Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Torchwood: Lost Souls

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... outside the government, beyond the police, up its own arse and quite probably clinically deranged. But we’re the only secret government conspiracy that will end the world by accident rather then nefarious evil diabolical criminal genius. We MEAN well. Honest."

Episode 14: Hard-on Collision

With Touchwood reduced to just Captain Jack, Gwen and Ianto, Cardiff is more vulnerable now than it has ever been in centuries to the weevils, the rift debris and the forces of darkness. So, of course, this is the time Jack immediately suggests they all go on a vacation to Switzerland to forget all their troubles.
While taking a tour of the CERN facility at Geneva and pretending to be Welsh Ambassadors, they bump into Martha Jones who has successfully joined UNIT and is investigating the mysterious spate of disappearances in the Large Hadron Collider which is attempting to find the fundamental particles of existence, examining the building blocks of matter itself in a 27 kilometre tunnel in a big circle. Jack is immediately interested in "the biggest bang in history", and is rather disappointed when it’s just a euphemism for the creation of black holes to turn the Earth inside out.
The collider countdown has started at the behest of Professor Katrina Johnson and the supremely dodgy UNIT boss Oliver Harrington despite the fact lots of people vanish in the tunnels while others have collapsed with an unknown illness, started glowing and then slowly faded way as their bodies disintegrate. Jack sends Gwen and Ianto to explore the tunnel – not particularly caring if they live or die. The pair split up on bicycles, not quite realizing it’s a rather stupid place to go monster hunting when Johnson is about to turn the thing on.
Jack demands the closure of the operation on the grounds the test in May allowed aliens to slip through onto Earth and do nasty stuff to people. Indeed, in the tunnel a swarm of creatures resembling old cardboard boxes attack Ianto, claiming for some reason to be the reincarnations of Owen, Tosh and George Harrison when they’re really the deadly QUIRKS! Nevertheless, Ianto is convinced they’re the genuine article and agrees to help them conquer the world.
UNIT boss Harrington has also fallen for the Quirks’ unconvincing impersonation and is convinced the Quirk Imperator is actually his late wife returned from BEYOND THE GRAVE! Jack points out how retarded this idea is and Harrington admits that, yes, it IS rather stupid now he comes to mention it. Snatching up a sawn-off shotgun, he runs into the tunnel and shoots all the Quirks and then blows his head off.
As they return to Cardiff, Martha makes it quite clear that she never so much as wishes to clap eyes on any of the Touchwood team ever again, and Jack muses that the answer is somewhere out there; and that sometimes asking the question IS the answer, but sometimes it isn’t... then gets confused and gets Ianto to make them all some coffee.
Suddenly, everything outside Cardiff shimmers and vanishes – and suddenly the city is surrounded by a strange ocean with waterspout-shaped cloud formations as enormous ringed planets slowly rise over the horizon. More seriously, above said ringed planets hangs a huge fleet of Dustbin saucers and within, the Dustbin Suzpreme is making a longwinded speech. For a change.


Trivia Questions
1. What happens next? 2. Which original Touchwood Novel was ripped off THIS week?

Great Moments - Last thirty seconds. Brings back memories of The Best Wife.

Fashion Crimes -
No idea. It’s on audio.

Missing Adventures -
Martha goes on at length how she sure as hell has never encountered something as embarrassing as the Quirks during her travels with the Doctor. Mind you, even if she had, she’d probably lie about it.

Technobabble - "Reverse the quirklarity of quirktron quirk flow! Quirkly!"

Great Lines -
Jack: Can Quirks swim?
Ianto: Apparently not. (beat) Anyone for coffee?

Jack: I needs to be strong for Gwen and Ianto. In a way, I kind of blame myself for Tosh and Owen dying like that.
Martha: Well, so you should.
Jack: Oh well, who cares, I was always going to outlive the bitchy wankers anyway. I’m glad they’re dead, to be honest.

Jack: We’re having an orgy!

Martha: Gwen? How are you doing after your two close freinds died?
Gwen: Martha, I’m on a bike cycling around a 27km tunnel hunting for an alien that sucks peoples neutrinos out. Now is not the time for your amateur girly-chat physco-therapy. Now FUCK OFF!

Ianto: I’m going to die in a tunnel...in Switzerland.

Crap Lines –
Jack: What do those clouds look like to you?
Gwen: Candy floss!
Jack: ...never mind.

Jack: The dead don’t come back. Apart from me, obviously.

Ianto: Guess what?
Gwen: What Ianto?
Ianto: My bike has a bell! Ding-ding!
Gwen: That is so awesome!
Ianto: I know!
Gwen: Can you believe Martha thinks we’ve gone crazy?

Plot Oversights
- We are supposed to believe that someone can have their neutrons eaten on a subatomic level and then magically get them all back again and be in perfect health? Removing all your neutrons would tend to make you instantly decompose into a high energy plasma of protons and electrons!
- Jack’s monologue about the LHC is clearly nicked from the BBC news website, since he even lists the web address for further information.
- Why are there long silent gaps in the episode? Is it a deliberate audio rendering of Gwen’s teeth?
- Martha asks Jack and Gwen how they’re coping after Tosh and Owen’s death, but she doesn’t ask Ianto. Doesn’t she care about him or does she rightly assume Ianto hated the pair of them?
- Jack constantly refers to his mobile phone headsets as "shark teeth" instead of "bluetooth". Mind you, they’re not supposed to be called that anyway, so it just compounds the error in my book!

Viewers’ Quotes

"Mourn your dead, land of the free! If you want to be a hero follow me! For one and twenty canon thunder into the bloody wild blue yonder, for a patriotic ball-less wonder, NOW I’M A FUCKING HERO!!"
- The Creator of the Quirks (2008)

"I must admit that since seeing Owen and Tosh being killed off, making Adam Rickitt into Touchwood has been at the front of my mind. There is now space for two new team members - an ideal chance to bring in Adam. Obviously Adam would not be suited to play Lavros. It would waste his looks, I mean, his superb acting talent, his performance as Nick Tilsley in Corrie (one of the UK’s highest rated programmes) displayed a great range and depth. The team could probe into dark, mysterious places with Adam, who has far greater acting skills than a lettuce. The latter is a leafy plant and therefore cannot move!"
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2009)

"Hard On Collision is about as disappointing as realizing that CERN didn’t destroy the Earth, meaning you have to go vote in tedious Council elections the next day."
- Cameron J Mason (2008)

"Yes... we know Tosh and Owen are dead! Give. It. A. Rest!!"
- Mr. Sensitive (2008)

"My girlfriend is very negative about Freema’s acting and Martha in general. She had to die. I HAD to do it. I think I might shoot myself. I know there’s only so much that can be done..."
- some serial killer on Death Row (1977-2008)

"AM I MISSING SOMETHING? I gave up listening after about halfway through – this was sub-Big-Finish with wooden characters, a cliched plot and clunky dialogue. I mean seriously, how long was this idea brainstormed for, HALF-A-PINT?! I know I can’t critize the whole thing, because I just couldn’t stand to waste any more of my time listening to it! I found looking out of a train window more interesting! Weak fan-fic level twaddle! I’m ashamed that I recommended this to people I know! Now they’ll think I’m a total moron! AND I’M NOT!"
- LunarSea (2008)

"With such a small amount of Touchwood being made for broadcast next year, I was so hoping this would be a way of filling the gap. Oh boy was I suckered! WHERE has the hardcore adult version of Doctor Who gone? Is this the future of Touchwood now that it’s had a pre-watershed watered-down-version? WHERE are the challenging storylines? What happened to the halcyon days of the one with the Cyberwoman?!"
- Brian Damage (2008)

The Author Speaks
"Of course, they only told me that Tosh and Owen were being written out when I was handing the script in, so I needed a massive rewrite to make it part of the ongoing Touchwood narrative and fit between Exit Stage Freaking Left and The Stolen Cardiff. I was sad at first as I loved the characters and didn’t want them to go. My second reaction was: fuck em, I still get paid. It would have been very tricky in a 45-minute radio drama to have five main characters, with supporting characters on top NOT TO MENTION THE QUIRKS!"

Trivia Answers
1. Watch "Journey Till Dawn" and find out, you idiot. 2. "A Social Life" by Pete Anghelides.

Rumors and Facts
In 2008, the governments of the world joined forces in an unprecedented global alliance and considered all possible options for future human development. On the grounds that if they DIDN’T wipe themselves out in war, kill the planet with pollution, or end civilization altogether in a massive financial crunch the fact was the sun would STILL explode in five billion years and even if they DID move off Earth, the whole galaxy would STILL collide with Andromeda and the whole universe would undergo Heat Death anyway.

Rather than waste the rest of eternity staving off the inevitable, it was decided to simply put Earth out of its misery by destroying the entire planet in an artificial black hole. Pretending that it was just a scientific test with an ominous nickname of "Big Bang Day", the countdown to Armageddon began and in order to distract the population from their imminent slaughter and spaghettification, Radio 4 commissioned Dave Lister to write a special audio to celebrate the switch-on of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.

Of course, the script was full inaccuracies about the geography of the underground complex and how the accelerator tunnel cools down, but Lister’s drama was considered a higher priority as no one was going to be alive to complain about the goofs around particle physics.

Unfortunately, due to the accidental reversal of the neutron flow polarity, the expected black hole created turned out to be smaller than an atom and exist for less than a pico-second. Indeed, if it weren’t for all the huge and powerful detection equivalent at CERN you’d be forgiven for thinking the bloody thing didn’t work at all.

With Project: Earthanasia screwed up, the global alliance disbanded and the critics savaged the radio version of Touchwood – never once suspecting it was merely a smokescreen to stop them noticing being crushed to a mathematical point with no dimensions. The Sunday Times noted, "THIS is the sort of output we pay the license fee for?! The sort of ambitious and expensive programming no commercial radio station could ever hope to do in the present ecology of broadcasting? PULL THE OTHER ONE, MATE IT’S GOT BELLS ON!! It’s as though Radio 4 approached the point of serious educational broadcasting — and then disappeared into the black hole of celebrity."

It’s so-called wit like that which makes us all dearly wish the world HAD ended on that fateful day.

Ruminations –
This isn’t canon.

Torchwood: Exit Wounds

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... It seems today, that all you see, is aliens in Cardiff and Ood on TV but how can we do more sexy moments that make the parents cry? Lucky there’s a spin-off show! Lucky there’s a Hub where, anything can go where, aliens have sex or KILL US SLOW! Set in Wales you know!"

