Torchwood: Dead Man Walking
I suppose that something like this was always going to happen from the moment at the end of They Keep Killing Susie when Ianto quipped that gloves usually come in pairs that at some point the other risen mitten would find its way to Torchwood and be used again. I am not sure if I thought they would use it in quite the way that they did.
You would have thought that after what happened to Susie when they tried that that they would think twice before meddling with dark arts like that but having said that would they have needed to do so if Owen hadn’t been shot by Jim Robinson in the previous episode? I would have thought not and the risen mitten would have remained in that church with the weevils for a little bit longer until Torchwood decided to go looking for it, which may never have happened.
And it wasn’t as though any member of Torchwood crew decided to stop Jack from bringing Owen back to life again even when they were aware of what had happened the first time round. In particular Tosh who has now admitted her feelings for Owen and Gwen who had a thing with Owen during the first series.
It has to be said though that why does it take Owen to become a walking, talking bag of flesh before he gets another episode all to himself. The episode was basically about Owen and what might have happened to him after being bought back to life and how he was coping with not being able to do the things that most of us take for granted which seems to be drinking, farting and shagging according to Owen, but surely there is more to life than just those three things?
Despite the rather depressing mood of the episode there were some funny moments mixed in with the despair and all round apathy of the episode such as the moment when Owen has to expel several pints of lager from his stomach due to the fact of him no longer having a working digestive system and the bit when that woman who appeared to be on a hen night virtually manhandled Owen and was a bit disappointed when he didn’t respond. Well I suppose being dead was a good enough excuse but it would still smart!
There were some good effects in this episode most notably the representation of the grim reaper as a skeleton who walks around in a huge puff of smoke, well it makes a difference from the usual depiction of a bloke in a cowl carrying a scythe doesn’t it? Burn Gorman manages to look even uglier than usual when he was possessed by whatever the hell it was that was possessing him, because we were never actually sure what it was that had taken him over and was keeping him unalive were we. Was it actually death or was is some other alien force that needed death. I am not sure and I am not sure if we will ever truly find out, something’s are just best left unexplained.
Martha didn’t really have a great deal to do in this episode except start the autopsy on Owen at the start of the episode before Jack decides to go an resurrect him and kick start the plot of the episode which might otherwise have been loads of people sitting around moping about the death of Owen. Oh yes she also had to fend of the risen mitten and then be aged greatly allowing them to use a similar make up job they used of Tennant in the final two episodes of series three.
Just like then there was a plot maguffiny thingie that allowed Martha to be returned to her normal state at the end of the episode and you would have thought that might have been Martha’s cue to leave Torchwood but no she seems to be in next weeks episode for even more punishment. I mean what in the hell can they do to her in the next episode that is worse than what happened to her in this episode and the fact that she nearly died in Reset?
This episode is not really designed to be viewed on its own as it the middle episode of a trilogy and as a result will only be truly appreciated when you see the final episode of the trilogy next week. Not the best of Torchwood episodes, but still great television