Torchwood Logo 'From Out of the Rain'

by Peter J. Hammond
Torchwood Cast

In the 1920s, a mother takes her daughter to see ‘The Joshua Joy Travelling Show’, a carnival filled with clowns, jugglers, and many other performers. However, when the young girl accepts a showman’s offer to enter the fair, her mother is shocked to find that not only has her daughter suddenly vanished into thin air, but so too has the entire carnival…

In the present, a young man named Jonathan Penn is busy editing reels of old films together for a presentation at his parent’s cinema, ‘The Electro’, when he discovers footage of an old travelling fair. When Jonathan stops the film, the reel respools itself and begins playing; at the same time, in Torchood’s Hub, Captain Jack hears a sinister whispering and the sound of pipe organ music… That evening, Gwen, Owen and Ianto visit ‘The Electro’; the old cinema has a history of Rift activity, and has now been reopened as a museum a showing historical footage from the local area. Joining the sparse audience, the trio watch looped sequences from the old carnival, and are surprised to see footage of Jack as one of the performers. When the cinema’s owners, Dave and Faith, realise that the wrong film is playing they tell their son to stop the projector, but the machine refuses to shut down; back in the auditorium, Ianto sees two strange shadows run away from the screen… As Toshiko’s computers report Rift activity and the sound of fairground music, Jack joins his colleagues at the cinema, waxing lyrical that film killed off the travelling shows. Meanwhile, on the rainy streets of Cardiff, the travelling showman, known as the ‘Ghostmaker’, and one of his performers, a ‘mermaid’ named Pearl, attack a young woman, Natalie Williams, stealing her soul and all the moisture from her body. Questioning Jonathan about his film compilation, Jack and Ianto surmise that something has used the old footage to come through into the present. Following a lead from Tosh, the Torchwood team head for the hospital where Nettie’s comatose form has just been admitted; a quick examination by Owen reveals that the girl is barely alive, even though her body is almost totally dehydrated – somehow her life force has been separated from her body. Reviewing the Penns’ old film reels back at the Hub, Jack explains to his colleagues that he was sent undercover to the carnival, posing as ‘The Man Who Couldn’t Die’ in order to investigate rumours of Night Travellers – ghosts that came out of the rain leaving behind them a trail of death, damage and sorrow. Ianto realises that two of the people he saw earlier are now missing from the films – somehow, the showman and a girl have escaped from the film and gained physical form… Out on the rain-soaked city streets, the Ghostmaker and Pearl claim more victims, stealing the souls of a restaurant owner, and a young couple and their two children. Seeking refuge at a disused swimming baths, the Ghostmaker gloats over a mysterious silver flask, while formulating a plan to steal the remaining film reels and bring back the rest of his troupe; meanwhile, inside a nearby chalet, stand the ghosts of the Ghostmaker and Pearl’s victims… Learning that the comatose forms of a young family have been brought to the hospital, Jack and Ianto question the A&E nurse; when the woman hears Jack talk of people coming out of the rain, she is reminded of stories told by a patient at the Providence Park psychiatric home; Jack and Ianto pay a visit to the old lady, Christina, who tells them how a man named the Ghostmaker kidnapped people from her village years ago, so that he could steal their last breaths. Searching through old records, Gwen uncovers other accounts of people going missing over the years, reports of stolen breath, and a silver flask. Breaking into Jonathan’s flat, the Night Travellers steal the rest of the old film reels and then attack Dave and Faith. Responding to a call from Jonathan, Jack and his team arrive at the cinema; realising that the Night Travellers have spent so long on film that they have transformed into living celluloid, and are now just creatures comprised of light and dark, Jack devises a way to deal with them: he can trap them on film with a hand-held cine camera, and then destroy them by exposing the film to sunlight. Finding Dave and Faith’s comatose bodies in the auditorium, Jack and Ianto watch as the curtains open and the old film begins playing; as Jack begins filming, images of the troupe step out of the film and join Pearl by the stage – soon they will reclaim the city… While searching the building Owen is attacked by the Ghostmaker, but his lack of breath prevents him from becoming the showman’s next victim. Snatching the flask from the showman’s hand Ianto races out of the cinema and into the streets; however, the Ghostmaker easy catches up with him, and, having retrieved the stolen flask, he removes its stopper and casts the trapped souls inside to the wind – at the hospital, the showman’s victims begin dying, one by one…. Jack arrives on the scene and quickly films the showman; he then exposes the film in the camera, destroying the Ghostmaker and the rest of his fellow performers. Catching the falling flask before it can smash on the ground, Ianto manages to trap the last of the souls inside the vessel; racing to the hospital with Jack, he is able to save the life of the last victim, a young boy. Some time later, after Ianto has destroyed all the remaining reels of film, Jack places the flask in the safe in his office; however, he can’t help wondering about the possibility that other reels of film are still out there somewhere…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Williams [Gwen Cooper]), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Julian Bleach (Ghostmaker), Camilla Power (Pearl), Craig Gallivan (Jonathan), Gerard Carey (Greg)+, Steven Marzella (Dave Penn), Hazel Wyn Williams (Faith Penn), Lowri Sian Jones (Nettie Williams), Eileen Essell (Christina), Anwen Carlisle (Restaurant Owner), Yasmin Wilde (Senior Nurse), Caroline Sheen (A&E Nurse), Alastair Sill (Young Dad), Catherine Olding (Young Mum)
+[Credited by does not appear]

Directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett
Produced by Richard Stokes
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production

TX (BBC3):
12th March 2008 @ 9.50 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, 'Something Borrowed', on BBC2; it was then repeated in the usual timeslot on BBC2 on 19th March 2008 at 9.00 pm, and as a specially-edited pre-watershed version the next day, on BBC2 at 7.00 pm

*Gwen is still billed as 'Gwen Cooper', although technically she is now Gwen Williams; the novel 'SkyPoint' has a scene where Gwen decides to keep her maiden name