Torchwood Logo 'A Day in the Death'

by Joseph Lidster
Torchwood Cast

Struggling with the fact that three days ago he came back from the dead, Owen finds himself sitting on a high rooftop ledge with a suicidal young woman as she prepares to jump to her death. The troubled woman, Maggie Hopkirk, explains that exactly one year ago she lost her husband, Brian, in a car accident, mere hours after they were married; but despite her efforts to come to terms with her loss, she just cannot go on anymore. Owen replies that he knows exactly how she feels, and tells her his story…

Relieved of his position as Torchwood’s Medical Officer, Owen is relegated to the role of tea boy while Martha Jones stands in for him; he is subjected to a series of tests to determine his suitability for duty, and encouraged to exercise regularly to ensure that his dead body cannot atrophy. After Jack asks Toshiko to look into an alien energy spike, she traces it to the residence of Henry John Parker, a reclusive millionaire and collector of alien artefacts. While Gwen coordinates an operation to locate and retrieve the source of the energy emissions, Owen goes home and spends a depressing time in front of his television. Wallowing in self-pity, Owen clears his flat of all food and toiletries, knowing that he will never need them again; he is soon interrupted by the arrival of Tosh, who has apparently come to keep him company; however, she seems more distracted by her bad day at work, and misses the fact that Owen’s attention is wandering as he considers his own problems. Finally snapping, Owen angrily breaks his own finger to show Tosh how he is no longer the man she professes to love; unable to stay in the same room as her, Owen runs from the apartment and heads in desperation for Cardiff Bay, where he plunges into the water – only to realise that he cannot drown. Thirty-six minutes later, when Owen finally claws himself back onto the jetty, he is met by Jack, who wonders how long his employee’s behaviour is going to last. Back at the Hub, Ianto determines that one of Parker’s artefacts is causing the energy spike; learning that the elderly collector’s home is heavily protected, Owen volunteers to break in – a dead man cannot trigger heat sensors… Warned by Martha that he must be careful as his lifeless body cannot mend, Owen sneaks past Parker’s guards and disables the generator that powers the security systems. After dealing with another gun-happy guard, Owen passes through a trophy room and into Parker’s bedroom, where he finds the old man lying in his bed, connected to various items of medical equipment; Parker is exited to find someone from Torchwood in his house, although he is somewhat disappointed to learn it isn’t Tosh. The collector reveals that after having three heart attacks and a failed heart bypass, he is now being kept alive by an alien artefact, which he calls ‘The Pulse’; however, Owen tells him that the only thing keeping him going is hope – the device itself is only capable of exploding, and when it does, dozens will be killed. After Parker hands over the device, Owen promises to stay with him as he faces his death; but when Parker suddenly suffers another heart attack, Owen’s medical training comes to the fore and he tries to save him – but his attempts prove useless, as with no breath, he cannot administer the kiss of life. As the device begins to go critical, Owen absorbs its energy into himself, preventing it from exploding. The crisis over, Jack, Gwen, Ianto, Tosh and Martha join Owen outside the Millennium Centre; her time at Torchwood at an end, Martha bids her newfound friends goodbye, kisses Jack, and then sets off back to U.N.I.T. Some time later, Owen confides to Tosh that he is scared of what is to come, but Tosh reassures him that she will be there for him; when Owen then heads home a photo of a young couple falls from above; looking up, he sees Maggie sitting on a rooftop, preparing to jump…

Having finished the story of how he came to find her, Owen explains to Maggie that the alien device was a reply to the messages sent out from Earth in search of extraterrestrial life; he then shows her that with such as a symbol of life in the darkness, life really is worth living after all…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Freema Agyeman (Martha Jones), Richard Briars (Henry John Parker), Christine Bottomley (Maggie Hopkirk), Louis Decosta Johnson (Farrington), Brett Allen (Taylor), Gill Kolirin (Webb)

Directed by Andy Goddard
Produced by Chris Chibnall and Richard Stokes
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC3):
27th February 2008 @ 9.00 pm

*Featuring Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato, Ianto Jones and Martha Jones

*This story premiered on BBC 3, immediately after the transmission of the previous episode, 'Dead Man Walking', on BBC2; it was then repeated in the usual timeslot on BBC2 on 5th March 2008 at 9.00 pm, and as a specially-edited pre-watershed version the next day, on BBC2 at 7.00 pm