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Headscratchers: Torchwood
For Miracle Day headscratchers, see here.
  • Let's just make a brief recount of what they do wrong:

    • Everything Changes: They resurrect a dead guy without making sure that they can't be seen by anyone, which fails when Gwen watched them from a floor above them.
      • Even without Jack's leadership Torchwood has been known for screwing up before The Battle Of Canary Wharf can attest to that.
    • Day One: They send Owen and leave him alone and without vigilance (Something they did when Gwen got affected because girl on girl is hot) with an alien possesing a girl who already killed some guys by having sex with them.
    • Ghost Machine: Gwen uses the strange device they just reassembled without knowing what it really does (It's an alien artifact. It may look as a salt pot and be a nuclear bomb), and at the end of the chapter, Sean (The thief) goes to the street where he said that he saw himself covered in blood and dead. Seriously man, if you believe that you're going to die out there, THEN DON'T GO! Yeah, he managed to fight fate, but if I didn't know that, I would have done everything I could to avoid that.
    • Cyberwoman: My first question is HOW THE HECK DID IANTO MOVE HIS ANDROID GIRLFRIEND AND THE MACHINE THAT TURNED HER INTO A HALF ROBOT WITHOUT ANYONE NOTICING? I can believe that he brought the machine in pieces, but how did he bring her without anyone noticing? Second, why didn't they find about this earlier? I would think that an organization like this would make regular inspections on their rooms to check if there's anything wrong or missing (Even a wet cardboard box has more security than them).
    • Smallworld: I don't think that having the team blaming Jack is being idiots, just pissed off because they couldn't save the girl. But I still calll them idiots for hating him when the fairies threatened to destroy Earth if they didn't give them the girl. I mean, seriously guys? Would you rather kill all humankind because of a single little girl?
    • Greek Bearing Gifts: Tosh got laid with a woman who really was a criminal alien who lied to her, killed a lot of people and wanted to go back to her planet to avoid punishment. Alright, she didn't knew that at the time, but she's still an idiot for bringing her to Torchwood without telling anyone so she could get back her teleporter and go back home. Anyone else would think it's dangerous because she could use you to steal anything important and/or dangerous, but as I exposed, the guys from Torchwood are idiots.
    • They keep killing Suzie: This goes for Gwen, as she not only feels responsible for killing Suzie (That bitch deserved it for killing people and later commiting suicide), but also takes her out of their secret base to meet her father (It doesn't really matters because she was already dead and was temporaly alive) and almost died in the process. I'm the only one who thinks that she deserved to die for being Too Dumb to Live?
    • The End of Time: Sure, let's open the rift and kill Jack because he doesn't want us to endanger the universe just because Gwen's boyfriend was killed. What's the worst that could happpen? Oh, I don't know. Maybe a giant demon who can killl anyone stepping on his shadow?! By this episode, Torchwood should've been dismantled, their members killed and all alien technology thrown in Area 51 to avoid any incidents like this.
  • Minor, but still annoying thing about "Something Borrowed"... after Owen offers Toshiko that dance, where the hell do they go? They're not in the background when the others are dancing, even though Gwen's parents and such are. I would've liked to see them dance; it was a sweet moment.
    • Unfortunately, we don't see them dancing as far as I know. Some crew member or writer apparently felt that the fans would rather see more of the Gwen, Jack, and Ianto in their confusing pseudo-Love Triangle. Tosh and her dead man can be seen watching Jack and Jones dancing if you look closely. But that's about it.
  • Speaking about the series as a whole: Why is Torchwood so fucking incompetent?
    • Offscreen, they're not. But the most dangerous stuff happens when they screw up, so that's what we see. Same principle as Starfleet security.
      • Off-screen doesn't count, though. We can only go by the evidence we've got. And the evidence we've got... indicates Torchwood Cardiff just ain't up to the job.
      • How the hell does off-screen not count? Anyway, the important thing is that the Earth is still pretty damn intact despite all the shit that's thrown at it in the way of alien threats, which to my mind says Torchwood Cardiff are plenty up to the job.
      • Yeah I'm pretty sure the aforementioned Starfleet thing explains it. Doctor Who has the excuse of a sentient ship which literally throws him into the path of trouble whenever it feels like it, but since Torchwood doesn't have that... I always thought that half the point of Torchwood was "humans screw up bad, but hang on, they'll get there in the end"?
      • "Earth is still pretty damn intact despite all the shit that's thrown at it in the way of alien threats, which to my mind says Torchwood Cardiff are plenty up to the job" you don't think that might be some one else's doing?

    • Part of the problem might be, as discussed below, Jack seems to have made TW 3 into a foster home for messed-up people and hotties who won't leave him alone. He didn't hire Ianto at first, even though he knew he had the qualifications. It took wrestling on the ground/an almost kiss for Mr. TW 1 survivor to get a job. Actually, that was after he told Jack he was messed-up. So I don't even know. His screening/hiring methods suck. Clearly.
      • Okay here's the most basic explanation I can come up with for Torchwood's incompetence: we're a moderately primitive (SJA called us "level five" which apparantly means "smart enough to talk, not smart enough for lightspeed yet") species dealing with a stonking great rift in time and space. Said Rift reguarly throws out completely alien stuff at us which may be from places far technologically superior to our own, violent, or simply from a world not suited to cope with us carbon based lifeforms. One of Torchwood's primary objectives is to hoard and claim all this alien tech in the hopes that we can use it to further our own development and learn how to cope with whatever's coming, but saying they're the best ones prepared to deal with all these coming "changes" in the twenty first century is a bit like saying a mouse with a pistol is more capable of taking on a cat than a mouse without one: sure the mouse may have hoarded the technology and based on studies into the species intelligence, it could maybe even eventually work out how to push it around on the ground or nudge the sticky out bit or something, but that doesn't mean it knows how to use it effectively. Torchwood are completely out of their depth, trying to deal with stuff that's WAY over their heads. How do you think you'd cope? I'd say that most of the cast did well just to survive for as long as they did.
    • If the team dealt with every threat swiftly and successfully, every episode would be about five minutes long. Sometimes writers have to choose between realism and good storytelling.
      • Difficulty handling the problems wasn't the issue. The problem is the number of episodes where it was the actions of a Torchwood team member that actually caused the problem. What's the point of them being Earth's protectors when their actions are what Earth needs protecting from?

  • While it just bugs me in general that this show just loves to make a big deal about how awesome Jack is, there was one particular speech he gave to his team that came off to me as particularly hollow. Near the end of "Greeks Bearing Gifts" he makes a big deal his team and Mary about how he pays attention when his friends start acting weird and distracted. Three episodes earlier, Ianto was up to similar but far worse shenanigans than Tosh was and throughout the episode managed to act more awkward and suspicious than usual. But when he disappeared and suddenly there seemed to be intruders in Torchwood, it took Jack a little bit to come to the conclusion that his little pet might maybe be up to sketchy activities. Just admit it Jack, you were only paid attention because you knew she was trying to read your mind.
    • Not really. At least till the episode of Greeks Bearing Gifts the series does its hardest to point out how awful a leader Jack. Lets see: he fails to notice Ianto is keeping his cyberwoman girlfriend in the basement or that the CCTV goes missing whenever he needs to sneak someone in (despite probably sleeping with him through this period), he has not kept his team from stealing alien tec for personal reasons (as demonstrated in ep 1), he runs the worst "secret" secret organisation in the world, he has lost touch with the real world and other people (Gwen joins this team for this very reason), the team gets on well without him inbetween season 1 and 2, and all the team are pissed at him for giving Jasmine over to the fairies/aliens. He is pretty awful.
    • Well it's pretty strongly implied that no one pays that much attention to Ianto before "Cyberwoman", and it's also safe to assume that Ianto acted quiet and 'strange', always in the background, from the moment he was first hired. Plus, since Ianto was supposedly exchanging sexual favors with Jack by that point, Jack probably assumed he knew Ianto far better than he actually did and just let things slide. That, and, yeah, the characterizations in season 1 were inconsistent (to put it mildly).
      • Maybe what Jack actually meant was "I pay attention when my team act weird... or at least I've started to do so since I discovered that one of them was keeping a cyberwoman in the basement."
      • Well, I'd say that series three certainly subverted any perceptions we had of Jack as "awesome"... And I think it was probably intended to. Barrowman always said he wanted to play Jack as "a hero" but it's at the point now where they can't entirely logically keep doing that...
      • Your milage may vary. I thought Jack was awesome in season three. I really loved his character development, more so in fact, than seasons one and two combined.

  • According to Jack and the opening narration, Torchwood's mission is to "prepare humanity for the future" because the 21st century is when humanity makes "official" first contact. How can they possibly fulfill that mission if they spend their time collecting and hiding alien artifacts and covering up real instances of alien contact? In the Whoniverse, humanity has already had first contact, and it almost always is disastrous. This tells me that Torchwood is a complete and utter failure at its primary mission.
    • Jack never said "official first contact," he said and I quote "the 21st century is when everything changes and you've gotta be ready" - several times, might I add. Everything changes could refer to some global catastrophe or the Minister of Magic charming 10 downing street to glow rainbow colors just as easily as it could refer to first contact. And in case that's not enough for you - in ''Aliens of London'' the Doctor seems to make a clear distinction between official first contact and the myriad of alien invasions that have happened to the Earth. Perhaps an invasion doesn't count as first contact and Torchwood has never been seen to deal with a benevolent alien or groups thereof anyway.

