End of Days (Torchwood)

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13 – "End of Days"
Torchwood episode
End of Days.jpg
Abaddon runs amok over Cardiff.
Cast
Starring
Others
Production
Writer Chris Chibnall
Director Ashley Way
Script editor Brian Minchin
Producer Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Production code 1.13
Series Series 1
Length 50 mins
Originally broadcast 1 January 2007
Chronology
← Preceded by Followed by →
"Captain Jack Harkness" "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"

"End of Days" is the thirteenth episode and the first series finale of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It originally aired on BBC Three on 1 January 2007, alongside the previous episode, "Captain Jack Harkness". The episode was written by Chris Chibnall and directed by Ashley Way. The episode follows "Captain Jack Harkness", where the team open the rift to rescue Jack (John Barrowman) and Tosh (Naoko Mori) from 1941, only to find the rift has opened, causing the past and future of time to bleed through. The episode received three 2008 BAFTA Cymru award nominations, though none of them was won.

Plot[edit]

Synopsis[edit]

During Gwen's (Eve Myles) morning off with her boyfriend Rhys (Kai Owen), they both see news reports of UFO sightings over the Taj Mahal, and an armed clash between CO19 officers and English civil war era soldiers. When she returns to the Hub, the team learns that they are caused by unstable rift activity after it was opened to rescue Tosh and Jack.[1] Torchwood has its hands full; Tosh and Owen (Burn Gorman) investigate cases of the Black Death in a local hospital, where Tosh sees a glimpse of her mother, while Jack and Gwen are alerted by PC Andy to a Roman soldier in a police custody. In that time, Gwen sees a glimpse of Bilis Manger (Murray Melvin). Ianto (Gareth David-Lloyd) sees Lisa (Caroline Chikezie), who tries to convince him to open the rift. During a heated argument, Jack fires Owen. While at a bar, Owen sees Diane (Louise Delamere), who tries to convince him to open the rift.

Jack and Gwen go to Bilis' clock shop, "A Stitch In Time", where they learn that Bilis can step between eras in time. When Jack leaves, he shows Gwen a vision where Rhys dies. Gwen rushes to Rhys and has him imprisoned in Torchwood for protection. However, Bilis causes a power cut to raise a security breach in the Hub, releases Rhys, and kills him. Gwen and Jack find Rhys' body in a pool of blood, just like in the vision, and Gwen screams in horror. Jack tells her that they cannot bring him back, but she knows the only hope of restoring him is to open the rift. All but Jack agree to this, and attempts to stop them by holding the team at gunpoint. When he insults them, they attack and kill him, scan his and the team's retinas and open the rift. After Jack revives himself, they discover that Bilis has manipulated the team to open the rift, in order to release Abaddon, a creature similar to the Beast,[2] whose shadow kills anyone who touches it. This gives Jack an idea; he cannot die, so it can feed off his life. The shadow attacks Jack, but a blue light flows out of his chest and destroys Abaddon, killing Jack, seemingly for good.

The rift is now closed. Gwen is relieved to see Rhys alive. After several days, Jack is still dead, but is brought back to life after Gwen kisses him goodbye. The team welcome him back, (Tosh gives Jack a hug, Jack hugs and kisses Ianto, Jack forgives Owen and hugs him). Later Jack announces to Gwen that the rift is now more volatile than ever. Gwen questions him: what would tempt him to open the rift to which Jack replies "the right kind of doctor." As the rest of the team go for a coffee run, Jack sees the Doctor's severed hand glowing. He then hears a familiar whooshing noise coming from above the Hub, and runs towards it. The rest of the team are perplexed at Jack's sudden departure, believing something has taken him.

Continuity[edit]

In the episode, much of the team see familiar faces from their pasts in order to convince them to open the Rift. Ianto sees a fully human Lisa from the episode "Cyberwoman",[3] and Owen sees Diane from the episode "Out of Time".[4] During the time where Jack insults the team before they kill him and open the Rift, he recites Gwen and Owen's sexual relationship,[5] Toshiko and Mary's,[6] Owen's fight with a Weevil,[7] and Ianto hiding Lisa.[3]

A monster was sealed beneath the Rift, Abaddon. The Torchwood website questions if there are more like him across the universe,[8] asking "Were there other beings like Abaddon? Are they also entombed underneath planets across the universe?" - referring to the Beast as seen in the Doctor Who episode "The Satan Pit". Like the Beast, Abaddon was described as having been sealed away "before time". Bilis Manger describes Abaddon as "son of the Beast", and the Beast also says that some cultures have used the name Abaddon to refer to him.

