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Everything Changes (TV story)

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Everything Changes
TorchwoodEC
Main character(s): Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen, Ianto, Suzie
Featuring: Rhys, Andy
Main enemy: Suzie, Weevils
Main setting: Cardiff, 2007
Key crew
Writer: Russell T Davies
Director: Brian Kelly
Producer: Richard Stokes
Release details
Season/series: Series 1
Premiere broadcast: 22 October 2006
Premiere network: BBC Three
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Torchwood
none Day One

Everything Changes was the first episode of Torchwood. Though not a pilot, it carried many of the narrative burdens of one. It introduced the programme's regular characters, as well as recurring elements such as the Hub, Myfanwy, retcon and the Torchwood SUV.

Written by Russell T Davies, it had the distinction of being his only writing credit until series 3. It also bore certain structural commonalities with Rose, Davies's first episode of Doctor Who. Whereas the earlier script had introduced the mysterious Ninth Doctor through the eyes of Rose Tyler, Everything Changes introduced its audience to the mysterious figure of Captain Jack Harkness through female protagonist Gwen Cooper. Indeed, long-standing fans of Davies' work would have recognised the structure from as far back as Dark Season, RTD's early-1990s kids' TV programme.

The story was notable for an attempted bit of subterfuge. Indira Varma was included in the opening titles to suggest that her character, Suzie Costello, was going to be a regular. Her death in the episode was meant to surprise the audience. Because BBC Three decided to air the first two episodes on the same night, however, the effect fell flat. Nevertheless, it did establish another recurring element of the programme: even main characters could die in Torchwood. By the end of series 4, the characters of only two of the top-line stars listed in this episode would still be alive.

Synopsis Edit

The Torchwood Three team arrives at the scene of a brutal murder. PC Gwen Cooper's curiosity is challenged by their attitude; their approach and their technology is at odds with everything she believes in. As she investigates them, she begins to uncover a dark, mysterious and dangerous world right in the heart of Cardiff.

Plot Edit

PC Gwen Cooper arrives on a rainy murder scene and watches as the forensic investigation unit is pulled, mid-investigation, to allow special access to a four-man team in civilian clothing from Torchwood Institute. A forensic tech believes that Torchwood is some kind of special ops group. Gwen's concerned about crime scene contamination and spots a good vantage point on a parking garage and runs up there to observe the team at work.

Captain Jack Harkness is waxing philosophical about the taste of contraceptives in the rain as his team sets up around the body. Doctor Owen Harper complains about the rain. Suzie Costello puts a metal gauntlet on her right hand, then places her hand beneath the head of the murdered body and he gasps. Toshiko Sato attempts to question the murder victim, but he takes some time to calm down, and he didn't see his murderer. They have some time remaining, and Tosh doesn't know what else to ask, but Jack does — he introduces himself and asks the victim his name — which is John Tucker — and he wants to know what death is like. John tells him he saw nothing and then falls dead again. Torchwood bickers over what went wrong until, suddenly, Jack yells up to Gwen, "What do you think?"

Gwen runs for it. When she makes it home, her boyfriend Rhys Williams is watching a drama. He mentions he saw the story of the murder on the news and Gwen lies, saying she wasn't involved. She lies awake in bed, watching the clock until at least 2 am.

The next morning, Gwen asks her friend Yvonne to do her a favour and look up Captain Jack Harkness. She serves beverages at a briefing about the murders, where they mention that the murders were done with the same weapon, some sort of blade. She and her partner respond to a bar brawl and Gwen gets a good knock to the head. She sees a doctor at the hospital and, as she's leaving, she catches sight of a man in a long coat heading up the stairs. She follows up the stairs to the top floor, which is sealed with plastic and caution tape. She hears a porter entering from the floor below and asks him who sealed off the top floor. He'd assumed it was the police or somebody spraying chemicals. She returns and pushes her way through the plastic. She sees what she assumes to be a strange looking man wearing a mask at the other end of the floor. She asks if he's seen the man in the long coat, but there is no reply, only a soft growl. She keeps talking, with no response. The porter comes through, saying he asked around and couldn't find why it was sealed. He admires the workmanship of the mask, especially the teeth, when the creature bites him in the throat and his blood sprays.