Episode 13: Exit Stage Freaking Left

Spike the Cool Person has returned to Cardiff to wage a war of terror on the Welsh capital, as bombs systematically blow up what bits of the town Touchwood haven’t already ruined in collateral damage. Captain Jack takes this calmly by abandoning his team mates and fleeing to the Hub and hoping to escape the oncoming holocaust. Unfortunately, knowing of Jack’s monumental cowardice, Spike has laid a deadly trap involving Sarah Brightman and Hot Gossip’s "I Lost My **CENSORED** to a Starship Trooper" and several machine guns.
The rest of the team split up as Spike uses aforementioned Hot Gossip tune to drive the Weevils into a psychotic frenzy, and assassinates all the government and police fellows who might be of use in the current emergency. Thus, not only is Touchwood left in charge of Cardiff, Gwen is left in charge of Touchwood. Truly, the end is nigh.
After admiring the carnage from the top of the remains of Cardiff Castle, Spike uses his nifty Vortex Manipulator wrist gadget to travel 1982 years into the past, to 27 AD where Cardiff was just a rather boring meadow. Jack protests that, give or take the odd bit of underwear, he hasn’t been stalking Spike in any way at all – he doesn’t even have a Time Agent gizmo necessary to follow Spike through time and space! Spike concedes this is so, but decides to bury Jack alive just to be on the safe side, when the TRUE villain appears:
CAPTAIN JACK HARKNESS: Jack’s identical but so much more evil and homophobic twin brother who never had any love for Johnny Depp and kept his original surname. Why identical twin brothers were both named "Jack" isn’t clear, but they ARE all inbred rednecks in the 51st Century.
Captain Jack Harkness laughs evilly and buries his brother to spend the rest of eternity underneath the most boring place in the universe. Captain Jack Sparrow laughs, confident he just has to wait five billion years and then the sun will explode, destroying the Earth and finally freeing him – but, on reflection, admits this plan kinda sucks. Captain Jack Harkness finishes filling in the grave and then, after gloating that he has manipulated Spike as a cat’s paw, sends the blond once-was-vamp back to contemporary Cardiff out of sheer sadism.
Realizing that he’s been made to look like a complete tool, Spike vows revenge and teams up with Gwen, unaware how clinically insane she has become since they last met. Nevertheless, her idiocy means Spike simply claims that he has been being blackmailed by CJH and Gwen instantly believe it without any proof of any kind. The others aren’t so stupid however, and are more concerned that the Canine Nuclear Power Plant is about to go into meltdown and an army of Weevils have surrounded it. As no one likes him, Owen is sent to single-handedly defeat the Weevils and save Cardiff. Amazingly enough, he manages to do just that – unfortunately, he idiotically vents the system into the control room he happens to be standing in. Owen is consumed by the radioactive waste, half-hoping he might mutate into Godzilla, but instead simply dissolves into goo.
Taking about half a second to mourn Owen’s passing... again... Tosh is sent to try and locate where CJH has got to while Ianto, Gwen and Spike use a perpetually looped tape of "Are Friends Electric" to force the Weevils to retreat back into the sewers. But the evil CJH ambushes Tosh and shoots her through the head with a sawn-off shotgun, sending her brains everywhere.
CJH prepares to hunt down the remaining team members because... um... he’s evil or something, when a rhythmic wheezing, groaning noise is heard throughout the Hub. CJH investigates it and finds its source is the Hub’s morgue, when suddenly a battered blue police box materializes in mid air and falls right on CJH’s head, killing him and crushing him like the Wicked Witch of the East. Yes, the Last of the Time Lords was using pre-civilization Cardiff to play golf, and spotted Jack being buried alive. With the immediate situation resolved, the Doctor gets bored and heads off again, leaves again.
With Owen, Tosh and his own brother dead, Jack is convinced that this without doubt makes him the highest-ranking Touchwood member. Ianto and Gwen challenge him to sort out the ruined city, but Jack is only interested in nicking Spike’s Vortex Manipulation thingie, telling the others that this is only a beginning.
"Let’s go on vacation and forget all about those two losers!"

Trivia Questions
1. Which infamous Doctor Who monster makes its Touchwood debut?
2. What was Owen’s date of birth?

Great Moments - During the routing of Cardiff, we see Rose Tyler’s old workplace (Plastic Fantastic) be destroyed after it was so painstakingly rebuilt for the fourth time.
...what? It’s a brilliant running gag! Philistines.

Fashion Crimes -
The Doctor’s dynamic, full-length, zebra-marked, black and white coat, fearsome tanktop, multicoloured hipsters and startling white boots don’t QUITE draw attention away from his enormous afro haircut.

Missing Adventures -
The Doctor is between companions while trying to master the strange art of "golf". According to Lawrence Miles however, golf is the human description of a Kalekani terraformation viral warfare, which makes the hapless infected victims devastate their own world and turn the whole biosphere into slopes and flats of pure, unsullied green. Thanks so much for sharing, Lawrence, we really needed to know that.

Technobabble - "A localized rift has split the underflow continuum planar shift!"
"Which means?"
"Things get nasty."

Great Lines - Gwen: I’m going to need a really good reason not to shoot you within the next 20 seconds!
Spike: ...I’ll be your best friend.
Gwen: What? Really? Cool!

Tosh: Owen, just stay calm.
Owen: Why should I do that? Where's the fun in that? I'm gonna rage my way to oblivion! AAAARGH!
Tosh: Please. Don’t.
Owen: Why?! Give me one good bloody reason why I shouldn't! One good reason why I shouldn't keep screaming!
Tosh: Because you’re giving me a headache, you whining bitch.

Spike defends "I Lost My **CENSORED** to a Starship Trooper":

Rhys: Where’ve all those Weevils gone?
Spike: Who cares? They’re not here.
Andy: But they’ll slaughter every living thing they come across – it’ll be a massacre!
Gwen: They’re heading for Abergavenny.
Rhys: Oh well, could be worse.
Spike: Not for the poor Weevils.
Gwen: Owen’s dead. For real.
(A long pause.)
Ianto: There we are then.
Tosh: Sorted.

Jack: This is a little extreme, don't you think?
Spike: What? Suddenly you're anti-bondage?
Jack: Generally speaking, I just don’t respect people until they tie me up and tease me.
Spike: That explains why you’re so fundamentally annoying.

Crap Lines – Jack: I was the only one he ever fancied, that’s why the Time Agency partnered us.
Rhys: Did you just say TIME Agency? Don’t tell me that's based in Cardiff too.
Jack: Meh, it has branches everywhere.

Andy: This is top secret!
Rhys: I keep more secrets than you realize, mate.
Andy: Oh, like what?
Rhys: Touchwood is based under the Millennium Centre and run by an immortal Time Agent from the 51st Century named after a Johnny Depp character.
Andy: ...brilliant secret. I ask, you tell. Well done.
Rhys: Don’t patronize me, ya fascist pig.

Spike: Honestly, it’s just sex, sex, sex, with you Welsh...

Gwen: This is when we found out how good we really are!
Spike: She’s so masterful, so bossy... so basically powerless.
Rhys: I know. Bloody deranged.
Andy: She is that, yeah. Good thing you married her, not me.
Rhys: I know. Lucky sod.

Owen: It’s my fault. I tried and failed.
Tosh: And why did you fail?
Owen: If I’m honest? Total lack of willpower.

Captain Jack Harkness: I’ve heard people say that death is such a waste. I imagine it more as a relief. What’s it like? How does it feel? Are you afraid? Are you sad? You can’t tell me, though. Since I just blew your head off. Should have thought ahead there, really. Hah! Ahead? No? Suit yourself.

Plot Oversights
- So Spike managed to hide thermonuclear explodes around Cardiff post-9/11 and absolutely no one noticed? And said explosions would knock out all mobile and landline coverage but NOT damage any buildings or kill anyone?
- Apparently there are twelve explosions, but Spike says he planted fifteen bombs. Did two of them fail to go off or did he plant them on top of two others? Even THEN they’re crap!
- Why did CJH start stalking Spike in the first place? Surely annoying the Doctor would have been a smarter move – hasn’t the so-called evil genius SEEN Human Nature? That’s a lot cooler than Spike and an Uzi sub machine gun!
- Why don’t the Weevils kill Owen? He is no longer the embodiment of Death, so what’s the big deal?
- Why does Owen have all those pre-filled syringes of pain-killers knocking around? OK, maybe he IS addicted to morphine, but why be so careless with his supply? When did Gwen get emergency medical training? There could be ANYTHING in those hypos!
- Ianto can’t decide whether he’s closing Tosh and Owen’s Facebook accounts or just logging out. Is there are sequel in the works or is he just being incredibly stupid?

Viewers’ Quotes

"Are you kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?! HOW CAN THEY KILL OFF TWO OF THE MAIN CHARACTERS?!! There’s only five people in the team to begin with!!! They’ve completely ruined the dynamic of the show! I loved Tosh and Owen! They were supposed to get together!! What are they going to do with only three fucking people left on the show? Who the hell does Russell T Davies think he is? Joss – fucking – Whedon?!"
- Adolf Hitler (1945)

"Of the many, many design flaws in Touchwood, the greatest is this: whereas it’s now de rigeuer for any modern SF series to be under the control of a single godlike chief-writer-cum-producer, whose own hand-written episodes are either measurably better than everyone else’s or at least define the direction of the programme, Touchwood has a chief-writer-cum-producer who has no clear vision of where the series is meant to be going; who has no ideas other than things he’s seen in other SF shows; and, worst of all, who has little or no understanding of how stories work. In itself, it’s telling that a Doctor Who spin-off should be under the creative influence of the man who wrote the least creative Doctor Who episode EVER broadcast! However much the recent work of Steven Moffat may have been overrated ("Blank"? I could piss that in my sleep!), surely a gadget-heavy sci-fi show about spunk-filled twentysomethings should rightfully be HIS gig?"
- Mad Larry the Pirate King (2008)

"Oh, he’s actually getting funny! Apparently he could write Blank, and all of Touchwood - but he can’t write a BLOG without the English language screaming in anguish. And I’m the guy who thinks that Alien Baddies is one of the best Dr Who stories ever written, love it to bits. There's no reconciling here - I barely know the man and I have no idea why I’ve become such a hate object for him. But you'll understand if I don’t wait for an answer. He really creeps me out."
- Steven "Grand Moff" Moffat (2008)

"Apparently they want to bring in Martha and Mickey for series three! That’s the stupidest idea ever! How can they replace Toshiko with ANYBODY?! Let alone MICKEY! Tosh was brilliant, Mickey is a LOSER! Martha’s OK, though. But the writers completely misused her this season! She barely did anything! They just put her in the background while they turned Owen into a zombie! A WHINEY ZOMBIE!!!"
- Adolf Hitler (1945)

"Why couldn’t they have killed Gwen, the crazy, crazy bitch? I wish Suzie had blown her brains out in the first episode. She’s the worst character in the entire show, and that’s impressive on its own!"
- Phil Ford (2009)

"The loss of Tosh and Owen ends this era of Touchwood, twenty-six episodes that will be seen FOREVER as the CLASSIC ERA of this long-running ALSO CLASSIC show! This is the Touchwood equivalent of The Tense Planet, and if it can survive this, it will survive everything! CANCEL DOCTOR WHO NOW! TOUCHWOOD IS THE ONLY CONSTANT!"
- Rabid Psycho TW Fan Quarterly (2008)

"And why the fuck would they kill off a character, bring him back to life, only to kill him off again in the season finale?! It’s a complete waste of character development! And it makes no sense! What’s the fucking POINT?!"
- Adolf Hitler (1945)

"Touchwood is the Blake’s 7 of the 21st Century – started off good, went into tailspin in series two with camp acting, shite SFX, an atmosphere of not being ready for primetime, short lived monthly magazine, Doctor Who connections, and anyone who remembers otherwise is severely delusional! IT’S ALL IN THE SUBTEXT!"
- Nala Snevets (2008)

"I had BBC America added to my cable package just so I could watch this stupid show. And this is how my devotion is repaid? Bastards. I don’t think I can watch the show again after this. Maybe if Jack and Ianto have lots of man-on-man action next season I might still watch it. At least I’ll have my 'Janto' fix..."
- Adolf Hitler (1945)

"I thought Owen was going to transform into the Face of Bond!"
- Same Guy who thought that Mickey was going to transform into the Face of Bond (2008)

- Adolf Hitler (1945)

The Author Speaks
"My last Touchwood story, this one. I’m better off out of it, really. So are Burn and Naoko, if I’m honest. The only reason they get out is they won the bet. Gareth is runner up, he’ll be gone next year too. And so will David Tennant for some reason. It WAS a really wild party when we were making cast changes..."

