She says you’re taking it up the arse….’ A car alarm wails outside. ‘Eh, whose car is that outside, it that you? Black thing?’
Ianto informs him that it is, but that there’s nothing to worry about as it’s triple deadlocked. Sadly for Ianto, the adult joy riders have found a way around it, and as they head outside, for Johnny to lob a few bricks at their victory lap of honour, all Ianto can think of is, how he’s going to explain this one to Jack.
‘That’s my car.’
Timothy White aka Clem McDonald had been staying at the Duke of York hospital for three months. Prior to this, the fifty two year old male had been in and out of care all his life. He’d spent forty years in Leeds living homeless before he’d appeared on their records. Clem had lived on the streets since the age of eleven. Although nobody had ever reported him missing, when Clem had first arrived on their records, he had a Scottish accent, long since gone.
The nurse led Gwen to a meeting room, where Clem sat quietly. He was a scruffy looking man, wearing a beard, and his eyes hid secrets, he might never tell a living soul.
A basic man with simple words, Clem is aware that they’re being watched. Already aware that Gwen wanted to speak with him, he sits opposite her, a table between them.
‘Can you remember the voice?’ Gwen asks Clem. ‘You said, we are coming. Can you remember why?’ Clem is less than chatty. ‘Do you know what I think it was? Aliens.’ She tells him. Clem doesn’t believe her.
‘There’s no such thing.’
‘Those days are gone. I don't mean to scare you because you're perfectly safe, but I think aliens are using you to speak. What do you think?’
‘No such thing. Isn't it, isn't it.’
Aware that hostilities are preventing further questioning, Gwen tries another approach.
‘I’ve met aliens.’ She tells him. ‘It’s part of my job. But I’m not the authorities or the police or the army, so anything you say is just between me and you, and I will believe you.’ She smiles.
‘Give me your hand.’ Clem asks. Gwen unsure, holds out her hand. Quick as lightning he grabs her hand and sniffs long and hard at it, before sitting back down. He’s amazed.
‘You’re telling the truth.’
‘How can you tell?’
‘I can smell it. You’ve met them?’ He’s interested.
‘Dozens of them.’ Gwen laughs.
‘Still not safe. Isn’t it, isn’t it?’ he twitches to the side, as if he’s staring at someone, or something. Gwen is curious. ‘They’re watching.’ He hints towards the CCTV camera on the wall. Gwen knows exactly how to deal with that. He holds up a pen like device and insists he keeps quiet. He asks what it is, Gwen politely switches off the CCTV camera before telling him.
‘The technical name is a gizmo.’
Gwen knows he’s seen something, she could bet her wages on that fact.
‘What’s your name? What’s your real name? When did you last say your name?’
‘Then tell me.’ She presses, gently. Clem opens up about his childhood, about his past before the streets and living homeless. He tells her of the children’s home, of the journey across the moors. Of the lights in the sky, that took away his friends.
‘But not you?’ Gwen was curious.
‘I ran.’ He said. ‘There was something, there was people, there was. Isn’t it, isn’t it, isn’t it, isn’t it?’
Placing a hand over his, Gwen calmed the nervous man.
‘You’re alright, you’re safe now.’
‘But they’re coming back. I’ve been smelling them for months. In the air. Long time coming.’
‘Tim, I can help. Look at me. I can help. If kids went missing, something’s got to be written down and I will find it. But to do that, I need to know your name.’
‘I was Clem. Clement McDonald.’
Gwen smiled and acknowledged his real name. She quizzed him on his original place of origin, the place he called home before he ran. With something to go on, she could research when she returned to the Hub. But there was something else that she would have to research when she returned, for Clem announced before the meeting ended, that Gwen was three weeks pregnant!
Back at the Hub Gwen’s mind was racing. She was pregnant!!! She called Ianto and asked him to look up a Clement McDonald, who came from a place or a residential home called The Holly Tree. To look up the words Holly Tree and Scotland and that it dated back to the 1960’s. She also asked him to look up Timothy White, as in the shop. Ianto agreed, but despite breaking the news to her that he’d lost the car, her mind was anywhere but where it needed to be.
At Ashton Down monitoring station, an operative had picked up a red flag on the Torchwood intercept.