Jack bursts in, and as his team sprays the creature with something and hoods it, he rushes Gwen out of the hallway. She keeps running until she's outside, where she's catching her breath when the Torchwood SUV nearly hits her. She chases it in her patrol car, leaving her partner behind. She calls in the plate to control, and Yvonne asks if she's seeing ghosts, as there has been no Captain Jack Harkness save for an American volunteer that disappeared 21 January 1941. She follows the SUV to the Wales Millennium Centre, where it drops off the four she'd seen before, and drives away. She quickly parks the patrol car and follows them, yelling to them, but they ignore her. Security distracts her, telling her she needs to move her car, and when she turns back they are gone. Control has no record of the plate, and her partner shows up, complaining about the walk from the hospital. He says there is no staff missing from the hospital and takes her home.

Even though Rhys has dinner waiting, Gwen lies and says she needs to work. She stakes out the Millennium Center, eventually going to Jubilee Pizza, where they say they deliver to Torchwood. Gwen brings pizza to a small office by the pier. She says they're for Mr Harkness, and Ianto Jones presses a buzzer and points her down a secret passage.

She enters Torchwood Three and a vault door rolls closed behind her, then a metal cage closes around the vault door. She gets her first view of the Hub, including a water feature in the center, a severed hand in a bubbling container, and a woman welding. Jack walks down to a desk and they all ignore her... Until Owen and Tosh break down laughing, and we find they've been watching her stalk them for the last three hours. Jack immediately brings up the fact Gwen sneaked in as a pizza girl and asks his team, "And before we go any further, who the hell orders pizza under the name of Torchwood?" Owen replies back, "Me. I'm sorry. I'm a twat."

Gwen confronts them about what she has seen. Tosh says she covered up the murder of the porter, as it's her job to do so. Gwen dodges a pterodactyl as Jack takes her to show her the murderer, telling her it's an alien being they call a Weevil. He brings her back to the main room and introduces the team, over Gwen's protest that it's classified. Jack ignores her concern and gives everyone an assignment, including Gwen.

Jack takes Gwen out the scenic route, a granite slab that lifts them up to the pavement in front of the water tower, where she saw them disappear the night before. Jack demonstrates that the people walking by can't see or hear them until they step off the paving slab. She asks how it works, and he says he has no idea, but he might guess that "there was once a dimensionally transcendental chameleon circuit placed right on this spot, which welded its perception properties to a spacial-temporal rift."

They go to a bar, where Jack ridicules Gwen's disbelief after the Christmas invasion and the Battle of Canary Wharf. He establishes that they catch aliens and scavenge their tech, and don't answer to anyone so that no one government can abuse the power. Gwen's pretty sure they can abuse it themselves, even if there's a rule about no tech leaving the base. They're the third Torchwood, and they're in Cardiff because there is a rift in Cardiff that drops all sorts of alien things there. Gwen assumes that they've been trying to solve the blade murders, but Jack tells her that's not what they're doing. They were only there to get practice using the resurrection gauntlet, which requires recently deceased murder victims, the more violent the death, the better. Although Gwen feels she has a duty to act, Jack reveals that she's been drugged with an amnesia pill of Jack's design, laced with a sedative. She says she could just tell somebody else — and Jack threatens to do the same to anyone she tells. Gwen runs for home.

Meanwhile, Tosh, Owen, and Suzie have all taken alien items from the base. Tosh scans a copy of A Tale of Two Cities with one touch and uploads it to her computer. Owen tries to pick up a girl, who shuts him down until he sprays himself with a spray bottle; then she grabs him, kisses him, and drags him out. Her boyfriend catches up with them and is about to punch him when he sprays again... and the boyfriend kisses him. Owen calls for a taxi. Suzie uses the gauntlet to resurrect a dead fly.