Trivia Answers
1. The Hustle team’s "Hoax" monster from Love & Pizzas. 2. Valentine’s Day, 1980. Oh, the irony. Rumors and Facts –
Before that nasty Chameleon-Arch incident that made the award winning writer out of his biomass, Chris Chin-Balls had already drafted his next season finale on some toilet paper while he sat off the after-effects of drinking a yard glass of mutton vindaloo sauce.
The basic premise was the same as the finished episode though the finale was very different – with Jack gone, the rest of the Touchwood team would be forced to use their never-before-mentioned ally codenamed "Sid" to help restore order via the medium of Digital Spy messaging. The finale would an epic montage sequence backed by Angie Hart’s "Blue" (cause it was in a Buffy episode or something).
This sequence would feature dialogue-free scenes of Tosh signing up for Sex-Loving Corpse-Shagging Sluts Anonymous; Ianto leaving Touchwood for a Los Vegas honeymoon with the bones of the Elephant Man; the disturbing sight of Owen discovering to his horror that his penis had dropped off from lack of use; even more disturbing sight of Gwen finding the discarded genitals and deciding to have them surgically attached to her groin; and the final shot being a tabloid shot of David Tennant naked with the caption "GET INS MY TARDIS, HUMN WIMMIN".
In the here and now, Chris Chibnall scrapped that ending and came up with something much better. The season finale was named "Exit Stage Freaking Left" in honor of the career move that he, Burn Gorman, Naoko Maori, producer Richard Stokes and numerous others were making in regards to Touchwood. The ratings were sufficient to garner a third series, but also sufficient for that to be declared the final ever, ever, ever. It was truly an end of an era.
Mind you, the cameo by the Tenth Doctor turned out looking rubbish, didn’t it? Still, what do you expect when you listen to creative advice by the Hidden Persuaders focus group...

Ruminations -
This is truly the hour of change! Well, 48 and a half minutes of change at any rate, as the two most successful characters in the Doctor Who universe snuff it! Adric had NOTHING on this!

Torchwood: Fragments

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... all or nothing? More or less. I killed you ruthlessly, only the best! I BLEW YOU UP! I TURNED YOU ON! I BLEW YOU UP! I TURNED YOU ON! I BLEW YOU UP! I TURNED YOU ON! I BLEW YOU UP! I TURNED YOU ON! You don’t understand, you see? You’re not supposed to fancy me!"

Episode 12: Blast from the Past

With Gwen certifiably insane, there is a vacancy at Touchwood and Captain Jack can finally legally join under the prestigious title of "Human Shield For More Important People". As per Touchwood regulations as handed down for over a hundred years, this requires an annual staff picnic at an abandoned building where the group can harmonize and bound in a non-working environment.
Jack decides to introduce himself properly to the people who already know him well and quietly despise him in public. Back in 1869, the Doctor unwittingly abandoned Jack in Victorian Cardiff, a backward age of hypocrisy, prostitution and relaxed drug laws. Quite simply, Jack was in heaven, except Victorian society had no place for Jack’s exuberant sex life outside the Vatican and Scout huts, and it didn’t take long before Jack was regularly being lynched, stabbed and slaughtered by puritans and angry barmen. But each time, Jack would pop back to life and this eventually gained the interest of Alice Guppy and Emily Mudskipper, two psychotic lesbians working for the newly-established Touchwood Institute. The evil dykes kidnap Jack and kill him repeatedly in kinky sex games involving electricity, yet Jack would never know if they wanted him for his indestructible body or because he was a link to Touchwood’s greatest threat, the Doctor!
Finally the nutty ladies grow bored of sadistically torturing Jack and offer him a job as general dogsbody and whipping boy or else they will continue to kill him forever. Jack thinks long and hard about whether or not to compromise his principles... and says yes, based on the advice of a five-year-old girl pretending to be a fortune teller at the strip club Jack regularly frequents.
Over a hundred years later, Jack is shamed and ridiculed after he got his team slaughtered in a simple mission to capture Santa Claus. Luckily, a massive Cyberman-Dustbin war breaks out and Touchwood Tower is utterly destroyed along with most of Cardiff, leaving Jack the sole survivor. He decides to rebuild Touchwood in his own image, a bunch of drunken nymphomaniacs who curiously happen to have the same names as the poor suckers he got killed earlier.
The first person he can find with a matching name is Toshiko Sato, an MOD scientist and part-time regular on Absolutely Fabulous, who is attempting to build a copy of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver which could be the ultimate weapon... or the ultimate sex toy. However, a rogue band of Touchwood survivors seek this vibrating machine for their own perverted ends and threaten to kill Tosh’s mother unless she hands over the prototype. Luckily, the good men from UNIT turn up and lock Tosh in Guantanamo Bay for the rest of her life. Using sexual favors and some mind-wiping drugs, Jack breaks out Tosh, on the condition she works for him at Touchwood.
Next is Ianto Jones, a mild-mannered Starbucks employee who by night is a kick-ass Weevil-wrestling dinosaur hunter. Jack pesters Ianto for a week, offering him a job with Touchwood, even so far as diving in front of Ianto’s bitching SUV to get his attention. Ianto is rather disturbed that repeatedly running over Jack isn’t enough to kill him. Ianto finally decides to complete his last mission of sedating a rogue pterodactyl and then agrees to join Touchwood on the condition that no one know what a cool guy he is. Dressing up as a tuxedo, Ianto assumes his former disguise of anal Starbucks employee.
The three-strong team search out the remaining namesakes, with Tosh and Ianto strongly suspecting that Jack is a total loony to be choosing a team based entirely on their names. They soon locate Owen Harper, a sweet, affable young man with chronic dysentery seemingly caused by a brain tumor. Jack suspects that this tumor could be an alien parasite and is proved right when the surgeons trying to remove it all die horribly from the toxic tumor. Amazingly enough, Owen survived having half his brain removed, transformed into a zombie – and a totally asshole of a zombie as well. Since he takes an immediate dislike to the Touchwood team, he agrees to join on the grounds he can make the rest of their lives a misery.
Unfortunately, the only Gwen Cooper in Cardiff is a newbie policewoman with concussion. Jack decides she’ll do and, after a few weeks of working at Touchwood, Gwen finally realizes where she is. She leads the rest of the gang in a coup, deciding that Jack is the biggest threat to mankind and throwing him out. Jack wanders the city, regularly making prank calls to his former team, until one day he spots the TARDIS and the rest of "Dystopia" happens.
Ianto, Owen and Tosh yawn and note that they knew all this already. In fact, they strongly start to suspect that they should have left Jack off the team and hired PC Andy instead. Suddenly, the building they are in explodes – but since two of the gang are immortal, only Tosh is really hurt, with a compound fracture in her arm, while Ianto gets a wicked scar down his cheek that makes him look like one bad mutha.
No sooner have the team recovered from this than a huge hologram of Spike the ex-vampire appears over Cardiff, laughing insanely – but that’s not nearly as terrifying for the team as when they discover that Gwen has arrived with a first aide box and wants everyone to be the bestest of best friends again...

Trivia Questions
1. Apart from joining Touchwood, what does Jack consider his greatest achievement? 2. Is Gwen based on that chick in "Twin Peaks"?

Great Moments - It’s one long orgy of retconning the first season, and also the first time that Touchwood is brave enough to reveal to the unsuspecting public that it’s actually in any way linked to Doctor Who. All the previous references, even Martha, were all sold to the public as "a really freaky coincidence" but now Touchwood is out and proud after only twenty-five episodes and three years.
The Sarah Jane Misadventures did that before their first episode was finished, and have proved wildly popular ever since.
The moral of the story is that it is better to be out and proud that hide in the closet – not that you’d expect that sort of tolerant attitude from a show like Touchwood.

Fashion Crimes -
Tosh’s outfit is actually MORE frumpy than the Victorian lesbians of death with their stupid hats and floor-length skirts.

Missing Adventures -
Not any more, this pretty much fills all the gaps. Though Jack does imply that, in the purposes of male-bonding, he and the Ninth Doctor went back to the age of the Dinosaurs so they could watch Adric die in a horrible thermonuclear explosion (an experience the Doctor only allows to his most trusted of companions, so Jack is held in the same high esteem as Arthur the Horse, C’Rizz and Dodo Chaplet).

Technobabble - "Touchwood has equipment that’ll make your hair curl... that’s a metaphor, though. We don’t actually have any curling tongs or anything like that. Something about rift energy exposure causes long term contrafibulizatrizumerization on the roots."

Great Lines - Tosh: Who are you?
Jack: Nobody – I don’t exist. And for a man with my charisma, that’s quite an achievement.
Tosh: You’re a wanker.
Jack: Do I look like a wanker?
Tosh: Yes. Duh.

Ianto: Look, any conversation between us, no matter what the subject is over, finished, done…forever! I’m getting back behind the wheel of that car, and if you’re still standing in the road, I’m gonna drive through you.
Jack: So you’re NOT going to let me help you catch this pterodactyl then?
Ianto: [flooring the accelerator] A clue: no!

Jack: Ladies! Fancy a feel? I see you’re not wearing any underwear, so should we get a room? Somewhere with linen? That’s it, baby, sit on my face! Doesn’t matter if I suffocate, but it might make the electrodes to the nipples slightly less satisfying – indeed, this is the start of a good night, I can tell. Now, put that down before someone gets hur---ARGHHH!

Crap Lines –
Harriet: You said, "When I find the Doctor, first I’m going to kiss him... and then I’m going to kill him!" How thrilling.
Jack: What? Two men kissing?
Harriet: No, two men killing! DEATH IS THE ULTIMATE APHRODISIAC!
Jack: ...I think I’m gonna like it working here.

Jack: What’s your name?
Ianto: Jones. Ianto Jones.
Jack: Nice to meet you Jones Ianto Jones.
Ianto: Hah bleeding hah. Not heard that one before.

Owen, a second before being caught in the explosion:
"Buttabim, buttaboom!"

Spike: Ooh, déjà vu! Or did I say that already? OK, here’s what’s gonna happen: everything you love - everything you treasure - will die. I’m going to tear your world apart, "Captain Jack Sparrow", piece by piece, starting now. Maybe now you’ll get that I’m NOT interested in you?

Plot Oversights
- Why do the lesbians torture random people instead of researching xenotech? Didn’t Queen Victoria notice that only two employees she was sending to Cardiff were sex-obsessed psychopaths? Was she somehow involved in those kinky sex games without Mr. Brown to take her mind off things?
- The Welsh word for "fanwank" can be seen graffitied on the walls of the ruined building. Some kind of repeating meme like K9, or just subtle commentary on the content of the episode?
- How many life choices does Jack make based entirely on the word of under-five tarot card readers? You think after as long as he’d lived, he’d have noticed how stupid their advice can get?
- Tosh’s laptop seems to have a ridiculously low screen resolution.
- Considering how UNIT treat the Bastard, Tosh gets very rough treatment. Does the 21st Century UNIT just really, really, REALLY hate Absolutely Fabulous? What would they do to Joanna Lumbley?! And what in the name of hell is going on that UNIT "owe Jack a favor"? Did he tell them he was a double agent planning to destroy Touchwood from within? Only took him a 138 years to do!
- UNIT charge the terrorist cell – the terrorists who, remember, are using a sonic screwdriver to vibrate people’s blood vessels into rupturing – and neglect to wear some sort of ear plug to stop their heads exploding. No wonder there’s such a high turnover.
- Ianto draws a beard, glasses and moustache on the jar containing the Doctor’s severed arm. Why?
- Gwen’s IQ is horribly inconsistent.

