Torchwood Logo 'Adrift'

by Chris Chibnall
Torchwood Cast

Gwen is contacted by her former partner, Police Constable Andy, and asked to help with a case concerning a missing teenager. Seven months ago, fifteen-year old Jonah Bevan was crossing the bridge known as The Barrage on his way home, when he inexplicably vanished into thin air; CCTV footage showed a strange flash of light just before the boy’s disappearance – and then, forty-five minutes later, Captain Jack Harkness appeared on the scene… Gwen is understandably intrigued, and, having reassured Andy that the case is not a Torchwood cover up, sets about investigating the matter. Choosing not to involve Jack as yet, Gwen turns to Toshiko, who determines that there was no identifiable Rift activity at the time of Jonah’s disappearance. Gwen visits Jonah’s mother, Nikki, a woman whose hope that her son is still alive has driven her to obsession: she keeps Jonah’s room and possessions untouched, scans recordings of crowds in the hope she may see her missing boy, and has just set up a support group, ‘Searchlight’, for other people who have faced similar losses. Tosh’s investigations uncover evidence of a ‘negative’ Rift spike – instead of merely depositing alien flotsam and jetsam onto the streets of Cardiff, the space / time rift is also taking people… Attending the inaugural meeting of ‘Searchlight’, Gwen and Andy are astonished to discover that Nikki is not alone – dozens of other people have lost loved ones too. Shaken by the magnitude of the situation, Gwen gets Tosh to cross-reference every missing person reported in Cardiff over the last few years with records of negative Rift activity; when everything matches, the two women realise they have an epidemic of missing persons on their hands… Gwen and Tosh decide to present their findings to the rest of the team, only to be told by Jack to close down their investigation. Gwen’s preoccupation with the Rift’s abductions begins to intrude on her personal life, to the point that Rhys voices his concern that her job will tear their marriage apart. Deciding to confront Jack, Gwen inadvertently interrupts a liaison between her boss and Ianto; but when Gwen announces that she is going to make Jonah her special project, Jack once again warns her to leave the matter alone; however, unbeknownst to Jack, Ianto has left Gwen a G.P.S. device containing directions to a small island in the Bristol Channel. The following morning, Gwen and Andy hire a boat to investigate the island, but at the last minute Gwen decides to leave her former colleague behind and go it alone. Arriving on the island Gwen heads for its lighthouse; looking out of a window she sees two people below, leading a third person between them, whose head is covered with a blanket; Gwen’s puzzlement immediately turns to surprise when she sees Jack striding closely behind the trio, heading for the entrance of a nearby underground bunker… Following the group, Gwen bluffs her way inside the bunker by pretending to be with Jack; inside, a nurse named Helen leads her down several corridors, each lined with rooms containing people in obvious distress. With a shock, Gwen realises that the names outside each room match those of the missing people – and the last one is marked ‘Jonah’. Jack appears and tries to explain, but Gwen cuts him short and demands to see Jonah; however, when she steps inside she is stunned to find not a teenager, but a man in his mid-fifties, his face scarred from terrible burns – when the Rift took Jonah, it transported him to a world engulfed in the fires of the end of the solar system, but he was lucky enough to be saved by a rescue ship. Gwen tells Jonah that his mother misses him, and he tearfully asks to see her. Gwen and Jack finally talk: Jack explains that when he took over Torchwood he discovered several people held in the Vault, their bodies and minds ravaged from falling through the Rift; no-one at Torchwood knew what to do with them, so Jack set up the secret nursing home to provide help to those few lucky enough to return home through the Rift. Jack wants the whole affair kept quiet, but when Gwen implores him to allow her to bring Jonah’s mother to the island, he reluctantly agrees. Nikki is brought to meet her son, but she refuses to believe the scarred man before her is her missing boy, until he recounts personal details that only he would know; unfortunately their happy reunion is short-lived – Jonah’s condition enters a downswing, and he begins a chilling, primal scream that lasts for hours, driving his horrified mother away. Jack tells Gwen the rest of Jonah’s tragic story: the boy looked into the heart of a dark star and was driven mad…

One week later, Gwen visits Nikki to inform her that she can see Jonah whenever she wants. However, Nikki is far from happy, and instead wishes Gwen never got involved; Nikki’s fond memories of her son have now been tainted, and she believes she was better off not knowing his fate, as her hope kept her going. Breaking into tears, Nikki begins putting away everything that reminds her of her son. Returning to the Hub, Gwen takes down all her research on the missing people; she then goes home to seek comfort in the arms of her loving husband…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Tom Price (P.C. Andy), Ruth Jones (Nikki Bevan), Lorna Gale (Helen), Oliver Ferriman (Young Jonah Bevan), Robert Pugh (Old Jonah Bevan)

Directed by Mark Everest
Produced by Richard Stokes
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC3):
19th March 2008 @ 10.00 pm

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

*This story premiered on BBC 3, immediately after the transmission of the previous episode, 'From Out of the Rain', on BBC2; it was then repeated on BBC2 on 21st March 2008 (Good Friday) at 9.00 pm, and as a specially-edited pre-watershed version the following Tuesday, on BBC2 at 7.00 pm