Gwen is home, hurriedly typing notes about Torchwood. Her vision gets blurry and she makes more and more typos until she passes out. Ianto hacks into her home computer and erases her notes. In the morning, Rhys brings her a drink, worrying that she'd been drinking with a head injury. At work, Yvonne asks her about Captain Jack, and Gwen doesn't know what she's talking about. Over by the murder investigation, they've reconstructed the very odd blade weapon from the shape of the wounds. Gwen says she hasn't seen it, but she spends the rest of her day in a daze, until it is 2 am and she is, again, awake and staring at the clock. As she closes her eyes to sleep, she remembers that she's seen the blade. She goes back to her computer room and draws the blade on the back of an envelope. She can't remember, but her mental image includes sparks and smoke. She sees a brochure for the Wales Millennium Centre with the word "REMEMBER" scrawled on it.

Gwen goes to Roald Dahl Plass, and Suzie is waiting for her outside the water tower. They face off next to the paving stones on either side of the lift. Gwen remembers the welding gear. Suzie pulls out the knife, saying she's the only one who bothered to read the police report, and she knew that the sight of the knife could break Gwen's amnesia. While Gwen tries to remember, Suzie fumbles with her bag and then pulls out a handgun, saying Gwen is the only person in the public that could make the link. She loves her job but it's driving her mad. She killed the people to practice with the glove, as she thinks that if she becomes good enough with it she could resurrect people permanently. While she is ranting, Jack comes up on the lift. Suzie continues to rant until she says that the perception filter doesn't work on her, and she shoots Jack in the forehead. Gwen gasps.

Suzie cocks the gun and aims at Gwen, who gasps again as Jack stands up behind Suzie, as the hole in his head heals before our eyes. He says it's over, but Suzie has her own ideas about that. She shoots herself through the head and falls down as Gwen says, "I remember."

Ianto seals away the gauntlet and the knife in a lockbox. Owen and Tosh return their devices to the base. Jack zips Suzie's body into a bag and puts her into a cold storage facility in the Hub.

On top of the Millennium center, Gwen asks why Jack didn't tell Owen and Tosh he was shot in the head and survived. Jack says that Gwen didn't tell them either. He confesses that he was killed a long time ago and brought back to life, and since then he can't die. Maybe if he finds the right sort of doctor he can explain it. He doesn't tell people because it freaks them out, so he asks Gwen to keep it quiet.

He offers Gwen a job, and she accepts, as the pterodactyl flies overhead.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

Casting

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.
          

This episode did not have a "created by Russell T Davies" credit.


References Edit

Food and beverages Edit

  • Gwen attempts to infiltrate Torchwood by delivering two pizzas from Jubilee Pizza.
  • Owen admits to ordering pizza under the name Torchwood.

Individuals Edit

  • Jack mentions investigating Chandler and Bell; he says he thinks they are lying.
  • Jack implies that, even though he's male, he's been pregnant, as he's "never doing that again."
  • Jack considers himself a citizen of Cardiff even though there was no record of him by the name he is using in the search conducted by Yvonne.

Species Edit

  • There are a couple of hundred Weevils living in the sewers beneath Cardiff. Their origin and name are unknown due to their inability to communicate. Weevil attacks in Cardiff have been increasing.

Technology Edit

  • Captain Jack Harkness pretends to be uncertain about the origin of the perception filter effect on the "not-being-seen" square at Roald Dahl Plass. He says his guess is that it was created by a chameleon circuit interacting with the Cardiff Space-Time Rift.
  • Jack's vortex manipulator remotely controls the paving-stone lift up to Roald Dahl Plass.
  • The resurrection gauntlet requires time to connect — or allow access — to the user before it may be used. It can bring back recently deceased murder victims for up to 2 minutes.
  • While the gauntlet works, lights in the immediate area may become brighter and there can be a lessening of the sensations of heavy rain.
  • One item held by Torchwood can scan the pages of a book when held against the book spine and then import it to a computer wirelessly.
  • An item held by Torchwood looks like a bottle of perfume and appears to have a very strong pheromone effect, causing uncontrollable lust in a target.

