Season 1 Episode 2

Day One

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Oct 22, 2006 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
472 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

It is Gwen's first day on the job, and it's not going very well. After accidentally releasing a mysterious gas from a comet that landed, a new type of alien is let loose on the streets - an alien that's addicted to sex. Torchwood must find the inhabited body, and prevent any more deaths from the violent form of sex.moreless

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  • Very strong Gwen episode.

    Gwen's first day is certainly memorable – a screw-up that big doesn't make a good impression. They ended up taking a sample of the meteor but what were they going to do with the rest? As it was, turned out there was an alien inside it.

    Gwen's joining the team could be very good for them – she's right, they're too isolated from 'normal' people and have become more clinical with less compassion. She could be the reminder of why they do what they do – to save people from the alien threat – not become obsessed with the alien tech.

    Excellent Gwen episode.moreless
  • Killer Sex Gas?!??!! Ah, yup!

    After the darkness of the first episode, this one gives us Gwen's biggest mandate to the team, at least at first- new eyes and hope. Gwen isn't a genius scientist or a time-traveller, but she's a smart detective with a groundedness the others lack at this point. We see Gwen's bringing hope to the team and to Carys by her decision to make good on her foul-up, but to also protect, as best she can, Carys from Gwen's mistake. Gwen seems a little lost a points, but never far from a potential solution. She also treats it as a hostage crisis and does, what I think, she thinks any copper worth their salt would do- change places with the innocent.

    The Torchwood group is as great as it always is, though not enough Ianto for my taste. *sigh*

    Still, I was unready for the bathroom scene and should caution parents to watch the episode first. It's the only explicit scene, and nearish the beginning, but the episode is so well-handled that you almost forget it in the heat of the chase. Of the aforementioned Killer sex gas. Yes, now stop giggling, it's true. It's also a great episode!moreless
  • Ya never know...

    Well in this episode we get to see Gwen on her first day of the job. Until I saw this episode I didn't think it was possible to die like that- you know turning into dust after having sex with an alien but in the world of science fiction, anything can happen. I will say this, the first episode was a little better than this one. I like the constant bickering between Gwen and Owen. I loved Jack line "Put your trousers on and get out. It alomost breaks my heart to say those words. That had me laughing. The episode had a good ending and it had lots of humor which I think is important in a tv show.moreless
  • After the dark, rain drenched start of episode one, Torchwood's second episode seems a strong contrast.

    There's an atmosphere of happiness as Gwen and her boyfriend are out bowling and having a good time. Presumably, they're celebrating Gwen's transfer to "Special Ops". Things are cut short when a meteor of some description strikes Cardiff, and Gwen receives a single word text message: Torchwood. Time to go to work.

    "Day One" is even more a statement of intent that Torchwood's first episode, concerning itself with a gaseous alien life form that has traveled to Earth to feed on the orgasmic energy of sexual climax; the Timelords never encountered anything like this on tea time telly! Within ten minutes of the start of the episode, a man has been reduced to a pile of ash during a quick bonk in a night club, and later Gwen gets involved in a little girl on alien-possessed-girl snogging action.

    I was surprised by the reaction to the first episode of Torchwood. I expected nothing more than a continuation of the idea that began in Doctor Who; I expected the tone to be the same - I thought this would be Doctor Who with some late night themes. As a result, I've enjoyed what I've seen so far. However, a lot of people seem to have been put off; they can forgive the unmistakable whiff of Sci-Fi cheese when they're dealing with wholesome, family-focused Saturday evening TV, but when it comes to grown up shows they want something a bit more serious and substantial.

    Episode two is unlikely to convince the doubters, and it might just go so far as to alienate - if you'll pardon the pun - a few more viewers. There's no escaping the fact that this has all been done before. It's not given any real new twist here - the show returns to the tried and tested "save the innocent" formula for its finale, rather than exploring the alien sex tourist angle - and while it's moderately entertaining there's no escaping the fact that "Day One" is weak, filler material. Which isn't what a series at this stage needs.

