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Torchwood: Out of Time

John: "What, did you fall through time, too?"
Jack: "Yeah. You could say that."

I like time travel stories. This one was quite good.

I particularly liked that it was just about three displaced people in time: no monsters, no aliens, no demons except the ones in their own minds. Torchwood can pull off serious and profound, and that's no small thing. But I have to admit I got a bit tired of it before the end, almost certainly because of the focus on the Owen/Diane love story. Funny how he magically turned into a gentleman just for this one episode. Pardon my sarcasm.

Absolutely loved the exuberant shopping scene. It was like Christmas, slowly followed by something much like an emotional group funeral as they realized how everything they knew and everyone they loved were irrevocably gone. Especially John; it would have been kinder and certainly less traumatic if he had never found his son. Emma was young enough to move on and probably make a good life for herself, but even Diane, who wasn't that much older, simply couldn't make the adjustment. I can't imagine why having lots of sex with Owen wouldn't keep her happy. Sorry, there I go again.

This was a good episode for Jack. He was coming off as remote and brutal in the last few, but here, he could relate in a big way since he is out of his time, too, and had actually been around in the fifties. It was sweet of him to stop fighting the inevitable and let John kill himself. Although in retrospect, shouldn't Jack have tried to get John to wait a little longer? John could have taken off with Diane in the end. At least they wouldn't have died alone, if that was what happened to her.

For me, the strongest moment was when Gwen told Emma, "It's like two separate worlds. There's Torchwood and there's real life." Of course, that was the point -- that being in Torchwood is like being an alien or a displaced time traveler, that they feel completely out of touch with so-called normal people. Normal people like Rhys, who finally caught Gwen in a great big lie.

Gwen all but admitted to Emma that her love life with Rhys doesn't thrill her. It's over with Owen. Is it about to be over with Rhys? If it is, I can see Gwen falling apart. She really depends on Rhys; he's her anchor.

Bits and pieces:

-- Jack told John that his life was "just bearable." Jack also told John that there is no life after death. I guess Jack is in a position to know.

-- Wasn't there a Next Generation episode with this same plot? TNG was once my favorite show, but it's been a long time since I've seen it. Maybe it's time to watch it again.

-- Jack didn't die in this episode. But he held John's hand while John died. That was incredibly kind of Jack. Not something just anyone would have done.


Gwen: "At least it wasn't a spaceship full of aliens."
Jack: "That might have been easier."

Ianto: "There are wave bouncing detectors which emit high frequency radio waves and then look for reflections..."
Diana: "Bananas!"
Ianto: "Of course, bananas are far more interesting."

Diana: "They sell films in boxes, and you can watch them at home."

Gwen: "This is Rhys, my long-suffering boyfriend. And he lives here."
Emma: "Don't your parents mind?"
Gwen: "Emma's parents are a bit religious."
Rhys: "Oh. Better not tell them you saw my morning glory then, eh?"

Jack: "You don't get reunited, John. It just goes black."
John: "How do you know?"
Jack: "I died once."
Once? I guess it wasn't the time to say, hey, I've died so many times I've lost track.

Three stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.


  1. Hmm..nice attempt to humanize Owen but his love for Diana seemed too forced to me. But he was in dire need of acting a bit less like a moron. Pretty good episode.

  2. I believe the TNG episode you are referring to might be the season 1 finale "The Neutral Zone" ...

  3. Lovely episode and so poignant.

    Emma, Diane and John all had interesting backstories that tied in nicely with Gwen, Owen and Jack.

    Could've done with some more Ianto and Toshiko though.

  4. Yes, there is a TNG eppy with almot the same plot but I can't think of the name now... must ask my friend who's a Trekkie.

  5. Wait a minute, I thought Jack actually died with John? And came back to life, as usual.

    I pretty much agree with your review otherwise.


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