Season 2 Episode 12


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Mar 21, 2008 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
307 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

As the team are knocked unconscious we find out how Jack, Toshiko, Ianto and Owen were initiated into Torchwood.

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  • My Fave

    This is my favourite episode of the series, as we get to see what each member of TW did to be recruited ( apart from Gwen of course, we saw her recruitment in the episode 'Everything Changes' ). Each flashback was cleverly plotted, and for me Toshiko's past stood out the most. It was beautifully acted; and showed a side of Toshiko that we've never seen before. What I also like is seeing Owen, in love, rather than in the erratic state he normally is, it makes a nice change. I hope that in the future that there will more episodes like this!moreless
  • *Spoilers* Brilliant episode, some very good character devlopment here! one of the best episodes in the series in my opinion!

    Very good episode! definatly come a long way from "From out of the rain"

    The episode starts with the team investigating some rift activity in an abandoned building, when they arrive, they do not find the aliens they are looking for, but bombs which blow up the building, and the episode shows how the Torchwood members end up in Torchwood, including Jack! I thought this episode was awesome! it was nice to see an entire episode based around the development of the Torchwood team!

    Toshiko steals some Minestry of defence plans to build a Sonic modulator, only the plans were wrong, but she still managed to make it work, so Jack hires her for her skills.

    lanto previously worked for Torchwood London, and after he stalks Jack at the Torchwood institute in Cardiff looking for a job, Jack helps lanto catch a Pterodactyl! He joins the team after this.

    Owen, is a Doctor who is getting married to a girl called Katie who has a amnesia, he tries to help and save her, only to find out that she has a brain tumor, she goes in for an operation, but kills everyone as it is not a brain tumor but an alien growing on her brain. Jack offers Owen a job as a medic.

    Jack is unable to die and i looking for the location of The Doctor, he gets captured by Torchwood, because he has died 14 times in the past few weeks, so they run tests on him, instead of thinking he is a threat they offer hiim jobs for cash, a bit like a bounty hunter, he gets his cards read by a girl and she says the one you are looking for is coming, but not for 100 years, so he takes on Torchwods offer of joining them to pass the time, and ends up being the only Torchwood member left at new year 1999, as one of his team members kills all the other member and then himself as he believes they were mercy kills because the 21st century is upon them and he thinks they will not survive!

    An interesting episode with great character bak stories! looking forward to "Exit wounds" at the end of April, we see the return of Captain John who is going to tear Jacks life apart, he also has Jacks long thought dead brother Grey!

    Should be interesting! :Dmoreless
  • Wasted Opportunity

    I have had a very love/hate relationship with Torchwood this year, parts have made me jump out my seat in excitement some have bored me to tears luckily Fragments is on the better side of the quality scale. The episode was very interesting in theory, I could not wait to find out how our loveable anti heroes had come to join Torchwood. Unfortunately I didn't find any of them bar Itano's particularly interesting. Toshiko's story line seems very out of character and was executed in a tad over the top manner. Owen's was kind of moving but they seem to be hitting us over the head with the Owen is a nice guy message. Fragments is a decent installment of torchwood but nothing spectacular.moreless
  • For everything there's a season; a time to be born, a time to die, a time to weep, a time to heal and for the next few minutes everyone on Torchwood experiences what is like to be caught up in between.moreless

    Caught up in the middle of a blast each member's life flashes before their eyes in such a way the audience can't tell which discovery is more amazing: If the fact that once upon a time Owen Harper was a regular Gwen Cooper ready to get married with the most wonderful person, his whole life ahead of him until an alien creature that used his fiancé's brain to nest ends up killing her or the way Toshiko basically gave up her freedom to save her mother's life only to give up a life with her the minute her mother was saved, perhaps the slaughter of 1999's torchwood by their own boss (the only way a field operative named Jack Harkness became the leader of this unit) or how the desperate boyfriend of a cyberwoman gets more than he bargain for during his quest to find a cure for her.

    Each memory explains everything from the underlying loneliness Toshiko has experienced since she gave up her family to the fear that prevents Owen from getting emotionally involved again, the connection they've always shared forever severed by their respective experiences. The tragedy of Jack's immortality that kept him from study subject for 1896 torchwood, to field operative until 1999 to boss once there was no one else for the job and the tragedy that couldn't prevent Ianto from falling - both literally and figuratively – for someone that was not Lisa; their first moments together the last thing he did for her, the first thing they captured the last thing she fought and the unexpected connection that conflicted him what gave him meaning after she died. The irony being that weddings were indeed Owen's thing, that Toshiko would love enough to be alone, that Ianto could trick everyone but himself and Jack waited for him a lot longer than we could've ever imagined.moreless
  • Could have been much better....

    Why cram the backstories of how each member of the team (xcept Gwen) came to join Torchwood into one episode? If your wondering about the same question then you wont find this episode a 10!

    The fact that the whole episode contains snippets of the backstory just isnt good enough for me. They could easily have spread this out over the last two seasons and focused on one character at a time. That would have been much better. As it was I got a brief glimpse into each character - though each ones story was quite exciting.

    I did get the feeling that it was a setup epsiode for what is to come - confirmed by the sneek peek at the next episode contents. That looks far more interesting.

    So if it was the writers goal to get us ready for the season finale - job done.

    As it was at times I felt cheated of any real storyline for 50mins.