Viewers’ Quotes

"They totally stole this episode’s music from Z’ha’dum!"
- Tragic Babylon 5 Fan (2008)

"You know, if this had been the first episode, not only would the first season of Touchwood have been less shit, but we might not have cancelled the series before Moffat took over."
- BBC Wales Management (2009)

"There’s times when it’s easy to forget what an amazing actress they have playing Toshiko Sato. Like now. Who played Tosh? Seriously, it’s a pub quiz and if we answer this one right we get a meat tray! Come on, you stupid sci-fi geek, be useful for once in your misbegotten life and we can eat like kings!"
- Dave Restal’s Dad (2008)

"We should have got Touchwood 1982 with DCI Gene Hunt!"
- Someone VERY Disappointed With "Ashes to Ashes" (2009)

"HAAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Asian chicks in detention centres! HAHAH!"
- Mad Larry the Pirate King (2008)

"I didn’t watch this one. So it can’t have been any good."
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2008)

The Author Speaks
"Touchwood... putting the wanking into fanwank."

Trivia Answers
1. He once got a man with no mouth to give him a blow job. 2. No idea. Could be, I guess...
Rumors and Facts -
Originally the twelfth episode of this season was to be a complete rip off of the Beatles’ animated mindblower, Yellow Submarine, and much effort was put into creating a floating CGI yellow submarine – which was still used in the finished episode to justify the expense, even though the script had been completely rewritten. Thus it can be seen:

- floating behind Harriet and Emily during the rape scenes
- being ridden by a humanoid blowfish
- getting thrown out of the pub where the little tarot girl works
- around Tosh’s head while in the UNIT cell
- chasing the pterodactyl above Cardiff
- one of the numerous vehicles to run over Jack’s head after he is ram-raided to death by Ianto
- inside Owen’s brain tumor
- above the ruins of the building in the final scene

The rest of the script was jotted down by Chris Chibnall when he realized he could come up with a much better first episode than the upteenth-Ruse-rewrite RTD kept trotting out time after sodding time, firmly establishing that all of Season One never happened. Unfortunately, this episode got the least viewers of the whole season with 2.4 million people deciding to waste 45 minutes of their life to watch it. Indeed, this was so low Touchwood’s declining ratings were decided to be in the "take the mutha out the back and put it out of its misery" category.

Touchwood was taken off air and the next two weeks had a test card shown in that time slot instead. Ratings improved immediately so when they finally screened the final episode, a staggering 2.7 million people were watching. They promptly deemed it crap and waited impatiently for the new series of Doctor Who to start.

Ruminations -
I once nearly drowned. True story, this. One minute I was having a swim just off the coast of England, the next I was swallowing what felt like gallons of water. My life flashed before my eyes – but instead of the usual flashbacks of my first steps, school and my first kiss, my TV-obsessed brain remembered all the hours WASTED watching near-death-experience and origin episodes of my favorite shows.
And on that day, I vowed to make more of my life.
It didn’t last long.

Torchwood: Adrift

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... Once I had a reason, don’t know what it could be! And the road I must travel, its end I cannot see! Well I sang to myself, 'That I want to be free!' But the road I must travel, its end I cannot see!"

Episode 11: Gwen Cutaway

Our increasingly-repulsive loyalty character, Gwen Cooper, deigns to reply to the police requests for Touchwood assistance – simply so she can demand to know why the fuck a certain PC Andy refused to turn up to her wedding. When he points out that she’s supposed to be elite crime-fighter and actually give a shit about the less fortunate, Gwen grins insanely and tickles Andy. At the crime scene. In front of everyone. Giggling, "Oh, Andeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Yes, it seems like Gwen’s concussed 15-year-old persona has gone completely out of control and she is now utterly insane. She buys Andy a coffee and tells him that the police will from now on do exactly what she says or suffer death by Weevil bites. Around this point, Ianto, Tosh and Owen arrive, sedate Gwen and put her in a straightjacket.

Gwen easily escapes and returns home to her flat, sculls down a whole bottle of hootch, takes Rhys roughly from behind in the shower for around 12 hours of rough, hardcore sex before running out into the night, laughing crazily and whistling "Boys and Girls Come Out To Play", runs back, rapes Rhys again with a coke bottle, and then skips away back to the Hub.

The Touchwood team try once more to catch Gwen with a butterfly net, and she shouts "I DON’T KNOW WHY I BOTHER! YOU’RE SO RUUUUUDE!" and bounces away, finds Andrew and screams into his face that she is still working on the missing persons case, she is still nice and cool and all his criticisms are entirely unwarranted, without letting him get a word in edgeways. She then runs off, realizing that this getting all boring and stuff like that and she wants to play in a tree house.

After hurling knives at Rhys for not building her a tree house, Gwen screams she CAN’T let it go, she CAN’T move on, that they’re NOT finished and Owen and Tosh get their own play houses so why can't she IT’S NOT FAIR IT’S NOT FAIR IT’S NOT FAIR!!!!! She then finds the GPS system in her car and believes it is WOTAN XII: Cold Boot THIS! – the next stage of mechanized evolution.

This shitty bit of Japanese navigation crap, which Gwen is convinced is actually an alien artifact and, knocking back boiling coffee like it’s drinking water, the twitching and muttering ex-copper sets off into the night and finally arrives at the Lighthouse on Fang Rock. Now sniggering uncontrollably and no longer in control of her own bowels, paranoid Gwen climbs to the top of the tower and starts making rooster noises at the top of her voice.

Suddenly that bald, pointy-eared goblin guy with the bug eye from The Goonies turns up, picks up Psycho Bitch Cooper and throws her off the lamp gallery, and Gwen flies off into the sunset, making more chicken noises and humming the theme tune "The A-Team".

It turns out that Gwen is still on the sofa at her apartment, drooling and humming "The A-Team" to herself as she stares, glassy-eyed, at the wall with an idiotic grin on her face. The phone rings and Rhys answers it – it’s Ianto, telling Gwen not to come in on Monday. Or ever again.

Trivia Questions
1. Why do fish swim backwards in a North-Easterly direction in Swindon? 2. Is this relevant?

Great Moments - Well, it depends how much you like Eve Myles humming "The A-Team"...

Fashion Crimes
PC Andy’s "BLOODY TOUCHWOOD" T-shirt available from all sci-fi retailers and tragic Welsh nostalgia shops.

Missing Adventures -
There’s presumably some reason for Gwen being crazy. I guess.


Great Lines - Nikki: D’you think I’m mad?
Gwen: No, I think you’d make a great policewoman. As almost as great a policeman as me.
Nikki: So... you DO think I’m mad.
Gwen: Oh yeah. Batshit insane. Hee-hee-hee.

Rhys: You know, sometimes, I fucking hate you. Look at you. Caught up in your little group like nothing else matters. Like being a hero is an end in itself. Well, it’s not. You save this city? Well done. You save the world, whatever... what for? WHY are you doing it? What are you trying to protect? Who are you fighting for? You do it because people can live their lives. And there is NOTHING more important than that. Falling in love, getting married, buying flats, having kids or not, but real life. THAT is what you’re protecting. And if you think that your shit is more important than real life, then we’re not going to last here very long, "love". When you’re with me, you deal with US. OUR lives. If you have a problem at work, you sort it at work. I – don’t - care. NOW PUT THAT FUCKING KNIFE DOWN!!

Gwen: Just because some things we can’t fix, that means we shouldn’t try? Is that what you all think? We are the ONLY ones who know the truth! We CAN help them! We don’t have to be this harsh – it’s not a badge of honour! Is that it? We just sweep it under the carpet?!
Owen: Gwen... baby... where have you BEEN?!

Crap Lines – Gwen: Dah-ta-da-daah, dut-dut-DARR! Dah-da-ta-da-daah, dah du-dah-dah-duuuh! A-TEAM!!! Doo-do-doot-do-do, doot-doot-do-doot-do-do, dah-diddy-de-didi dah-diddy-did-ditty-dee...

Gwen: Why don't you want to have babies? Are you still attracted to me? Do you think the marriage was a mistake? Have I changed since I joined Touchwood? Why does Andy hate you? Do you even have a middle name? Why exactly is the flat covered in TARDIS roundels? Why won't you be honest with me? Why won't you answer my questions? Are you even listening to me? I can’t HEAR you!! Lalalala! Who you gonna call, huh? A-TEAM!! That’s who!

Plot Oversights
- Can the police really remotely tap into the CCTV network or does Andy have a copy of that particular CCTV footage of Gwen’s chicken impressions with him at all times?
- How long could it take for Gwen to fly to Fiji from Mermaid Bay? Does she have a job?
- Why is Andy so shocked about Gwen’s psychosis? Wouldn’t the police have some idea as to how mental their retired officers were at one time?
- How did Ianto find out Gwen was trying to take over the police with her coffee fixation?
- Why is Gwen dismissive of Andy’s desire to help her? Does she LIKE being insane?
- How could Gwen conceivably have any time awake that she’d be coherent if her humming lasted 20 hours every day? Does she sleep ever?

Viewers’ Quotes

"Not the utter disaster I thought it would be and its semi-predictable nature was balanced by the fact Gwen finishes the story in a worse state than when she started. This is the antithesis of a healing episode, and Gwen’s middle name is now "Damaged Goods" and she's as much use to Torchwood as that blonde catatonic chick in Night of the Living Dead. Coz, I may not have mentioned this, she’s cracked in the head, out of the tree, off her trolley and I for one don’t want to watch this deranged harpy with the big teeth any more. Kill her off in the series finale, there's nothing that can be done with her."
- President of the Gwen Cooper Fan Club (2008)

"This is definitely the best story of the year. An episode that will stick in my mind for a long time... what were we talking about again?"
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (2007)

"I don’t care what ANYBODY else says; Gwen Cooper is living proof that the Welsh are genetically doomed!"
- Richard E Grant (2009)

"Is it too much to hope for some more lesbians in this series? There are still SOME straight men watching this show! It’s our right as loyal viewers, dammit! Some hot sweaty Tosh-Martha action would be much better than seeing Jack and Ianto wanking each other off like angry cellists..."
- Nigel Verkoff (2008)

"Angry cellists!! Genius!! But the sad fact is, it’s about porn efficiency (which I’ve written about elsewhere.) If you’re watching people having sex, and a bottom gets in the way, it had better be a the kind of bottom you like. As a sad old straight man, I like naked women and dislike naked men. A video with two men in it would be, at best, a bore. A video with two women wouldn’t be the least bit boring at all. Not deep, not grown up - but true. But never mind all that. Angry cellists!!! That should be the arc phrase for the next series of LESBIAN SPANK INFERNO!!"
- Steven Moffat (2008)

"Oh yes, of course. Gwen Cutaway. That’s the episode we’re talking about. And shouldn’t EVERY episode of Touchwood be as bleak as this one? It’s the show’s true tone, utter pointlessness interspersed with horny Jack/Ianto sex, which what I wanted from the show all along."
- Sparacus "Flamingo" Jones (later that day)

The Author Speaks
"Yeah... sorry, but the character was just too far gone for us to go, 'Oh, she was just having a bad day'. She’s nucking futs, that’s all there is to it. Pretty skillful way of doing the Jack-lite episode, though, huh? Huh? Oh yeah."