  • Okay so after "Reset"', Owen is dead. (I can't believe they found a way to make those glorious words annoy me.) And they have made a point of making it very, very clear that he no longer undergoes normal human functions: no eating, no sleeping, no healing, no sex, and... no breathing. But if he can't breathe, how the hell is he talking? Airflow was one of the two mandatory parts of producing sound last time I checked. It's the first and most basic part— air passes over the vocal folds creating vibration, which is then modified by the vocal tract into recognizable intended sounds. No Breathing = No Talking. What really bugs me is that they could have avoided this problem fairly easily but they deliberately specified the parts that make it impossible to handwave.
    • A Wizard Did It. To paraphrase a poster on The Doctor Who Forum, this is a Verse with a giant talking head and regeneration- and you're complaining about a guy who can't breath talking?
      • But that's not a problem since those cases have either been set up as an alien species, the product of several million years of evolution, and/or both— and the Fo B even has what appears to be a life support system. So accepting those is much easier because there's something there to suspend one's disbelief from. But Martha seemed quite sure that Owen was "100% Human", just a dead one, and this is simple well known physiology. Anyone who's ever tried to talk while holding their breath knows this one. I'm not quibbling with the whole 'corpse running on absorbed energy' part because it's part of the genre, but going to the trouble of illustrating how even basic peristalsis is no longer functioning (and ew by the way) completely contradicts the idea that the guy's vocal cords are still working. And if that energy is running a bunch of his other muscles— which it obviously is because he can walk— why isn't his diaphragm working? All they had to do was say that he can breathe but just doesn't need to, and it might have made something resembling sense.
      • Maybe that's what is meant, and it was just poorly phrased. Maybe they meant "you cannot engage in aerobic respiration", rather than "breathe".
    • A possible explanation is found here.
      • If that explanation were accurate, no one would breathe, ever - it's true that CO2 is needed to trigger breathing, but there's more than enough in ambient air (which is what would putatively come out of Owen's lungs) to do that.
    • Seriously, I don't see the problem either. It's like vampires in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and other shows... they don't need oxygen, they don't to breathe to survive, but they can still physically go through the motions of breathing in and out to get air past their vocal cords whenever they want to talk. Is that so hard to understand? The script writers simply were too much in love with the What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic? idea that Owen could not give the old man the kiss of life because he himself was dead. Cue tiny violins. Bleh.
      • Yes, that is hard to understand, mostly because it's blatantly contradicted in "Prophecy Girl". Angel can't give Buffy CPR because he has no breath. (I guess it's not a "Bleh" moment when Buffy does it...) However, the rest of the series fits your explanation much better, so it's best to rationalize this and say Angel was just mistaken or unsure his breath would work.
      • No it was plenty damn annoying when Buffy did it too.
      • Possibly the most annoying part- lack of aerobic respiration should make it easier to give mouth to mouth, as inflating your lungs, and then expelling the air into someone else will only give them air.
    • The Resurrection Gauntlet is clearly some kind of Reality Warper device that breaks all known laws of science. Your point is therefore invalid.

