Torchwood

Season 1 Episode 7

Greeks Bearing Gifts

2
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 26, 2006 on BBC Two
8.5
out of 10
User Rating
373 votes
21

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
A Toshiko-themed episode
Tosh meets an unusual woman, Mary, at a bar, who gives her a strange pendant. She is upset, yet amazed by what she now has - the ability to read people's minds. However, Tosh finds this terrible curse, that contains her friends' darkest secrets, must be broken. So she asks for help from Mary, the only person who knows, but first, Tosh has to get her into Torchwood.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • I think my desk is on fire...

    9.5
    poor Tosh being in the middle of Gwen and Owen! They're so awkward! It was sweet to see Tosh in love and it is really eye opening that Jack just kills Mary no questions asked. This is definitely NOT Doctor Who! But I love it just the same.
  • Greeks Bearing Gifts Written by Toby White House Directed by Colin Teague Toshiko is given a pendent - through this Tosh finds out about Owen and Gwens afair plus she saves a mother and child from a murderous ex-husband plus mmoreless

    8.5
    In cardiff a couple of hundred years ago a woman called Mary is running through a forest, sexually teasing a young soldia. He slaps her she scratches him and she runs. But a bright light appears in the sky and a curious Mary investigates. We next see her sucking in the light. The soldia catches up with her tries to shoot her but she moves with impossible speed and pulls his heart out! This is the last we see of Mary for a very long time!



    You know I said we dont see her for a very long time? Well in the episodes time line we see her in morden day Earth but meterphorically we see her 60 seconds later. As the Torchwood SUV turns up to a building site a curious morden day Mary looks on. Jack, Owen, Tosh and Gwen enter a tent, in which is a skeleton. After Jack states one day he would like to 'walk into one of theese tents and finds its a party with people and music and a girl crying in the corner' he asks Owen (who is studying the body) what his post morterm is. Owen says its a girl who died of a GSW to the heart. Jack then asks Tosh how long the body has been hear. She answers him. Gwen then helps Owen up with a tiny referance to their afair (see Countrycide). Later at the Hub Owen finds out his post moterm was incorrect with Gwen teasing him. Its revealed that it was a very womanly man who dies of a trauma. Tosh then goes to a bar where she meets Mary. Mary reveals she knows Toshiko through deep resurch. Tosh then gets drunk and Mary gives her the thought reading penndant. She puts it on to comical consequences including a man not interested in a convosatian and a woman who is constantally noticing her date keeps touching his crotch. Mary reveals that it isn't like reading some ones diarry though. Theese thoughts are really deep and some people really dont think they are thinking about their thoughts.



    Tosh goes back to work the next day and listens to her colleagues thoughts which lead to her finding out about Gwen and Owen's afair and Ianto's pain at losing Lisa (see Cyberwoman). She also finds out what her collegues really think about her - Gwen thinks Toshiko's dress sense isn't up to much and hears Owens rudness about her.



    She goes home to find Mary at her door. Toshiko then gets angry at Mary for giving her the pendant because of the upset it has caused. Mary tells her to go somewhere crowded to see the benefits. She does and manages to stop a husband murdering his ex-wife and child. Mary then reveals she is really called Philoctetes. They then have sex ans start a relationship. Back at work Jack is suspicious how Tosh knew the husband was going to kill his family. Tosh evacdes the question as much as she can and finally asks Jakc if he has heard of Philoctetes. Jack sas she was a god in ancient greek mythology. Tosh then confronts Mary who reveals her true allien form. She then tells Tosh to get her into Torchwood. Tosh takes her there but the team are ready to confront her. This leads to Tosh and Gwens life in danger but Jack manages to send her into the sun.



    Gwen a little while latter if she knows about herself and Owen. Tosh, in not so many words, says yes. Jack and Tosh then have a chat about Tosh's ordeal and he helps her to start to get over it.moreless
  • A very strong Tosh episode.

    9.5
    Tosh gave into temptation and listens to her team's thoughts, same rule as eavesdropping: to hear what people think about you and each other, to hear people's secrets. You can't judge people on a handful of random thoughts. The worst is hearing Owen's thoughts given that she's either crushing on Owen or in love with him. It's so suicidally depressing, if things hadn't come to a head when they did, Tosh might have killed herself.



    Another part of the Jack puzzle – Jack can block a telepath's thoughts. I believed Jack when he said he didn't know what he was, which only makes him more interesting.



    Little conservative Tosh – having sex with an alien, reading minds and keeping secrets.



