Greeks Bearing Gifts was the seventh episode of Series 1 of Torchwood. It was written by Toby Whithouse, directed by Colin Teague and featured John Barrowman as Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Burn Gorman as Owen Harper, Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones.
It focused on Toshiko Sato. Because Toshiko abused her access to alien technology, it also marked the unwilling reveal of Gwen Cooper's sexual escapades with Owen Harper to the rest of the team. This created guilty feelings inside of Gwen, crippling the progression of her affair. It also damaged relations between the team members until a breaking point arose near the conclusion of series 1.
Tosh is given an alien pendant which lets her hear other people's thoughts. As the Torchwood team puzzle over a centuries-old skeleton, the pendant forces Tosh to question her commitment to Torchwood. Is her new-found ability a blessing or a curse?
In Cardiff, 1812, a talkative prostitute leads a young soldier into the forest. When she provokes him about his virginity, he slaps her twice. A chase ensues. All of a sudden, though, she sees a bright light, and hears a screech. She walks towards the light, but the soldier catches up and shoots her.
In 2007, the Torchwood team is at a construction site where a skeleton was found. Mary, the prostitute from 1812, is there in modern dress looking on amusedly. A strange object is by the skeleton, its function unknown. Toshiko reveals that the corpse has been dead for 196 years, eleven to eleven and a half months, while Owen identifies it as female. All is going well at Torchwood until Owen and Gwen accidentally kick out the plug to Tosh's computer, screwing up a translation program she's running.
Feeling dejected, Toshiko goes to a pub, where Mary approaches her. Mary reveals she knows about Torchwood and about her. She is a "scavenger" or "collector" of alien artefacts. Toshiko seems to bond with Mary, and reveals her innermost feelings, despite hundreds of Torchwood protocols disallowing this sort of conversation. Mary offers Toshiko a pendant. When Toshiko puts it on, she begins to hear people's thoughts. Mary asks her to refine this to her thoughts only, and subconsciously allows her desire to kiss her slip. Shocked, Toshiko rips the pendant off her neck. Mary tells her to keep it. Toshiko says she must show it to the other members of Torchwood, Mary predicts she won't.
The next day, Toshiko goes to the Hub and puts the pendant on. She tells Gwen and Owen she has something to show them, but, upon hearing their thoughts, she changes her mind after learning of their affair. Later, when Ianto offers her some coffee, she hears his thoughts, malevolent and bestial. She hears his pain at the loss of Lisa Hallett. Visibly upset, she takes off the pendant.
She finds Mary, whom she tells about Owen and Gwen's thoughts — how they pity her. Mary explains that thoughts are complicated. She puts the pendant on Toshiko again, and both end up thinking of sex together. The two kiss passionately. Later, Toshiko is lying in bed, looking regretful. She tells Mary of her attraction to Owen, and how she was upset by his affair with Gwen. Mary tells her that good can come of the pendant, too. Toshiko asks Mary who she really is. Mary calls herself "Philoctetes".
Toshiko heeds Mary's advice and listens to the thoughts of people in a busy Cardiff street. She hears a man planning to kill his ex-wife and son. She follows him to their house, and saves their lives.
When she returns to the Hub, Owen is being teased by the others for misidentifying the skeleton: it was actually a man — not a woman — who died of an unidentified trauma — not a gunshot wound. Tosh asks Jack about Philoctetes, and he tells her his story: in Greek mythology, the archer was exiled to the island of Lemnos, to be left there alone for ten years.
Mary tells Toshiko to read Jack's thoughts about the item found with the skeleton. Toshiko tries and fails to read his thoughts; Jack seems to notice when she tries. She tells Mary this, and decides that she must show the pendant to her co-workers. Mary, however, convinces her to change her mind by showing her her true form: she is an alien exiled from her home world. Toshiko offers Torchwood's help, but Mary refuses. Humans' way is invasion, not help. She thinks she will simply be assessed, and then locked up in the base's prison cells.
Mary instead asks Toshiko to sneak her into the Hub to retrieve the artefact, which could finally take her home. The two enter to find Jack holding the transporter. He explains that it is a two-man transporter for a guard and a prisoner. Mary explains that she killed the guard, then took the body of the young prostitute Mary, and has been ripping out people's hearts to feed her human form.
She takes Toshiko at knife point, and demands that they return the transporter. Jack gives it to her. It automatically turns on, and she disappears. Jack had reprogrammed the device to teleport to the centre of the sun. Later, Toshiko is confronted by Owen and Gwen about what she heard. Toshiko says that it was none of her business. Owen storms off. Gwen admits that her affair with Owen is wrong, but that she can't stop. She says that Tosh seemed happier with Mary in her life, and that she should not let everything that has happened bring her down.
Jack and Toshiko sit by the fountain above the Hub and discuss the pendant. Toshiko believes that it may be the most powerful artefact ever found by Torchwood, and asks Jack for his advice. He says it is her choice. She crushes the device with her foot. She asks why she could not read Jack's mind. Jack denies knowing why but admits he could tell she was trying. She tells him that it felt like she was trying to read the mind of a dead man. He doesn't respond. He comforts her about her experiences, wipes away her tears, and silently walks away.
- Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Soldier - Tom Robertson
- Neil - Ravin J Ganatra
- Carol - Eiry Thomas
- Mary - Daniela Denby-Ashe
- Danny - Shaheen Jafargholi
- Weevil - Paul Kasey
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|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.|
Science and technology
- When Jack is studying the alien device, he finds traces of ilmenite, pyroxene and even dark matter.
- The x-ray of a Cybus Cyberman is seen behind Owen in the autopsy room.
- Detective Inspector Henderson handles Neil's case, and passes the info on to Jack.
- Gwen recalls a boy named Trevor Kendall.
- Owen reads about Iffy Okoli's case.
- Michael Hamilton's case was recorded by Torchwood Three.
- Arcateenians communicate telepathically.
Organisations and companies
Cultural references to the real world
- Tosh compared the hole in the skeleton's chest to "that bit in Alien where that thing bursts out of John Hurt."
- As a cover-up to discover about Philoctetes, Tosh pretends that she participated in a pub quiz. When naming the pub, The Prince of Tides is all that can come to her.
- Gwen called Owen "Amanda Burton".
- At this point in the series, all the current members of Torchwood Three have had a same-sex kiss: Owen and Colin in Everything Changes, Gwen and Carys in Day One, Jack and Ianto in Cyberwoman (although Ianto was apparently dead on that occasion), and Tosh and Mary in this episode.
- 1.3 million viewers
to be added
to be added
- Sarah Jane Smith encountered an Arcateenian. (TV: Invasion of the Bane)
- Owen mentions someone named Michael Hamilton is still recovering from what occurred during the ghost incident, saying that he's still seeing Cybermen outside his mother's house. (TV: Doomsday)
- Toshiko's observations of Ianto's thoughts reveal he is still in turmoil after the death of Lisa Hallett. (TV: Cyberwoman)
- When Jack and Toshiko discuss her saving the woman and her son, anti-Cyberman guns can be seen in the background. (TV: Doomsday)
Home video releases
- This episode was first released on DVD, with three other episodes entitled Torchwood: Series 1, part 2 on 26 February 2007. It was later released in Torchwood: The Complete First Series on 19 November 2007.
- Greeks Bearing Gifts at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Greeks Bearing Gifts at The Locations Guide
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Greeks Bearing Gifts at The Whoniverse