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15 September 2020

TARDISMonkey's Torchwood Diary - watching Torchwood an episode a week from the start...

2.12: Fragments

We start this episode again in true Torchwood fashion as they’re on a mission to find a mysterious message originating from an abandoned warehouse. In a twist of events, it turns out the team have been lead straight into a trap and a huge explosion happens as a bomb goes off. Buckle in for this one as all their lives flash before their very eyes.


The first person to have the flashback is Jack and references how he ended up becoming a part of Torchwood today. It’s still never clear how Jack managed to get back to Earth, however we see him during the victorian era getting brutally killed again and again by what turns out to be some of the earlier Torchwood agents. After experimenting with Jack and finding out he can never die, they take the opportunity of convincing him to join Torchwood, more for the sake of a stable job and money. In addition, his future is read to him and he finds out he won’t be seeing The Doctor for at least another 100 years, so by joining Torchwood, well what does he have to lose? It does throw a few paradoxes into the works, such as; what did Jack do during the war when he knew he had already encountered The Doctor and Rose? Also how did Jack not meet previous incarnations of The Doctor when UNIT were fighting the Yeti’s, Cybermen and even The Doctor being their scientific advisor? It would have been nice for some explanation as to why he had to meet The Doctor at a specific point otherwise consequences could happen. Moving on, Jack is eventually forced to take charge after his commander commits suicide after killing the entire team in 1999. It was an atrocious way to gain ranks in the team, but explains hugely why Jack is very protective over his Torchwood team now.


We then move onto Toshiko’s introduction to Torchwood and what a twist and turn of events takes place here. You could write an entire episode on what Tosh had to go through. Her mum is kidnapped by a criminal organisation, who force Tosh to build an alien weapon -  the sonic inducer - which is then taken down by UNIT themselves!? Tosh goes through absolute hell whilst locked up in the UNIT cells, with all of her basic human rights taken away. No wonder she has such a close bond to Torchwood as a company, as Jack comes in to save the day, with the caveat that she has to use her skills to benefit the Torchwood team. It again does leave a huge question as to why Tosh can’t see her mum after all of this? She had been retconed to save her sanity, so why can’t Tosh keep Torchwood secret just as Gwen did with Rhys?


Next, we have Ianto Jones. We all know that Ianto used to work at Torchwood in London. This was before moving to Cardiff to use the facilities to save Lisa as she was partly converted into a Cyberman. However, we get an almost comedic style approach as to how he transferred from London to Cardiff. He bumps into Jack and helps him fight a pterodactyl, brining him coffee sporadically before Jack finally gives him a job. It gives a bit of a reason as to why Ianto didn’t have a more technical role at the beginning, as the only job Jack could think of  for him was making coffee. Unfortunately the style in which it’s done, feels like it undermines the implications of why Ianto wanted to join Cardiff Torchwood, when we all know he was doing it from serious intentions.


We then finally get Owen’s backstory. This is the one that shocked me the most, as we find out that Owen was actually going to get married. It was a plot twist I didn’t expect to see. Unfortunately Owen’s fiancé has early onset alzheimer’s, which is heart breaking to see and explains why he was so passionate about becoming a doctor in order to help seek some kind of a cure. However in Torchwood style, it turns out that an alien being inside her head is causing the condition which inevitably kills her before Jack can get there in time. Jack tries to help Owen overcome the situation by making him think his fiancée died in a peaceful way, but the horrors were too great. Jack and Owen have a confrontation in the graveyard before Jack takes Owen under his wing like a father, and takes him away to start his new life in Torchwood. It does reveal why Owen keeps a lot of his emotions bottled up and his relationships have been far from straight forward.


So as we reach the end and the Torchwood team escape with minimal damage, which is a little bit unbelievable with the massive explosion that happened, they find out it’s Captain John Hart who was behind the attack. In true Chris Chibnall style, the villain has returned for the last episode to face the final fight. Overall this episode is a great insight into the Torchwood team once again and it gives a sense of impending doom, as we finally know what these characters are all about.

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 



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