Showing your regular characters in a totally different light is very commonplace in science fiction shows, so it seems no surprise that Torchwood has decided to plough that particular furrow, and it is to their credit that they did it brilliantly and produced what was one of the best episodes of the series to date bettering Tregenna’s own Out of Time.
Catherine Tregenna’s script is up to the standards of her two series one episodes and there are some great character moments in this episode even though the characters are not the same as you would normally expect them to be. For instance Tosh has become a sluttish vamp; Owen has become a geek; Jack has become rather subdued and weak willed and Gwen appeared to totally forget Rhys. There isn’t much in the way of plot, but who needs plot when you get an episode like this one?
I mean poor Rhys. They go away for what one can only assume was a dirty weekend and when Gwen comes back from work that evening she pulls a gun on him and threatens to kill him and doesn’t appear to know who he is. That is one of the more disturbing bits in the episode, as is when Ianto is made to believe he is a monster and has killed two girls and could do the same again any moment.
Gareth David-Lloyd gave an excellent performance in this episode and you could almost believe that he did what he had committed the crimes that he thought he had done. You do have to feel sorry for Rhys and Kai Williams continued to give an impressive performance as Rhys here trying to keep it all together when his fiancee doesn’t recognise him. I mean how horrible would that be? In my opinion, that is one of the scariest things that I have ever seen on Torchwood to date because I know exactly how I would feel if my wife came home from work and didn’t know who I was. Also was it just me or did Rhys seem to know who Jack was? Perhaps Gwen didn’t Retcon him at the end of Meat or perhaps there is another explanation. Rhys didn’t seem to be that bothered about Adam but as he knows very little about Gwen’s life in Torchwood then he wouldn’t think twice about it. He also had other things on his mind at the time, like why did his fiancée not know who the hell he was.
Adam was an interesting character and the actor who played him did a good job but he didn’t really do a great deal did he? Well apart from mess about with the memories of all of the team that is. I mean when the episode started it was as though he had always been a member of Torchwood (and for the rest of the characters except for Gwen he had been) and he was even cleverly inserted into the clips in the pre-title sequence something that Buffy did for the episode Superstar when a minor character took centre stage. Then it started to get very frustrating as nobody seemed to notice that there was something wrong. Gwen did at the beginning when she came in from her weekend away and didn’t know who Adam was but that was soon put right when Adam did his shtick and in doing so removed her memories of her fiancée. Nice!
I don’t know if you can actually say that what Adam was doing was actually evil, because he was only doing what he needed to survive, which is essentially what all life forms do, but it certainly wasn’t very pleasant for a few of them, particularly Ianto and Gwen, so Jack had no choice but to give them all Retcon to make them forget the last few days because if they didn’t remember Adam, then he would just simply cease to exist and it would be like it never happened to the rest of them.
Owen and Tosh seemed to have swapped personalities in this episode with Owen becoming the nerdy one chasing his true love, rather than the otherway round, which we are used to. It just didn’t feel right really even though it was nice to see a very confident Tosh exuding a raw, sexuality that she has never done before and boy does she do it well. I am sure she was even wearing a tighter top that she might otherwise do but that might just be me being a bit pervy as Tosh is my favourite female character in Torchwood and how good was it that she ended up with a character with same name as myself in the episode? Probably not for anyone else to be honest but I liked it! It also seemed a bit strange feeling sorry for Owen as he was knocked back by Tosh when he was obviously fawning and totally, head over heels in love with her. God, that bought back memories of myself when I was about 13 but that isn’t important and I am digressing.
It was nice to finally see what the Boeshane peninsular looks like and to get a bit of background on Captain Jack even though by the end of the episode we know little more about his background than we did before. We now know who Gray is and we know what his parents looked like but that is about it. We still don’t know what his real name is which I think is still a good thing, as we don’t need to know much about him and what we know is quite enough for the time being. It also allows for them to give away bits and pieces over the course of time making his character even more fascinating. Well for me anyway. I mean do we even need to know Jack’s real name? Would it really make any difference if we did? I don’t think that it would.
Ok it wasn’t completely original and was like a mixture of Star Trek: TNG episode and a couple of Red Dwarf episodes but it was very well written, sympathetically directed, superbly acted and bought a lump to my throat on a number of occasions.
I would highly recommend this episode and hope that one day Catherine Tregenna will get a crack at Doctor Who.