    A very powerful episode – makes you think. It'll take time for Tosh to recover but she will.moreless
  • Be careful who you meet in bars...

    9.4
    Sure, lots of us hope to meet somebody friendly in a pub, but when you work for Torchwood you need to be careful who you talk to.



    But when Tosh has had a hard day, she needs somebody to confide in, and the woman she meets in this particular pub already knows about Torchwood. (In retrospect, maybe that wasn't a good sign...)



    This strangely attractive woman has a gift for Tosh. An alien artifact that allows her to hear the thoughts of others. (Again, in retrospect, probably not a good sign.)



    Tosh is fed up with playing it nice, and after hearing what her friends think about her, I guess a little girl-on-girl with somebody who knows more than they should is just the ticket... But what does this ticket give her access to?moreless
  • Torchwood twists and turns, developing the characters further and showing again how ruthless Jack can be.

    10
    I didn't watch this episode until after I'd seen all the others and I was so impressed. The relationship between Mary and Tosh was so believable - Tosh was vulnerable and needy and Mary, obviously, a predator with ulterior motives. But you did get the feeling that Mary WAS actually attracted to Tosh and the scenes between them were sexy! I was surprised that Jack allowed Tosh to destroy the pendant, however, as one of Torchwood's aims is to collect alien technology. All in all, though, a great story, terrific acting and very good character development. My favourite Torchwood quote was here: 'So I've shagged a woman AND an alien'...'Which is worst?'...'Well, I know what my parents would say'.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (14)

    • Medical and anthropological expert knows that the only two definitive ways to identify the sex of a skeleton are pelvis shape and femur angle.

    • The song that was playing when Tosh meets Mary in the bar was the same song that was playing when Owen was in the bar during "Everything Changes."

    • In the autopsy room when Owen and Toshiko are discussing the hole in the ribcage of the skeleton on the light board behind them, you can see the schematics of a Cyberman, given the recent events they are probably those of Lisa.

    • The building Jack was standing on when Owen calls him is Cardiff City Hall.

    • Owen links the murder victim found with the body found with Mary's alien transport with a police investigation called Operation Lowry, which has been set up to investigate a number of similar murders from 1970 up until 2001.

    • In the scene where Ianto asks Toshiko if she would like some of "Jack's industrial-strength coffee" she is studying a book of Greek Myths and the page is turned to the legend of Philoctetes. However this happens before either Mary mentions the name or Jack describes the myth so there is no reason for her to be researching it at that stage.

    • When Toshiko first meets Mary, the actress (Naoko Mori) misspeaks her line, saying "How many of there are you?" instead of "How many of you are there?"

    • When Toshiko uses the pendant in public after Mary tells her to go somewhere public, she is on Queen Street, one of the main shopping streets in Cardiff city centre.

    • Mary has an solid background on Tosh's history - both her parents were in the RAF and her grandfather worked at Bletchley Park. Also known as "Station X", Bletchley was famously used as an intelligence site during World War Two, where fiendish German "Enigma" codes were broken and deciphered using the code breaking machines designed by Alan Turing.

    • Music used in this episode:
      "Spitting Games" by Snow Patrol and "Sing" by Travis, in the bar where Mary and Tosh meet.
      "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall in their meet at the cafe.
      "Drag" by Placebo, in the pub when Tosh is speaking about Torchwood.

    • Due to events in this episode, it is thought that Tosh is bisexual.

    • The Weevil, captured in series opener "Everything Changes", is still in Torchwood - it can be seen when Toshiko is talking about the power of the pendant.

    • In this episode, Toshiko is apparently working on something for U.N.I.T., the organisation which appears in the original Doctor Who episodes. U.N.I.T. are an organisation supposedly working for the United Nations, scavanging alien technology. Their relationship with the Torchwood Institute is unknown.

    • In the episode Mary and Jack refer to Philoctetes, the finest archer in the Trojan war. He also aided in the death of Heracles I shortly before he went to war, where he recieved Heracles' bow. He was abandoned on the island of Lemnos as a sacrifice to Apollo after being bitten by a snake and was eventually picked up by Odysseus who was sent to recover Heracles' bow.

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Mary: You smell different than them.
      Captain Jack: That's nothing. It's when you compare teeth with a British guy. That's when it's really scary.
      Mary: What are you?
      Captain Jack: I don't know.

    • Gwen: (To Tosh) Love suited you.