The episode's end dovetails directly into the cold open of the Doctor Who episode, "Utopia". Jack sees the Doctor's hand's jar bubbling and hears the TARDIS' arrival on the surface and dashes upstairs; the TARDIS' materialisation and Jack reaching it are seen at the start of "Utopia." The hand jar is missing (while the similar other jar remains) an instant later when Gwen tells the others that Jack is gone. The closing aerial shot of Roald Dahl Plass is set after "Utopia"'s cold open, as the TARDIS has left the water tower. Jack returns the hand jar to the Doctor in "Utopia".

Production[edit]

When the first episode list was released, this episode was listed as "End of Days". The episode was later renamed "Apocalypse", only to return to the name "End of Days". The song "Begging You" by The Stone Roses features in this episode (heard just before and after Owen sees Diane at the bar).[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

The episode aired on 1 January 2007, alongside "Captain Jack Harkness".[9] The episode received total viewing figures of 1.232 million, placing Torchwood number one on the top ten most viewed television series on multi-channel television the week it aired in the United Kingdom.[10] The episode represented Torchwood in three BAFTA Cymru awards, including "Best Drama Series," Ben Foster for "Best Original Music Soundtrack," and Eve Myles for "Best Actress."[11] It received mixed reviews from critics. Brigid Cherry of Total Sci Fi rated the episode 5 out of 10, describing the episode's gaps and dangling plot threads as "downright annoying," and felt preceding episode "Captain Jack Harkness" was more intriguing.[12] Iain Clarke of Strange Horizons thought the episode "showcased every one of the show's worst excesses and precious few of its redeeming features," and that the episode was "heir to the myriad unresolved tensions and neuroses which the characters have exhibited over the course of the season."[9] Paul Clarke of Outpost Gallifrey called the episode an "utter mess," thought Abaddon was less interesting than the Beast in Doctor Who's "The Satan Pit", but praised the episode for Murray Melvin's role as Bilis.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ashley Way (director), Catherine Tregenna (writer). "Captain Jack Harkness". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 12. BBC Three.
  2. ^ James Strong (director), Matt Jones (writer). "The Satan Pit". Doctor Who. Season 2. Episode 9. BBC One.
  3. ^ a b James Strong (director), Chris Chibnall (writer). "Cyberwoman". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 4. BBC Three.
  4. ^ Alice Troughton (director), Catherine Tregenna (writer). "Out of Time". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 10. BBC Three.
  5. ^ Andy Goddard (director), Chris Chibnall (writer). "Countrycide". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 6. BBC Three.
  6. ^ Colin Teague (director), Toby Whithouse (writer). "Greeks Bearing Gifts". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 7. BBC Three.
  7. ^ Andy Goddard (director), Noel Clarke (writer). "Combat". Torchwood. Season 1. Episode 11. BBC Three.
  8. ^ Torchwood External Hub Interface - Notes on Abaddon
  9. ^ a b Clarke, Iain (11 January 2007). "Torchwood: "Captain Jack Harkness" and "End of Days"". Strange Horizons. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  10. ^ "BARB's multichannel top 10 programmes (Go on w/e 07/01/07, and scroll down to BBC3)". barb.co.uk. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
  11. ^ "Nominations of the BAFTA Cymru Film, Television & New Media Awards, 2008". bafta-cymru.org.uk. 3 April 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2009. [dead link]
  12. ^ Cherry, Brigit (29 January 2007). "Torchwood (series 1, episodes 11-13)". Total Sci Fi. Retrieved 25 June 2009. 
  13. ^ Clarke, Paul. "End of Days; Torchwood Series One, Episode Thirteen". Outpost Gallifrey. Retrieved 25 June 2009. [dead link]

External links[edit]