‘The name Clement MacDonald. Can you trace it?’
‘Roger, Ashton control. Initiating trace now.’
In Frobisher’s office, things take a step into the darker recesses. An execution order has been placed on the people involved in the first 456 meeting back in 1965. Permanent Secretary to the Home Office, John Frobisher issues Bridget Spears a file with a blank page. Returning to her desk, Bridget works at her computer silently. After she leaves, Lois logs into her account and brings up the last sent email.
It is an email addressed to (blank), subject Blank Page. Attachments – Order to kill, which lists Colonel Michael Sanders (ret’d), Ellen Hunt, Captain Andrew Staines and Captain Jack Harkness (active).
Jack pulls up outside the hospital in a blue convertible. He meets with Rupesh and is led towards the morgue, despite Jack expecting to visit a children’s ward.
Rupesh informs him that there’s been another murder.
On the slab is a Mr Chow Lee Jee, a Chinese gentleman. ‘He came in with a nosebleed that wouldn’t stop. Next thing you know, it’s been diagnosed as a brain haemorrhage. He died at 16.25.’ Another member of hospital staff was waiting in the morgue, Patanjali explained Jack’s attendance.
Jack studies the body, noting that it hadn’t as yet gone missing. Rupesh is aware of this.
‘Need to run a toxicology scan, not on the NHS, we’ve got much better equipment. Pupil’s blown. That corresponds with a brain haemorrhage, though it could be induced artificially. No sign of trauma to the skin, apart from bruising, but that’s…’ Jack is taken completely by surprise, as the bullet fired by Patanjali’s pistol hits him in the back.
‘Get them in. Seal off the area.’ Patanjali ordered of the man in the hospital uniform. Black Ops tape off the area.
At Ashton Down monitoring station, Clement McDonald has been located. The name hasn’t been active for more than forty years. Having discovered that Torchwood ran a check, they have to isolate him.
Speaking from the Morgue, Johnson, a highly trained Black Ops soldier, gives the order to bring him in.
While the inmates at the hospital sat watching television for the evening, Clem smelt trouble in the air.
Johnson inspects the dead body of Captain Jack Harkness, now on the morgue table. Rupesh Patanjali feels betrayed. He’d followed orders that would enable him to access the Torchwood Hub, but with the new plans, his research means nothing. Johnson however, following her own set of orders, grows tired of the whinging by the young ‘doctor’.
‘Who killed the Chinese man?’ She asked.
‘I did. I had to. It was perfect timing. He just fitted the story.’
‘Then get off your high horse, yeah? Any sign yet?’ She asked of the health of the Captain. Rupesh wondered if the stories were true regarding Jack’s Lazarus qualities. As if on cue, Jack gasps back into life, only to be shot again, this time by Johnson.
‘He was dead.’
‘Now he’s dead again. And we’ll keep killing him till he’s ready. Get him prepared.’ She instructs an orderly.
Unbuttoning Jack’s shirt, and lifting up his t-shirt, a laser saw exposes his stomach for the ultimate torture of the man who can never die.
At the Duke of York hospital, two Land Rovers arrive. Clem leaves the establishment undetected.
With the gruesome task completed, Jack is sealed back up. Dressed again and laid back on the ground where he was shot.
‘He’s going to wonder where I’ve gone. How are we going to cover that?’ Rupesh asks. Johnson has already put a plan into action. As Patanjali suddenly realises that he’s going nowhere, he makes a break for freedom, hoping that the array of soldiers in the hallway will shield any shot fired by Johnson. How wrong can he be?
‘SIDES!’ As the soldiers flatten themselves against either side of the corridor, Johnson takes clear aim and fires.
When Captain Jack Harkness awoke, the body of the young doctor lay next to him.
‘Oh no.’ Jack had to get out of there, as quickly as possible. Black Ops monitoring his every move, reported back to base.
In the Hub, Ianto had the results Gwen had asked for.
‘There was a Holly Tree Lodge just outside Arbroath. It’s a hotel now, but up until 1965, it was a state-run orphanage. And they had a Clement McDonald. He was taken into care, April 1965, after his mother died. No father on record. In November 1965, he was transferred along with. Oh…
Jack arrived at the Hub unaware of the situation about to unfold, but he knew someone had killed him for a reason.