  • At the end of the episode "Adam", the whole team has taken amnesia pills to forget the titular character, who can only exist if they remember him. Great plan, with one minor flaw - Rhys briefly met Adam earlier in the episode, and wasn't present when they took the amnesia pills, so what if he asks what happened to "that new guy"?
    • Compared to having five people who remember knowing him for three years, one guy who saw him for five minutes and wasn't particularly paying attention sounds like pretty thin gruel, metaphorically speaking. If Adam could survive on casual acquaintances, he wouldn't have needed that masquerade at all - just take human shape and start meeting people. Better question: If the team had three years of Fake Memories implanted, how does wiping the last 48 hours fix that?
      • The seance session removed the implanted memories. As for Rhys, the impression I got was that Adam was completely destroyed rather than reverted to spirit form, so there's nothing for him to come back from.
      • I believe this is an instance of "I know that X was always the case today, but was it always the case yesterday?" For example, Toshiko could recall a year long relationship with Adam since two days ago, so regardless of how far back Toshiko believes she can remember, since those memories are actually only two days old, they'll be flushed out along with anything else that she's remembered from that time.
    • How did Adam even get there? He was stuck in the void for ages and ages, then showed up at Torchwood. He only exists if someone remembers him. How did he start implanting the fake memories, if, before they were there, he didn't exist?
      • It's implied that Adam escaped from some alien artifact (the unidentified one that they're trying to label early on and that Jack pours sand out of at the end) that came through the rift.
  • Does Torchwood have a janitor? Certainly a huge, century-old subterranean compound full of bizarre gadgets and staffed by a handful of thirtysomethings doesn't stay immaculate on its own. So is there some night shift that comes in to wipe the fingerprints off the big glass tubes and pick up the pizza crusts from under Owen's desk, or do they just make Ianto clean up after everyone?
    • Pretty much, yeah. There's a scene in a series one episode where he lets them know he isn't at all happy with it.
  • What's with the scene between Gwen and Jack at the start of the second series? It's played like Jack and Gwen are in love, with Jack being slightly horrified to learn that Gwen is getting married to Rhys. Last I checked, the Gwen/Jack 'ship ran aground after the "learning to fire guns" bit in episode two or three, and Gwen went off with Owen while Jack started shagging Ianto.
    • More to the point, why does he say all that in front of Ianto?
      • I think Jack has a selective vocal filter that most of the time fails in those situations, though there is a scene where Jack comes back to life and says very pointedly at Ianto "I came back for you" then seems to realise he's in front of the team and adds hurriedly "All of you".
    • Always struck me as either: a) the writers couldn't make up their goddamn minds or let go of their beloved male lead/female lead ship, or for a more in-verse explanation b) Jack had feelings for both Gwen and Ianto, was no stranger to polyamory, and hadn't quite come to terms with letting Gwen go and settling down with a guy he was just starting to "officially" date.
      • Everyone knows that Rhys can never really make her totally happy, Owen being the first to point it out. Jack thinks she deserves better, not to mention he was probably a bit hacked off at the fact that she cheated on Rhys with someone other than him.
      • The official press release talking about the main characters for season 4 mentions Jack has an "unstated love for Gwen".
      • That doesn't tell us anything neccesarily romantic, Jack has an unstated love for a lot of people (he never said he was in love with Ianto in those exact words either, but just watch C o E Day 4 ad tell me soemthing wasn't up. Still, in the period he comes from the lines between platonic relationships, brotherly/sisterly ones and fuck buddies are no doubt a hell of a lot more blurred. What upset him about Gwen getting married was the fact that her 21st century mores would therefore limit any possibilities of their being close in that way -"You twenty first century people and your quaint little categories", remember? Jack doesn't see why the hell someone being married means they can't sleep with someone else. It'd be nice to get a decent explanation of Jack's sexual morality besides just "will shag anything", really...
  • How does one get a job as cushy as the receptionist for a secret organization? Actually, no, I think I know this one.
    • As far as I can tell, you act as incompetent as humanly possible while crying a lot.
      • I would have gone with looking fabulous in a three piece suit and being conveniently nearby when Owen needs a verbal smackdown or a gunshot wound. And would have deserved a promotion if his aim was better.
    • According to Series Two: persistence, and helping capture a pteranadon (and landing on top of Jack while doing so, hem, hem).
      • And a nod to my suit theory.
      • I'd hire anyone that can pull off a three piece suit that consists of a PINK shirt. Besides, Ianto has more than proven he's a competent team member now.
      • Tasering the bad guys in the forehead, people, I rest my case. Just because a character doesn't start the journey being mister Bad Ass Determinator doesn't make them completely incompetent.
    • Gareth David-Lloyd seems to believe that Ianto traded sexual favors to Jack to get and keep his job. It's not that hard to believe.
      • And Ianto must be really good in the sack if Jack forgave him for keeping his Cyberwoman girlfriend in the basement. Lets face it, this is the only way him keeping his job makes sense.
      • It could have been that he was impressed by Ianto - you have to admit, a cyberwoman in the basement is not an easy thing to hide - and saw that he had the potential to do the morally grey stuff that the rest of the team do if he cared about it enough.
      • Of course he's impressed! Ianto conned the Con Man! With all the stuff Jack got up to in his past, he had to admit that was good.
      • Also he'd be hypocritical to fire, kill, or retcon Ianto for committing an Ends Justifies The Means act for the sake of love when he was previously a conman in it for the cash and not caring who got hurt along the way. Besides, you know how hard it is to find a good lackey in an organization like Torchwood? I don't think anyone ever joined up for the sheer thrill of serving Yvonne Hartman coffee. Although, to be fair, Jack mended his conman ways (for the most part). Ianto doesn't really show much remorse about his cyberwoman girlfriend getting loose.
  • In "Greeks Bearing Gifts", why didn't Toshiko hear that Mary/Philoctites had to kill to survive? Especially since she did hear that she wanted to kiss her.
    • It's a while since I saw it, but I got the impression Mary could control whether or not Tosh could hear her.
      • Its comfirmed by Tosh that Mary manipulated nearly everything that happened, with only one thing she said being truthful. As Tosh points outs when Mary reveals she's an alien that Mary can control what Tosh knows and doesn't. Also look at Jack, who also had barriers to his mind.
  • Whose idea was it to put four people and a secretary in charge of handling all alien phenomena occuring across all of Wales? What happens if there are simultaneous crises in Cardiff, Newport, and Swansea?
    • Presumably normal hiring procedures were suspended when the human resources department in London were turned into Cybermen and shot by Daleks.
      • Wouldn't it have been great if they showed an HR division run entirely by slightly benevolent Cybermen?
      • Wouldn't it be even better if the HR division was run entirely by slightly malicious Cybermen?
      • But isn't Torchwood supposed to be fiction?
      • That's where "slightly" comes into it.
      • Is anyone else getting flashes of Cyber-Catbert?
      • Cardiff is built on The Rift, therefore it's a whole lot more likely that crises will happen in Cardiff than anywhere else in Wales. Anyway, Cardiff is the place where all the stuff falls through the gap, and there's four people and a secretary employed to catch it.
    • Ianto's family lives in Newport, we see in Children Of Earth. It's not that far at all. Also "Countrycide" is set in the Valleys, which is a few hours drive, but they all seem happy to camp. I think there's just not that much extra terrestrial activity in the UK on the whole.
  • What, exactly, is Torchwood's mission at this point? Surely an American isn't trying to rebuild the British Empire.
    • Jack seems to be liberalising it into a more 'defenders of humanity' thing rather than the more nationalistic 'renew the Empire!' tendencies of Yvonne. Although, it's worth pointing out that Jack technically isn't American.
      • The first episode of the new series kinda indicates that stuff would come through the rift regardless of what was going on and better we have SOMEONE there than no one. Plus Captain Jack is one of the very few people on earth who knows enough to lead them.
      • There's also a very simple reason as to why Jack is in Cardiff. He knows the rift is there, and he knows the Doctor refuels on the rift. This is the only place where he can stay, where he knows the Doctor will be, and not run into his past self at the same time.
    • It's been established that Jack took over the Welsh branch when the previous boss somehow went a bit wrong in the head, murdered all the mortal members and left Jack in charge. Jack mentioned in Doctor Who's 2007 double episode finale that he rebuilt it in memory of The Doctor (the revived series has shown that "defending the Earth"/humanity is one of The Doctor's main goals). Given that the London branch (presumably also the head office) was destroyed, Jack likely has totally free reign over what he does. He probably kept the Torchwood name because it would be recognised by organisations like UNIT as well as the police, government etc and allow him to keep those contacts, but it is basically a new organisation built around Jack using the name and base of the old one.
      • Also, Jack definitely isn't American. He's from another planet, born sometime in the 51st century. For most of history since he got trapped in the past, he's posed as an American (probably to explain away his lack of local knowledge) and even his name was taken from an American. Although he isn't faking the accent, as his brother has the same one despite having a wildly different life.
  • At the end of the final episode, why, exactly, does Jack merely 'forgive' his colleagues? I mean, okay, forgiveness and The Power of Friendship and all, but come on; these people were directly responsible for the releasing of a demon from outside of time that promptly went on a feeding spree around Cardiff, and one of them shot Jack in the head in order to do so. Granted, Jack got better and they probably didn't expect that particular outcome, but given that this is an organisation that is set up to protect the world (or at least the United Kingdom) and that the aforementioned activities might be considered something of a cock-up in that regard, forgiveness or not, you'd expect that in any half-serious organisation of this nature there'd be some reprimands going around at least.
    • Given that Jack was rather quickly distracted by the sound of a TARDIS materializing above him, it's entirely possible that he was going to get around to said reprimands, but got waylaid going to the year 100 trillion...
      • He may also have left so readily without a word because he was still smarting from the mutiny and attempted murder. It's one thing to say you forgive someone, and another to actually forgive them. He may have needed time away.
    • And when he came back, he'd just spent a year being tortured by the Master while the Earth got destroyed, and so rather understandably had a new perspective on things.
    • Not to mention, if he fired everyone he'd have to retcon them all himself and then find and train a new team who would presumably all be as useless as Gwen was at first. And besides, now that he has on his team the biggest "I told you so" ever, he pretty much knows that they're never going to mutiny again.
  • Why did Jack not fire Ianto at the end of "Cyberwoman", given that he'd lied to the team, set up dangerous equipment in the Torchwood labs, got two innocent people killed and threatened to watch while Jack died horribly? Come to think of it, how did Ianto transport the Cyberbed thing from London Docklands to the Torchwood Hub in Cardiff and install it into thick concrete? And why not take out those horrible buzzsaws? And and and and and...
    • According to GDL, Ianto was probably already exchanging sexual favors with Jack by that time, and seeing how their relationship progresses, it's a safe bet he had some sort of feelings for Ianto by then. Besides, compared to Jack's screw-ups, Ianto's really weren't all that bad. At least his motives were 'love' and not, say, money.
    • For that matter, why does Jack keep any of these people around when nearly every single crisis they face is caused by one of the team members fraternizing with the enemy, misappropriating alien technology for their personal use, or otherwise acting like horny teenagers instead of trained professionals?
      • Because he'd be a hypocrite not to. Remember the scene in "Day One", in which a possessed woman grabs a severed hand in a fishtank: "no, no, put the hand down - I'll do anything!" Great negotiating tactics, Patrick Swayze.
      • Well SOMEONE is going to get enticed and corrupted by it. Might as well be 1 guys he can watch and 2 guys who know how to fix the pig's breakfast they make of reality.
      • So why keep Jack around? Torchwood may be outside the government and beyond the police, but surely there's somebody - the Prime Minister, the Home Office, some top-secret Parliamentary committee, Lord Privy Seal, the Minister of Magic - that has some form of oversight over Torchwood and is aware of all the SNAF Us that the team has been responsible for.
      • Maybe cause he can't die, and just knows where all the stuff is?
      • With the stuff they've been given, they have blackmail pictures on all their bosses. Even the ones who aren't doing anything wrong.
      • Well Jack is one of the few people who know enough to run things (particularly since the Slitheen killed off UNIT's top boffins) and BTW no, there is no one, not even the minister for magic, the head of the Illuminati or Father Freaking Christmas who has control over them except perhaps Her Majesty Elizabeth II. The Prime Minister is not even supposed to know they exist! Or to put it another way they are the layer of the system that exclusively does the watching.
      • Isn't Jack on the phone with the Prime Minister discussing Torchwood stuff in "Greeks Bearing Gifts"?
      • The beginning bit sounds all dramatical and like they're a super secret shiny organisation of awesome. Plus, it could have been the Prime Minister of Whereverelsehasaprimeminister, or Harriet Sparks.
  • What, exactly, is there to do with a stopwatch?
    • Use it as a timer when playing naked hide-and-seek.
    • This male editor assumes some kind of sexual endurance game.
      • And this one is of the opinion that the incomprehensibility of Jack & Ianto's sexgames is entirely intentional. I mean, when you've been around as long as Jack has, you're probably bored even with conventional kink...
      • I just thought it was indicative of how juvenile Torchwood was. I mean, of all the millions and millions of things you could say that could sound dirty (even very unintentionally), they still managed to come up with something that defied kinkiness. I'm betting even rule 34 doesn't apply, except tangentially.
      • You've apparently never encountered the vast swathes of Jack/Ianto slash involving the stopwatch.
    • Well, if you can fit an entire hand up there (and in some cases, [[O-Ring Orifice a whole head]]), a stopwatch isn't too far a stretch.
    • Two words: Noodle Implements.
    • I've always assumed that there's absolutely nothing to do with it. It's just Ianto's way of being careful. It can be made to sound dirty, yet at the same time is completely innocent in case Jack would not be interested.
  • Exit Wounds: How the hell did Jack shake off nineteen hundred years of torture and go back to the encounter with John and Grey without losing a step? Him being alive is fine, yay immortality and all, but there would have been major, immense, huge, incredible psychological damage.
    • I've seen it fanwanked at least three kind of plausible ways (if you tilt your head to the left and squint a little): (1) The the ring John dropped in emitted some sort of stasis field to keep Jack in a kind of suspended animation, (2) That he was just coherent enough to tell Torchwood1900 to pop him in the freezer and then did most of his mental recuperating in there— he did have 101 years between being dug up and being a contributing member of a team again, and (3) That since Jack was made immortal by an intelligent force he only "died" underground once or twice before being continuously dead until he was in a survivable environment again. (3) is my favorite because at least a shred of in-show logic to hang it on— the argument that when Jack went into that toxic room back in "Utopia" that killed everyone within seconds he didn't keep dying and popping back up again, he just wasn't affected, implying that there is some sort of rhyme and reason to his deaths, and "End of Days" showing that he can stay dead for extended periods of time when exposed to an extreme death. I'm still 99% certain that this is a mistake, though.
    • My favorite explanation for this comes from an essentially throw away line in a fanfic: Jack remains sane no matter what happens to him, because and only because he WAS sane at the moment he was brought back to life. Which makes a lot of sense: it's shown he can recover from any physical injury, and all mental trauma does have a physical basis (neurons and all). Plus, since he can come back to life as himself even when his brain is damaged (or destroyed), clearly his 'gift' in some way 'knows' his mind enough to restore it. Well, every time it restores it, any insanity etc is fixed. This means that he could indeed have died over and over as Gray intended, and come out of it basically undamaged. Same applies for the Year That Never Was.
      • Actually, if you payed attention: It was significantly less time, because not all that long after he was buried, the early Torchwood found him, unburied him, and probably helped him get over being buried alive. Not to mention, Captain Jack Harkness felt that he needed to atone for losing his brother.
      • Actually, 1,900 years is all that long.
    • See Out of Time, Out of Mind.
    • Jack's pretty broken in the head anyway. Maybe the psychological damage took one look at all the other screwed-up crud in there and went "sod this, I'm leaving".
  • "Exit Wounds" and Season Three: Now that Tosh and Owen (Probably the only two members of the Torchwood team that spend the majority of each episode actually working as opposed to creating odd sexual tension or screaming about how existence as a whole is unfair) are dead, who exactly is going to do any work at Torchwood? You could argue that Ianto has taken a more active role this season, but it's been primarily as a researcher and with the only other two team mates being Gwen and Jack I can't help but feel a scarily large opening for the show to descend into a huge, poorly established love triangle. It seems that if replacements aren't put in place immediately... Oh bother, seems we're all doomed.
    • This editor could see Rhys taking a more proactive stance. Likewise for Gwen's other buddy...ohcrapwhat'shisname...the JerkAss cop. Of course, that probably raises more Love Dodecahedron angles than anyone's comfortable with.]]
      • Gwen's cop friend's name is Andy.
    • Rumour has it Burn Gorman has signed on for Season Three, although it's unknown how he will reappear, or if he'll still be a main character. For all I know it could be a flashback episode.
    • There's also the possibility of offering Martha a permanent gig now that they need a full-time medic.
      • My friend immediately leapt to the conclusion that the finale left a Martha-shaped hole in the cast.
      • They could always invite Mickey to join, now that he's back in the "real" dimension.
      • This would prove to be the final indignity for Torchwood, where Mickey the Tin Dog with no formal training in vastly more competent and effective than any of Torchwoods "experts"
      • To be fair to Mickey, he did spend 2 years fighting a war against the Cybermen. I wouldn't say that he is completely clueless.
      • Actually, given the end of the Series 4 Doctor Who finale, it seemed pretty heavily implied that both Mickey and Martha would be replacing Tosh and Owen. On the bright side, we won't have to deal with Mickey being a Jerk Ass like Owen was... right?
      • How is Mickey a Jerkass? He's on of the most put-upon boyfriends in television history.
    • I've assumed that whenever a Torchwood members dies a new one is brought in, like Gwen for Suzie the team showed at the beginning of serious one for the team that was killed by Alex (i think that ws his name).
      • there's a medical post and a tecnological post open, Martha has a medical degree and we know how good Mickey is with computers, hello?
      • I heard that Martha and Mickey were supposed to appear in Season Three but didn't due to conflicting schedules.
  • "Reset" - One finds it impossible to believe that Torchwood Cardiff cannot pick up on hints about Doctors. Ianto Jones was part of Torchwood London, and it's pretty darn implausible that he doesn't put the clues together in his mind.
  • "Reset" again: Jack is apparently horrified at the idea that aliens (none of whom are established as being sentient) are being farmed for, potentially, lifesaving medicine and other very useful things. It's just WRONG! But, he's quite happy to use a Weevil as a torture threat to an already-injured man in order to get a little bit of information out of him. So what's the deal, Jack - using the aliens you keep shackled up in your basement as torture implements is good, but using the ones someone else has shackled in their basement - possibly curing AIDS, if they can iron out the whole violent death bug - that's wrong?
    • So Jack has a serious case of Protagonist Centred Morality. No-one ever said he was perfect.
    • Also, just the basic idea that human biology - any biology- can be "reset to factory settings" by anything. Almost any other bit of science babble would have worked better than that.
  • I haven't seen all the episodes, so maybe I missed this explanation, but do we know how Torchwood is funded? And/or who they report too? For a supposedly government organisation, they're given a lot of leeway to act how they please.
    • Torchwoods 2-4 presumably reported to Torchwood 1 before the later was destroyed.
    • The charter announced in Tooth and Claw implies the funding would come directly from the Crown.
  • Why do the Weevils wear clothing? They're seen in boiler suits, which would make sense for Janet in the cell, since she's been captured and could have been issued a uniform (with "Torchwood" on it, no less). That doesn't explain why the sewer-dwelling Weevils would be clothed, and clothed in something that doesn't appear to have had contact with, well, sewage. Do they have a Weevil Ianto to do the dry-cleaning down there?
    • WMG on the part of my roommate and I is that Weevils are some sort of labor force on their homeworld and that's their standard uniform.
  • At the end of Adrift, why isn't Jonah Bevan's mother retconned? She knows about Torchwood, Flat Holm Island and her son being brought back to this dimension and spending 20 hours a day screaming.
    • I think the more cynical members of Torchwood were waiting for her to kill herself.
    • Gwen told Jonah's mother she was allowed to visit the island whenever she wanted, which is why she wasn't retconned. She just chooses not to.
      • I have always expected that Ianto was sent round to do it once Gwen had moved on.
    • Flatholm is one word and it's existence isn't secret, it's a real place. You can go there for school trips and yoga retreats.
    • Perhaps Jack wants Gwen to feel bad about it so she knows not to try something like it again. If he simply retconned her then Gwen wouldn't feel so bad, but having to live with the fact that she effectively destroyed an innocent woman's life is a huge incentive for Gwen to not attempt to 'help' anyone else.
  • In Exit Wounds, why does Gray call Jack by that name? Since Captain Jack Harkness is just an alias stolen from a dead soldier, wouldn't Gray, his little brother, call him by his real name, whatever that may be?
    • It's been suggested on TARDIS Wikia that Captain John told Gray Jack's new name. Alternatively Jack was known just as Jack on the Boeshane Peninsula, not Jack Harkness.
      • Makes sense. When you go into Wit Sec they tell you to pick the same first name and initials. Maybe the Time Agency adopts a similar practice.
  • Why does Jack recruit so many troubled people, and why do they not seek any psychiatric help for their past trauma or for the trauma they experience on the job? I actually thought that "They Keep Killing Suzie" was adressing the problem, with Suzie; a lonely and depressed woman with a troubled past, a lot of stress at work, an unhealthy vice, and almost nobody to confide in- just like the rest of the team, except she cracks, kills three people and then blows her brains out. I thought they were still addressing the problem in "Combat," when Gwen starts using Suzie's retcon tactics and when Owen starts snarling like a Weevil, but nothing was made of either point in the next season. Where have all the psychiatrists gone?
    • The question is, from who do you seek psychiatric help? Owen's girlfriend was killed by an alien parasite and Ianto's girlfriend was turned into a Cyberwoman at the Battle of Canary Wharf (an event later passed off as "toxins in the water"). I doubt a psychiatrist would take them seriously. As for why Jack hires troubled people, I got nothing.
    • Yes, and according to background materials, Ianto did discuss his problems with a psychiatrist, and treated the partial cyberconversion as "death." But seriously, when they're hired by Torchwood- specifically when Jack can be bothered to lash out a bit-, psychiatrists can be remarkably receptive- especially since there's been at least one alien invasion that can't be explained away.
    • As for hiring troubled people, I suspect Jack was looking for people who had the skills he needed and had also fallen off the radar one way or another so there would be no relatives to ask what happened. These people only come around every so often so he has to snap them up pretty quickly. It just so happens to be that they have become troubled as a result of falling into these circumstances. Tosh had been squirrled away by UNIT, so she could be considered as a missing person. Jack saw that she could be trusted and let off the leash a bit regarding family contact which is the only explanation I can think of for her going to her Grandpa's birthday party that doesn't result in Retcon. Owen had just suffered a bereavement,Adam suggests he's estranged from his family and his colleagues know he's having a breakdown so no one would notice till it was too late that he was gone. Ianto and Gwen were hired down to a combination of convienience plus craving. As for Suzie, methinks her dad probably abused in some way regarding her being troubled, but otherwise, I have no idea.
  • In the very first episode, Owen uses some sort of spray to drug a woman, and her boyfriend, into having sex with him. In 'Adam', Adam uses his fake memories of a relationship with Toshiko to have sex with her. 'It's not rape if you make her think she likes it' is not a moral I particularly care to see broadcast.
    • I like to think that Owen's undeath was due to bad karma from the above.
      • Unless the spray was a placebo and they both fancied him anyway? Yes, I'm kidding. But seriously, I actually liked Owen as a character, but then I do allow a lot of pilot-episode-leeway.
    • Bear in mind that Adam is a villain and Owen is a Jerk Ass. So... you'd prefer to see "bad people" who only do nice things?
  • In the Season 2 finale, after Captain Jack defeated Gray, he took his own sweet time getting back upstairs. At first this made some sort of sense, since he had been in cryogenic storage and didn't know that the whole team had been trapped in the facility. But when he let them out of the cells, shouldn't they immediately have wondered what happened to Toshiko? The team knew that she was alone upstairs, and that there was a homicidal maniac on the loose. But instead of putting 2 and 2 together, they stood around and had a big reunion scene while Toshiko bled to death next to their medical supplies. Although to be fair, it probably wouldn't have made a difference, due to Traveling at the Speed of Plot.
  • Why does Torchwood try to maintain the Masquerade at all? The world is quite aware of aliens, and most people in Cardiff know what Torchwood is. So why bother with the secrecy? For instance, at the beginning of Children of Earth, Jack and Ianto pose as a dead guy's neighbors. Why couldn't they just say "We're Torchwood, and we think this guy had an alien parasite inside of him, so give us a few minutes to do our job?" and get to work?
    • we know terrorists exist does that mean every body would be OK with MI6 blatantly riding
roughshod over people's lives and rights to stop it?
  • Cos while everyone knows about Torchwood, nobody likes them.
  • "Small Worlds." Why did everyone treat Jack like shit at the end when the little girl was clearly made of 100% pure bitch evil?
    • Moreover, what exactly is the problem? The little girl wants to be a fairy, and the fairies don't seem to cause much trouble when you leave them alone. It seems a little parochial to say "well, your mum wants you to be a typist."
      • "Don't cause much trouble when you leave them alone"? I admit it has been a while since I last saw the episode, but what about the old lady who took a picture of them?
    • By "wants to be a fairy", you mean "was Mind Raped into believing it would be a good thing to become an empathy-lacking Eldritch Abomination who kills anyone who so much as looks at their next designated Mind Rape victim". Sure, there's nothing wrong with that at all. Heck, let us throw these wonderful fairies a party. I'll go buy them a medal.
    • Since when was it even implied that Jasmine was a Mind Rape victim? The girl certainly didn't need it to motivate her into joining them; after all, she had to contend with an emotionally distant stepfather, bullying at school, and an attempted rape- bit more than just "looking" there. And another point to add to the first: why does everyone treat Jack like shit at the end after both Jasmine and the fairies made it clear that if he didn't let her join them, they'd destroy human civilisation? I mean, what the fuck was he supposed to do? Did they honestly think that he'd whip out his pistol and try to duel the omnipotent weather-controlling immortals for the girl's soul or something?
    • Whether or not she's being mind raped, and whether or not she's "100% pure bitch evil", she's still a child. There's no way that anyone would think that she's competent enough to make the decision to abandon her family and her humanity to go off and become part of a collective of eldritch abominations. Standing by and just casually letting hostile aliens take a child is not cool, even if the kid wants to go.
    • True, but when the collective of eldritch abomination started threatening to kill even more people, Jack honestly didn't have much choice in the matter. And more to the point, he knew that the fairies weren't bluffing: he knew how overprotective they could be around their future members, having seen a whole train-car full of soldiers die because a few of them accidentally killed a child that the fairies had chosen. So, how exactly would he be expected to fight off said eldritch abominations? How could he possibly negotiate with them when they have a lot more to bargain with- ie the lives of everyone on the planet! So, how exactly would this situation be resolved without handing over the child?
    • My guess is they were more upset about Jasmine's mother than Jasmine herself.
    • No, it's pretty obvious from the disagreement with Gwen that the team's upset about handing over Jasmine, not the effect on Jasmine's mum. So, once again, what else could he have done to negotiate with a species that could casually obliterate the human race if they ever had the urge?
  • Why is Jack wearing braces and a belt? Okay, it looks rather cool, but isn't it kind of redundant?
  • Why did Martha want to autopsy Owen in Dead Man Walking? They all saw how he died, they know who did it, and they know the killer is dead. What's left to learn from an autopsy?
    • I think it's Torchwood standard procedure. Probably some previous member turned out to have an alien living in his corpse or something, so they've decided to play it safe ever since.
  • Question: What exactly is Gwen's job/what she was hired for? And why did Jack hire her in the first place? Jack is the leader, Owen is the medic, Suzie was the analyser/weapon's expert, Tosh is the computor geek, and Ianto keeps the place clean, makes coffee and interacts with the outside world. Gwen doesn't have the qualifications to replace Suzie, didn't know how to use a gun, and she knew nothing about aliens. Seriously What.
    • She's the investigator. Yes, she's pretty goofy as an investigator, but she's still miles better than anyone else at questioning witnesses and chasing down a trail. She also has personal connections in Cardiff P.D. that are sometimes more helpful than Jack's mega-connections. After a while, she's also the team conscience.

