Torchwood Logo 'Random Shoes'

by Jacqetta May
Torchwood Cast

Twenty-eight year-old Eugene Jones awakes to find himself lying in the middle of the A48 road. When the Torchwood team arrive and tend to a dead body lying by the roadside, Eugene is shocked to learn that they cannot see or hear him – and that the face of the corpse is his own… Gwen is intrigued by some pictures of random shoes on Eugene’s mobile phone, and decides to find out how he died. Meanwhile, Eugene struggles to recall what happened to him, and thinks back to a pivotal moment in his life, when his failure to answer a simple question in the Inter-School Maths Final cost his team first prize; as consolation, his teacher, Mr Garrett, gave him a gift of a small, eye-like sphere which fell from the sky during a round of golf. Eugene found comfort in the eye, and his hope that one day its alien owner would return to retrieve it helped him through the separation of his parents. Over the years, Eugene became interested in U.F.O.s; during a chance encounter with Torchwood, he met Gwen Cooper, but his subsequent attempts to get her to talk to him always failed. Gwen and her Torchwood colleagues visit Eugene’s mother to break the news of her son’s death; they then take his possessions back to the Hub, unaware that the invisible Eugene has sneaked a ride, and is now in heaven amongst the wonders on display in Torchwood’s headquarters. While Gwen conducts an autopsy on Eugene, Ianto receives word that a drunk driver has owned up to the hit and run incident; however, Gwen still feels that there is something odd about Eugene’s death, and decides to investigate. Unaware that Eugene is tagging along, Gwen meets video-rental shop assistant Josh, who dismisses Eugene as a failure, and Eugene’s workmates Gary and Linda at Passmore Telesales, who reveal that Eugene had recently sold his ‘Alien Eye’ on eBay for £15,0005.50. As Gwen’s enquiry continues, Eugene finds that he is able to influence her in subtle ways. Talking to Eugene’s brother Sean, Gwen learns that Eugene recently discovered that his father had not emigrated to America after all, but was in fact working in a local garage, news that caused Eugene to lose faith in everything, including his prized Alien Eye. Back at Torchwood, Jack suggests that Eugene’s most treasured possession could be a ‘Dogon Sixth Eye’, an extraterrestrial artefact that enables its owner to see things in perspective. Following a lead, Gwen visits to an exhibition on Black Holes; here she meets Gary, who reveals that he deliberately hiked the eBay auction in order to cheer up Eugene, but things got out of hand when a mystery bidder submitted an offer of £15,000, leading Eugene to believe that his alien had returned for the item. Eugene comes to hope that Gwen’s investigation never ends because he has fallen in love with her, and he spends the night lying next to her while she sleeps. The next day, Gwen heads for the roadside café where Eugene was to have met the winning bidder; when Gary and Josh arrive too, the truth is quickly revealed: the pair of them were the auction winners. Having got swept up in the bidding, Gary and Josh outbid the person who bid £15,000, even though they only actually had £34 between them; they tried to force Eugene into selling them the Eye so that they could then sell it to the collector who bid before them, but Eugene refused, and so Josh got violent; in the ensuing scuffle, Eugene’s attempt to phone for help accidentally resulted in his photographing Gary, Josh and the waitress’ shoes; he then swallowed the Alien Eye to stop his attackers from getting it, and ran out of the café – straight into the path of an oncoming car. Some time later, while sitting next to Gwen at his own cremation, Eugene reflects on how swallowing the Eye gave him the chance to look back on his life; to Eugene’s surprise, his father also attends the ceremony, to give a moving eulogy to his late son, and a rendition of ‘Danny Boy’. After the ceremony, Gwen recovers the Dogon Sixth Eye from Eugene’s ashes, and then attends the wake held by Eugene’s family. Distracted by the wonderful sight of Eugene’s parents finally reconciling, Gwen is unaware of a car bearing down on her – in the nick of time Eugene rushes forward and manages to push her out of harm’s way. Astonished that she can suddenly see and touch Eugene, Gwen thanks him for saving her life with a kiss. Realising that he remained on Earth so that he could save Gwen, Eugene bids her goodbye and ascends to the afterlife…

John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Paul Chequer (Eugene Jones), Luke Bromley (Young Eugene Jones), Nicola Duffett (Bronwen Jones), Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mr Garrett), Steve Meo (Josh), Celyn Jones (Gary), Robyn Isaac (Linda), Gareth Potter (Sean Jones), Joshua Hughes (Terry Jones), Amy Starling (Wiatress), Leroy Libyrd (Café Owner), Ryan Chappell (Pete)

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

TX (BBC3):
Sunday 10th December 2006 @ 10.00 pm
(BBC2 TX: Wednesday 13th December @ 9.00 pm)

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

*Working titles: 'Dead Man Walking' and 'Invisible Eugene'

*This episode was incorrectly billed in the ‘Radio Times’, listed with its working title, ‘Invisible Eugene’

*For the episode's first transmission, instead of the usual ‘BBC Three’ D.O.G. (Digital On-screen Graphic), a 'CBBC' one was incorrectly used!