    Could do a whole lot better, but definitely much better the the seasons start. Its climax is getting far stronger!moreless
Amy Manson

Amy Manson

Alice Guppy

Guest Star

Heather Craney

Heather Craney

Emily Holroyd

Guest Star

Skye Bennett

Skye Bennett

Little Girl

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Paul Kasey

Paul Kasey


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (7)

    • When the surgeon is talking with Owen before going in to, presumably, operate on Owen's fiancee, he is holding up gloved hands, touching them together. It is common practice to do something like this in order to keep from touching something accidentally and breaking sterility. However, he then touches his mask as he walks into the OR, which is not sterile. Cap and mask are put on before scrubbing and, if need be, adjusted by a non-sterile assistant as nobody scrubs his head before going into surgery.

    • Watch Jack's braces during the interrogation scene. They keep slipping off his shoulders and going back up where they belong, even though he has no way to put them there as his wrists are chained to the seat of the chair.

    • Ianto's birthday is listed as being August 19th 1983.

    • Claire Clifford has previously appeared in the classic series of Doctor Who - she played Professor Kyle in the 1982 serial "Earthshock" (with Peter Davison as the Doctor).

    • This is the first time the Doctor has been explicitly named in the series.

    • Toshiko's "sonic modulator" device based on stolen design plans bears stark similarities to the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.

    • Goof: During Ianto's sequence, we are shown how Torchwood came to acquire the prehistoric creature that they refer to as a "pterodactyl". The name is wrong in a number of ways. The correct name of a creature of this type is "pterosaur". "Pterodactyl" could be used as a popular name for a pterosaur species known as "pterodactylus", but it still could not refer to the creature seen onscreen. "Pterodactylus" has no crest on its head. The creature shown is "pteranodon". Additionally, Jack and Ianto continually refer to the creature as a "dinosaur". This is incorrect, but a common mistake. Many prehistoric reptiles are popularly but incorrectly referred to as dinosaurs.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Little Girl: He's coming, the one you're looking for. The century will turn twice before you find each other again.
      Jack: Ooh. Are you for real? You mean I have to wait a hundred years to find him? What'll I do in the meantime?

    • Emily: The Torchwood Institute was created to combat the threat posed by the Doctor and other phantasmagoria.
      Jack: (laughs) He's not a threat. The Doctor's the one who will save you from your phantasma-hoogits.

    • Jack: Silent types? That's okay. I used to date a guy with no mouth. Surprisingly creative.

    • Jack: Time was electrodes to the nipples meant the start of a good night.

    • Ianto: What exactly is your plan?
      Jack: I'm gonna be the decoy.
      Ianto: And it won't rip you to shreds?
      Jack: Dinosaurs? Had them for breakfast. Had to. Only source of food protein after the asteroid crashed. Long story.

    • Owen: You're not a figment of my imagination and I don't know what's happening any more. Maybe this is what a mental breakdown feels like.
      Jack: You're fine. It's the rest of the world that's delusional.

    • Ianto: (Offering the pterodactyl some chocolate) It's good for your serotonin levels, if you've got serotonin levels...

    • Katie: It's like being lost in a place you know really well, you can't get your bearings. Sometimes it comes back to you. and sometimes, I'm sorry, Owen.
      Owen: What've you got to be sorry for?
      Katie: I don't want to put you through this. Last night, I dreamt that you left me.
      Owen: Come on. Nobody's leaving anyone.

    • Toshiko: Who are you?
      Jack: Nobody. I don't exist. And for a man with my charisma, that is quite an achievement.

    • Jack: Hey, when you joked about the Millennium Bug, I didn't realise it was gonna have 18 legs stacked with poison. Anyone home? Hey! You know you're supposed to party like it's... (stops and sees his dead crew, then a man) Alex?
      Alex: Jack! Just in time.
      Jack: Alex? What happened? Who did this?
      Alex: Me.
      Jack: What? Why?
      Alex: We got it wrong, Jack. We thought we could control the stuff we found. And what's it brought us? So much death.
      Jack: What happened to them?
      Alex: It's good you're here. Always did have great timing. This place, it's yours. Torchwood Three. Mmy gift to you, Jack, for a century of service as field operative. Fill this place with purpose. Before it's too late. Please.
      Jack: Alex, listen. It's going to be okay.
      Alex: No. It's not. It's really not. I looked inside. It showed me what's coming. They were mercy killings. It's the kindest thing I could do. So none of us see the storm. I'm sorry I can't do the same for you. 21st century, Jack. Everything's gonna change. And we're not ready. (gun to forehead)
      Jack: Alex!

    • (After nearly being attacked by the pterodactyl the first time)
      Captain Jack: Yeah, it's quite excitable.
      Ianto: Must be the aftershave.
      Captain Jack: Never wear any.
      Ianto: You smell like that naturally?
      Captain Jack: Fifty-first century pheromones. People have no idea.

    • (When confronted by two women after pulling a broken bottle from his abdomen)
      Captain Jack: Ladies, torso of steel, a shilling a feel. Any takers?

  • NOTES (2)

    • International air dates:
      United States: April 12, 2008
      Sweden: September 21, 2008 on TV4+
      Canada: October 17, 2008 on Space
      Germany: August 26, 2009 on RTL2

    • Although they appear at the end of the episode, James Marsters and Lachlan Nieboer aren't credited as Captain John and Gray.