  • For the first episode, why was Torchwood even investigating the murders? At that time they shouldn't have anything suggesting it was abnormal and if they were searching for the Weevils they should probably know that the murders don't seem much like what a Weevil would do.
    • They were just looking for excuses to use the glove and the more traumatic the death the better the glove works.
  • Gwen was a cop. A cop who got to work on murder investigations and bar brawls. How come she didn't know how to use a gun??
    • Note that most UK cops don't carry a gun. Most officers, in fact, serve their entire career without ever taking the training to use one. The only UK Police Officers who routinely carry guns on duty are part of anti-terrorist units, an Armed Response Unit, or are assigned to Royal Protection duties.
  • Ianto as an office assistant. Sure, he hasn't specialized like the others, but from day one he's not only had more experience than anyone else, he's also proven that he knows how to use it. For all intents and purposes he has the skills to be The Lancer or The Dragon to Jack, and they keep him as a cleaning lady? If you add this to Jack stringing him along, you get the impression that he's going out if his way to be a bastard to Ianto for some reason.
    • How does one get the impression Jack's stringing Ianto along? Ianto'a a capable adult. If he wants a promotion, all he has to do is talk to Jack about it over cofee and/or sex. And how is Jack going out of his way to be a bastard to Ianto. Yes, Jack's terrible about talking about his feelings, but Ianto knows that. It's not like Ianto's been completely honest, either.

