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Fridge / Torchwood

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Fridge Brilliance

  • Owen's resurrection instead of a 2 minute consciousness... Jack, the man who can not die, is the one who used the glove. @The Caffeine Chill
  • While watching Torchwood, I always wondered why the hell in the first series, Torchwood was all hush-hush, yet in the second series, almost everyone in Cardiff knows about (and seems to despise) Torchwood. It wasn't until rewatching Utopia that I realized why: while Jack was gone, Gwen was in charge. Gwen is also the newbie who has no idea how to do stuff. It is perfectly plausible that she somehow managed to f*ck something up so badly that the general populace knows about the existence of Torchwood. @Margo196
    • Torchwood was barely hush-hush in season one, though. It's a little hard to keep secrets when they have a big van that displays "Torchwood" in huge letters and whenever Jack entered a crime scene, he loudly announces Torchwood's presence. It would be inaccurate and baffling to blame Gwen and Gwen alone when the whole team lacked subtlety. @EMY3K
  • A lot of people have complained that it was stupid of the government in the Children of Earth miniseries to try to kill Torchwood to keep the past dealings with the 456 secret, instead of asking an elite monster-fighting force for help with the current 456 situation. Well yeah, it was, but it wasn't supposed to not be stupid of them. We're talking about politicians here. It's in keeping with reality for covering their asses to be their number one priority over things like saving the world.
    • The problem was that the story placed the British government's past dealings with the 456 more than four decades in past. Most current members of the present government would have been very young (possibly even children) at the time and thus had no complicity in the prior event. Think about it, in real life the U.S. armed Iraq back during the 1980's and didn't feel even the slightest bit contrite about it by the 90's. The British government could have blown off the whole thing with the 456 as a horrible act committed by a prior government. Planning to capitulate in the present day however, falls squarely on their shoulders.
  • Lots of people hate "Countrycide". Me, I didn't, but only because I realized it was making a not so subtle point: At times, human bastardry is far more freaky and twisted than any alien presence could be. True, it is disappointing there was no alien presence at all, but when Jack just wanted to kill them all (correctly, knowing they were sick sociopaths far more twisted than an alien threat) and Gwen (naively, in a case of Wrong Genre Savvy, thinking they just had a Blue-and-Orange Morality she wanted to understand) tried to figure them out, I realized RTD was basically foreshadowing the true horror we humans can be capable of in Children of Earth and Miracle Day. - Rpgingmaster
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  • Why did the 456 constantly flail around and puke over the walls of its enclosure? Well, it's an alien junkie!
  • In Adam, Ianto is the first one to take an amnesia pill. Well, it's because he got the worst memories, so he'd want to forget the most!
  • From the flashback in "Fragments," we find out that Ianto only started wearing suits after trying to get a job in Torchwood several times and getting summarily rejected by Jack. Ianto probably interpreted Jack's rejection to be in part due to his youth and wears suits around the workplace to be treated like an adult, much like how a lot of interns or entry-level employees dress formally to be taken more seriously!
  • Gwen's speech from "Children Of Earth" theorizing the Doctor hasn't shown up to help because he's ashamed of the humans' actions. Letting millions of children be used as drugs seems rather out of character for the Doctor, no matter how mad he may have been...until you realize that Gwen doesn't really know the Doctor, aside from "the man who occasionally shows up to save the world", so it makes sense that she might think that (even though Doctor Who fans who watched him years would disagree).
  • A minor case of brilliance, but for anyone wondering why the entire Torchwood team is bisexual, remember — they were all recruited by Captain Jack Harkness. It's hardly surprising that he'd add 'bisexual' to his list of criteria for a good team member.
    • Of course, it's mentioned that people from the 51st Century have been genetically altered to produce pheromones that allow them to smell good to other people, as well as appear more attractive. The fact that most of them work in close proximity to a walking aphrodisiac might have something to do with how everyone's sexuality becomes a lot more flexible whenever Jack's around.
  • Rearrange the letters in "Torchwood" and you get... Doctor Who.
    • Fun Fact: "Torchwood" was the working title of preproduction for the Doctor Who revival until it was announced.
  • Thinking logically, Ianto's death in Children of Earth was entirely predictable. Charging off to threaten an alien in a sealed chamber that is threatening to unleash a bioweapon that is lethal to humans, with only handguns and no kind of gas masks or other protection, would seem to carry a 100% probability of unpleasant death. That this was not obvious kind of makes Jack look like a General Failure from a tactical standpoint. Then again, he's not exactly the best grandfather either.