    Gwen spends most of the episode being irritatingly apologetic, and is portrayed at times as being fairly useless. Why Jack would want to recruit her onto his team is something of a puzzle, based on her performance here. Still, at least she's not a serial killer. I had hoped she'd be a stronger female lead, rather than spending the series looking confused. Time will tell.

    Episode two shows us some more of Torchwood's technology, including some neat vehicles with modern looking blue strobes on the front window, and lots of IT equipment on-board. There's also a neat, force-field generating alien pebble device. It all looks very Doctor Who and once again enforces the link between the two shows, when perhaps it would be best to start putting some distance there.

    And we get more mysterious glances at Jack. While the audience know slightly more than his team, nobody is really certain where he came from and, more interestingly, how he got to be where he is. I seem to recall series creator Russel Davies stating that he wouldn't explain how Jack came to be in modern day Cardiff this series, so anyone hoping for an answer to that one might be let down. I suspect anyone looking for a reason as to why Jack likes standing on the edge of tall buildings will be similarly disappointed.

    Jack is also responsible for one of the most inadequate and laughable fight scenes in recent TV memory. Whilst trying to detain an escaping alien, Jack arms himself with a wooden sword and attempts to look manly. It doesn't work - Barrowman is very capable of acting camply smug - or is that smugly camp? - but there's some doubt over what other emotions he can actually pull off. Based on the comments I've heard from viewers so far, it seems that Jack's attitude isn't terribly endearing either. Personally, it makes me chuckle.

    Doctor Who fans might have noticed the good Doctor's hand in the jar - at least, he's the only person I know who's lost a hand in recent months, so it surely must be his - and again, Torchwood uses this to cling to its origin. Admittedly it doesn't wave the hand in your face, and it never mentions the Doctor, but it's a link that perhaps the show could do without. If Torchwood isn't going to include Daleks, Cybermen, and any other Doctor Who staples, then there seems little reason for it to continue to keep the connection alive, especially this early.

    All of the above sounds quite negative, but I enjoyed this episode. There's some great humor, and I thought there were a couple of fantastic lines in the episode. Maybe it's just my juvenile sense of humour; who knows? Maybe it's the lack of any form of British Sci-Fi for so long affecting my judgement? Maybe I'm just a fanboy?

    "Day One" is an episode that seems to be attempting to make a comment on society's obsession with sexuality, but that fails to really make its mark in that sense. It does manage to achieve the dubious accolade of being a light-weight sci fi tale about an alien that reduces men to piles of ash after sex, that isn't ludicrous and hugely uninvolving.

    I'm very curious to see what other people thought of the second episode, and I'm even more curious to see how the series is received further into its run; are people likely to stick with it and see if it picks up, or will Torchwood be abandoned as a result of taking aim at a target audience that just doesn't exist? If I am just a Doctor Who fanboy, do enough people stand with me to make Torchwood a success?moreless
  • Okay, cheap and cheesy time... Sex is king, but let's move on.

    A little bit of character development... We see the rest of the team in action, and Gwen learns that the stakes are much higher in this particular game, than the one she's used to.

    We also have a nice bit of 'alien technology' use, to trap the overly horny quarry of this episode, and Jack encourages Gwen to keep her personal life active, which will likely make her a more rounded character in future episodes.

    But the point of this whole thing? There's an alien life-form on the loose that possesses a fairly attractive young woman and makes her incredibly horny!

    Overall, not badly acted, but let's face it, this episode is really only here to attract attention, and to convince the viewing public that the show will have a sexy side to it, so it's mostly just some sexy filler.moreless
Paul Kasey

Paul Kasey


Guest Star

Mark Heal

Mark Heal

Security Guard

Guest Star

Tom Price

Tom Price

PC Andy

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (11)

    • After leaving the bar where the alien "consumed" it's first victim, when Gwen and Jack are talking in the alley, a pair of human feet can be seen sticking out of the dumpster. Gwen and Jack both pay no attention to said feet.

    • Carys punches the receptionist at the fertility clinic, knocking her out cold. However when the Torchwood team arrives only a few minutes later, the receptionist is no longer on the floor, nor does she show up when they're searching the facility for Carys.

    • When Toshiko is running Carys' face through the UK population database, both male and female faces show on the screen, however even the simplest Facial Recognition Software available immediately discounts possible matches due to gender.