Trivia Answers
1. Steven Phil Pod 2. Probably not. Do YOU want to take the risk? Rumors and Facts -

All hope was lost. The enemies were too powerful, and not the mightiest nor the meekest had survived their strike! The end of everything was in sight, and we would be forced to witness it out of sheer sadism for the dark forces that surrounded us. We had raged against the dying of the light, inspired by the actions of one man who had now, for reasons that mean nothing at present, deserted us in the belief we could hold our own. Finally, the best and brightest had tried and they had failed, and there was no way out.

"Did you miss me?" asked Chris Chibnall cheerfully as he returned to the Touchwood fold and produced something less crap than the previous two episodes.

Ruminations –
Typical. Focus on Gwen rather than Tosh. What were the fucking odds?

Torchwood: From Out of the Rain

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... Just another group of humans that value their lives and their feelings and their money and their security. They are nothing. They are worth nothing. None of them are worth ANYTHING! I am above them. I will not allow this group of emotional cripples to defeat me. I will not cower before their sexual abnormalities. I will not surrender to them! This is NOT the end – this is only... THE BEGINNING!"

Episode 10: From Out of the Blue

The Electro theatre reopens as a museum of local history, so Touchwood sends Ianto, Owen and Gwen to destroy all the evidence that might make the Welsh finally notice all the weird alien shit that has gone down in the city of the last century. Suddenly a naked black guy materializes in a flash of CGI and, dreadfully embarrassed, runs off into the local deserted industrial site.

Jack starts roaming the streets and taking an obscene delight in the thought of gratuitous male nudity, together with Ianto and Owen. Tosh is ordered to remain at the Hub as there’s only so much dialogue to go round and more importantly, no one really likes her any more.

Investigating the abandoned warehouse district on the off-chance the naked man might be there, the Touchwood team discover the entrance to a network of underground tunnels, built into the basement of a building in a not-at-all-ominous fashion. The gang think nothing of it and decide to take an early night while more and more people are captured by the naked man and dragged into the warehouse.

Finally Tosh can take it no more and decides to investigate the blindingly-obvious secret hideout of the evil man, and discover it is now guarded by a spider-like robot built entirely out of un-recycled plastic bottles and the robotic brain from a Japanese mechanical dog. Tosh decides that the spider-bot is under a remote control and uses her date-rape alarm to scramble the signal and disable the obstacle and allow the plot to advance. Tosh heads in deeper and the others follow her for want of something better to do.

The gang are immediately captured by the naked man’s zombified victims who have cybernetic implants nailed into their heads and taken into the underground maze where the naked man has built lots of robots and technology using modern materials and futuristic scientific gubbins. The naked man laughs evilly and reveals that he is a perfect clone of Lavros, Creator of the Dustbins – only this time with all his limbs and not completely crazy!

Oddly enough this doesn’t impress the Touchwood Team, assuming that the naked man is just a total loonbag confusing his identity with someone halfway important. Jack tries to seduce Lavros by offering him a job working xenotech for Touchwood on the grounds the general public can’t be trusted with such dangerous material. Lavros boggles at this hypocrisy and orders his zombies to attack when Owen decides that since he’s an indestructible zombie he can do whatever he fucking pleases and threatens to smash Lavros’ machinery to bits, piss on those bits and then upload the results to youtube.

The Touchwood team idly discuss whether they should go through the motions of taking Lavros prisoner in the hub or just shooting the mad genius through the head here and now. Alas, Lavros has managed to build his own Time Rift Manipulator out of a flux capacitor, two used toilet rolls and some sticky-back plastic – time rips open and an alien spaceship descends through the clouds to land next to the courtyard.

The gang decide it’s time to let it as Lavros continues to babble insanely to himself that when the original Lavros conquered the world in 2157, he decided to clone a proper humanoid body for himself. Ultimately, the Doctor turned up and predictably defeated Lavros, but the clone survived and escaped through the Cardiff Rift to the present day, to seek his fortune and dominate places without having worry if they have wheelchair access.

Finally, a squad of golden Dustbins burst into the warehouse and exterminate Jack (who has dozed off with boredom from all of Lavros’ convoluted back story). The Dustbins announce that they are only here to get rid of Lavros once and for all before he is used as a bargaining chip in the oncoming Temporal Difference of Opinion they’re building up to with the Time Lords of Gallifrey.

Whimpering pathetically, Lavros falls to his knees and begs with them to spare his live and allow him to aide the mighty Dustbin Empire in their quest to sweep the entirety of creation clean. After sniggering at this miserable display, the Dustbins accept and agree to take him with them back to the future. Lavros immediately starts formulating grand plans of conquest, despite the Dustbin Commander insisting that he’s going to have to work his way up the chain of command, and has been ironically placed on latrine duty.

The spaceship hurtles up and away from Cardiff as Lavros screams that his skills base is not being used effectively and demands to complain to senior management. The Touchwood team watch them go, then decide to machine-gun all cyber-zombies to death so the day isn’t a TOTAL waste of time.

Tosh notes that though the threat of Lavros has been stopped now, he could return to cause problems in the future. Jack returns to life and explains he finds that very difficult to believe and doubts this adventure will have ANY long term consequences at all.

Just then, Gwen returns from her holiday and asks if she missed anything while she was away. The end credits roll over the rest of the cast laughing uncontrollably at her gormless naivete.

Trivia Questions
1. Who previously owned the Electro theatre in the 1980s? 2. What Big Finish audio needs to be thoroughly listened to and understood for this episode to make ANY kind of sense?

Great Moments - Um. Well. You don’t often see a naked black guy hurling supremacist abuse at a squadron the Dustbins about to fight a time war. Does that count? At all? Maybe?

Fashion Crimes
Lavros. Stark bollock naked. With that 1970s porn star moustache and bathing cap. WHY?!

Missing Adventures
The fate of Lavros and his demands for union representation to the Dustbin Suzpreme are explored in tedious detail in Nicholas Briggs’ BBC audio range, The Dustbin Chronicles where Briggsy explains his complete chronology of the Dustbin race to such a degree your agonized brain will start bleeding as he tries to reconcile Genocide of the Dustbins with the original Serial B.

Technobabble - "The explosion of compressed inverted temporal particles divided the molecular structure of my trousers! BEHOLD MY GLORIOUS NUDITY, OH HUMANS... AND... DESPAIR!"

Great Lines –
Jack: How would you like to join Touchwood?
Lavros: I prefer to be in charge rather than part of a team. I would be better suited to CONTROL your organization than be a mere part of it.
Jack: Suits me. Fancy running the Glasgow branch?
Lavros: Not particularly.
Jack: No, that’s pretty much the trouble. No one does.

Woman: Your eyes are older than your face.
Jack: Is that a bad thing?
Woman: Yes. It means you don’t belong. It means you’re from…nowhere.
Jack: What’s your point?
Woman: Have you ever considered plastic surgery? There’s a very cheap clinic around the corner.

Lavros: I knew you would return for me.
Lavros: You mean "or", right? "OR be exterminated"?
Lavros: Don’t you remember me? Your creator?
Dustbin: YOU? LAVROS?
Lavros: The very same!
Lavros: Well. Sort of.
Lavros: No wait! Please, I can help you!
Lavros: I’m not the real Lavros! I’m just a clone!
Lavros: I know the Doctor’s planning to destroy you all as we speak!
Lavros: Only I know how to defeat him! I’m the only one who can help you!
Lavros: [sotto] Sunovabitch...

Crap Lines – Lavros: I want to drink her tears. Unless of course you have any refreshing organic colas available?

Jack: Ianto, I need your local expertise.
Tosh: Is THAT what they’re calling it these days?
Ianto: Piss off, ya slag.

Owen on seeing Lavros for the first time:
"Aunt Peggy? Is that you? Have you been on the whiskey and gin again?"

Plot Oversights
- Why doesn’t the woman react when her daughter is kidnapped by the nude Lavros before her eyes?
- How is Lavros able to build a secret underground lair and fill it full of trans-temporal mechanics in less than nine minutes with absolutely no resources, preparation or a degree in quantum thermodynamics? Did someone else leave it all there and Lavros got incredibly lucky?
- BBC Three accidentally forget to include their logo watermark, just long enough for fans to be briefly jubilant before realizing that if they want a watermark-free Touchwood, they’ll just have to buy the fucking DVDs instead of downloading them all illegally.
- Why does the lady at The Windsor Café open the door to Lavros and his spider bots? And why does she still have all the candles burning at that time of night rather than just switch a light on?
- The temporal storage unit is quite clearly a shampoo bottle spray-painted silver. Either that or time drives work on cutting down on persistent dandruff.
- Jack theorizes that Lavros didn’t want to be forgotten as a severed head in a giant roll-on room deodorant, but how did he know Lavros ever ended up like that without being told? Surely he’d assume Lavros was just Adam Mitchell in fancy dress, like last time?
- Jonathan is reviewing films from the turn of the century, and yet projecting them onto a screen in widescreen mode (CinemaScope, the first widescreen standard, was not introduced until 1953) – if this weren’t odd enough, the clips seem to be normally proportioned, despite being in this ratio. FUCK THAT KIND OF THING ANNOYS ME!!
- Graham Kennedy received a closing credit as himself despite being dead for twenty years and never once appearing or even being MENTIONED in this episode.

Viewers’ Quotes

"Did anyone else think that was Peter Miles playing Lavros? Well, probably not, people see all the cast notes beforehand but COME ON! The resemblance is quite disturbing, and even though it’s more of an impersonation the voice even sounded similar. The only reason I didn’t feel positive it was him was because he didn’t look 30 years older. But then he could have gotten whatever freakish genes Nicola Bryant has. Screw Lavros, this guy is the new Rontane! Yes, that’s right, Rontane needs to make a comeback! Blake’s 7 rocks!"
- Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2008)

"Why is it futuristic alien technology make weird noises whenever anyone operates them? It defies all logic. Plus, I think Ianto’s autistic. Prove me wrong, I dare you!"
- Mr. Beige (1987)

"This kind of episode is the sort of thing I was expecting when Doctor Who came back on the air. Creepy, whimsical, scary, a relatively small scale story and a sense of fanwank that does not detract from the scary lack of plot. The TW team really felt like a tight knit group of co-workers here, and their portentous monologues was refreshing! This sort of thing should be shown to kids more! Huzzah for good television! SEX IS MY ADVENTURE!!!"
- Wayne Kerr (2009)

"Seriously, that was probably the most dull episode of Touchwood I’ve ever seen. It was just blank, silent darkness for 45 minutes and 25 seconds. If I didn’t know better, I’d say my TV was broken."
- Someone Who DIDN’T Know Better (2007)

The Author Speaks
"Barely three million viewers, this one got. Which was good. Made it all the more amazing when Lavros turned up in Journey till Dawn. I was worried we’d nearly spoilt it all months too soon, but it all worked perfectly. Even people who bought the Touchwood Season 2 DVD Box Set have no idea that this episode even EXISTS. For everyone who watches it, From Out of the Blue totally lives up to its title!"

