The Middle Men (TV story)
|The Middle Men|
|Main character(s):||Jack, Gwen, Rhys, Rex, Esther|
|Main enemy:||Colin Maloney|
|Main setting:||Los Angeles and Cowbridge and San Pedro Overflow Camps, 2011|
|Producer:||Kelly A Manners (US)|
Brian Minchin (UK)
|Premiere broadcast:||12 August 2011|
|The Categories of Life||Immortal Sins|
|Another memorable moment|
The Middle Men was the sixth episode of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Torchwood struck a blow against the Categories of Life system by blowing the whistle on its immoral activities. The stark reality of the incinerators within the overflow camps was exposed to the public eye, Gwen Cooper rescued her father Geraint from the camp in Wales, and Colin Maloney was punished for his choice to kill Vera Juarez. Captain Jack Harkness would also discover clues pointing back to the Miracle's origin. The most prominent of these clues were the words "the Blessing".
Stuart Owens (Chief Operating Officer of PhiCorp), working late with his secretary Janet in Phicorp Central, Los Angeles, reviews paperwork on Phicorp acquisitions. He calls Zheng Yibao in Shanghai, China to investigate a large land purchase near Shanghai center. Zheng warns Stuart he might not like what he finds, then enters the guarded building on that site. Seven hours later, Stuart calls Zheng for a status report. Zheng reports he found nothing, then jumps from a tall building with no apparent signs of distress.
There are news reports on the existence of a 45 Club, people who believe that jumping forty-five floors is now the only way to lose consciousness forever.
Rex Matheson is still speaking into his video camera in San Pedro, reporting what he's seen (burning of Dr Vera Juarez in "the modules"). He reports that Category 1 patients are burned and suggests that "they" will burn "anyone they just don't like".
Esther Drummond, from her desk at the camp, attempts to call Dr Vera Juarez on her cell phone, but the call fails to connect. She then investigates Colin Maloney, who is acting suspiciously while intimidating Ralph Coltrane. Colin claims that he has just finished playing badminton. Colin plans to "drop" Dr Juarez's car at Constitution Mall to thwart investigation, then puts the camp on "lockdown". Colin tells Esther that Dr Juarez had left while saying that his camp was "very good indeed", which sounds suspicious to Esther.
At Cowbridge, Gwen Cooper (disguised as a nurse) confronts Dr Alicia Patel about Gwen's father Geraint Cooper, who has been labelled "Category 1". Dr Patel says, "There's a fine line between categories 1 and 2" and that she was following governmental guidelines and she is too busy to revisit patients. Gwen points out that those patients are being burned, and Dr Patel replies, "It's the law." Gwen accuses Dr Patel of running a "concentration camp" and of being a coward, and tells her, "Don't call yourself a doctor," and, "Shame on you."
Gwen finds Rhys Williams working as a driver for the camp, and makes plans with him to help her father escape.
Jack finds Stuart and his wife Elizabeth at a restaurant, and sends Elizabeth away while he talks with Stuart. Stuart suggests that he is just a middle man in "all this", and that even Phicorp is just a pawn. Stuart suggests that "this pattern" started "maybe five years ago" based on "Market Share Projections". Stuart also says that he found an Italian document which said, "They have found the Blessing" but he doesn't know what it means. Jack then leaves Stuart before security arrives.
Back in San Pedro, Rex attempts to leave the camp by knocking out a guard and putting on the guard's uniform. Rex is captured in disguise after wandering into a checkpoint. Colin interrogates a handcuffed Rex alone. Rex tells Colin his intention to go public with his videotape evidence in order to expose events at the camp, including Dr Juarez's incineration. Colin looks for a method of silencing Rex, and decides to slowly push his ballpoint pen into Rex's heart through his open wound. Rex screams in pain and points out that he can't die because of the Miracle, then faints.
Esther finds the interrogation area, but is confronted by Colin before finding Rex. Esther tells Colin that she had just spoken with Dr Juarez, which Colin knows is a lie, and Colin attempts to grab Esther. Colin initiates a fight. Esther chokes Colin into unconsciousness, then she leaves Colin on the floor to hurry to Rex's side. Esther returns to Colin to get the handcuff keys, but Colin grabs her and proceeds to choke her. Ralph Coltrane arrives and shoots Colin into unconsciousness.
Rhys steals a truck to get into Cowbridge, and meets Gwen with her father (on a gurney). Gwen overhears that sick people are arriving in Wales like "boat people". Gwen and Rhys load Geraint into the truck, then Rhys rams the truck through a gate to escape. Gwen uses the Torchwood contact lenses, then steals some explosives and blows up part of the Cowbridge Camp as a message, "This is the truth for the whole world to see, we let our governments build concentration camps. They built ovens for people in our names. Now I don't care if the whole of society bends over and takes this like a dog. I'm saying no." She sets the camp in flames. While watching in America, Jack laughs and says, "That's my girl."