    • Toshiko: Has she gone home?
      Captain Jack: I reset the coordinates.
      Toshiko: Where to?
      Captain Jack: To the centre of the Sun. It shouldn't be hot, I mean, we sent her there at night and everything.
      Toshiko: You killed her.
      Captain Jack: Yes!

    • (Hearing Owen and Gwens thoughts)
      Tosh: I think my desk is on fire.

    • Toshiko: You ever heard of Philoctetes? It came up in a pub quiz.
      Jack: You went to a pub quiz?
      Toshiko: Yeah. No, I love pub quizzes. Down at the Prince of, Tides.

    • Gwen: (Thinking) Oh, sweetheart, the jeans and the boots thing has really kind of had its day.

    • (Mary asks Toshiko to put on the pendant and read her thoughts)
      Toshiko: I wouldn't say your thoughts were exactly pure.
      Mary: At least they're consistent.

    • (Gwen is talking to Owen after the post mortum results)
      Gwen: Where did you train? Where did you train? Did you train?

    • Toshiko: Jack, something Mary said. Probably the only honest thing she ever did say. I asked her why she gave it to me. She said after a while, it gets to you. It changes how you see people. How can I live with it?
      Captain Jack: There are some things we're not supposed to know. You got a snapshot, nothing more.
      Toshiko: I don't mean about Gwen and Ianto and Owen. I mean, the whole world.

    • Toshiko: (About the pendant) It could be the most powerful piece of technology we've ever found. It could tear down governments. Wipe out armies. What do we go with it?
      Captain Jack: Your call.
      Toshiko: It's a curse. (She breaks the pendant underfoot) Why couldn't I read your mind?
      Captain Jack: I don't know. Though I could feel you scrabbling around in there.
      Toshiko: I got nothing. It's like you were… dead.

    • Gwen: When did you have this, I don't know, ability?
      Toshiko: Just a couple of days.
      Owen: What did you hear?
      Toshiko: A lot of it was noise, emotions, references I wouldn't understand.
      Owen: Yeah. And the rest?
      Toshiko: The rest was none of my business.
      Owen: No, it wasn't. (Owen walks off)
      Toshiko: I don't know where this leaves us.
      Gwen: Me neither. We can't really take the moral high ground with this. This thing between me and Owen…
      Toshiko: No, Gwen. What I did was an invasion. I wasn't in control. I realise that now. Even so, I can't, I have to live with this. Not what I heard, what I did to you.
      Gwen: And my betrayal?
      Toshiko: What do you mean?
      Gwen: I'm living with mine. This should be my wake-up call. I should stop, but I won't. What does that say about me?
      Toshiko: I'm not really in the position to make judgements.
      Gwen: This is what I'm saying, Tosh. Neither am I.

    • Captain Jack: (Holding the transporter) You know what it is?
      Toshiko: It's a transporter. Mary was a political prisoner. She was exiled here. Look, Jack...
      Captain Jack: You got half of it right. Mary, it is Mary, right? You wanna tell her the really interesting bit? (Mary doesn't talk) No? Hmmm, chatty, isn't she? I don't know how you got a word in edgeways, Tosh. It's a two-man transporter, or whatever you people may be, you could be squid for all I know, a two-squid transporter. Room for one prisoner and one guard. You wanna tell us what happened to the guard, Mary?
      Mary: I killed him.

    • Captain Jack: Friend of mine, let's call him Vincent, that was his name after all, regular guy, girlfriend, likes his sport, likes a beer, starts acting… a little strange, a little distracted. Suddenly, he disappears for a couple of months, he comes back and we've got to start calling him Vanessa. Since then, I've always been a little nervous when a friend behaves out of character.

    • Toshiko: I can't stand it anymore. The weight of it, the depravity, the fear, it fills me up. It's in my mouth, in my hair, my eyes, like I'm drowning in ink. And even when I don't have the pendant on, it feels like there's nothing, I can't forget the things I've seen, the things I've heard. It's like a curse, something the gods sent to drive someone mad. I had hope, I'd see something, a little random act of kindness, and make me think we were safe. Some essential good in us. There isn't. It's like one of the Weevils, look inside and there's just a great chilling scream. You were right. Everything you said about us: we're frightened and callous and (She starts to cry) I can't be a part of it any longer. I don't know what to do. Tell me what to do.
      Mary: Get me into Torchwood.