  • What. The. Fuck. Happened to Bilis? You have a character capable of teleporting around and time travelling at will which automatically makes him one of the most interesting characters in Doctor Who universe and second only to Jack in his series, yet as soon as he releases his God/Demon/Abomination he's never heard from again. Seems like a waste of a good plot.
    • I always assumed that Bilis's powers got wiped out after Jack punched out Cthulu. I agree that a depowered Bilis would be a great character in some Whoniverse episode, or a powered up Bilis from before he met Torchwood the last time would also be a great plotline. Maybe next year . . .
  • In the episode Cyberwoman, why did no-one just shoot the cyberwoman in her (exposed) face?

  • In "To the Last Man", Tommy doesn't want to go back to his own time because he'll be sent back to the trenches and killed. But if modern Torchwood can order around the entire world, couldn't 1918 Torchwood in that time at least get the saviour of the future an honourable discharge?
    • Order around the entire world? In what way?
    • Torchwood was more evil back then. It probably wouldn't want to risk letting him live, knowing what he knew.
      • Couldn't Jack just bullshit past!Torchwood like "Also, make sure he dies of old age, and back home, otherwise this whole time-mending thing will never work."
      • Tommy doesn't know anything - After he gets back to his own time, he forgets about his time being frozen. To whit: when Tosh uses the device to project herself to his time so that she can convince him to use the key, he doesn't recognize her, and he asks her if the key is hers. Also, Jack never sees past!Torchwood so there's little bullshitting he can do.

  • In "They Keep Killing Suzie" I can believe that Suzie set off a plan to get the others to revive her in the event of her death. The problem is that aside from Suzie none of the others can work the glove so her cunning plan depends on them hiring someone new who ''can.'' Then there's the fact that the experienced Suzie at her best could only manage two minutes so what made her believe that she'd be brought back for longer even if she was deliberately "panicking" and not helping? Even if she knew that the glove could trade lives, which she seemed to, it seemes like it only happened because Gwen was hellbent on getting answers out of her and anyone new besides Gwen wouldn't have. In fact, the rest of The Team didn't seem inclined to. So how could Suzie possibly have predicted that she'd manage to be brought back to life for longer than two minutes and that the bleeding-heart in question would smuggle her out of the Hub? It all seems highly unlikely. And then, of course, there's the question of why she'd be so eager to set up ways to bring herself back when her suicide was highly unnecessary in the first place.
    • My problem with this episode is the glove itself. Suzie even admitted the glove was keeping her alive, so why didn't she or Gwen grab it instead of leaving it at the Hub? I'm amazed even Suzie's spinoff book (Long Time Dead) failed to recognize this. (The book suggested that had she not visited her father in hospital, she would've killed Gwen. IMHO killing her father, albeit not the most moral thing anyone can do, was the most noble thing Suzie did while on the show.)

  • Why did the creators of Torchwood feel the need to kill off Owen and Tosh, two of the most emotionally dynamic members of the cast? Didn't they know the fan-backlash that would generate? I like to think it was the decision of the actors, but it just seemed really sudden and unnecessary, especially in Owen's case. I mean, the guy had to go through so much shit the entire second season, and never even got that date with Tosh to make up for it. It's just such a Kick the Dog moment, and a real slap in the face to fans of the series, IMHO.

  • In "Small Worlds," why did the fairies kill Estelle? Did I miss a scene in which she threatened Jasmine?
    • They did it to get at Jack. They'd killed people who had nothing to do with Jasmine before.

  • I've just watched the first four episodes, and there's one thing that puzzles me: Why does Gwen freak out every time someone tries to hurt Jack when she knows he can't die?
    • Because people generally freak out when someone they care about is about to be hurt? Because he can be hurt? Because there's no way of knowing if he absolutely will come back?

  • Why is everyone so sure, from Jack's experiences with death and their experiences with the glove, that there's no afterlife? There are many possible alternatives: maybe you don't remember it when you're brought back. Or maybe it doesn't kick in until you die for the really final time, when no one's ever going to bring you back and any immortality is gone. You never know.
    • Probably because Russell Davies is an Atheist.

  • "Countrycide". Just about the whole episode. The team (and that woman in the car) are first attacked by these freakishly fast-moving things. Then we find out it's just a bunch of evil, cannibalistic villagers after all. Then nothing makes sense to me… a) How the hell do they run so fast? b) How did no-one notice that they just decide to kill off roughly a dozen people every generation/decade/set time period all at once? c) Shouldn't eating all those human organs be pretty bad for you after a while? d) How does a whole town come up with (and decide to follow through with) an idea like that? e) How did they know about Torchwood (leaving out the body to distract them and attract their attention-any normal person would hightail it out of there after seeing something like that) and if they did know about the team, why did they lure them in?