    • Jack: Work your way through my back catalogue and we'll be here 'til the sun explodes.

      This could be an unintentional and somewhat prophetic reference to the Doctor Who episode, The End of the World, which features both the explosion of the Sun and the first appearance of The Face of Boe.

    • After the meteorite ship crashes Gwen's phone receives a message using a Nokia message alert, however her mobile phone is a Motorola.

    • A picture of Torchwood House as featured in the Doctor Who episode "Tooth and Claw" can be seen in the background in the Hub.

    • It is revealed that none of the group know much about Jack as they know nothing about his past or his lifestyle. For example, nobody is sure of his sexuality. Owen thinks he's gay, Sato thinks he straight and Ianto, frankly, doesn't care less.

    • The severed hand that Carys threatens to destroy is the one The Doctor lost while fighting the Sycorax Leader in the Doctor Who episode "The Christmas Invasion".

    • The song used when Carys is wandering around the streets is "Ooh La La" by Goldfrapp.

    • Again, several locations in Cardiff city centre and Cardiff Bay were used in this episode:
      1. The Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay is used for the scenes where Rhys and Gwen are bowling and at the cinema.
      2. Charles Street in the city centre is used for the night-time scenes, where Carys is possessed by the alien; the entrance to the Night Spot is actually the back entrance to Minsky's Show Bar.
      3. Caroline Street and the Hayes in the city centre are used when Carys has escaped Torchwood and is walking round the city looking for sex.
      4. The street where the Conway Clinic is situated is Windsor Place in the city centre.

    • The Weevil, captured by the Torchwood team in "Everything Changes", is still being held in Torchwood HQ - it can be seen after Gwen is interviewing Carys.

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Jack: Put your trousers on and get out. Now! It almost breaks my heart to say those words.

    • Owen: Once the gasses start to flow around the body, the party really starts. The heartrate triples; the brain swells, pressing against the skull; as that keeps going, the lungs begin to shink making it impossible to breathe; pressure increases on all the internal organs until (rat explodes in cage) rat jam!

    • Gwen: So what's this supposed to do?
      Jack: I'm using satellite tracking data to determine the inward trajectory of the meteorite.
      Tosh: He means he's trying to find out where it's come from.
      Jack: Hey! Sometimes a little technobabble is good for the soul!

    • Gwen: He just...
      Jack: Came and went.
      Owen: Now that's how I'd like to go.
      Tosh: I'm sure we could arrange it.

    • Carys: I wish I was dead. (pauses) No... I wish you were dead. Call me back.

    • (A large meteor flames over Cardiff City Centre)
      Rhys: Bloody hell! Is that plane on fire?
      Gwen: It's not a plane. (She runs out of the restaurant)
      Rhys: We haven't paid!

    • Rhys: What does it mean, "special ops"?
      Gwen: It's no big deal. Mostly filing. Special admin, really.

    • (A computer folds out from the inside of the SUV, and Tosh begins to click away)
      Gwen: (Wide eyed) You got enough kit?
      Tosh: Basic tracking and surveillance.

    • Gwen: Carys Fletcher, born 13th of November, 1987. School reports, personnel files from her temping agency, swimming badges from when she was six, reports of her mother's death in a car -crash when she was ten. And last year's emails discussing the relative merits of Orlando Bloom and Heath Ledger.
      Jack: Why have you done this?
      Gwen: This isn't about meteorites or gases. We have a trapped girl, and we have to save her. When I was with her in the cell, Carys told me she was losing. We have to find a way to keep her fighting, remind her to hold on to who she is.
      (Jack stares at Gwen)
      Gwen: Have I got something on my face?

    • Ianto: It (the computer) has narrowed the numbers down, I could check through the rest. You know, the old fashioned way. With my eyes.

    • Jack: She's a walking aphrodisiac.
      Gwen: I did wonder why I, actually, I've sort of, snogged her.
      Jack and Tosh: We know.