    • (Mary reveals herself to be an alien)
      Toshiko: So I'm shagging a woman and an alien.
      Mary: Which is worse?
      Toshiko: I know which one my parents would say. I read your thoughts, I didn't see this. What else are you keeping from me?
      Mary: Do you think there could be anything bigger than this? The freedom you have. When I first got here, I found it almost obscene. My world was savage, enforced worship in temples the size of cities, execution squads roaming the streets, dissent of any kind meant death, or transportation to what they call a feral outpost.
      Toshiko: And the pendant?
      Mary: It's how my people communicate. It's how we've communicated for centuries. Speaking orally, using a pre-arranged and finite number of words? It's so archaic, and kind of gross to look at. (Pauses) The machine you found is a transporter. It brought me here, it can get me home again. I need it back before you dismantle it.
      Toshiko: Won't you be in danger?
      Mary: Two hundred years have passed. There'll be a new government. There'll have been twenty new governments by now.
      Toshiko: Then why hasn't someone come back for you?
      Mary: I've been forgotten. Like Philoctetes on Lemnos.
      Toshiko: Let me take you to Torchwood. Maybe we can help you, fix the transporter, get you back home.
      Mary: You won't. You'll examine me, assess whether or not I'm useful, whether I'm a danger then lock me in a cell. You're not interested in understanding alien cultures. It's just as well you haven't got the technology to reach other planets yet. Yours is a culture of invasion. Do you really think I'm going to walk, hands raised in surrender, into that?

    • Toshiko: I'm giving them the pendant.
      Mary: Right, let's...
      Toshiko: You're right. It's not like reading someone's diary. It's so much worse, and it makes me feel dirty and ashamed and now I'm spying on my friends.
      Mary: Some friends.
      Toshiko: What's that supposed to mean?
      Mary: They pity you. They exclude you.

    • (Jack has been told about Toshiko saving a woman and her son from being killed)
      Captain Jack: You secretly fight crime, is that it, Tosh?
      Toshiko: I didn't want it to look like I was showing off.

    • Owen: Okay, so I'm thinking, if it isn't a gunshot or a musket shot or whatever they had then, maybe it's some kind of ritual. (Toshiko hands him a coffee) You are gorgeous. So I started looking into devil worship and stuff from that era, see if there's anything about plucking out hearts. And would you believe it, there's nothing. They ate eyeballs, they drank blood, they had sex with animals but they did not pluck out each other's hearts, 'cause obviously that would have been weird.
      Toshiko: Why are you so bothered? Whoever did this is hardly a threat to society anymore.
      Owen: Yeah, I know. There's something. (Pointing to the hole in the skeleton's chest) Does that remind you of anything?
      Toshiko: That bit in "Alien" where that thing bursts out of John Hurt?
      Owen: I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. Does that remind you of anything helpful?
      Toshiko: No, sorry.
      Owen: Right. Just go over there, do your computer stuff, think about shoes, eh? Thank you.

    • Gwen: As you may remember, at the building site, Owen said that this was a woman killed by a single gunshot.
      Owen: Yeah, I'd been like a minute.
      Gwen: Since then he's had to tweak some of his initial conclusions. This first being that this isn't in fact a woman, but a man.
      Owen: A young man. A very girly man.
      Gwen: But, still, ultimately a man. Then there was the cause of death. Owen said GSW. The correct answer was...
      Owen: Unidentified trauma. But...
      Toshiko: Unidentified trauma?
      Gwen: You see it in RTAs. When something like a steering column or a post goes into a body at great velocity. But the one thing that could be ruled out was…
      Owen: Gunshot wound.
      Gwen: Gunshot wound. Was there in fact any part of your prognosis that was right?
      Owen: I got that it was... a skeleton.

    • Mary: It's not all bad. The pendant. Some of the things it can do are extraordinary.
      Toshiko: What good could ever come of that?

    • Toshiko: What is this thing? Why did you give it to me?
      Mary: I told you.
      Toshiko: The things I heard. What they thought of me. What they really thought, God, these are people that are supposed to like me!
      Mary: They do like you. People are complicated. They, okay, I should have warned you about this. It isn't like reading somebody's diary. The stuff you've been hearing it's so, deep, so personal, stuff they're not even aware they're thinking.
      Toshiko: You think you know someone, then suddenly you see them for real and they're bastard little kids.
      Mary: Not everything. Not everyone.

    • (Toshiko wears the mind-reading pendant whilst in Torchwood)
      Ianto: (Thinks) Can't imagine a time when this isn't everything. Pain so constant, like my stomach's full of rats. Feels like this is all I am now. There isn't an inch of me that doesn't hurt. (Speaks; to Toshiko) I'm about to brew some of Jack's industrial strength coffee. Would you like a cup?

