a real world point of view
|Main character(s):||Jack, Gwen, Tosh, Owen, Ianto|
|Main enemy:||Captain John Hart|
|Main setting:||Various UK sites, 1899, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009|
|Director:||Jonathan Fox Bassett|
|Premiere broadcast:||21 March 2008|
|Premiere network:||BBC Three|
Fragments was the twelfth episode in the second series of Torchwood. Composed largely of flashbacks, it established how each of the main Torchwood Three members, save Gwen, had come to work for Torchwood. Gwen's origin story with Torchwood Three was previously shown in TV: Everything Changes.
A booby-trapped building explodes and knocks the Torchwood team unconscious. Each team member's life flashes before his eyes. There is a series of flashbacks for all of the main characters except Gwen. Captain Jack was initiated into a Victorian Torchwood in 1899; Toshiko went on a mission to trade alien technology for her mother's life; Ianto wooed Jack with coffee and a flair for alien-catching; and Owen lost his normal life to an alien in his fiancée's brain.
The Torchwood team, minus Gwen, investigate a derelict building and are trapped when it explodes. The four experience flashbacks about their origins with the alien-fighting organisation.
Captain Jack Harkness (1,392 deaths earlier) Edit
Captain Jack is picked up by the all-female Torchwood in Victorian times when they become aware of his immortality. They torture him to extract information about the Doctor to no avail, but soon decide to enlist him as an agent. After many decades have passed, Jack now works for Alex Hopkins, and it is New Year's Eve, 1999. Jack discovers that his boss has murdered everyone else in the Hub because of his fear of the new millennium and the horrors it may hold. Alex has used a piece of alien technology that showed him the future, and decided to eliminate his team as "mercy killings," knowing that if they lived, their fates would perhaps be even worse. He cannot do the same to Jack because of his immortality. He turns Torchwood Three over to Jack, telling him, "The 21st century is when it all changes... and we're not ready". Alex Hopkins puts his gun to his head and takes his own life. Jack is now left without a team, but he is now in command of Torchwood Three. After 100 years of servitude under supervising authority, Jack is free to act as he desires.
Toshiko Sato (5 years earlier) Edit
Toshiko joins Torchwood after Jack finds her in a top secret prison. She leaked information from her Ministry of Defence job to a vicious gang holding her mother captive. UNIT raid the building and take Tosh, Milton and her henchmen to a secret prison where she is told she will be kept forever. However, Jack is impressed by her ability to assemble a sonic modulator despite flawed instructions. He has her released and given a pardon once she accepts the Torchwood job.
Ianto Jones (21 months earlier) Edit
Ianto harasses Jack for a job after the demise of Torchwood One, where he worked. Helping Jack fight off a Weevil and repeatedly praising his coat doesn't work at first, but they capture a pterodactyl together - with the help of some chocolate - and Ianto is enlisted.
Owen Harper (4 years earlier) Edit
Owen meets Jack when he bursts into a hospital room after brain surgery on Owen's ailing fiancée Katie. Despite warnings from Torchwood, the surgeon tried to remove an alien from her brain. When the alien lifeform was threatened, it emitted a toxic gas, killing all the humans in the operating room. Jack arrives too late. After explaining the situation to Owen, Jack knocks him out. Owen wakes to discover a massive cover up. He encounters Jack when visiting Katie's grave. After a fight, he agrees to join Torchwood as a medic.
Back in the present, Gwen and Rhys help to pull everyone from the debris in the building. However, Jack receives a holographic message from John Hart in which he claims responsibility for the bombs and says he has taken Jack's brother Gray captive.
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Alice Guppy — Amy Manson
- Emily Holroyd — Heather Craney
- Blowfish/Weevil — Paul Kasey
- Little Girl - Skye Bennett
- Alex — Julian Lewis Jones
- Toshiko's Mother — Noriko Aida
- Bob — Simon Shackleton
- Security Guard - Gareth Jones
- Milton — Clare Clifford
- Katie — Andrea Lowe
- Doctor — Richard Lloyd-King
- Nurse - Catherine Morris
- Psychiatrist - Selva Rasalingam
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|General production staff|
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
General post-production staff
Special and visual effects
|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.|
- Jack mentions Suzie Costello during a flashback sequence as he gives orders to each team member who respond as they are mentioned. However, Suzie's response is cut off by Ianto stopping Jack's car. Indira Varma did not lend her voice for this episode, nor reprise her role as Suzie, since she was pregnant at the time of filming. As such, the mention of Suzie in this episode is conveniently scripted to avoid any interaction with her, reduced to a passing mention to preserve continuity.