    • Gwen: So this is like a route plan.
      Tosh: Not far off.
      Gwen: Rhys, my boyfriend, he's a transport manager, he does this sort of stuff, on a slightly smaller scale.
      Tosh: You have a boyfriend?
      Gwen: Yeah. Have you?
      Tosh: Don't have time with this job.
      Gwen: What about you, you seeing anyone?
      Owen: You've gotta be joking. I can get all the grief I need here.
      Gwen: None of you have partners?
      Owen: Just you, newbie.
      Gwen: I'm not being rude or anything, but, well, maybe I am, but, how do you switch off from all this stuff? What do you do to relax?
      Owen: I torture people in happy relationships.

    • Jack: Do one thing for me. Don't let the job consume you. You have a life. Perspective. We need that.
      Gwen: Who are you, Jack?
      Jack: I'm sorry?
      Gwen: You can't die. You tell me the twenty-first century's when it all changes and we have to be prepared.
      Jack: So you do.
      Gwen: But how can you know?
      Jack: You think knowing the answers would make you feel better?
      Gwen: Who are you? What are you doing here?
      Jack: Go home, Gwen Cooper. Eat lasagna. Kiss your boyfriend. Be normal. For me.

    • Captain Jack: Travel half way across the universe for the greatest sex, you still end up dying alone.

    • Carys: (Possessed by the alien) All this sex. All we see, all we think. So much beauty and so much fear. We want it but we're so afraid.

    • Captain Jack: So what's our next move?
      Owen: Stop the entire city of Cardiff from shagging?
      Gwen: (Jokingly) Put bromide in the water supply.
      Captain Jack: No. Too hit and miss.
      Owen: Yeah, and the water company got really pissed off the last time we did that.

    • Gwen: Alright, so you're Carys. You're desperate for sex, because that's what the thing inside you needs, but you know it will kill. Where would you go?
      Owen: I'd come round and shag you.

    • (Owen has been stripped naked by Carys for his swipe-card; he is covering his modesty with both hands)
      Gwen: (Talking to Owen) Are you alright now or are you still feeling a bit of a cock?

    • Gwen: What are we doing, having Chinese while a girl fights for her life? We should be helping her.
      Captain Jack: Actually, while we've been eating, the computers have been running a full bio-scan on Carys, profiling her blood, metabolism, organs, the works. So we can see what effect the alien is having on her. They've also been taking samples of the air in the cell, so we can analyse any change in the environment around her. Now, is that enough? Do you want more? 'Cause, it gets kind of boring.
      Gwen: You've been hidden down here too long, spending so much time with the alien stuff, you've lost what it means to be human.
      Captain Jack: So remind us. Tell me what it means to be human in the twenty-first century.

    • Owen: So what's he told you?
      Gwen: About what?
      Toshiko: Himself.
      Gwen: You've been here longer than I have.
      Toshiko: We were banking on you!
      Owen: You're a copper, you're trained to ask questions.
      Gwen: You don't know anything?
      Owen: Not who he is, not where he's from, nothing, except him being gay.
      Gwen: No, he's not. Really, do you think? No.
      Toshiko: Owen does. I don't.
      Ianto: And I don't care.
      Owen: Period military is not the dress code of a straight man.
      Gwen: I think it suits him. Sort of classic.
      Toshiko: Exactly. I've watched him in action. He'll shag anything if it's gorgeous enough.
      Gwen: We know he's from America, right?
      Owen: We don't even know that for sure.
      Toshiko: No US citizen by the name of Jack Harkness born in the last fifty years.
      Gwen: Maybe his identity's classified.
      Ianto: He used to be something big in the CIA. That's what I reckon.
      Gwen: He must have his reasons for wanting to keep things secret.
      Owen: Sure he has. Doesn't stop me wanting to know what they are.

    • Owen: (Watching Gwen and Carys kiss) I thought she said she had a boyfriend.
      Captain Jack: You people and your quaint little categories.

    • (After a passionate kiss from Carys who has been possessed by an alien)
      Gwen: Okay, first contact with an alien, not quite what I expected.