Children of Earth

  • Why didn't Jack just shoot the 456 from inside the chamber? I mean he should be able to survive inside it and it was pretty obvious the glass was bulletproof.
    • To what end?
    • Can the 456 be hurt by bullets?
    • I think they were trying to show how rash he was being, so it would kind of his fault that Ianto and the other people died. It was perhaps intended as a bit of karma for his part in the events of 1965.
      • So we punish Jack for killing innocent people...but making him kill even more innocent people?
      • He didn't kill those children, he sent them to endless torture as far as we can see. Jack, in his overconfidence, rashness, and sketchy morals has caused a lot of people a lot of grief. For the writers, Ianto's death might have been partially about making him realize, through his own suffering,just how much careless damage he was doing to other people's lives.
      • Surely forcing him to murder his own grandson in front of his screaming daughter accomplished that?
      • No, because that's completely different. Ianto's death meant he personally experienced the effects of the aforementioned overconfidence, effects that usually fall on other people who he doesn't tend to think about. His grandson's death, on the other hand, is basically I Did What I Had to Do, and so does not carry the same lesson.
  • Why do the Four-Five-Six need the cooperation of the Earth's governments to find the children and gather them in selected locations? Given their abilities as shown, it seems like they could just target 10% of the world's children and transmat them right out of their beds at their leisure. I suppose it's possible that their entire appearance was an elaborate bluff and they weren't actually powerful enough to destroy the human race, but that's venturing into Wild Mass Guessing territory.
    • It's to scare the population of Earth into their submission.
      • Because it isn't outright stated in the series, but it's pretty easy to guess the 456 will eventually be back for more - otherwise they would have taken all the kids and not left a breeding population.
    • It depends on how accurately their transporters can be aimed, maybe they can't beam up millions of individuals from all over the world without grouping them together for ease of access. And to answer the obvious follow up question, whenever they controlled children the kids just stood still (or pointed in one case), they may not be able to order them all to walk to a specific location.
      • Not to mention what happened in The Christmas Invasion. Mass mind control doesn't seem to be as reliable as it looks.
  • Why does the government immediately assume the 456 can carry out its threat to destroy the world without any proof, without even knowing if there's a ship in orbit? All right, the kids speaking in unison is spooky, but the aliens never demonstrate the ability to actually control the kids (if they could, they wouldn't need human soldiers to put them on buses) and the Sycorax, only a few years ago, could do even more and they turned out to be bluffing. Even if the government now believe the 456 manufactured the mutated flu virus in 1965, it's stated that that would have wiped out 25 million; the 456 are demanding ten times that many children.
    • Well, they've had a few decades to work on improving their biowarfare skillz. Maybe the government were just not willing to take the chance or something?
  • If the 456 are skilled enough at bioengineering to create tailor-made viruses and keep humans perpetually alive and young in their environment, couldn't they just synthesize whatever chemical they need from the children? However difficult and resource-intensive it would be, it would surely be far easier than what they did.
    • The 456 are presented essentially as drug addicts, and while it's probably possible for them to synthesize the chemicals, ultimately it would be easier and faster to simply take them. There may also be a psychological element to the 'need' for children.
      • Then they'd have to maintain millions and millions of children and do whatever it is they do to keep them alive. Nothing fast or easy there. Granted, they're aliens with alien motivations, and what exactly they need is deliberately vague.
      • Plus, where do you even put them? 220 million children is an awful lot of biomass.
    • Contrariwise, while it might have taken a bit longer we might have negotiated to isolate and synthesise those chemicals in bulk ourselves - our experience may even put us in a better position to do so. Given that the 456 can't(!) or won't(?) do it themselves, we'd have then secured their supply and had them by whatever passes for their short and curlies.
  • In Children of Earth, why did the government try to kill Jack by destroying the Hub?
  1. Why try to assassinate someone known to be (a) effectively immortal and (b) probably the person on Earth most experienced in dealing with aliens in general and the 456 specifically? It would make more sense to stick him in solitary confinement — that way he can't spill the beans about 1965 but he's available to have his brains picked if necessary.
    • The government weren't sure just how immortal Jack was (they didn't know about the Face of Boe thing for one thing). Blowing him up might have been enough to kill him or at least incapacitate him for a few weeks, and it was enough for them to capture him.
      • They explained this — it was assumed Jack's immortality was linked to the properties of the Torchwood Hub, so destroying it would destroy him.
      • But killing him is a BAD idea for the reasons I gave above. It's stupid to waste one of the few available sources of intel.
    • It seems to me that it wasn't "the government" out to kill Jack as much as it was Frobisher wanting to cover his own ass.
      • Not his own ass, but his country's; and I still maintain abduction would have been smarter than assassination.
      • Yes, it would have been smarter, but people don't always do the smartest thing. We weren't supposed to think the government had a good idea here.
  2. It was pointless to silence the witnesses to the previous visit of the 456 without knowing whether or not the aliens were going to keep the secret which they didn't.
    • Jack could have revealed everything before the aliens even arrived, there was no option of discussing the matter with the 456 first.
      • He could have if he had known it was the 456. He didn't.
  3. Those in power were ignorant of the Hubâs contents (hence the would-be infiltrator in Day One). For all they knew, somewhere in the Torchwood archives was a box labeled OPEN IN CASE OF VOMITING ALIENS WHO WANT TO SNORT OUR KIDS.
  4. Shhhh, we don't want anyone to know aliens are coming! I know, let's turn the subterranean headquarters of the alien-fighting organization that everybody in town knows about into a smoking crater! Nothing suspicious about that!
    • Oh, they'll just pass it off as a terrorist attack or something. It's a lot easier to explain that than, say, the 456.
  5. What about the rift? Now the authorities have no means of tracking it or dealing with what comes through. It would serve them right if Nyarlathotep turned up.
  • The point of issuing a blank page seems to be to request assassinations without incriminating documentation. So, Frobisher hands a blank page to his assistant, Bridget Spears...and she sends an e-mail headed "Order to Kill"?
    • It's easier to get rid of email. As for the blank page? I assumed that it was Psychic Paper.
  • Why the hell didn't anybody thought of just incinerating Jack's remains when he began regenerating from the few scraps of his body they were able to recover? They seem to think, "oh, bullets won't do... well, let's try a bomb... oh, the bomb didn't do the trick... well... let's just allow him to fully regenerate and then encase him in concrete". Incineration people! If they really wanted him dead, surely killing it with fire would have come to mind, but they seemed to ran out of imagination too soon. I won't even mention incinerating his remains and mixing the ashes with concrete just in case. Although probably he would have regenerated from the smoke or something.
    • Jack can regenerate from anything, if blowing him up didn't work why would they expect fire to be his secret weakness? Encasing him in concrete wouldn't kill him either, but it would incapacitate him long enough to get him out of the way.
  • So Jack is an immortal who has worked for Torchwood for over a century and, before that, was a conman, a Time Agent, and one of the Doctor's companions. You're telling me that, with all that experience, he couldn't think of a better plan to defeat the 4-5-6 than to come in and tell them to go away 'or else'? And it didn't occur to him that a race that has used viruses/antiviruses before, and had really threatening technology, would not just swan off but would fight back?
    • Perhaps part 2 of his plan was to list off the huge list of things the Doctor wiped out and then inform them that he was a friend of the Doctor and that humanity was his favorite race.
    • Or he meant to emulate the Doctor—except when the Doctor does it, it actually work
      Doctor: Sorry, dropped it. Hello, Stonehenge! Who takes the Pandorica takes the Universe! But, bad news everyone, 'cause guess who! Ha! Except, you lot, you're all whizzing about, it's really very distracting. Could you all just stay still a minute because *I* *am* *talking*! Now, the question for the hour is, "Who's got the Pandorica?" Answer: I do. Next question: "Who's coming to take it from me?" Come on, look at me! No plan, no backup, no weapons worth a damn, oh, and something else: I don't have anything to lose! So, if you're sitting up there in your silly little space ships with all your silly little guns, and you've got any plans on taking the Pandorica tonight, just remember who's standing in your way! Remember every black day I ever stopped you, and then, *and then*, do the smart thing! Let somebody else try first.
    • And you'd have thought he'd already have a backup plan for if they did start fighting back.
    • Ianto was part of Torchwood One, and he goes into the building with no protection or plan or even slight knowledge of being an alien-fighting baddass. That's some epic writing right there.
      • It was my impression that they never intended to beat the Four-Five-Six on their own, just provoke them into armed conflict, which would give the governments of Earth no choice but to fight back. They didn't expect to be so completely outmatched.
      • There's being completely outmatched, and then there's walking in with nothing but Fighting Words. What did Jack and Ianto think would happen, the aliens would go away but first tell them all the mean and evil things they were going to do next? After all they'd been through in Cardiff, they really expected no hostile response then and there and they didn't prepare accordingly, at least a little?
      • Perhaps they didn't expect the 456 to be able to affect anything outside of their enclosure? After all, the chamber was built on Earth for the sole purpose of providing the 456 with a completely secure, airtight environment to contain their poison air. There was no reason to expect that the 456 would be able to release an airborne virus from behind it's airtight vault.
  • Frobisher's murder-suicide: Why not just do a Heel-Face Turn and join up with Jack (with wife & kids in tow)?
    • Because the sight of the Frobisher family fleeing the scene, in full view of the world media, would incite panic and make the child-snatching operation even more difficult than it already had to be, and as a career civil servant Frobisher just couldn't bring himself to betray the government to that degree for the sake of his own well-being. Stiff upper lip, and all that.
    • Not to mention the fact that, by that point, Torchwood had seemingly failed. As far as Frobisher knew, Gwen was in Cardiff telling Rhiannon about Ianto's death, and Jack had completely given up and was locked in a cell, unable to help even himself.
  • Not so much "Just Bugs Me" as "Inquiring Minds Want To Know", but where the heck were the SJA gang when all this was going on? SJA and Torchwood are an EXTREMELY unlikely crossover, but in-verse it's just as unlikely that they missed what was going on...
    • The series was meant to appeal to viewers that was new to the universe and draw them in, so they wouldn't get bogged down with obscure references. That still doesn't excuse anything because SJA has. A. Goddamn. Subwave. It calls the Doctor anywhere in space and time. For that matter...
      • The Subwave Network only contacts companions of the Doctor (or at least his 10th incarnation). Last time I checked Harriet Jones left it in the control of Torchwood and they were only able to contact the Doctor because they had access to the Cardiff Rift (and get Mr. Smith ring all of the world's phones). Since the base got blown up I don't think there was anything the team could have done to use the Rift and contact the Doctor. We know Harriet's base of ops at home was probably blown to shreds by the Daleks, and for all we know Sarah Jane may have had other problems to deal with herself.
      • Offnote: How come people will say that about Sarah Jane but keep asking where the heck the Doctor was in all this? Anyway, yeah, she has a kid, she was probably preoccupied with trying to make sure he didn't get abducted by the government (assuming Luke legally exists...)
      • They were in London near Sarah Jane but I always figured that Jack deliberately left her out because she had children she needed to look after and anyone they contacted was being watched. They'd already threatened Jack and Ianto's family, what would they have done if they found out he was in contact with a well known JOURNALIST during a time where they were afraid he'd spill the beans? Not just a journalist, but one a government agency with their contacts would know has had dealings with alien things.
      • Of course Luke legally exists, Mr Smith created the paperwork in the pilot. He wouldn't be in danger, though, because only prepubescent kids were affected and of interest to the 456.
  • Where the hell was MARTHA?! Her being on her honeymoon doesn't excuse anything, she would have noticed all the kids in the world acting like something out of a horror flick. I know the actress apparently had scheduling conflicts, but couldn't RTD give her a better write-out than a honeymoon? It's not like she's UNIT's most valued member or save the fricking world single handedly or anything. Being caught up in a diplomatic alien affair would have respected her character (and seemed less misogynist) more.
    • Yes folks, being married to a man is misogynistic.
      • To my memory, they didn't say where she was on her honeymoon - could have been in Rio, for all we know. Also, the whole event took place in a couple of days, and was largely run by people with their own agenda anyway who had every reason to keep someone as knowledgeable and capable as Martha away. But yeah, I'm sure it's the misogyny thing.
      • Forget Rio— who knows if Martha is even on Earth? Both Martha and Mickey are former companions, Martha has the Doctor's phone number, and we know the Doctor has a habit of taking people places as wedding presents.

  • What happened to the rift after the Hub was blown?
    • Isn't the rift still active dumping a bunch of aliens and time displaced people in Cardiff? And wouldn't the destruction of the Hub released a few Sealed Evil in a Can? Like weevils roaming the streets— and what about GREY?
      • No, they're probably dead.
      • According to RTD, the Rift was closed by the 11th Doctor wheen he closed the other cracks in time and restarted the universe in The Big Bang
      • If the universe was restarted, does that mean that the Rift never would have existed in the first place? If so, Jack would have had no reason to stay in Cardiff (because the Doctor never would have been able to recharge the TARDIS there, and wouldn't have turned up), and never would have made his own team.
    • A radio drama broadcast prior to Miracle Day revealed that Jack sealed it shut with some bomb.