- Jack died thirteen hundred ninety-two times between meeting Torchwood and the explosion at the beginning of the episode, and at least fourteen times prior to the first Torchwood encounter. (This number will skyrocket astronomically during the events of the next episode, however.)
- Jack took control of Torchwood 3 at the turn of the 21st century, after spending a hundred years with the organisation.
- Ianto mentions the destruction of Torchwood One and the Battle of Canary Wharf.
- Toshiko constructs a sonic modulator.
Story notes Edit
- The Doctor is named explicitly for the first time in the series.
- Alex's last words to Jack are a variation of the "the 21st century is when everything changes..." monologue from the start of every Torchwood episode. Jack also uttered the phrase to the Tenth Doctor in dialogue cut from TV: Last of the Time Lords.
- To date, out of the original Torchwood Three, Suzie Costello is the only member whose origins with the team remain unclear. She was also the "black sheep" of the group, which could explain why her character is not explored as thoroughly.
- 717,000 viewers
Filming locations Edit
- Caerwent Millitary Training Area
Production errors Edit
- In one scene of Jack's flashback the Doctor's hand jar is visible even though it is years before it is cut off.
- A Blowfish appears in a flashback; one last appeared in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang. As it happens, while the Blowfish in this episode is murdered by a Torchwood agent while Jack watches, in the previous appearance it is Jack shown shooting one (although in defence of others, not as murder).
- Captain John Hart is behind the bomb attack. He last appeared in Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang.
- Gray is seen in a hologram. He was last seen (in a flashback as a child) in Adam.
- The tarot card reading girl appears in a flashback. She was last seen in Dead Man Walking, except in the modern day. Here she predicts that "two turns of the century" will pass before Jack finally meets up with the Doctor again, an event that occurs in TV: Utopia. The nature of this girl, including why she appears in two different time periods, has yet to be revealed. One of her tarot cards includes an image of Jack.
- When Jack begins to work with Torchwood, they know of the Tenth Doctor based on events in TV: Tooth and Claw.
- The flashbacks showing Torchwood in the period 1890s-2000 depict its cold, manipulative ways as seen in TV: Army of Ghosts, et al. Jack mentions on several occasions how he wants to turn it into an organisation that helps people; it is suggested that the cold-blooded killing of the blowfish by an early Torchwood operative might have been one of the inspirations for this.
- Jack, upon meeting Ianto for the second time, references his girlfriend, Lisa Hallet, to which Ianto replies deceased.
- This is the first appearance of UNIT soldiers or a UNIT facility in the series. UNIT is depicted as a somewhat malevolent organisation, in contrast to previous depictions in Doctor Who. Jack suggests this may be due to the current political climate of the day.
- The events surrounding Alex's killing of the Torchwood 3 team are current with the events surrounding the "birth" of the Eighth Doctor and his battle with the Master as seen in the 1996 telefilm.
- Jack indicates that he was on Earth following the asteroid impact that killed off the dinosaurs. Unknown to Jack, however, the impact was actually caused by a freighter in a failed attempt by the Cybermen to change Earth history. (TV: Earthshock)
- Alex says, "The 21st century Jack, everything's gonna change." This is a reference to the start of aliens getting involved in human life. The Torchwood premiere (TV: Everything Changes) is a depiction of this factor when Captain Jack says, "The 21st century is where everything changes, and you've got to be ready".
- In PROSE: The Twilight Streets, it was noted that Toshiko and UNIT "are not mates." Ironically, the first time Tosh is introduced, she is working with UNIT. (TV: Aliens of London)
DVD releases Edit
- Fragments and the rest of Torchwood Series 2, has been released in a complete series box set.
- Detailed synopsis of Fragments at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Fragments at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Fragments at The Locations Guide