At San Pedro, Rex says, "The regular army is coming in, they'll shut it down". Esther points out that the camp was sanctioned, and she'd used her real name to gain entry.
In Venice Beach, Jack congratulates the Torchwood team for getting the word out, as the White House refuses to apologise for the camp and compares the camp to a state of emergency in time of famine or pestilence. Jack says that they need to look at the bigger picture, while they search the internet for "the truth".
Gwen arrives at Los Angeles International Airport and is paged to pick up a phone-call for her that says "lenses". Gwen puts in her Torchwood contact lenses again, and receives the text, "We have your mother. We have your husband. We have your child. Bring us Jack."
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Rex Matheson - Mekhi Phifer
- Esther Drummond - Alexa Havins
- Rhys Williams - Kai Owen
- Geraint Cooper - William Thomas
- Stuart Owens - Ernie Hudson
- Ralph Coltrane - Fred Koehler
- Secretary - Jason Brooks
- Janet Tanner - Ciera Payton
- Tony - Jonathan Spencer
- Zheng - Eric Steinberg
- Colin Maloney - Marc Vann
- Alicia Patel - Lena Kaur
- Young Guard - Alexis Delarosa
- Worker - Brittnee Garza
- Pidgeon - Brendan Hughes
- Rachel - Liz Jenkins
- Psychiatrist - Janice Kent
- Stern Soldier - Isaac Stephen Montgomery
- Hat Check Boy - William Patrick Riley
- Older Guard - Marty Ryan
- Mrs Owens - Inger Tudor
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter|
|Co-executive producer(s) John Shiban and Vlad Wolynetz|
|General production staff||Art department||Make-up and prosthetics
Special and visual effects
|General production staff||Camera, lighting and sound departments|
|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.|
The Starz broadcast carried a final credit of "Originally Developed and Produced by BBC Cymru Wales". The BBC One broadcast says, instead, "BBC Worldwide Productions for BBC Cymru Wales and STARZ Originals".
- Colin Maloney mentions playing badminton several times as a cover story for sweating when he carried out the murder of Vera Juarez.
- Rex Matheson was prescribed painkillers by Vera that are labelled with instructions to take 3 pills a day.
- Various war and refugee terms are used, including "boat people" and "concentration camp".
- Stuart Owens believes Jack Harkness thinks of him like he's "the Devil in a three-piece suit".
- Rhys Williams did not know his work at Harwood's Haulage was being used to move Category One patients to the ovens. He makes implications that he has stopped working for either his firm, the overflow camp in Wales, or both when he says, "I quit the bastard thing."
Story notes edit
- This episode continues directly on from TV: The Categories of Life, with Rex filming Vera in the modules.
- Bill Pullman does not appear as Oswald Danes for the first time since his introduction nor does his name appear in the opening credits.
- Neither Lauren Ambrose as Jilly Kitzinger nor Arlene Tur as Vera Juarez appear. The episode is the first in the series not to credit any "special guest stars."
- UK: 4.6 million
Filming locations edit
to be added
Production errors edit
- When Gwen uses the I-5s to hopefully contact a Torchwood member, Jack types a message in the lenses. She responds back, "Jack, is that you?" His reply, "In the flesh. You OK?" is prompted to appear onscreen too early, with a few letters typed in before actually Gwen speaks the dialogue.
- The Torchwood contact lenses are again used. They first appeared in TV: Reset.
- Gwen chastises Dr Alicia Patel for turning her back on the injustice being waged in the overflow camps, telling her, "Don't call yourself a Doctor. Shame on you." The Eleventh Doctor had a similar reaction to the abuse of the star whale housing Starship UK on its back, when he almost euthanised the innocent creature, bitterly stating that once the act was carried out he would find a new name, because he wouldn't be the Doctor anymore. (TV: The Beast Below)
- Zheng Yibao's apparent senseless suicide would be explained with the events of TV: The Gathering. As a result of looking into the Blessing, it showed him his true self and he lost the will to live.
Home video releases edit
This episode was released worldwide in a box set containing all ten episodes of Torchwood: Miracle Day. In the United Kingdom, it was released on Region 2 DVD and Region Free Blu-ray on 14 November 2011. In Australia, it was released in Region 4 DVD and Region B Blu-Ray on 1 December 2011. In New Zealand, the same sets were released on 7 December 2011. In North America, it was released on Region 1 DVD and Region Free Blu-Ray on 3 April 2012.