Torchwood Logo 'Miracle Day'
Part 9:
'The Gathering'

by John Fay
Torchwood Cast

Two months later: Day Fifty-One of The Great Depression. The United Kingdom is now under martial law, with the police enforcing the government’s regulation that all Category Ones must be declared. In Swansea, Gwen ram-raids a chemist’s shop for much-needed medical supplies; she then sneaks the drugs into her parents’ home by hiding them inside some pizza delivery boxes, all-too aware that her actions are being watched by an agent on surveillance duty in the house opposite. With injured and ill people being taken away by the authorities, and the Overflow Camps now reopened, Gwen and her family have been forced to hide Geraint in the cellar, where he now lies on a camp bed secreted away behind a false wall. Meanwhile, in a remote house at St. Margaret’s Halt in Scotland, Jack and Esther are still on the run. Thanks to Esther’s administrations Jack is making a good recovery from his gunshot wound; the two of them are also stockpiling supplies of Jack’s blood, the only weapon they have… In C.I.A. Headquarters in Langley, Virginia, Rex’s team are hard at work tracking down the Families, unaware of the traitor in their midst: Charlotte Wills. Rex informs Shapiro that they finally have a lead: a Manhattan newspaper report detailing the sale of tickets to see a man come back from the dead – something that bears a remarkable similarity to a pivotal moment in the life of a certain Jack Harkness. Although Charlotte is keen to point out that by now there must be over six-million descendants of the Families, all hidden under assumed names, Rex is undaunted – he has other information: a pulp-fiction story written by a Victor Podesta, published in a London newspaper in 1935, and obviously based on Jack’s story; and, despite the fact that all the Podestas subsequently vanished, Rex also has a report on the murder of Victor’s brother – including the whereabouts of the murder weapon, which has lain locked away and forgotten ever since. Realising that this knife will have Podesta’s blood on it, a worried Charlotte offers to help… Elsewhere, Jilly Kitzenger meets the Blue-Eyed Man on a park bench; when she complains about her new job working for Harry Boscoe, the man gives her a one-way ticket to Shanghai; it is booked under Jilly’s new name, Lucy Staten Meredith – she is finally going to see the Families and meet the Blessing… In Swansea, Gwen, Rhys and Mary receive a visit from the police; they are led by a government inspector named Finch, who suspects the Cooper family of harbouring an unsupported Category One deceased person. Empowered under the Emergency Miracle Act, Finch conducts a search of the premises; as Mary and Gwen watch anxiously, the official takes out a torch and looks around the cellar, but luckily all he finds is a mouse. As Gwen throws Finch and his men out of the house the governmental official makes a thinly-veiled treat – he hasn’t finished with Gwen and her family just yet… At C.I.A. headquarters, Charlotte reports to Rex that the D.N.A. trace has given negative results; Rex is disappointed, but still asks to see the digital copy of the Podesta story. Back in Swansea, a shopping van draws up outside the Cooper house, and a delivery man takes out a pallet from the back of the vehicle – where the real driver is currently tied up. Gwen doesn’t pay the delivery man much attention as he takes the shopping inside the house – until she turns to see that he is actually Oswald Danes in disguise, and that he is now holding baby Anwen. Furious at this intrusion from someone so monstrous, Gwen immediately beats Danes with a saucepan; after Rhys stops his wife’s attack - mainly so he can have a go too - Danes explains that he has been smuggled into the country by the same people who arranged transport for Jack. Danes has tracked down Torchwood because he has a name for them: that of the man who created the Miracle... Back in Langley, Rex confides to Shapiro that he suspects a leak on the team; Rex also tells his boss that he has used pattern-recognition software to track down other short stories that share the same prose-style as the 1935 one, which he believes were also written by Victor Podesta under an assumed name. Shapiro agrees to let Rex follow up this lead; the C.I.A. man is concerned over what is happening in the U.S., as with the White House stopping all immigration, the country is rapidly approaching a dictatorship – but who are the real dictators? In Swansea, the agent watching the Cooper house is surprised to receive a phone call from Gwen and a personal visit from Jack; held at gunpoint, the man is forced to take the Retcon drink that Jack offers him. With the agent now out of it, Jack and Esther enjoy a happy reunion with Gwen and Rhys; they are also surprised to find Danes tied up in the family kitchen. Danes explains that he has Jilly Kitzenger’s laptop; having