‘Five to control. Harkness now approaching door one, over.’
‘He’s inside.’ Johnson, relayed to her team. ‘We don’t know how deep that place goes. Give it five. Over.’
Gwen scanned her palm, and saw the pulsing pink dot on the opposite wall. She couldn’t quite believe it. Ianto heard the alarms of the door and saw Jack in a state of unease.
‘We need damage control at St Helen’s. One body, Doctor Rupesh Patanjali, shot in the back.’
‘What happened?’ Ianto asks.
‘I don’t know. He was just left there right beside me, like someone’s gloating.’
‘Did they kill you?’
‘Yeah.’ Ianto embraced him suddenly. ‘Maybe we’re being targeted. Whether it was him or me, we should be careful. Better tell Gwen.’
‘She’s back, she’s in the lab.’ Ianto informs him.
Jack hurries along, calling after her.
‘Boy have I had a day.’ He says reaching the autopsy room. His eyes fall on the image of a baby growing in Gwen’s uterus, projected on the opposite wall. ‘Oh my God, is that? How long?’ He asks coming down the steps to celebrate her news.
‘Three weeks.’ Gwen replies, barely able to take her eyes from the screen.
‘That’s good isn’t it? From where I’m standing it looks good to me.’ Jack replies.
‘Yeah. Bloody hell. It’s brilliant.’
‘Ianto we’re having a baby. Have you told Rhys?’
‘I’ve only just found out myself.’ She tells him.
‘Oh, you told me before you told him. He is going to love that.’
‘Congratulations. Would now be a good time to tell you I lost the car?’ Ianto adds, bracing himself.
‘You did what?’
‘That is so bloody spectacular. But what about this place, and my job?’ Gwen tears herself away from the image and looks at Jack.
‘We’ll manage.’ He assures her. He places his hand upon hers as the machine scans him. Suddenly alarms go off.
‘What the hell is that?’ Gwen turns back to the screen and sees Jack’s insides, where a foreign body lies in his stomach.
‘Oh my God. It’s a bomb.’
‘There’s a bomb in your stomach.’ Ianto has his worst fears confirmed.
‘Get out, both of you.’ Jack instructs, but neither want to leave him. Ianto begins damage limitation.
‘Blast radius, one mile.’
‘Right now, GET OUT.’ Jack insists of the pair of them.
‘There must be something we can do.’ Gwen sobs. ‘Look, we can stop it. We can fix this, ok? We can rip it out of you.’ Gwen suggests, desperately.
‘I’m telling you. Get out.’ Jack growls as the timer counts down.
‘It’s active. Two minutes.’
‘Yeah well, I can’t just run, Jack.’ Gwen announces.
Across the world, the children begin to chant. ‘We are coming. We are coming.’
At the Frobisher home, Anna calls her husband, but both are unable to stop their children.
Alice Carter insists her son stop it, but still he chants, unaware of her voice as another takes precedence.
Rhiannon’s children stand and stare and chant along with the millions of children across the world.
‘We are coming. We are coming. We are coming. We are coming.’
Jack pulls Ianto away from the controls, insisting he leaves else he’ll be locked inside with him.
‘We can override the mechanism.’ Ianto tells him, desperate to stay with Jack.
Aware what will happen, Jack is desperate for Ianto to leave.
‘For GOD’S SAKE, GET OUT. There’ll be nothing left of you. I can survive anything.’ He pleads. Gwen has already left, Jack kisses Ianto goodbye before the slab lifts him out of the building, and out of harm’s way.
‘I’ll come back. I always do.’ Jack promises.
The children continue to chant. It frightens the families who beg for their child to stop. In Cardiff, the Torchwood Lockdown is complete. With three seconds left, Ianto is nearly at the Plass. Jack braces himself for the horrifying moment.
The almighty explosion rips through the Hub completely destroying it. The blast throws Gwen off her feet and she’s temporarily deafened by it. Burning debris scatters everywhere into the night sky.
The once proud base below the Plass, the once beautiful water tower, and the Plass itself has been raised to the ground.
At the home of the Frobisher’s the chanting reaches its climatic ending.
‘We are coming…BACK.’
End of Part One.
Day Two – March 1st.