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Recap / Torchwood S 3 E 3 Day Three

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This is probably the best glimpse you're gonna get of the 456... Be thankful for small mercies.

The 456: We have a request.
Frobisher: By all means.
The 456: We want a gift.
Frobisher: Of course. But what nature of gift, exactly? A gift? Gladly. But what do you want?
The 456: We want your children... We will take your children.
[The 456 spews gunk and bangs heads against its gaseous tank]
Frobisher: [in utter disbelief of what he just heard ...I'm sorry, I think that there might be a problem with the translation. By children, you mean-
The 456: Your descendants. The offspring of the Human race.
Frobisher: ...How many?
The 456: Ten percent... We want ten percent... We want ten percent of the children of this world.
The 456 offers an impossible peace ultimatum to the appointed ambassador of humanity, John Frobisher

Jack, Gwen, Ianto and Rhys set up a temporary "Hub 2" in an abandoned Torchwood London warehouse. Gwen uses her police knowledge to teach the gang how to steal. They scramble together enough money for food. Ianto manages to get toilet paper, clothes, and an army surplus longcoat for Jack. Jack quite casually steals a car. Hub 2 also now has a laptop, and they manage to connect to the remote Torchwood servers.

"The 456" beam down to Earth — to the 13th floor of Thames House, specifically. The world's nations realise that the UK have been covering up something massive for a few decades. The USA aren't happy, and neither is UNIT. Frobisher is sent up to talk to the 456, who are hidden in smoke and who communicate via radio, by bashing themselves against the glass wall, and by vomiting green goo. He makes them promise that they will not mention their previous visit to Earth in 1965.


Ianto has decided that, since he's suddenly coming out to his family, he wants to learn more about Jack. He asks all the wrong questions, though, and finds out that Jack feels every single moment of every single death, including that explosion two days ago. With a change of topic, Ianto and Jack try to sneak off and have sex ("the world is always ending"), but get distracted: it turns out that Jack wasn't the only person targeted for assassination. They find more names and, eventually, pictures. Jack doesn't recognise the names, but the pictures make him run off without another word. Ianto is appropriately angry about being Locked Out of the Loop again.

Alice is still trying to call Jack. She tries to do so undetected, but her call is traced with frightening ease by Agent Johnson. Alice and her son Steven are taken prisoner.


Clement is wandering the streets, and he's arrested when he tries to pay with stolen cash. Gwen calls Andy and convinces him to get Clement out of jail. She takes Clement to the new Hub. She also meets up with Lois again and gives her Torchwood's special camera contact lenses, but Lois is too scared to make any promises (Gwen's carrying them around because she and Rhys had some... fun with them. "They are fun," Ianto concurs.). Lois talks her way into meeting the 456 alongside Frobisher and Spears.

Frobisher has been chosen to be the Ambassador of Earth, because he's already in the know, expendable, and just official enough to do the job right. He very nervously tries to establish an official agreement while Lois relays the whole thing to Torchwood. Clement can sense that the 456 can feel him listening in. (He can also sense that Ianto is "a queer".) Torchwood's computer voice repeats whatever Lois' lenses can lip-read. Ianto repeats everything the 456 say, written down by Lois in shorthand. The 456 talk slowly, respond with delays, sometimes repeat whole sentences, and seem a bit out of it. They're clear on one thing, though: they want 10% of Earth's children.

After trying to intimidate Frobisher in retaliation for the threats made to his relatives, Jack returns to the makeshift base of operations. When he approaches Clem, Clem cowers in fear, recognizing him as that same man who made him walk into a light long ago. Trembling at the sight of Jack and how he remains unchanged by time, the rest of Torchwood asks the burning question why Clem is so scared of Captain Harkness. It's because in 1965, Jack gave twelve children - including Clem - to the 456... as a gift.


  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Outright said to Johnson when Alice gets cornered, pointing out that her men would have already opened fire if Alice and her son were wanted dead.
  • I Have Your Wife: Alice and Steven get taken prisoner as leverage against Jack. Jack threatens to do the same thing to Frobisher's family, but Frobisher knows Jack won't be able to go through with it.