easily hacked into it, he has been following his ex-P.A. ever since – until she completely ceased to exist at midday yesterday. When Danes tells the Torchwood team that Jilly was working for Harry Boscoe, Esther is less than impressed at the potential lead: ‘Harry Boscoe’ is not a person but a process, used during the Vietnam War by the C.I.A. as a means of supressing information to be given out in television reports. Examining Jilly’s laptop, Esther finds a news video file of a Chinese man badly burned in a hospital fire; with the report’s subtitles providing no further information, and unable to translate Mandarin, Esther is forced to contact Rex to ask for his help. Pleased to hear that his former team-mates are still alive, Rex takes the call into a secure office – much to the annoyance of the spying Charlotte. Having arrived in Shanghai, Jilly - now using the name Lucy Staten Meredith - meets a nerdy guy in a restaurant; the man is descended from the Families, and explains that they need Jilly’s story-telling expertise to write history. Jilly readily agrees, but is somewhat disconcerted to hear that as well as proving miraculous, the Blessing has also killed people… Rex reads Esther the translation of the video footage: the Chinese man refers to a “godsend” – a deliberate mistranslation of the subtitles by Jilly, which should actually read “The Blessing”; furthermore, the fire wasn’t in a hospital, but a blood bank. Rex also informs the Torchwood team that a similar fire destroyed a blood bank in Buenos Ares, Argentina, but before they can learn more, the Cooper household is stormed by a police S.W.A.T. team led by Finch. Using a thermal-imaging application on his iPhone, the inspector quickly locates Geraint behind the false wall in the cellar, and Gwen and Mary are powerless to stop him from taking the injured man away in an ambulance under police escort. When Gwen vows to go to Shanghai to put things right, Jack proposes using an old arms-dealing route as their means into the country. Then Rhys makes an important discovery: Shanghai and Buenos Ares are antipodes points, situated exactly opposite each other on the Earth’s surface. This fact is reflected in the Phi-Corp logo, which depicts a line through the letter Phi, representing a line through the world – it seems that Torchwood must split into two teams to continue their mission… Sometime later, one of Jack’s arms-dealing contacts sneaks him, Gwen and Danes of a container ship and onto a truck bound for Shanghai. Meanwhile, Rex meets Esther at Buenos Ares airport, having obtained Shapiro’s permission to go off the grid to track the Blessing; however, Rex is unaware that his progress is being tracked by Charlotte, who immediately informs the Families… Elsewhere, Jilly makes her way through the Shanghai back streets to a secret base manned by armed guards. Inside she meets a grey-suited woman, the Mother Colasanto, who escorts her into a lift; the woman informs Jilly that she is being taken to see the Blessing, something that is wonderful, exhilarating and vile. Emerging from the lift, Jilly finds herself in the depths of the complex, where her breath is taken away by seeing what so few else have: the Blessing is a massive vertical rift in a wall of blood-red rock, a tear that stretches the entire diameter of the Earth… Investigating a warehouse in Buenos Ares, Esther and Rex receive a call from Gwen, now in a gun-runners’ hideout in Shanghai with Jack and Danes. After checking that Rex has given Esther a steel case containing Jack’s blood - the only weapon the team have now - Gwen signs off. When Jack suddenly collapses in pain, Gwen checks his stomach wound and learns that her friend has been lying: his injury is far from healed. But as Gwen changes Jack’s dressing, Danes makes a startling discovery too: a drop of Jack’s blood is now moving of its own accord across the level floor – the Blessing is calling out to Jack…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Mekhi Phifer (Rex Matheson), Alexa Havins (Esther Drummond), Bill Pullman (Oswald Danes), Lauren Ambrose (Jilly Kitzinger), Sharon Morgan (Mary Cooper ), William Thomas (Geraint Cooper), Marina Benedict (Charlotte Wills), John de Lancie (Allan Shapiro), Paul James (Noah Miller), Teddy Sears (Blue-Eyed Man), Frances Fisher (The Mother Colasanto), Ian Hughes (Finch), Adam Silver (The Young Man), Willis Chung (Chinese Man), Danny Szam (Surveillance Guy), Jesse Wang (Chinese Worker), Gilbert Wynne (Old Man)

Directed by Guy Ferland
Produced by Brian Minchin and Kelly A. Manners
Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner, Jane Tranter and Bharat Nalluri
A BBC Cymru Wales, BBC Worldwide and Starz Entertainment production

US (Starz): 2nd September 2011 & 10.00 pm
UK (BBC1 & BBC 1 HD): 8th September 2011 @ 9.00 pm

*Featuring Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Rex Matheson and Esther Drummond