Rhys finally finds out there are aliens! Er, didn’t the rest of the world find that out during The Christmas Invasion and the like? Or was that only London? Well, I suppose in order to a) keep the Torchwood series at least nominally independent, and b) make it a dramatic moment (and the drama level was high), it was best to play it as something innovative. This is, after all, what the episode is all about. Yeah, it’s another character piece, as Rhys essentially makes his Series 2 debut. There was a dangerous moment at the end which nearly pushed the reset button (as episodes are so want to do), as the expected retcon drug makes it reappearance (they are nominally a “secret” organisation after all – ha!), but the writer/producers make a brave decision and leave that plot point open to screw things up down the line. (One wonders if Gwen and Rhys split up, would the retcon be retcon-sidered? (Boo!))
Ah, Gwen and Rhys… this episode does bring up the many love “relationships”. Gwen and Jack look set to get hot and heavy, and once again we are reminded that Tosh has a thing for Owen… which is really getting boring. Either move that relationship on, or give it up, people! As for Gwen and Owen… that seemed to disappear around the time of Out of Time, and we haven’t missed it since. At least there’s still Jack and Ianto, with Ianto slipping from comedy fumbler to action hero with merely a scene change… which really smacks of inconsistency. One or the other, people, and preferably not the slapstick version, as that’s really not working.
But what the episode is really about is Peter Davison. Or rather, the Space Whale episode that never happened, as we now know what Space Whales are just whopping huge hunks of meat! Which can be readily carved out, tossed in a wheelbarrow, carried and shoved with bare hands, without any need of refrigeration, and still be fit for human consumption. Ew. The lack of hygiene was one of the more disgusting aspects of the episode. Oh, and there was probably something about feeding off a living being, but the Declassified shows that the point really was the Space Whale, not what was done with it (and also highlighting a huge continuity blunder by showing Rhys throwing his hands out when getting shot then quickly shoving them behind his back where they are supposed to be tied, which they show again and again… and again). Eh, who needs morality lessons when you’ve got a huge CGI Space Whale! (And what obvious CGI it was…)
A decent episode from the character point of view, a bit of a fizzler from the point of view of actual plot. I can’t entirely decide if this is a good episode yet or not, that will have to wait until we can see if there is impact from the Rhys decision.