Torchwood Logo 'Meat'

by Catherine Tregenna
Torchwood Cast

While driving to work at Harwood’s Haulage, Rhys receives a phone call from his secretary advising him that one of the firm’s lorries has been involved in an accident; arriving at the scene, he learns from a policeman that the driver has been killed, and that Torchwood want to investigate the truck’s suspicious cargo. As Rhys watches, a black SUV pulls up and the Torchwood team step out – including his girlfriend, Gwen Cooper… Discovering huge chunks of meat inside the lorry, Jack gives the order to confiscate the consignment and take a sample back to base for examination. Realising that the lorry belongs to her boyfriend’s firm, Gwen gives Toshiko the phone number of Harwood’s Haulage; posing as a police officer, Tosh questions Rhys and learns that the lorry was hired by ‘Harris and Harris’, with instructions to collect a cargo from a pick up point at a disused service station on the A470 and then take it to a meat supplier’s abattoir. Using the Hub’s medical facilities, Owen analyses the meat and determines that it is of alien origin; the team are understandably concerned, as the meat will have been used in all the pies, burgers and pasties made and sold in the area – including the pizzas they have just ordered. Gwen heads home to check on Rhys; after reassuring him that he will not be held accountable for the incident she returns to the Hub, unaware that Rhys has followed her and seen her meet with Jack. Gwen and Jack head for the warehouse area to join Ianto and Owen in their investigation of the premises, only to see Rhys arrive a few minutes later and meet with two other men; despite Gwen’s protestations, Jack is immediately suspicious, believing her boyfriend to be involved. Inside the warehouse, Rhys tries to convince the Harris brothers that he wants in; when they agree to show him their operation, Rhys is astonished and disgusted to see a number of workmen cutting chunks of meat from the living body of a gigantic, whale-like creature, which is being held captive, drugged and bound in chains… Returning home, Rhys is confronted by Gwen; both are angry at the lies they have told each other, and their ensuing argument only ends when Gwen reveals that she hunts and catches aliens for a living; when Rhys demands proof of her wild claims, Gwen takes him back to the Hub to meet Jack, Owen, Toshiko and Ianto. Jack and Rhys immediately lock horns, but the two men quickly reach an uneasy truce when Rhys reveals that he has gotten Torchwood a way into the warehouse: he has secured a job as delivery boy. Learning of the captive creature, Owen deduces that it was ‘washed ashore’ by the time-space Rift running through the city; realising that that despite its injuries, the beast is still growing, Jack resolves to stabilise its condition and help it return home. Rhys drives to the warehouse with Jack and the team hiding in the back of his van; while he keeps the Harris brothers and their employees busy loading up the vehicle, Torchwood sneak inside the warehouse. It isn’t long before Jack, Gwen and Tosh locate the creature; not only is it in pain, but it is also sentient, aware of everything being done to it… Meanwhile, Ianto is discovered incapacitating some of the workforce with a stun gun, and when one of the brothers, Dale, holds him and Rhys at gunpoint, Gwen, Jack and Tosh are forced to reveal themselves. Jack tries to convince Dale that his “Cash Cow” is an alien, but the man refuses to listen and opens fire at Gwen; Rhys jumps in the way of the bullet, and as Dale escapes in the confusion, the huge, imprisoned creature becomes enraged and starts to break free of its shackles. While Ianto deals with the Harris brother with the aid of his trusty stun gun, Owen uses the firm’s drug supplies to concoct a solution to administer to the furious beast – a mercy killing that swiftly ends its suffering. Some time later, after the Harris brothers have been given amnesia pills and the creature’s corpse has been incinerated, Owen finishes tending Owen’s wounds in the Hub’s medical bay. Jack orders Gwen to give Rhys a memory-wiping tablet too, but after spending a while with her boyfriend and seeing his excitement at the prospect of learning about alien life, Gwen refuses to administer the drug. With Gwen’s assurance that she trusts her boyfriend implicitly, Jack realises that he has no choice but to allow Rhys to continue to know all about Torchwood…

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), Colin Baxter (Policeman), Patti Clare (Ruth), Garry Lake (Vic), Gerard Carey (Greg Harris), Matt Ryan (Dale Harris)

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

TX (BBC2):
6th February 2008 @ 9.00 pm

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

*This episode was repeated on BBC3 at 11:00 pm, and then in a specially-edited pre-watershed version the following day, on BBC2 at 7.00 pm