Torchwood Logo 'Ghost Machine'

by Helen Raynor
Torchwood Cast

Having detected the presence of active alien technology in the city, the Torchwood team trace the signal to a young man; but as Jack, Owen and Gwen give chase, the youth manages to give them the slip at the train station, leaving a frustrated Gwen holding only his jacket. On finding a device inside one of the pockets, Gwen accidentally activates it – and immediately experiences a vision from the Second World War, in which a frightened young evacuee named Tom Erasmus Flanagan arrives in the city. Back at the Hub, the team discovers that Tom is still alive and living in Cardiff; Gwen decides to pay the elderly Tom a visit, and learns that in 1941, when he was eight years old, Tom was evacuated from London; the incident was a frightening one, as a mix-up caused the family that was due to meet him to arrive late, leaving the young boy feeling lost and afraid. Some time later, the team search for the youth who owned the alien device - a nineteen-year-old named Sean ‘Bernie’ Harris; when their mission proves fruitless, Jack decides to return to the train station to use the device to recreate Gwen’s vision; however, before they can leave, the machine activates in Owen’s hands, showing him the rape and murder of a young girl named Lizzie Lewis at the hands of a local boy called Ed Morgan back in 1963. While Owen recovers from his harrowing experience, Jack and Tosh determine that the alien device is a quantum transducer – a device capable of amplifying the energy of intense human emotion to create ghostly manifestations. That evening, Jack teaches Gwen how to use firearms on the Torchwood underground firing range; returning home late to an empty flat, Gwen finds that Rhys has gotten tired of waiting for her, and has stayed out late playing poker with friends. Feeling melancholy, Gwen takes out the ghost machine that she has sneaked out of Torchwood, and uses it to re-experience some happy memories spent with Rhys; when she is interrupted by the arrival of her boyfriend, the two of make up and head for bed. Obsessed by his vision of Lizzie’s murder, Owen stays up all night to uncover Ed Morgan’s current address; visiting the elderly man the next morning, he confronts Ed over his involvement in Lizzie’s death; however, Ed refuses to succumb to what he believes is a blackmail attempt, and throws Owen out of his house. Outside, Owen spies Bernie, who has been watching Ed’s house; after a chase across neighbouring gardens, Owen manages to corner the youth, and then takes him off to a local pub. Once they are joined by the rest of the Torchwood team, Bernie reveals that he found the device amongst the belongings of a man who recently died, and decided to steal it for his own use; but when he took hold of the machine, he too saw visions: a young single mother drowning the baby she couldn’t afford to keep, and Edwin Morgan killing Lizzie. Taking the team back to his flat, Bernie hands over some alien money, an extraterrestrial rock sample – and a second part of the ghost machine; he then explains that he hid this other segment after seeing a vision of his own imminent death in a road accident. When Gwen then holds the assembled device, she sees a vision of herself holding a bloody knife; the experience leaves her shaken, but Jack reassures her that what she saw was only a possible event – her future is not set in stone. Gwen returns to Bernie’s flat to assure him than the vision of his death may not come true, only to learn that the youth has been blackmailing Ed over Lizzie’s murder. Seeing Ed approaching Bernie’s flat on CCTV, Tosh sends a warning to Gwen; heading outside, Gwen and Bernie are confronted by Ed, now racked with guilt over the murder he thought long buried, and brandishing a knife with which to kill his blackmailer. Jack and Owen arrive just in time to stop him, but when Owen takes the knife from the old man’s hand, he finds himself unable to stop himself, and menaces Ed with the blade to show him what it would have been like for Lizzie. Realising he has let his emotions take control, Owen hands Gwen the knife; however, Ed’s paranoia has now unhinged his mind, and he deliberately falls onto the blade in Gwen’s hand. Some time later, after Ianto has locked the ghost machine in Torchwood’s secure archives, Jack seeks to give Gwen some measure of comfort, telling her that they must learn to live with the ghosts all around them…

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), Gareth Thomas (Edwin ‘Ed’ Morgan), Ben McKay (Sean ‘Bernie’ Harris), Lilnos Daniel (Eleri), John Normington (Tom Erasmus Flanagan), Emily Evans (Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Lewis), Christopher Elson (Young Ed Morgan), Christopher Greene (Young Tom Erasmus Flanagan), Julie Gibbs (Bernie's Mum), Ian Kay (Snooker Player), Ryan Conway (Kid in Arcade), Kathryn Howard (Woman in Shop)

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

TX (BBC3):
29th October 2006 @ 10.00 pm
(BBC2 TX: Wednesday 1st November @ 9.00 pm)

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