Trivia Answers
1. The Cult of Fargo in "The Dustbins on Broadway!" 2. "Dustbin Umpire 0: Terri’s Firmer". Rumors and Facts

This episode was originally going to be "Assignment Four: The Photographs" by PJ Hammond who had decided that Touchwood was SO bad it didn’t deserve rehashed Sapphire & Steel scripts, and instead provided a Sapphire & Steel script already made and plagiarized by Doctor Who on several occasions throughout 2006.

Chris Chibnall, however, was not prepared to put up with Hammond’s histrionics and smacked the respected science-fiction-fantasy author down, commanding him to "Be gone, you unspeakably foul wastrel!"

This of course left a rather large episode-sized gap in the season. However, RTD had been repeatedly using episodes of the spin-off to provide exposition and background to the next season of Doctor Who so he wouldn’t have to waste precious screentime explaining who/what/why the monsters were doing what they did. In a unique celestial conjunction with Chris Chibnall and Dave Lister, he decided the empty episode of Touchwood would be nothing BUT background exposition that would make sense of the two lines of dialogue in The Stolen Cardiff about how the hell Lavros came back from the dead.

The fact that the numerous plot twists of Tennant’s third year just goes to show that no normal people actually watch Touchwood and those that do don’t actually pay any attention.

Ruminations –
A more disjointed and disappointing episode of Touchwood has never been written, with a plot trying to move in too many directions with austere and forgettable dialogue from characters there wasn’t time to understand or care about so pardon me while I yawn! The audience (should there still be one) is left shaking their heads in confusion and disgust, desperately trying to make sense of the plot before realizing that, quite frankly it’s not worth the effort and this episode is the perfect illustration of how NOT to write ANYTHING.
Hang about. Sorry, I was still talking about last week’s episode.

Torchwood: Something Borrowed

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"Cardiff. You see it at night and it shines. Like a beacon. People are drawn to it. People and other things. They come for all sorts of reasons. My reason? No surprise there. It started with a girl. In every generation there is a Crazy Bitch. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is Gwen Cooper."

Episode 9: Something Borrowed From Joss Whedon

Gwen is too busy slaying vampires to turn up on time to her hen’s night, and doesn’t even bother to mention getting bitten on the stomach. The next morning, the day of her wedding, she wakes up heavily pregnant but tries to pretend nothing has happened and everyone who says otherwise is a hallucinating junkie.

Despite all the recommendations from Rhys, Jack and Owen – you know, the three guys she apparently trusts her life with – she decides to go on with the wedding and Ianto is left making her new dress she can fit into. Now showing signs of either permanent brain damage or proof that all women are crazy bitches, Gwen decides to tell everyone Rhys knocked her up and then pretend to have a miscarriage and make all her family and friends incredibly miserable.

In further proof that all women are crazy bitches, Tosh becomes addicted to black magic and turns up at the wedding venue violently keyed up and tries to stab the best man to death with a banana-shaped pencil and crushes his gonads with her bare hand, before eating them.

Jack, feeling a particular asshole today and wanting to drive Rhys to point of suicidal despair, decides to wait until he and Gwen are at the altar and then demands the wedding to be stopped as he and Gwen are very much in love. In yet even more proof that all women are crazy bitches, a bridesmaid suddenly backflips through the stained glass window of the church for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

At this point Rhys’ mother turns into a zombie monster, but Gwen had hidden a loaded gun in the bridal bouquet (what with her being a crazy bitch and all) and shoots her fifteen times for "being an ugly bitch". This has no effect on her at all, so she throws Owen into the cake in annoyance that he’s not actually alive and thus she cannot kill him.

Suddenly the time rift opens and a little old man emerges into the church, explaining that he is Rhys from the year 2038 and that being married to the crazy bitch Gwen will ruin his life with her insistence on bringing up her ungodly hellspawn as Catholics. Rhys wonders why the hell he took 30 years to come to this conclusion when he knows that all ready and the Future Rhys vanishes in a puff of logic.

After the massive cat fight between Gwen, Tosh and Rhys’ mother, most of the guests are dead and the venue scattered with the intestines of the DJ. Gwen gets soaked in so much human blood, her undead brood revive and she goes into labor. In a final act of true, supremo dynamite crazy bitchness, Gwen decides that rather than going to hospital or calling an ambulance, she should go to an incredibly unsanitary stable and give birth there.

While Gwen struggles with labor, Ianto chats with Spike, who turned up at the wedding with a Goth date for no other reason than it’s in the second-hand script. As the vampire cults close in on the stable to worship the messiah child, a bright light explodes out of Gwen and transforms into a full-grown, nude, dark-skinned woman. Jack drops to his knees, awestruck – Gwen has given birth to MARTHA JONES!!

Suddenly everyone starts to sing...

...and Jack wakes up, having got completely drunk at Rhys’s stag night and dreamt the whole thing while in reality he was stripped naked, painted orange and green, and then handcuffed to a moving bus.

Trivia Questions
1. What was this episode described as the television equivalent of? 2. What occurred to the anatomically-correct pregnancy outfit after Eve Myles no longer needed to wear it?

Great Moments - Martha J as nature intended is the sole redeeming feature of 45 minutes of otherwise 100% pure crap.

Fashion Crimes
Owen’s top hat, cravat and tuxedo is actually improved when covered in gore and entrails.

Missing Adventures
Most of Jack’s stag night activities. Thank fucking Christ for that.

Technobabble - "Owen! Gwen’s gone into labor, so what really need right now is some Vaseline and a catcher’s mitt..."

Great Lines - Jack: You are not thinking straight!
Gwen: Do not bring my bloody hormones into this, Mister Jack Harkness!
Jack: Hormones? I was talking about you generally.

Owen: This is way beyond my ken - and my Barbie and indeed ALL my action figures.

Banana: I’m Banana!
Tosh: You come in spots and go soft quickly?
Banana: Actually I’m the best man.
Tosh: Evolution is full of surprises.
Banana: And what’s your name?
Tosh: Both you and bananas make me vomit.
Banana: ...fuck you, bitch!

Ianto: Can I say something about destiny? Screw destiny! If this evil thing comes we’ll fight it, and we’ll keep fighting it until we defeat it. Destiny is just another word for inevitable and nothing’s inevitable as long as you stand up, look it in the eye, and say "You are evitable, you ugly trashcan fuck!" Am I right, or am I right?

Owen: She’s going ahead with the wedding.
Jack: Which is fine, as long as she doesn’t go into labor at the altar. Rhys might forgive her for going down the aisle pregnant, but not giving birth to a razor-tooth monster that eats half his family.
Tosh: I know. It’s just so embarrassing when that happens. Still, at least the Spice Girls aren’t here this time.

Rhys: How can the vampires be active during the day? You can’t they can’t stand direct sunlight!
Gwen: It’s not direct sunlight!
Rhys: What?
Gwen: There’s an atmosphere in the way!
Rhys: Ah, right. [long pause] Wait a cotton-picking minute...

Jack: What do you get in return? Fame, money, success? That’s it, isn’t it? How else would losers like you get ahead? I mean, you’d have to become procreative surrogates for a vile demonic entity.
Banana: Well, mostly, I do it for the sex....

Crap Lines – Jack: OK, Gwen, you just rest and we’re going to handle this. As the Face of Bond once said, "You’re not alone."
Gwen: [indicates her belly] That’s the damn problem, you lush!

Rhys: This is a private wedding. Featured word, "private".
Jack: Let me in or I will kill you. Featured word, "kill". Oh, and by the way, congratulations on getting married to a crazy bitch incubating an army of hellspawn.

Jack: I’m looking for a wedding dress for a friend.
Assistant: Of course you are, sir. You’d be surprised – we’re quite used to men buying "for their friends".
Jack: What are you implying, you filthy deviant!?

Ianto: Actually...
Gwen: God! I hate it when you say that word! 'Actually' means that your oversized ginormous brain thought of something that the rest of us failed to consider, right?

Plot Oversights
- How drunk was Gwen that she didn’t feel her stomach expanding through the night? And how did she escape stretch marks from that much growth in such a short time!? If it’s some kind of trick, I knew plenty of girls at high school who would like her to share the secret.
- Jack’s Irish accent for the flashbacks when he was a mortal, unemployed bum before the crucial vampire bite is as convincing as his American accent afterwards. Are we really expected to believe that Darla sired BOTH Jack AND Angel and they never once mentioned it?
- Gwen SERIOUSLY thinks that picking up a bunch of flowers will distract Rhys from her cute baby belly bump? If so, why the hell did she bother with that retarded cover story instead of using the bunch of flowers to hide her shameful confinement?
- When Rhys hangs up on Jack’s obscene phone calls, we hear a landline’s dial tone despite them both being on mobiles.
- Eve Myles seems to have confused "labor pains" with "giggling unprofessionally". That’s either incredibly bad scripting or... actually, I don’t want to KNOW what any alternatives are.
- Could Ianto really have fixed Gwen’s wedding dress for a heavily pregnant woman he has no measurements for on short notice? Ianto sure doesn’t SEEM to be taking out dresses to fit her. The slacker.
- Actually, how does a vampire bite to Gwen’s stomach cause a spontaneous instantaneous mystic pregnancy that comes to term over night? And why does such a union create a supernatural version of Martha Jones? Are we supposed to believe Martha is the spawn of evil? Is this some kind of backhanded insult to Freema Agyeman?

Viewers’ Quotes

"It’s not so much an episode you can safely watch by yourself with a bowl of popcorn, more a bucket of vomit. Don’t have a drink in your hand when you see this, have a loaded gun."
- President and Sole Member of the Official Touchwood Fan Club (2008)

- David Greenwalt (2008)

"My God, there’s actually an episode worse than the one with the Cyberwoman... my world no longer has meaning."
- Nigel V. (2009)

"This series has finally beaten any compassion or interest I have left. It’s gone. All gone. I can’t even summon up spite that this is a show whose last 'hilarious' comedy episode involved a woman raping and murdering men en masse. This week Gwen gets, effectively raped and forced to carry the rapist’s baby. But, you see, this is funny! Cause it’s a wedding and stuff! Huh? Aren’t you laughing? See, Jack and the others’ witty quips are jokes, not being callous arseholes you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire... even when Gwen is utterly traumatized to the point of catatonia, her pals are making lame oneliners about her, the heart of their gang. Oh well, at least we know it’s nothing personal and they treat EVERYONE like this."
- Ewen Campion-Clarke’s brilliantly-observed Mad Lawrence Miles Blogger impersonation (2010)

"WHAT... THE... HELL?! What... argh! Just what, what, WHAT THE FUCKING HELL?!?! If these guys could write any character, ANY of them consistently I wouldn’t hate the show. But as it is they see the need to systematically destroy every established about the only character who could be termed 'nice' or 'sympathetic' despite her also being the easiest one to write for due to her basic established personality. I don’t want nothing to do with this show. Nothing."
- Johan "Quite A Few Nicknames" Redsen (8002)

"Underbelly has more sympathetic main characters."
- Matt Newton (2009)

The Author Speaks
"I caught the bouquet! How freaking amazing is that?!?"

Trivia Answers
1. Robert Mugabe. 2. John Barrowman cut out the groin and used it as a soap dish. Rumors and Facts -
Originally it would also have featured the return of Suzie Costello from the first series but this plan was stymied as not only did no one want to hint that the first season was canonical, but the actress Indira Varma was pregnant. This lead to a hasty need for a script about a pregnant zombie psychopath and foolishly Phil Ford agreed to do it, even after the return of Suzie was abandoned altogether.