    • Consider also that Torchwood's entire base had just been destroyed. Without a massive computer database and a hub full of exotic alien technology to fall back on, they were out of their element — especially Jack, who is still very much a "shoot first, ask questions later" kind of guy.
    • Actually, Jack's plan would have worked...if he were on Doctor Who or The Sarah Jane Adventures, where the protagonist also does this kind of thing all the time. He has seen the Doctor bullshit his way through enough invasions to believe it'd work, and because Jack idolizes and tends to pattern himself off of the Doctor, he'd want to take a page out of his book. Hell, even the philosophy he tried quoting at the 456 was a reminder of the Doctor's influence on the situation via his influence on Jack. Had this been a Who episode, that would have been the "humans are brilliant and will not be bullied" heroic moment that wrapped up the plot. Unfortunately, this is Torchwood, home of Darker and Edgier, and Jack's Wrong Genre Savvy cost him dearly.
    • However, there is a crucial difference. While the Doctor is always making stuff up as (s)he goes along, one of his/her greatest weapons is knowledge of the enemy—their capabilities, how they act, how they think, etc. Most likely the Doctor wouldn't have brought a mortal human along with them into a confrontation with an enemy of unknown abilities. Usually, the Doctor leaves the companions behind when bargaining with the monster of the week. Furthermore, the Doctor would've thought out an escape plan as soon as (s)he walked in—take, for example, Forest of the Dead, where he stays right by the trapdoor while interrogating the Vastra Nerada. Jack's biggest mistake wasn't going in to threaten the 456; it was bringing Ianto with him, and the latter's death shook him deeply.
  • Not having Martha appear in Children of Earth—the Doylist explanation is that the actress was busy, but in-universe it's a perfect explanation for Superman Stays Out of Gotham, since she (but not Jack) has the Doctor's phone number.

Fridge Horror

  • In "Small Worlds", both Jack and the fairies state the fairies can travel in time. After Jack wakes from his nightmare reliving the attack on the train in Lahore, 1909, he finds a single petal on his desk. The same group of fairies that killed Jack's squad came immediately to the present to find a new chosen one, and left the petal on Jack's desk as a warning and a statement.
  • In "Exit Wounds", John Hart ties Jack by the arms to the ceiling while Jack is dead. When Jack wakes up, he spends a few seconds screaming and struggling. It didn't hit me until after I finished the episode that, just for those moments, he thought he was back on The Valiant. - Maxwell_Edison
  • In "Exit Wounds", Jack's brother is kept in suspended animation at their base. The base that just happened to, y'know, completely blow up destroying everything inside in series 3.
    • He wasn't the only living specimen in cold storage, either: according to the BBC website, there were several people who were put in suspended animation because they were mutating into creatures that the Institute didn't otherwise know how to contain.
    • For that matter, Myfawny and the Weevils such as Janet. Myfawny might be okay: she can fly, and comes and goes from the Hub as she pleases; she might not have been in the Hub when the bomb went off. But the Weevils probably were turned to chunky salsa...
    • Worse, the morgue's stores of the dead may have been blown up. The dead got deader that day... hopefully Toshiko's body was not one of them and she was buried instead. And Suzie definitely wasn't, due to the events of the novel Long Time Dead.
      • The canonicity of the novels is debatable, though...
      • Everything's canon in the Whoniverse. There is no canon.
    • The big one in "Exit Wounds": Jack decides to let himself be buried alive for 2000 years...yet a few minutes/2000 years later, he pops up again fresh as a daisy, fully remembering why he was buried and not being at all mad from it. Clearly he's gone so mad he's looped back round again. Or something.
      • Given the nature of Jack's condition, we can assume that each time he revived he died of asphyxiation shortly thereafter, perhaps taking 5 minutes. The time taken for Jack to revive seems to depend on the injury but a simple thing like asphyxiation might take 5 minutes or so to recover from. So every 10 minutes for 1900 years he suffered a dark, cold, horrifying, conscious choking smothering death. About 100 million deaths! At least when they had him on ice he was asleep.
    • Unless he just suffocated once, then didn't come back to life until the 20th century when he was dug up? If he had dirt in his lungs the whole time, he may not have come back until he could get it free.
    • In the same episode, Owen, the team's literal walking dead man whose consciousness inhabits a corpse that can't repair itself, gets trapped in a room about to be flooded with the waste from a nuclear reactor and disintegrated. Which means, basically, he's just been transformed into a cloud of sentient, conscious radioactive particles. And you thought Jack's fate was bad. Was Chris Chibnall asleep at his keyboard that day or what?
