Timothy White aka
Clement MacDonald has a dark history with Torchwood. In November 1965, Clement, along with other children from the Arbroath Children’s Home at Holly Tree Lodge were to be transferred to another children’s home in Plymouth; except, this was a ruse by the British Government who needed 12 children to trade to an alien race who would give them the vaccine to a deadly virus sweeping across the country.
The bus stopped in remote moorland and the children were guided towards a bright light by a very young Captain Jack Harkness, who when asked by Clement if it was safe, lied.
However, as all the other children were taken by the 456, Clement was not, and when the lights went out, he ran. He ran so hard and so fast that he was undetected by the military attachments securing the deal. As far as Jack Harkness and the group involved were concerned, the deal had gone through, and the vaccine was granted.
Living rough from the age of 11, Clement, who took on the new name of Timothy White, possibly after the popular fizzy pop manufacturers at that time, avoided detection and drifted through a series of care homes and institutions. It was only after a video taken of him standing in the garden of the Duke of York psychiatric hospital staring up at the skies chanting ‘We Are Coming’ that investigations were carried out as to the identity of the middle aged man, who seemed to be the only adult affected by the power of the 456.
When Gwen Cooper interviewed Clement, and gained his trust, he told her of his childhood, at the care home, and of the moment the aliens took his friends away. What he couldn’t tell her was of the involvement of her Captain, Jack Harkness.
During the 1965 incident, Captain Jack himself had caused permanent damage to Clem’s psyche after placing a comforting hand upon his shoulder and lying to him about how safe the 456 were. It was this moment that developed over the years the nervous tic, and the words ‘Isn’t it? Isn’t it?’
His closeness to the ship and the power of the 456 had also given him the power to detect smells on the air, rather like an animal can over humans, which helped him to determine when speaking with people, as to whether they were telling him the truth.
By deeply smelling Gwen’s hand during an interview at Duke of York psychiatric hospital, he was able to not just discover that she was indeed telling the truth about her meeting of alien races but also that she was pregnant.
With the military monitoring all communications from the Torchwood team in Cardiff, Clem’s location was deemed important to remove and isolate him from any further contact with Torchwood. However, with the powerful ability to detect trouble, Clem disappeared under his own volition. He spent time back on the street, but as the 456 presence grew increasingly closer, it was only a matter of time before Clem was back in the public eye, and taken into custody.
Pulling strings with the help of PC Andy Davidson, Gwen was able to release Clem into her custody and the pair left for London and a safe warehouse where they were in hiding from everyone outside of Torchwood.
However, it was only when Captain Jack Harkness returned to the warehouse did the entire truth of Torchwood’s involvement come to light. Clem, angered by the Captain, and fearful for his life, shot and killed Jack Harkness. His nervous tic grew increasingly stronger.
Towards the end of the 456’s grip on the world, it tied up one loose end. Clement MacDonald.
During a high pitched frequency that would have sent dogs into a frenzy, the power of the 456 generating inside of Clement MacDonald finally played the cruellest act. It physically killed him.
Clement MacDonald’s death signified the end of the 456 once Jack was able to replicate the frequency, and play it back to the alien threat, through the power of the children.
Earth was once again safe...for a little while.