It was only during recording when anyone actually READ the script they discovered that Ford, refusing to believe that Touchwood had improved from the vile filth of 2006, had simply printed out transcripts to the Angel episode "Expecting", "Offspring", "Inside Out" and stapled them at random points throughout the shooting script of the Buffy episode "Hell’s Bells".

It was after this that Freema Agyeman, Burn Gorman and Naoko Mori decided to quit rather than risk another episode of such awfulness. Indeed, Agyemen fled the studio before recording began, so her departure was hastily re-written into the previous episode.

Phil Ford was amused at this chaos, as he was determined to destroy Touchwood for a number of reasons, least of all it would leave The Sarah Jane Misadventures the sole inheritor of Doctor Who spin-offs!

You know this episode would have been a lot more interesting if it had been in Season One and Gwen was getting married to her imaginary boyfriend, don’t you think?

Torchwood: A Day in the Death

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... never heard of it. Sounds rude to me. My name’s Lucie bleedin Miller and, while I’m probably for famous for shooting my husband, Prime Minister of Great Britain, live on National TV. But did you know that, in my naive youth I got knocked up by a zombie? The truth we be told on Trisha, probably."

Episode 8: The Cautionary Tale of Lucie Miller

Jack decides that everyone really hates Owen and he just needs the smallest excuse to fire his pale ass and replace him with Martha Jones. However, because they hate him SO much, they let him take over Ianto Jones’ vital tasks of making coffee and ordering pizzas. The team also take great delight in reminding him he has always been alone, while the team all have people in their lives. Deeply frustrated, Owen cuts his own hand off with a scalpel (since he’s a zombie who feels no pain whatsoever) and hides it in Martha’s lunch box with one finger extended in mocking salute.
Hurling abuse at everyone present, Martha quits in a fit of pique and tells Jack that she will be wearing a blonde wig and calling herself "Rosie" to draw the Doctor back to Earth rather than relying on Touchwood to save the world. Deeply satisfied, Owen zones out and doesn’t notice Martha tying lead weights to his body and dumping him in Mermaid Bay. Unfortunately, the zombie doesn’t drown since he doesn’t need air, and escapes. Jack uses this to his advantage by filming it and putting it up on youtube.
Owen points out that, during his drowning his entire life flashed before his eyes and he can remember the one woman he loved in his entire life and an LSD flashback to when, last New Year’s Eve, he spotted a blonde girl standing on the roof of a building and decided to see if she’d jump. The girl revealed she was called Lucie Miller, but she’d been in a horrendous car crash that wiped out her entire family and caused her permanent brain damage, forcing her to forever act like an aggressive, spoilt brat who talks like an anthropomorphic duck. Owen agreed that there seemed to be nothing left for her, so she should jump, but first they could get squelchy.
The Touchwood Team point out that Owen’s a zombie and medically unable to screw anything, but nevertheless he managed it. He didn’t bother with a condom but points out that it’s the woman’s responsibility to worry about birth control when having hardcore sex on a roof with a zombie. Just then, a strange hippie Time Lord arrived and whisked Lucie away to a police box outside the Millennium Centre, and the last Owen heard, she was the wife of Alan B’Stard, former British Prime Minister and then sent to jail for first degree homicide.
Owen admits that, looking back at things, he can’t actually remember if there was a point to his story, especially as he never actually loved Lucie and indeed date-raped her. Everyone agrees that the TRUE moral of the story is that Owen is total fuckwit.

Trivia Questions
1. Which adult sex shoppe does Owen visit in the very first scene?
2. What reference does Owen make to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to describe his current state?

Great Moments - Owen’s heartwarming display of fierce Zombie Pride: "We’re here! We’re dead! Get used to it!"

Fashion Crimes -
Lucie manages to change her outfit three times during her conversation/date-rape with Owen, from a smart-looking (albeit bloodstained) pinstripe business suit to a crushed velvet coat over a rainbow-patterned dress before ending up in the ugly denim chavfest she wore in Doctor Who. Yet her huge hoop earrings remain the same.

Missing Adventures -
The fate of Owen’s offspring is found in "Wirrn-Born", if that’s not too much of a giveaway...

Technobabble - The "auto-erectification factor" allows Zombie Owen to have sex despite not having any pulse.
I seriously did NOT need to know this.

Great Lines -
Lucie: Okay, you’re dead, and clearly that’s a bit shit, and I’m sorry and everything, but if…if you are dead, then why are you here? You can’t be wanting to jump…you can’t die twice!
Owen: Sorry, are you an expert?
Lucie: Sorry, are you an idiot?
Owen: Yeah, I’m a dead idiot. Want a fuck?
Lucie: Ah, what’s the worst that could happen?

Gwen: Jack! What are you doing here.
Jack: Thirty-six minutes to drown him… not bad.
Tosh: You were watching?
Jack: Hot Asian babes throwing skinny guy in tight jeans runs into water? Tosh, baby... I was taking pictures.

Owen: Ianto, even TOSH had more of a life than you used to, and now you’re always out on missions, you’re shagging Jack, and I’m stuck here making the coffee. Gwen’s getting married, Martha’s got her bloke, even Tosh had Tommy…this is really SHIT!
Ianto: Boo... fucking... hoo. Get me some fucking coffee, you walking dead emo cunt.

Jack: You can SO come back at any time.
Martha: Maybe I will…one day. When I’ve had my brains removed and you people have all been replaced by evil robots that are actually in any way reliable.

Crap Lines – Jack: Everybody lives! Just this once! Everybody lives!
Ianto: Except for Owen.
Jack: Oh, yeah, except for Owen.

Owen: What am I supposed to do?
Jack: Watch TV. Chill.
Owen: Jack, I’m dead. I’m permanently chilled. You know, you get to live forever. I’d like to die forever. It’s funny, innit?
Jack: Not really. Now get the fuck out of my office, you spiteful little tosspot.

Lucie: What do I do now?
Owen: You’ve got a choice. If you think that the darkness is too much, then go for it. But if there is a chance, just some hope…maybe having a cigarette, or that first sip of hot tea on a cold morning. Or it could be your mates. If there is even a tiny glimmer of light, then don’t you think it’s worth taking the chance?
Lucie: Well...
Owen: Fine! Enough of the seduction! Strip now or I’ll just have to drug you!

Plot Oversights
- What is the difference if Owen has a gun and badge, or is active/inactive on the roster? He’s still walking around the Hub, acting like he owns the place, and accusing anyone who enjoys Tintin to be indulging in bestiality! If you want to fire him, LITERALLY SET HIM ON FIRE!
- What convinces Tosh that Owen would be bound to use his long-dead sperm to impregnate Lucie? Did she just see that episode of Trisha and now realize that Owen is the 'undead tosser' Lucie mentioned?
- How come Lucie is covered in so much blood? Did that car crash sever limbs on her family? Or did she murder some people on the way up to the top of the building?
- Martha claims to be leaving Cardiff for London, but she heads in the wrong direction for the train station and it’s the middle of the night. Is she just desperate to get away from these losers, or has the knowledge that the Doctor has a thing for irritating blonde teenagers caused her even MORE despair?

Viewers’ Quotes

"Owen dies, thus allowing him to mope more. What baffles me is that anyone might consider forty-five minutes of a corpse complaining about being dead to be a workable basis for a drama programme."
- Mad Larry the Pirate King (2008)

"As a member of Friends of Zombies, I’m pleased to see that a television drama treats its subject seriously. Most sensationalist media portray zombies as trundling, thick flesheaters, or figures of fun. Finally, I can thank the Touchwood team for their sensitive treatment of a very emotive subject amongst the zombie community – although a help-line number at the end would have been perfect. I am typing this for my friend Trevor, who is himself a zombie and would have posted on his own, except all his fingers have fallen off. I am somewhat of a 'weekend zombie' – but please don't tell my wife, she is already suspicious as she looked in my wardrobe and found some toes in my shoes that had fallen off and I’d forgotten to hide. I guess I WANT to come out of the closet, but it’s so nice and dark in there – and the sunlight hurts my eyes! Way to heap blame and guilt onto my Zombie buddy Trevor; he’s so distraught he's just kicked the PC and his foot has come off at the heel! Casualty say that they won’t take him any more as he’s technically dead and so the Hippocratic oath doesn’t cover him. And don’t talk to him about going private – the costs! The spiraling costs! – no wonder zombies have a reputation for doing that low moan at the back of their throats – they’re all waist high in debt, or neck high if their legs have fallen off. Eating flesh is cheap, OK! That’s the ONLY reason they do it! Shambling slowly around ? It’s called DEPRESSION! I hope that the Touchwood series will begin to reflect all of this emotional and financial trauma in the coming weeks." - Rob Zombie (2008)

"Instead of the Z-word shouldn’t we be using a more politically-correct, more sensitive term like "vitally challenged" or "ambulatory deceased"? BULLSHIT! I object totally - I won’t have my screen filled with the undead. They come back from the grave, stealing our jobs, taking our houses and perverting our society - why only the other day I saw the Council erecting a bus stop near the cemetery, JUST so the undead could head on down to the Dead Centre and claim their incapacity benefits. That’s MY taxes that is! Ooh, it makes me so mad, they should all be sent back to where they came from!"
- Dr Synasta (2008)

"SERIOUSLY! Who thinks that Owen’s actually the Doctor in disguise? He keeps saying things like "I’m the Doctor", hanging around Jack in Cardiff, flirting with Martha... Clearly Owen is the Doctor on his last regeneration, hence his zombification! Please don’t destroy me."
- Stupid Fan Who Was Promptly Destroyed (2009)

"The one thing that I cannot forgive this episode for, however... is revealing that Owen talked Lucie Miller OUT of killing herself. Christ, Lister, I had enough reasons to hate the guy!"
- Jared "No Nickname" Hansen (2008)

The Author Speaks
"I don’t JUST do Emo stories, you know!"

Trivia Answers
1. Plastic Fantastic, where Rose Tyler used to work. 2. "Life? Don’t talk to ME about life..."
Rumors and Facts -
Dave Lister is one of Big Finish’s success stories, especially his fine work for the Eighth Doctor range, despite only writing one story. Hang on... yep, he only did one story. But it was a GOOD story, and would indeed be ripped off by Touchwood two episodes later. Lister had kept an eye on the spin-off audios of the Eighth Doctor and Lucie Miller as they fought a range of alternative comedians and Tom Baker era monsters, and concluded the only interesting idea in twenty stories was the idea that Lucie had a one-night stand with a zombie called Owen. And, you know, he’s probably right.

For his first Touchwood script, he wanted to tie Lucie’s trendy necrophilia in with the character of Owen, who was also a zombie, and thus make lots of nifty fanwank threads come together, as if it WASN’T enough Sheridan Smith had appeared in the TV series already as Lucie Miller, married to John Simms’ Bastard in the 2007 finale.

Originally RTD wanted this episode to feature Owen and Lucie meeting at a spooky 24-hour supermarket run by zombies, and then making out behind Slurpie machine, but when pressed RTD admitted he no longer gave a shit about Touchwood and frankly had much better things to do, like emailing his genius in detail to Ben Cook.

