|'Captain Jack Harkness'
by Catherine Tregenna
Captain Jack and Toshiko investigate the Ritz dancehall, where a series of anonymous calls have reported 1940s music playing, despite the fact that the building has been derelict since 1989. After walking across the deserted dance floor, Jack and Tosh are astonished to find it suddenly populated by partygoers from the Second World War – somehow the two of them have been transported back in time to the Blitz on the night of 20th January, 1941… Back in the present, Ianto’s concern over losing contact with his two colleagues is exacerbated by an increase in the activity of the time Rift over Cardiff; suspecting that Jack and Tosh have been pulled through the Rift, Owen accesses Tosh’s files in an attempt to find a way to reopen the fissure. Back in 1941, Tosh is given an unwilling spin on the dance floor by a British airman named George; when Jack comes to her rescue, a fight quickly ensues, but the brawl is quickly broken up by the arrival of a senior officer – who introduces himself as one Captain Jack Harkness of the 133rd Squadron. As Jack and Tosh register their surprise, the encounter is captured by a photographer – and in the present, Ianto and Owen are astonished to find their missing comrades in the same picture held in the online records of a local newspaper. Regaining his composure, Jack introduces himself as “Captain James Harper” of the 71st Squadron; he then explains to Tosh that he took Captain Jack’s name while serving as an undercover agent in the War – it seems that the real Captain Jack is due to die during a routine training mission on 21st January, 1941… In the present, Gwen arrives at the Ritz, only to find the building deserted; however, when she calls out for her colleagues, her voice is heard by Tosh back in 1941. Planning to get her notes on the Rift back to the Hub so that she and Jack can be rescued, Tosh retrieves some of her waveform equations from her laptop, but the device’s battery runs down before she can completely commit them to paper. Tosh and Jack then meet the photographer, who introduces himself as the club’s manager, Bilis Manger, before shrugging off Tosh’s surprise that his camera is capable of taking instant pictures. After his guests have left, Bilis reaches into a desk drawer and takes out a file marked ‘Torchwood’… In the present, Gwen meets the caretaker: Bilis Manger, seemingly unaged since his encounter with Jack and Tosh sixty-five years earlier. When she describes the man to Ianto and Owen, the two men realise that the caretaker is the same man as the one in a second photo taken in 1941with Jack and the Captain – could Bilis be using the Rift to move back in forth in time? While Jack gets to know the dishy Captain and his girlfriend, Nancy, Tosh returns to Bilis’ office and uses the manager’s camera, hoping that a photograph will survive the intervening years better than her inked notes; however, she is interrupted by the sudden arrival of the manager, and her picture misses off some of the equations. Heading outside, Tosh then wraps the photo in cellophane from her grandfather’s birthday card and hides it in an exterior electricity cabinet. Ianto strongly objects to Owen’s decision to use Tosh’s incomplete notes to activate the Rift manipulator, citing his obsession with finding his lost love, Diane, as the real reason for his wanting to open the fissure; Owen ignores him, only to discover that a component of the manipulator has inexplicably gone missing. Glimpsing Bilis outside the Ritz, Gwen sets off in pursuit; after the man seems to vanish into thin air, Gwen finds herself by the electricity cabinet, where she discovers Tosh’s message. In 1941, an air raid siren sends the revellers running to the safety of the cellar. As bombs drop outside, Tosh finds an empty food tin, which she uses to cut open her palm; using her own blood, she writes the remainder of her formula on her father’s card, before sealing it inside the container. Having joined Gwen at the Ritz, Owen begins searching through Bilis’ office; his investigation proves fruitless – until all the clocks in the room chime, leading him to find the missing component attached to the pendulum of one of the timepieces. As Owen rushes back to the Hub, Gwen searches the cellar and finds the tin containing the rest of Tosh’s formula; she calls in the data to Ianto and Owen, but the last three figures have been erased – the trio are unaware that the damage was deliberately carried out by Bilis… Finding himself falling for the Captain, Jack urges him to say goodbye to Nancy, hinting that the Captain may not survive the War. Owen completes the Rift manipulator, only to find that the machine will not work; in frustration, Owen ransacks the contents of Jack’s safe and retrieves the blueprints to the machine. Having said farewell to Nancy, the Captain looks forward to spending the rest of the evening with Jack, but the tryst is interrupted by the arrival of two young lovers. Ianto is convinced that Bilis is manipulating Torchwood into opening the Rift; however, Owen refuses to listen and makes to activate the completed manipulator. After a struggle Ianto pulls a gun and shoots his colleague in the shoulder, but as Owen collapses in shock and pain, he manages to activate the manipulator – and the Rift opens. Confiding in Tosh that they may not get home, Jack vows to look after her; deeply saddened that he can do nothing to save the Captain, Jack then shares an intimate slow dance with the officer, bringing the dance floor to a standstill. A time portal suddenly opens up before them, and as Tosh races through, Jack kisses the Captain passionately before stepping through the Rift; he and Tosh instantly find themselves back in 2006 with Gwen, unaware that their arrival has been watched with deep satisfaction by Bilis… Some time later, Owen sulkily dresses his wounds in the Hub, while Tosh tells Jack that the real Captain Jack Harkness would be proud to know that he took his name in the fight against evil.
John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Eve Myles (Gwen Cooper), Burn Gorman (Owen Harper), Naoko Mori (Toshiko Sato), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto Jones), Matt Rippy (The Captain [Captain Jack Harkness]), Murray Melvin (Bilis Manger), Elen Rhys (Nancy), Nadine Beaton (Audrey), Gavin Brocker (George), Peter Sandys-Clark (Tim), Ciaran Joyce (Smiler), Melissa Moore (Singer)
Directed by Ashley Way
Produced by Richard Stokes
Executive Producers Russell T. Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production
Monday 1st January 2006 @ 9.30 pm
(BBC2 TX: Wednesday 3rd January 2007 @ 9.00 pm)
*Featuring Captain Jack Harkness, Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones
*This episode was shown as part of a double bill with the season finale, 'End of Days'
*Only one cast list was used, at the end of 'End of Days', which combined the details for both episodes
*'Vote For Saxon' posters can be seen on the exterior door and wall of the disused dancehall; for more on the mysterious Saxon, see 'Doctor Who' - 'The Sound of Drums'...
*Bad Wolf sighting: the words 'Bad Wolf' are painted in graffiti on the staircase wall in the Ritz; for more on Bad Wolf, see 'Doctor Who' Season 27...