    • Cays: (Possessed by the alien) You broke my ship.
      Gwen: Come on then. Where are you from and why are you trying to invade Earth? Because you can forget about enslaving us.
      Carys: Who said anything about enslaving?
      Gwen: Well, that's what you lot do. Aliens. Isn't it?
      Carys: No. I just want the energy. The climax. I live off that energy.
      Gwen: Right. Sorry. Just to recap, you've traveled here to feed of orgasmic energy?
      Carys: There's nothing else out there like it. You taste so good. You're the best hit there is.

    • (Toshiko is scanning the girl's face against a database of the UK population)
      Gwen: You can't have every face in the UK on there. That would be against civil liberties, data protection, all that stuff.
      Captain Jack: Still doing that "you" instead of "we" thing?

    • Gwen: What about his family? You can't just fake his death!
      Captain Jack: You want to tell his family he died screwing an alien?

    • Gwen: What do you think has happened? I mean, it was just gas, wasn't it? Can't be too bad. Can it?
      Owen: Right, because gas never did anyone any harm.
      Captain Jack: On the plus side, we've got good evidence, relatively undamaged.
      Owen: On the downside, there's an alien on the loose. We don't know where it is, why it's here or what it's going to do.

    • Owen: Make yourself useful, sweetheart, pass us the big chisel from the tool-box.
      Gwen: Not "sweetheart". Gwen. One syllable, sure you can manage it.
      Owen: Not sweet-cheeks? Freckles? New girl?
      Gwen: It's a shame your tool's not big enough for the job, darling. Catch.
      (Gwen throws the chisel to Owen but it punctures the meteorite instead, releasing a cloud of purplish gas)

    • Captain Jack: What do we know?
      Owen: (Examining the meteorite) Bog standard space debris. That's the technical term.

    • (Gwen follows Jack, Toshiko and Owen through to the meteorite but is stopped by soldiers)
      Private Moriarty: Who the hell are you?
      Gwen: Hi. Sorry.
      Sergeant Johnson: This area's restricted.
      Gwen: No, it's alright. I'm with Special Ops. I'm Special Ops. Torchwood? I'm with Torchwood.
      Sergeant Johnson: Don't mess with me, little girl. You're not with Torchwood. And even if you were...
      Captain Jack (Coming from round the corner): You'd have put out the welcome banners. Now, first of all, she's no little girl. From where I'm standing, all the right curves in all the right places. But she is Torchwood, we both are, and we'd appreciate it if you'd leave us to do the real work.

    • Captain Jack: Alright, usual formation.
      Gwen: What's the usual formation?
      Owen: Varies.
      Gwen: How can the usual formation vary?

    • Gwen: (Seeing one of the computer system Toshiko has access to) Is this CRIMINT? This is the police computer system. You shouldn't have this.
      Captain Jack: Might want to stop saying "you" and start saying "we".

    • Jack: You want to prove yourself? Find her. Get your old pals in the police to do something useful for once.
      Gwen: Right I'll have them put an APB out. Girl possessed by gas, knobbin' fellas to death.

    • (Jack walks in on Gwen pinning Owen to the wall by his throat)
      Captain Jack: You know, strictly speaking, throttling the staff is my job.

    • Jack: See what you can find out from her.
      Gwen: But aren't you going to help me? I don't know what I'm doing.
      Jack: It's usually better if you don't say that in front of the prisoner.

  • NOTES (8)


    • Gwen: Got enough KITT in here?
      Gwen's makes a reference of the computers in the vehicle being reminiscent of the computer supercar KITT, the Knight Industries 2000, from the TV show Knight Rider.

    • The morning after Carys makes her first kill, her Father is talking to her at breakfast about replacing workers with cheap Polish labour.

      This scene reflects concern that many of the UK Press and Media had about low paid jobs going to Polish workers, after their inclusion in the European Union from 2004.

      Ironically this may prove a slightly anachronistic allusion. Other references in the series suggest action in Torchwood is set a year or so in the future. Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union at the beginning of 2007 and those countries are already being referred to as the "threat to low paid jobs" more often instead of Poland.

    • When the jar with the severed hand is thrown over the desk and breaks, the music playing in the background is what Russell T. Davies referred to as "Flavia's Theme" on the Doctor Who "Christmas Invasion" episode commentary. This allusion is to help the viewer make the connection with "The Christmas Invasion" when the Doctor lost his hand.