From Out of the Rain
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|23 – "From Out of the Rain"|
One of the Night Travellers steps out of the film, into reality.
|Directed by||Jonathan Fox Bassett|
|Written by||Peter J. Hammond|
|Script editor||Brian Minchin|
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Russell T Davies|
|Originally broadcast||12 March 2008|
"From Out of the Rain" is the tenth episode of the second series of the British science fiction television series Torchwood. It was broadcast on BBC Three on 12 March 2008, and repeated on BBC Two one week later.
In the episode, the Ghostmaker (Julian Bleach), the leader of a travelling show, breaks out of the celluloid film he is trapped inside, and steals the last breaths of nearby residents in Cardiff to use as his audience.
Local Cardiff residents transform an old cinema, the "Electro", into a local history museum airing old celluloid movies as part of its exhibits. The volunteer management discovers that a black-and-white film of a travelling company seems to take a life of its own, restarting itself in the film projector and preventing the projector from being turned off for a period of time. Unbeknown to them two figures from the film, the troupe's leader and its "Mermaid Woman", step out of the projection screen and become real, disappearing into the streets of Cardiff. On the same night Ianto, who has convinced Gwen and Owen to join him for the evening at the museum, claims to see Jack in the footage. As the team review the film back at the Hub, Ianto notices the absence of the two characters, and the team recognises Jack. Jack admits that he was once part of such a show as the "man who could not die" and describes one troupe, known as the "Night Travellers", who would perform only at night, appearing "coming out of the rain" and disappearing as mysteriously but usually resulting in some of the local residents going missing.
Meanwhile, the troupe's leader, known as the Ghostmaker, and the Mermaid Woman prey on innocent victims, drawing their "last breath" into a silver flask and leaving them with no saliva or tears, and close to death in a near vegetative state. Torchwood investigate and discover multiple stories and old superstitions relating to the Night Travellers, but a chance mention to a hospital nurse leads them to a still living eyewitness - an old woman in a nursing home. She explains to the team how her family was taken from her by the Night Travellers, and relates an old nursery tale that children should hold their breath as the travelling show came into town to prevent themselves from being taken.
As the team investigates, the Ghostmaker decides to release more of his companions from the film to regain their audience and begin travelling again like the old days. Jack surmises that if they were released from the film, they could be captured by it as well using a home movie camera. The team rushes back to the theatre as the Ghostmaker is releasing the others from the film and is able to use a camera to confine all the Night Travellers save for the Ghostmaker; Jack then rips open the camera and exposes the film to sunlight, effectively exorcising the ghosts. They are able to capture the Ghostmaker, who in a last fit of revenge, opens the silver flask and throws it into the air. Ianto catches and closes it quickly, but too late to save all but one victim; the other victims, with the loss of their breath, quickly pass away. Torchwood restores the breath to the last victim, a young boy, and the silver flask is stowed away back at Torchwood. Though the rest of the team believe the threat is over, Jack surmises there may be more reels of the Night Travellers; the final scene is of a person buying such a reel at a car boot sale.
Cast and credits notes
- The episodic title credits were missing in the BBC HD broadcast of this episode.
- Julian Bleach, who plays the Ghostmaker, was later cast as Davros, the creator of the Daleks, in the 2008 Doctor Who episodes "The Stolen Earth" and "Journey's End".
- Gerard Carey received a closing credit as Greg, a character from the earlier episode, "Meat". Neither the actor nor his character appeared in this episode.
- Even though Gwen had married Rhys in the previous episode (and become Gwen Williams, as stated in therein) she is still credited as "Gwen Cooper" in the closing credits.
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