  • In the episode Captain Jack Harkness, we learn that our beloved Captain stole his name from an officer who died in a training accident. Our Jack meets and falls in love with said officer, and snogs him in full view of all his colleagues the day before he is destined to die. It's entirely possible in that era that the original Jack was then murdered by his comrades for being a homosexual, and his death passed off as a training accident.
    • Plausible, however there were more casualties than the original Jack Harkness. But then again it would be rare for an event such as original Jack's death to be a fixed point in time so the cause of death could be the aforementioned hate crime.
      • Actually, our Jack reveals that it's only the real Captain Harkness who dies on the mission. Everyone else survives. Captain Harkness couldn't bail out was because his entire plane was on fire. Planes with exits away from the cockpits tend to have multiple crew members. If Captain Harkness died on his plane, what happened to the rest of his crew? If the squadron truly was fighting a large enemy force, how is Captain Harkness the only casualty? Depending on how strong your faith in humanity is, either he's the best Captain or they're terrible people.
  • What happened to the Torchwood team in the Year That Never Was? Chances are they were all murdered for the Master's amusement or just for trying to raise rebellion against him. No wonder Jack becomes mellower and more protective of them in Season 2. Also worth noting is that he takes his relationship with Ianto much more seriously, leading to Jack eventually asking Ianto out soon after he came back!
    • Confirmed. The Master sent them on a wild goose chase to the Himalayas where they probably either died in a blizzard or were killed there. Jack goes nuts upon hearing about it.
      • Word of God says that the Master attempted to kill the team by causing an avalanche, but that they survived and managed to crawl back to base camp. What happened after they got back to Cardiff, though, is another matter....
  • Red is Ianto, Owen, and Tosh's color.-Lillium
    • And Suzie's and Gwen's for a while. Wait...
  • In the Doctor Who episode The End of Time, the Master uses the Immortality Gate to change every person on Earth into his genetic clone, including those who are dead and buried. There's already Fridge Horror there in that we aren't told whether the dead went back to being dead once the effect was undone; it gets worse when you remember that Tosh and Ianto were buried on Earth.
    • Gwen was pregnant at the time. What effect do you suppose the device had on in utero fetuses?
      • Fortunately, both Gwen and her baby are shown to be alive and well in Torchwood: Miracle Day. That doesn't do much to lessen the horror of what might have happened at the time, however....
    • There's also the less-mentioned fact that the Immortality Gate was acquired from one of the fallen Torchwood bases. That's right: the top-secret, deadly (and possibly damaged) alien technology that was locked away for decades in the Torchwood vaults can now be easily obtained by anyone with the right connections and a big enough bank account. Let the implications of that sink in.
  • In "Out of the Rain", there was a circus group who was stealing the breaths of people to add to their audience and the only way to restore the victims back was to get the vial. Near the ending scene, the villain tosses the bottle, killing off everybody except a child. While it sounds like a happy ending, keep in mind that those killed included said child's entire family. Enjoy life as an orphan!
    • Made worse in that they mentioned they didn't completely wipe out the threat, either....
  • At the end of "Random Shoes", the ghost of Eugene "passes on". Considering what we know of the afterlife in Torchwood, his new location is not an improvement.
    • On the other hand, that episode seems to imply there might be something after all, since he's shown ascending upwards and rapidly zooming away from Earth. If there was truly nothing, wouldn't he have simply blinked out?
      • We know for a fact that there is an afterlife on Earth at this point in history. The Master's Nethersphere...
  • At the end of the Miracle Day season, Rex is made immortal like Jack. Does that mean there will be a black counterpart to the Face of Boe?
    • It's been confirmed by Julie Gardner that Jack is the Face of Boe, but this has never been explicitly confirmed in-universe, so is subject to change. Maybe Rex is the real Face of Boe.
  • Abortion or even the morning after pill, is no longer an option and if sperm meets egg you have a very high chance of having a baby with horrifying birth defects. And Jack's conversation with his one night stand reveals that most people think their new immortality means they don't get sick or injured and so they are taking massive risks.
  • Big Finish's The Death of Captain Jack establishes that, even if he loses his immortality, Jack will remain a fixed point in time, as well as reinforcing what we know from The Wedding of River Song (That preventing a fixed point will destroy the universe.). Though that happened in an alternate timeline, Jack came perilously close to being killed in Miracle Day, most notably in Rendition.