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9 June 2020

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

2.3: To The Last Man

We open this episode with an escaped, conventional ghost hunter, as we follow two people through St. Teilo’s military hospital with what looks like a GPS tracker, not something that belongs in 1918. As the two strangers run around the hospital, a shocked nurse is surprised they’re not ghosts; not a typical reaction to the situation, which makes you question for how long this has been going on? As the two strangers run around the hospital looking for these ghosts, they see a vision of a soldier with none other than Tosh!? The solider tells the strangers to take him from 1918 and the tension builds up as the strangers comply with the soldier’s orders. They rush to the bedside of the shell shocked soldier as we get the final build up to the hugely cheesy line, as the two strangers reveal themselves as “Torchwood.”


We then flash forward to the present time and we see a very excited Tosh getting ready for what looks like a date. However, this isn’t any normal date as we see the exact same soldier Tommy, who is in a cryogenic chamber. Gwen’s role is the perfect platform to explain why they have to defrost Tommy once a year, as one day they’re going to need him. In another plot scenario, there is a magical box, sorry temporal locked box, that can only be opened by psychic powers. There are some elements in “Torchwood” that always seem to have a convenient way to sort out of all of their problems. It’s something that closely resonates with the sonic screwdriver in episodes of “Doctor Who.”


There’s also a touching moment between Tosh and Owen, as Owen says “be careful”. It really resonates  as when Owen lost Diane in “Out of Time”. It’s a great moment which shows Owen is really taking responsibilities for his history. 


Tosh and Tommy have a little date, as they both try and make the most of the time Tommy is awake for. It’s another great insight into Tosh’s innocence and maybe answers why she hasn’t been dating in previous episodes.  In a weird time travelling way, Tosh has known Tommy for 4 years, which for him has only been 4 days. It’s a very Doctor and companion kind of relationship, as Tommy has seen many things but is still a young man. For a couple to know each other technically only for a few days, shows how close as a dynamic duo these two are.


Gwen and Jack go to explore the the hospital to find clues as to why Tommy is so important in this tangled web of ghosts and time. They both find the ghost sightings are becoming more and more frequent because the hospital itself is being torn down. And suddenly the box of tricks that has been time locked all this time, pops open with instructions on how to fix everything. Regrettably it feels a bit of a cop out for the episode and everything seems too easily fixed.


The jeopardy element in this whole story, is the two time zones merging together destroying reality, as well as the consequences of the actions by Torchwood. Tommy is a man literally condemned to death, as no sooner he returns to his own time, he is shot by his own platoon for desertion, which was brought on by shell shock. It brings up the questions of do Torchwood’s actions in saving the universe outweigh their moral?. “To The Last Man” is a great story exploring these decisions.


Tosh is such a stand out character in this whole story, as she takes it upon herself to help guide and bring comfort to Tommy as he makes his noble attempt to save the universe. She acts like his guardian angel, as Tommy uses the switch to close the rift in time and she watches over him. Owen claims that Tosh was strong however, she said it’s because of Tommy. They were the perfect pair to save the universe and she hopes it was worth the sacrifice. The end shot focusing on Tosh’s face says there’s hope, and she smiles as she walks away.

Ellie (TARDISMonkey) 



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