  • Where the hell is the Doctor?
    • Seriously! Doesn't anyone have the Doctor on speed dial? (Jack... Martha.. Mickey...?) The Doctor would have resolved the conflict of Children of Earth within half an episode and still have time to go out dancing. Allons-y!
      • Martha was on her honeymoon, but then doesn't Jack have her number (in "The Stolen Earth" she rings him up)? And come to think of it, where was Mickey during all of this?
      • On his honeymoon with Martha.
      • What about Martha's employer, UNIT? You would think that every child in the world being hijacked by aliens might be enough to get a known companion of the Doctor involved. Did she take her honeymoon off-planet, or just not notice the entire population of Earth freaking out?
      • She was on honeymoon in the parallel universe where Law & Order: UK is set. Very hard to reach by phone.
      • To elaborate on that, schedule conflicts with the actress on Law And Order UK.
      • "The Doctor would have resolved the conflict of Children of Earth within half an episode and still have time to go out dancing." Yeah, that's exactly what I was praying wouldn't happen while I was watching. Come on, the Doctor is enough of a Mary Sue character anyway, especially in the Xmas Specials. It's impossible to do a dark story and build up a decent horror atmosphere if a demigod Time Lord character from your spin-off series' mother series can pop in at any time to talk the evil aliens to death and solve any problem the stupid 20th century Earth natives cannot handle. I do wish the writers had come up with a logical explanation why the Doctor didn't materialize... though on second thought maybe giving no explanation and leaving it a mystery was better than a lame explanation. (Same goes for Abaddon's awakening.) It does reveal once again the hypocrisy inherent in the Doctor's promise he made in The Christmas Invasion, when he told the Sycorax that Earth is under his protection. He should have added "whenever I feel like it of course".
      • That's a bit harsh, we still don't know for certain exactly why the Doctor shows up sometimes and doesn't others (and really, the most logical explanations for it usually involve things like actor availablity and the writers not wanting to make him anymore of a Deus ex Machina than he already is). It's probably not so much "whenever I feel like it" so much as "whenever I pick it out of the mess of spagetti that is the entirety of every existing and possible event in time and space in my head and know it's happening", "whenever the former is true, and I can interfere without bringing down the Clock Roaches", "whenever both of the former are true and I'm not already very busy saving other places" or "whenever the writers can't/don't want to think of a more original ending than 'Doctor falls from the sky, Everybody Lives'". He may be biased towards people because he likes them (or he may not, I haven't decided myself yet) but that's quite different from letting the entire planet suffer because of the actions of a few.
    • I think Gwen's line in "Day Five" explains it. The Doctor turns his head away from the planet in shame.
      • But what does Gwen know about the Doctor? He has never let the Earth be destroyed before. At the very least he would help his companions. They never even tried to call him!
      • Oh, come on, folks, the Doctor may be a jerkass and the master of running away but can you really see him staying back whistling when millions of earth's children were about to be given to druggies, if he could in any way prevent it? He may be inconsistent sometimes, but standing aside while millions of innocents from his favourite planet are sentenced to a lifertime of torture? I really can't see him doing that. Not unless it were a Fixed Point and he had no choice but to stand and watch, or else genuinely didn't know it was happening (he can't possibly know everything that's possible, and if his companions didn't call hm... well, that's not exactly HIS fault.).
      • Additionally, just a point about the Doctor choosing not to help: watch The Beast Below. There's no way he'd let all those children be hurt if he could do anything. I agree with the others: he didn't know until he found out he wasn't there.
      Amy: Is that how it works, Doctor? You never interfere in the affairs of people or planets unless children are crying?

      • Co E being a Fixed Point in time (hot on the tails of the monumental cock up the Doc made in Waters of Mars too, probably, so he's probably not gonna risk messing with those again anytime soon) seems to be the most popular theory for why he didn't show up, I think. But there's also the possibility that he didn't know. Did they call him? If they didn't (for whatever reason) then that would explain that: I'm fairly sure that "I see all of time and space in my head" thing he has going on is, at best, damned hard to filter through because if it wasn't then he'd have most of the dilemmas we see in each episode solved the very second he arrived, (if they did call him -which is possible- then the problem of why he didn't come remains but is still explainable via fixed point.) Plus, he can't come running every single damn time humans get themselves in trouble or we'll never get out of the galactic nursery.
      • The Fixed Point theory actually brings up an even worse plot hole, considering Jack's origins and the fact that the Doctor had never heard of him before meeting him.
      • Sorry, could you elaborate a bit? I'm being dense and I'm not sure I fully get your meaning there. If what you're referring to is "why didn't the Doctor know about the COE event in advance due to it beng a fixed point?" then, well, if you think of time as being like a motorway and fixed points as being significant car crashes... there are gonna be a lot of big car crashes and a lot of fixed points, right? Hard to pick any one of them out of all that even if you DO see "all of time and space" in your head all the time -if the Doctor's time sense were infallible wouldn't half the episodes we see never occur because he'd know how to fix the problem the second he showed up?
      • I see no reason to bring the fixed point theory into it. A long standing fan theory that was confirmed in season 6 (of Doctor Who) is that the Doctor may have some control over where he goes, but ultimately it is the Tardis that determines where he goes. And it sends him where he needs to go. Humanity didn't need him for this. sure, things didn't go well for the shows heroes, but humanity got out of the situation perfectly fine without the Doctor. Expecting him to show up to fix every problem even when in the end things more or less turn out fine is pretty silly. What's next to blame on him, the black death maybe?
      • It could even be that humanity needed to solve this problem on its own so they could "grow up" a bit, and not let this sort of thing happen again.
    • Some Fan Wank I ran across was that the Doctor was off fighting the main blunt of the 456's race or dealing with some sort-of intergalactic war they were having (or something) and the 456 we saw were just petty scavengers trying to get away with raiding planets for drug-babys when their governments would be too busy with other things to stop them.
      • Since the Doctor often meets people in the wrong order, it's possible that the first that he ever heard of the 456 thing was when someone saw him again and demanded to know where he was during those events and why he didn't help them. Since he then is aware that he didn't do anything, him not doing anything was part of his personal timeline and he couldn't change it.

  • Here's an interesting thought: Forget about asking why the Doctor wasn't on Earth during the 456 invasion; rather, ask what he's going to do when he gets back. He could barely tolerate Jack wielding a pistol. How is he going to react when he finds out Jack sacrificed his own grandchild in order to save the Earth, on top of everything that lead to him having to make that choice? He doesn't turn his head from the Earth in shame; he turns away from one of his companions. A companion whom he trusted and thought that he taught better than that. And then he turns back, with fire in his eyes, because those who believe that the ends justify the means are exactly the kind of men that the Doctor puts a stop to.
    • Given that the Doctor committed genocide on his entire race (family no doubt included) and the Daleks he'd be a bit of a hypocrite to hold one child's death against Jack (sure, he's been hypocritical before but not on this kind of scale, and part of why he's so damned picky about his own moral code seems to be his desire to never let something like the Time War happen again. So examples of mass slaughter (which the Christmas Invasion WAS, however justified I may think Harriet's actions were at the time) are going to get his goat, whatever the reaosning behind them. It's a guilt reflex.)
    • What, so Jack's evil now? Yeah, he's almost as big a menace as Harriet Jones was before the Doctor went and stabbed her in the back. Please expand on your theory while I hope and pray this scenario is never aired as Torchwood canon.
      • Jack was Evil All Along or at least doing a Face/Heel Turn. He had advance knowledge that he'd be forced to sacrifice his grandson so he decided to go along with the course of events to create a fixed-point disaster (the Hub destruction) whereby he could return to his old con-man routine selling the whereabouts of the Crown's alien tech. It hasn't all been destroyed by a measly bomb. It's been salvaged to the highest bidder. The fixed point disaster is also a convenient way to dispose of Grey with plausible deniability to whatever Power that gave Grey a Level in Time Travel. Jack will never be the Hero that Barrowman wishes he were. In fact the ambiguity of the YANA message that The Face of Boe gives the Doctor doesn't give him any heads up that Dr. Yana is The Master, but in being ambiguous and insuring the success of The Master, definitely serves to secure the repair of Jack's Vortex Manipulator. He is a con-man with his dying breath.
    • The Doctor's done plenty that he regrets; the fate of the Family of Blood comes to mind. Plus if I'm reading the subtext right, isn't Eight or Nine responsible for the death of the entire Time Lord race? I know Ten blames himself for the (latest) death of the Daleks at the hands of 10.5. Under the circumstances I guess it really does come down to "what choice did he have?"
      • The entire human race > Jack's grandson. It's a horrific moment for Jack, but I would dislike the Doctor as much as most of you seem to if the he chewed out Jack for making that sacrifice.
    • Unfortunately, having no other way out is no excuse in 10's poorly-written books. And... when did 10 show the slightest bit of remorse for the Family? The expression on his face certainly didn't look regretful- if anything it looked callous.
      • But having no other way out IS an excuse... or rather, it's a reason, and I think the Doctor would probably accept that. The Family didn't just steal the life they needed to live, they were malicious gits who clearly enjoyed causing pain and fear to those all around them. Jack wasn't that. When he did was a horrific choice for him. I can't think of a previous example in which the choice was such an utterly impossible one. Whatever we personally think of his actions against Harriet, the point is that she didnt have to shoot the Sycorax in the back. It may have been the most long term sensible choice in her eyes (well long-term as in "for the next few generations of humans" which is longish term for us but for a nine hundred year old man? Not so much), but it wasn't a "do or die" situation, and it went against his moral code -it may still have been bad form on his part to wreck our so called golden age with six words, but it wasn't an impossible choice for her. I'm trying to think of examples here where the choice really was an utterly totally impossible one, not just "very very diffcult", but literally a do-or-die one to make... none are springing to mind (except possibly Gallifrey's end, and we still don't really know what happened there), but I have the feeling that if they happened, the Doctor would've accepted that there was no other way (at least not one they could think of without him). He's not going to be happy about what Jack did, but that doesn't mean he's going to think Jack deserves to have hell's fury reigned down on him from above -anyway I reckon Jack's getting that all on his own, thank you very much. Also, the Doctor committed Genocide. He's not that big of a hypocrite.
      • How else, exactly, were the Daleks supposed to be dealt with in Journey's End if not by killing them?
    • Hm-m. "The Parting of the Ways", anyone ?
      Jack: Wish I'd never met you, Doctor. I was much better off as a coward.
      Later.
      Emperor Dalek: What are you, coward or killer ?
      The Doctor: Coward, any day.
    • Answered in The End of Time. Gets him a new boyfriend in some alien bar. "His name is Alonso".
      • That's called RTD giving a Take That to the people who disliked what happened in Co E. Since, you know, there were only ''nine''.
      • Still, the point is made. The Doctor doesn't seem to be holding a grudge for it.
      • Maybe it's a massive Batman Gambit, and his intention is that with Alonzo's help Jack will undergo some new Character Development and become generally better at solving crises before it gets to the "kill-my-own-grandson-or-we-lose" point. Not sure how, but...
      • Or maybe it's merely the Doctor trying to be a good friend. Remember that he was trying to visit every companion he ever had while holding back regeneration. I really doubt he had the energy to plan anything too complex.
    • Jack can answer the Doctor with just three words, "Where were you?" If the Doctor didn't see fit to help during the crisis, he can't fault Jack for making the only choice that he had available to him.
      • I don't think he WOULD blame Jack, really. He's done things of equally questionable morality himself, and even if he were going to be hypocritical about it, even he has to realize that Jack wouldn't have he same available options that he does.

  • Okay, if Ianto's death is fate's way of telling Jack that he needs to respect human life, doesn't that mean that by him running away and giving up his mission to do a job that the people on Earth can't really do for themselves despite their best efforts, he's trashing human life even more by throwing in the towel and either learning nothing from the whole mess or refusing to learn from it.
    • Jack did just have to deal with murdering his own grandson; he's on a dark path. All I got to say to that.