Ruminations -
For a first-time television writer, The Cautionary Tale of Lucie Miller is an amazingly tight script with some very powerful moments, from Ianto pouring boiling water down Owen’s throat to Tosh tying lead weights to Owen and throwing him into the bay, this episode was filled with MOMENTS and the plot itself is very much an unimportant one-liner, a gripping tale that, unbelievably, manages to take us into the sex lives of the undead. Simple. Elegant. Perfect. I think I need to pluck own eyes out after seeing Burn Gorman all grey, naked, with a sucking chest wound and a missing hand...

Torchwood: Dead Man Walking

The Singing Stone Horizon Guide to Touchwood
written without any permission (or consent) by anyone who would sue me
by Ewen Campion Clarke

DISCLAIMER: This is an unauthorized program guide to the stupendously awful Doctor Who cash-in Angel-rip-off. Neither the guide nor the series is to be taken seriously. Or orally. And if rash occurs – and it probably will – consult the Doctor immediately.

"TOUCHWOOD... stahn kali bassion eztess! Tror ail propun dun proletariat ahzo! Kelar iyan jassic cyonet res! Daaaaay yoo! Daaaaay yoo! Daaaaaay liiiiiiight caaaaaaaaarmmmmes and we waaaaaaaaaanerrr go hooooooooooooooooooyummmmmm! HOP!"

Episode 6: Owen Harper, Zombie Jerk

The Touchwood team are in a state of shock – Owen Harper has finally been shot dead, but is somehow still walking and talking. Suspecting this is just mass hysteria, Martha Jones leads the others in a lynch mob to take Owen back to the Hub and dissect him. Owen explains he’s actually a zombie, and has been for years; he’s such an asshole, no one has ever gotten close enough to him on a personal level to realize this before. This explains why he never helps out with cooking or has sex with everyone, and his brilliant tactic of making every human being despise him utterly has kept this a secret for the best part of a decade, but now the cat is out of the bag.

When quizzed exactly how the hell he was able to hold back death itself, Owen admits he’s never been entirely sure but, if he had to, he’s say it probably began that night the Cardiff rift opened and a being composed of cigarette smoke fused with his body. Owen is completely confident however that him possessing some extra-dimensional parasite won’t have ANY long term consequences, before starts speaking in an unknown language, his pupils dilate and he heads to a bar and starts a fight, and ends up one of the few Welsh zombies with a criminal record.

The Touchwood Team decide to let him rot... perhaps literally... in jail when Owen is broken out by an army of pig-based Weevils, who worship Owen and speak to him in that unknown language. Googling this phenomenon, they discover that Owen is possessed by the spirit of Death Incarnate who intends to suck the life out of 13 victims and then destroy all life on Earth. Martha decides to stab Owen in the head with a syringe of embalming fluid, which seems to be a plan with no drawbacks.

Suddenly, angry tics fire out of Owen’s nipples and kill Jack. He wakes up to find lots of stuff has happened and they are now at Albion hospital, with Martha drained of life and aged to an old hag while Death Incarnate runs around picking off twelve souls, screaming "I will walk the earth forever, and my hunger shall know no bounds!"

Tosh points out that as Owen and Jack are immortal they just need to lock Death Incarnate with the pair of them in a lift. Jack announces that he’s finding it rather hot in a confined space and begins to disrobe and 3.31 million viewers are horrified as Jack makes the Grim Reaper squeal like a pig. Does this consume its energy and force it back into the darkness? Or is it just uncontrolled homophobia on the part of Death Incarnate? Either way, it buggers off and kindly restores Martha to her original age. For some reason.

Emerging from the lift, the deeply nauseated Owen says what he just saw has disgusted him so much he is not sure he can keep doing his job at Touchwood. Jack points out he was a feckless bum anyway and no one would notice whether or not he turned up for work.

Owen calls Jack a "necro-skeptic" and decides to sue the Touchwood Institute for compensation for prejudice and discrimination against a non-mortal member of society.

Trivia Questions
1. Which Doctor Who story is the prequel to this episode? 2. Which Doctor Who story does everyone always ASSUME to be the prequel to this episode?
Great Moments - Well, I don’t think any other cult TV show has Thantos the God of Death being anally raped in a lift while a zombie vomits in disgust. OK, maybe it could happen in "Drawn Together", but NOWHERE ELSE!

Fashion Crimes
Death Incarnate’s gold halo and Styrofoam angel wings.
Missing Adventures –
Owen learned to speak an ancient magical language using the Earthpower forces after he read "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" by Stephen R Donaldson, attempting to look intellectual and pull chicks. It never worked, or even came in useful until now.
Technobabble - "I was hurdling a hayley quadraphonic isopheric nullifier, you dick!"
Great Lines - Ianto: I have searched for the phrase "I will walk the earth and my hunger will know no bounds" on wikipedia, but I keep getting redirected to Weight Watchers. I’ve tried looking how to kill Death itself and according to Red Dwarf episode guide you should be able to just kick him in the bollocks.

Owen: What are you in here for?
James: Leukemia.
Owen: Oh, thank god for that! I thought you were a bald midget with terrible taste in headgear! They got you in for a round of chemo?
James: No. I just thought I’d shave my head because it’s the coolest look around. You big-mouthed defective.

Death Incarnate: Fuck. I knew learning to open doors would be useful somewhere along the line...

Owen: You’ve stopped flirting with me. I mean, it’s alright; I wouldn’t flirt with me in my condition either. Is it still necrophilia when I’m conscious?
Cop: Just breathe into the bag, sir.
Owen: I can’t. I don’t have any breath.
Cop: Right, jenkins, get the ASP. We’re gonna teach this wide-mouthed pervert a lesson he’ll never forget!

Tosh: Can you really beat death?
Jack: You can never REALLY beat death. Never escape it. It’s always in the shadows waiting.
Tosh: So what do we do now?
Jack: You can hold my trousers. Now avert your gaze, Toshiko, this is going to get messy. YEEE-HAAWW!

Martha: You have the power to bring people back to life, and you never told UNIT, why?
Jack: They would have wanted to use it.
Martha: Yeah! So?
Jack: What? You’re not going to trust THOSE amateurs over me, are you?
Martha: I would trust Osama Bin Laden over you.

Jack: "Only in suffering do we recognize beauty."
Owen: Yeah, who said that?
Jack: Proust. I’d chained him up and was dripping hot candle wax on his nether regions when he said that.
Crap Lines – Gwen: How did they stop it from getting to thirteen and where does 'faith' come into it?
Jack: Hey, *I* asked YOU that!
Gwen: You did?
Jack: Yeah, like twenty minutes ago.
Gwen: Oh? Wait did I say?
Jack: 'I don't know'
Gwen: Bollocks.

Jack to Martha –
"Don’t worry – we’ll find a way to reverse this... because you’ve got to be on Doctor Who in a couple of months! Dads won’t be watching if you’re looking like that. Well, not unless it’s a special leather furniture episode of The Antique’s Roadshow..."

Gwen: Hey, I just heard that twelve people have been killed.
Jack: Duh, so?
Gwen: So when Death kills thirteen people we’re screwed.
Jack: It’s twelve now! WE’RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!
Gwen: ...I just told you that.
Jack: Oh, aren’t you special?

Owen: Yeah, so I’ve caused the deaths of a dozen people because of a decision on a whim about me being hot, which would easily be enough to have me dishonorably discharged if this organization ACTUALLY had any sort of code of conduct at all, and I nearly killed a visiting dignitary who happened to be visiting. I admit it. I’m a prick. Considering that, care to actually break the habit of a lifetime and give me my fucking job back?
Jack: Yeah, why not?

Plot Oversights
- Martha’s autopsy log begins with the time but not the date. What, are they trying to recreate the UNIT dating controversy or something? For the love of GOD! Ruse is 2005, Alias of London 2006, School’s Out 2007, Smith & Weston 2008, Bunglers in Crime 2009, and Escape to Danger on the Planet in Space Cutaway! is 2010! LET THAT BE AN END TO IT!!
- Why do the police put two brawling men in a cell together? Do they need to get more overtime?
- It's nice that Jack is evacuating everyone to the carpark. The carpark that is infested with Weevils. Yes, that’s right, Matt Jones, I watch for these details.
- How exactly do Touchwood get "reports" of 12 dead people when the nurse died alone under the bed?
- The club scene has no music but the patrons are dancing. Well, if you can CALL that spasmodic jerking and waving of karma signs to count as "dancing". Young people today, I ask you...
- When Owen notices the bullet hole in his chest, Jack is standing upside down in a bucket of Piranha fish - the angle then changes and Jack has a hand growing out of his back waving a sign saying, "HI, MUM!". Similarly there are a string of minor continuity errors with Owen’s hands during the scene where the team wonder about the origin of the energy as they randomly catch fire.
- Why is it that Martha was rejuvenated simply by the exit of Death Incarnate when no one else was?
- When Gwen calls Rhys, his phone makes the sound used to signify that Elvis has entered the building, not the ringtone.
- If Owen doesn’t have the blood for an erection, how has the colour returned to his cheeks? Is he a transvestite as well? If he has no gag reflex, how does he vomit at the sight of Jack and Death going it doggy style?
- The signs on the fire door in the hospital are nonsensical. One says "OBEY INSTRUCTIONS ON SIGN BELOW" and the other one says "IGNORE INSTRUCTIONS ON SIGN ABOVE". How the hell does that work?!

Viewers’ Quotes

"OK, clearly death has irreversibly changed Owen’s character. Gone is the confident, cynical, sexually successful Owen and in his place we have an impotent, more caring and vulnerable Owen with 'issues'. Which do you prefer? Should the scriptwriters have left him as he was or has 'death' made him more interesting? And surely he should be played by Adam Rickitt and covered in lots and lots and lots of honey?"
- Sparacus (2008)

"Kinkiest tango team I’ve ever seen."
- Torville and Dean (2009)

"GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! They could have just ripped off The Quatermass Xperiment, but no! NO! They had to rip ME off as well!"
- Nala Snevets (2008)

"Is it just me, or has anybody else been reminded of the tenth Doctor when watching Owen, especially in the past few episodes?"
- Same Guy Who Thought Spike Was Just Like The Doctor (2008)

"Death is cool. I'm sure it wasn't the intention, but I found the big black eyes/white skin to be incredibly HOT. Anyone else think this, or am I alone in my new fetish? The whole possessed-by-death-incarnate- come-to-eat-your-soul-and-destroy-your-life thing a major turn on."
- Emo Girl (2008)

"Why were the Weevils following Jack and Owen? Was it because of Death or because the episode needed padding with ooh yes, yet another pointless run about chase at night time – yawn?"
- A. Cynic (2008)

The Author Speaks
Trivia Answers
1. Nicotine, with the Seventh Doctor, Ace and Hex. 2. Image of the Ken Doll, with the Fourth Doctor, Leela and K9. Rumors and Facts -
Matthew Jones previously penned Doctor Who: The Santa Tip, which featured Captain Jack and the Touchwood Team fighting the personification of Western Consumerism who took over the body of Ianto Jones and tries to destroy all life on Earth. This time he wrote Owen Harper, Zombie Jerk, which featured Captain Jack and the Touchwood Team fighting the personification of Death who took over the body of Owen Harper and tries to destroy all life on Earth.

What a range that man has.

Some people say that, due to the lack of any interviews, photos or concrete evidence he actually exists, that Jones is merely the penname for Russell T Davies. Of course Matthew Jones exists. He’s just really, REALLY embarrassed to have written for Touchwood.

And who can blame him?

Ruminations -
It’s a bit like They Keep Shagging Suzie, only with a less attractive zombie. I wonder if Tosh will fall in love with a lesbian alien next week?