Torchwood Edit

Vehicles Edit

  • The SUV registration number is CF06 FDU.

Story notes Edit

  • Everything Changes was transmitted back to back with the next episode Day One on its UK premiere.
  • This story had two working titles: The Valley of Death and Flotsam And Jetsam. The former was the earliest title.[source needed]
  • As the first post-watershed production of the Doctor Who franchise, the episode features several firsts, including the first use of the F-word in a televised Doctor Who franchise production, along with a few other strong expletives. The frequency and intensity of swearing on Torchwood would be dialled back in its later seasons.
  • A pre-credits sequence of Gwen and Jack on top of the Millennium Centre in a flash forward to the end of the story was cut from the finished programme, but appears on the deleted scenes of the series one box set.
  • This first episode uses the very human character of Gwen in much the same way Doctor Who did with the character of Rose Tyler in 2005, taking the viewer along for the journey.
  • A scene showing John Tucker being chased and murdered was shot, but was eventually dropped.
  • Two alternative scenes were shot showing Gwen being retconned — the one in a traditional bar was dropped in favour of the Buffalo Bar that was used for transmission.
  • Retcon is a tongue-in-cheek reference to retroactive continuity, a means of covering up plot discrepancies used in many sci-fi shows. Other names considered for Retcon were Goldfish or Scooter.[source needed]
  • Several scenes were trimmed from the episode for broadcast on the CBC in Canada, including a scene in which Owen, using the pheromone spray, also seduces the blonde's angry boyfriend.
  • It has been suggested that Owen's use of the pheromone spray was effectively "date rape".[1]
  • Owen shows bisexual tendencies when he first seduces a girl and then, more or less to avoid trouble, seduces her boyfriend too and goes off with both of them.
  • This is the only episode where Indira Varma has her name included in the opening credits. This was done to keep viewers from anticipating that her character would die in this episode, by making her seem like a regular cast member.

Ratings Edit

  • 2.52 million viewers

Filming locations Edit

  • Millicent Street, Cardiff, Wales (Resurrection in the rain)
  • NCP Tredegar Street, Cardiff, Wales (Gwen spies on Torchwood resurrecting)
  • NCP Cardiff Rapports, Cardiff, Wales
  • Old Natwest Bank, Cardiff (Entrance of police station)
  • Dorset Street, Cardiff, Wales
  • Cornwall (pub), Cardiff, Wales (Pub where Gwen and Andy break up fight)
  • Newport Road Lane, Cardiff (Location where Gwen first sees Torchwood SUV)
  • A4232 (Grangetown/Butetown Link), Cardiff (Gwen in pursuit of the Torchwood SUV)
  • Mumbai Bay Takeaway, James Street, Cardiff (Jubilee Pizza, where Gwen goes, tracking down Torchwood)
  • Cardiff Castle, Cardiff (Part of the tunnel entrance into Torchwood)
  • Icon, Cardiff, Wales (Location where Owen tries the spray)
  • Buffalo Bar, Cardiff, Wales (Bar where Jack and Gwen have a beer, prior to him retconning her)
  • St Mary's Street, Cardiff
  • Altolusso, Bute Terrace, Cardiff (One of the tall building shots with Jack standing on top)
  • King Edward VII Avenue (A4161 underpass), Cardiff (Location where Gwen runs home after her meeting with Jack and her subsequent retconning)
  • Mermaid Quayside, Cardiff Bay (The tourist information shop/entrance to Torchwood)
  • Roald Dahl Plass, Cardiff (Exterior of Torchwood)
  • BBC Studios, Upper Boat Studios, Upper Boat Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd

Production errors Edit

  • A poster advertising a Doctor Who exhibition in Cardiff can be briefly seen in a background shot.

Continuity Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

Home video releases Edit

TWS1Part1

Series one, part one DVD cover

  • This episode, with four others, was first released on a DVD entitled Torchwood: Series 1, part 1 on 26 December 2006. It was later released in Torchwood: The Complete First Series on 19 November 2007.

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

  1. Cult Spy: Catching Up With 'Torchwood' Accessed on 11th October 2008

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