  • How did the needs/wants of the 456 jump from 12 children to 220 million? That's like going from needing 1 hit of cocaine to needing 18 million hits. Saying that the need spread throughout their population doesn't fly, either, because how could that many users get hooked off of just the original 12?
    • In real life, drug users develop a tolerance for drugs the more they use, so they take bigger doses so they can get high. That's probably what's happened to the 456.
    • I assume that the intervening 40 years was spent with them shopping the drug around and looking for a buyer. I presume that they got a really big contract that they needed to fill. Think of the original 12 as being like the tobacco samples that Drake brought back to England.

  • Possible in-universe Fridge Logic that all involved could be kicking themselves with: Even given that the 456 had the ability to destroy humanity, the last thing drug addicts are going to do is destroy their only source. Kill all humans? Then no more little humans, and no more "good chemicals."
    • Since they're junkies, I suppose they aren't tied to constrants of logical behaviour. If you were really Jonesing for a hit and you had a gun handy, wouldn't you be tempted to put it to your dealer's head to try and get them to hand over the stuff if you didn't have enough cash. Deep down, you know it won't work but it just seems like a good idea at the time.
    • Maybe they have similar protection rackets going on with multiple planets at once (we've already seen that there are other races in DW canon biologically similar enough to humans)and are therefore confident enough that they want to see how much they can get away with?

  • Why establish Ianto as a habitual liar when it can't be explained? Are we supposed to just pin it on a lack of self-confidence since he was quiet? All the Torchwood staff lie out of necessity (even if their job is a Not Secret) so is it really so shocking that Ianto maybe threw an extra one to boost his image. It's a sizeable fib, but it doesn't constitute a pathology.
    • Nothing about his characterization matches the first two seasons. He had never seemed ashamed of being, at the most, bisexual - nor would he ever forget to lock his car.
      • He didn't forget. The thieves bypassed a double deadlock that would stop the Doctor's sonic screwdriver in its tracks. Rule of Funny.

  • What the fuck happened between Day Five and The End of Time? How did Jack jump from going off to be emo after sacrificing his grandson to being his old, normal self, hanging out in a pub and picking up Alonso? As Alonso is still about the same age as he was before, it's clearly not too far in the future. Did Jack really get over it that fast?
    • I've always liked the idea that Jack's "fixed point in time" healing powers will reset portions of his mentality/personality as well, which doubles as an explanation of how he can endure all that torture and still have an apparently human personality.
    • I always thought Jack was just "drowning his sorrows," so to speak. Hanging out in bars and losing himself in whatever random encounters he can find.
      • Also, who knows how long it was between the end of COE and that moment in the bar? (OK, maybe it was established in Miracle Day, but I haven't seen that.)
    • He looks pretty miserable in the first closeup of him in that bar.

  • I'm curious if anyone else found Bridget and the Chairwoman holding the government hostage at the end of Children of Earth was confusing? To me the Chairwoman was one of the most (if not the most) loathsome of the bureaucrats. Having her hold the government hostage was sort of like Stalin usurping Hitler and expecting the world to cheer. Woo. We've replaced one nasty bastard with another equally nasty bastard. Might this be a very badly mutated example of Closer to Earth, in which the Chairwoman's femaleness somehow negates her sheer bastardry creating a character we're supposed to be cheering for? The other major female antagonist, the one that imprisoned and tortured Jack, also seemed to have an incredibly implausible High Heel-Face Turn. In fact of all of the villains I found those two the most appalling—even more so then Frobisher and the Prime Minister—yet somehow... they get the Karma Houdini?
    • You aren't meant to cheer for her. One evil government is being brought down and replaced by another (possibly even more) evil government. That's kind of par for the course for this universe and feeds into the whole crapsack vibe. That sense of moral ambiguity that you're feeling is the entire point.
    • The Chairwoman may have been the most loathsome, but it was mostly out of being the most pragmatic. Prime Minister Green was trying to get out of all of it by clearing his name, while the Chairwoman simply saw herself as committing horrible actions in the name of the country. She also takes no joy, or pride, in it, exemplified when she tells Bridget that she doesn't see how ANYONE would want to continue being a part of the proceedings. In such a horrifying situation, I can't help but feel that I would make the same decisions. You have to become the devil to protect what little civilization you will be left with.
    • Although, if Spears is using the Torchwood contact lenses, then likely she has the information previously recorded Lois, including the Chairwoman's decisions. If Spears DOES go public, then the Chairwoman will be just as disgraced as the Prime Minister and everyone else involved. The Chairwoman believes she will take over, but really hasn't thought the implications through.
  • What was Sarah Jane up to during COE? Admittedly, the two shows are probably barred from crossing over (although an alien from Torchwood was in the SJA pilot. Plus Santiago said he has a gay dad, so Jack/Ianto wouldn't be a problem) but considering the main cast are children...it's odd that it wasn't at least alluded to.
    • "The main cast are children". That's presumably what SJ was up to: hiding her friends from government psychos. But yeah, it's a little odd they didn't mention that.
    • Not really. The main cast have long since hit puberty, making them useless to the 456. By the time of Children of Earth, Luke, Clyde and Rani are at least 15, if not 16 years old.
  • Okay, I get that Lois Habiba has some kind of secret clearance. But are we really supposed to buy that a random assistant would be sitting in on a top-secret meeting about a mass child sacrifice (and cover-up) during her first week on the job? Okay, fine, she couldn't talk about it to anyone without risking life imprisonment for treason, but still, they're taking an INSANE risk if you consider the fact that there's literally NO reason for her to be there in the first place. All she does it take notes, so apparently everyone is cool with her just transcribing their ultra-classified conversation for posterity. And you can't even argue that she's there because she also sat in on the 456 negotiations, because (1) this meeting is much more restricted, and (2) there was no rational reason for her to be there either (though it's handwaved with her playing the "mistress card" to Spears). Conclusion: all of Torchwood's plot-essential surveillance of the 456 negotiations and government meetings relies on the Whoniverse's UK having the most meaningless and ineffective "secret clearance" ever.
  • In Meat; we see a security camera on top of an lamppost, how does Torchwood think that that would be inconspicuous?
    • How often do you look up when walking down the street?
    • England is famous for having securit cameras everywhere, IIRC. One more wouldn't cause suspicion.
      • Cardiff's in Wales (although the points stands I guess).
  • Pardon if someone already pointed this out, but in that episode about the circus/freak show people coming back to life from a movie, it is shown an old timey film of Jack using his immortality to do a sing routine while shooting himself in the head again and again. Last time I checked, when the team commited mutinity and Owen (was it Owen? Ianto? someone.) shot him in the head just before the team unleashed the demon, he stayed dead for a few minutes before waking up again. What happened to the ressurrection being to fast that he could keep up the timing of a song in between deaths?
    • He was younger then so the healing factor was faster? Actually, how fast he recovers depends on the severity of the wound. So since it was self-inflicted it could easily be not as serious. And it's a film, so it could've been edited.
    • Wasn't the recording on loop?
  • Why did the PM try to make Frobisher sacrifice his children and why didn’t Frobisher tell the press? OK so the PM for the sake of some minor public relations thing is willing to give someone with the power to do so one hell of a motivation to destroy him. Why didn’t he not bother or pick someone who wasn’t in on it? When the PM threatened Frobisher with that “then they’ll know where there going thing” he should have pointed out that since the 456 don’t kill the children they’d find out any way, that the PM would have no reason to still carry out plan if he did blab to the press
  • So the plan in COE was to march up to the government and the 456 and coerce them into doing what Torchwood wanted because they could sabotage both their plans at the push of a button. It wasn't a bluff or anything, they really could have done that it would have been impossible for both the 456 and the government to continue doing what they were doing. Instead, they did the Bond villain thing and told their enemies about it, causing their entire plan to fall down like a house of cards and loads of people to die. Why didn't Torchwood just skip the middle step and expose them?

  • In the episode Captain Jack Harkness, was the romance between Our Jack Harkness and Original Jack Harkness a case of Original Jack meeting his Closet Key or Original Jack being a knowingly Straight Gay man being coaxed out of his iron clad Closet that he had been forced to spent his entire life in due to being born in the 1920's? I say B, but literally everyone I talk to about it say A and make jokes about Jack Harknesses proveses.
    • I always took it as a mixture of both. Original Jack had just never met someone keen and bold enough to pick up on his closely guarded feelings (being both in the 1940's AND the Military), but always knew he was "different"

  • Were Jack and Ianto in a sexual relationship right from the start? The flashback shown in 'Fragments' seems to imply an instant attraction and there's a brief bit of banter between them which seems a lot more significant in hindsight. I'm sure I read an interview with Gareth David-Lloyd where he alludes to this (there's a comment by someone further up this page mentioning it, too) but it doesn't seem to me like there's much else backing it up. Is there something I'm missing, or is it just a theory? Because if it's true, it makes Jack's struggle with Ianto in 'Cyberwoman' so much more heartbreaking.
    • The implication onscreen was that they were attracted to each other almost immediately, but that their actual relationship did not begin until after "Cyberwoman". Jack being Jack, attraction to coworkers is probably the norm, and there was certainly flirting going on. But that does not mean that he automatically shags them all. That said, Jack might have been more angry out of jealousy regarding Lisa than he was about Ianto keeping a cyberwoman in the Hub. After all, they made a rather big stink about what a threat she was, yet the Doctor and UNIT had been dealing with Cybermen for years. They probably had something in the weapons locker that would have reduced her to glitter and blood splatter in one shot.

  • Jack is supposedly an omnisexual from the future, so why is it that we see him almost exclusively going after men? Rose and Gwen are the only instances I can think of where he expresses attraction towards a woman (at least when not under some kind of mind control). When we find out about a past relationship he's had, it's always with a man. When he flirts casually, it's directed at a man. When he casts a lewd glance, it's at a man.
    • Actually, in "Small Worlds" we meet a woman, Estelle, that Jack was romantically involved with during WWII. In "Something Borrowed" Jack looks at an old wedding photo, in which he is the groom. He has a daughter and grandson. So obviously he has been with women. It may be that he somewhat favors men. Or it could just be that John Barrowman, who is openly gay after all, enjoyed seizing the opportunity to actually play gay onscreen, such opportunities admittedly still being fairly rare.

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