    • (Toshiko wears the mind-reading pendant whilst in Torchwood)
      Toshiko: I found this thing…
      Owen: (Thinks) What's she talking about? She can be dead weird. I wonder what she'd be like in bed. Catholic but grateful, I bet.
      Toshiko: Okay, I don't know if this comes under actual technology...
      Gwen: (Thinks) I can smell Owen. I can smell him on me after that shag in his car this morning. That's twice now, does that make it an arrangement? No, it has to be more than two times, surely. As long as we keep it to just the two times, we're fine, what's Tosh looking at? (Speaks) You okay, Tosh?
      Toshiko: Yeah I'm fine.
      Owen: (Thinks) She did that thing when she ran her tongue across my teeth, I should have worn different trousers, I'm going to have to sit down till this subsides a bit.
      Gwen: What is it you want to show us? (Thinks) I wonder if I could get Owen to come down to the vault, no couldn't have sex in front of a Weevil, I couldn't even do it in front of Trent Kendle's cat.
      Toshiko: Forget it, I found, I found this article. I'll bring it in tomorrow.
      Owen: (Thinks) Well thanks for that rambling trip to nowhere, Tosh.

    • Mary: (About the pendant) I've kept it too long. After a while, it gets, you hear too much. It changes how you see people.

    • Mary: (About the pendant) It's been in the family a long time
      Toshiko: I've never seen anything like it. It's incredible!
      Mary: It's more than incredible. With this, you can read people's minds. It levels the pitch between man and God.

    • Toshiko: What's most amazing are the similarities with our own culture, but that can be horrible 'cause we find lots of weapons and it just makes you think "my God, everything wages war". It's not just a trait of ours, but a trait of existence. And it makes you feel so hopeless. But then there are times, we found this thing, it was about A4 size and it had all these symbols on it and it took me about three months to translate. It was a letter someone had written to his family; to his children to say how much he was missing them. It just made me cry because I thought, "even across these unimaginable distances, there are fundamentals that stay exactly the same". And there's no-one to talk to about this. I mean, the guys at work, they're great but, they don't see it the way I do. (Pauses) I could be fired just for telling you that.

    • Mary: Toshiko Sato. Born in London 1975, moved to Osaka when you were two, then back to the UK in 1986, parents in the RAF, grandfather worked at Bletchley Park. Very impressive. University, blah blah, snapped up to government science think-tank when you were twenty, recruited to Torchwood three years ago. Saw you at the building site this morning. And what was that you had in the case?
      Toshiko: How do you know about Torchwood?
      Mary: There's stuff on the Internet. But you have to dig really deep. Plus we pick up bits and pieces from police radio scanners. We also...
      Toshiko: We?
      Mary: Scavengers. Collectors. Just like you.
      Toshiko: How many of there are you?
      Mary: Listen, don't think it's in any way organised. It's really just a disparate bunch of IT guys who live with their mothers.
      Toshiko: I shouldn't talk to you.
      Mary: So go.

    • Gwen: (After helping Owen out of a pit; jokingly) You so light, you like a girl!
      Owen: I'm not light. I'm wiry. The fat girls go mad for it. (Smirks) But I guess I don't need to tell you that.

    • Jack: How long have they been here, Tosh?
      Toshiko: From the depth they found them, a hundred and ninety-six years eleven to eleven-and-a-half months. The earth's been disturbed so I'm afraid I can't be more accurate.

    • (Recalling her time with the pendant)
      Tosh: They pity me. You don't pity me.
      Mary: Why would I?
      Tosh: (Uncertain) What you're thinking now, thats pretty graphic.
      Mary: That wasn't my thought.
      Tosh: (Amazed) What?
      Mary: I wasn't thinking anything, that wasn't my thought - must have been yours.
      (Another flash passes between the two women)
      Tosh: That one there...
      Mary: Yes. That one was mine.
      Tosh: (Again uncertain) I certainly seem to be enjoying myself.
      Mary: You would.
      (Pauses) You will.
      (The two meet in a passionate kiss)

    • (Annoyed at having her computer program interrupted by Gwen and Owen's football)
      Tosh: We're supposed to be professionals. We've got a job to do.
      Gwen: (Surprised and guilty) She's right. You're right, Tosh. I'm sorry.
      Owen: (Strides up annoyed) You know what, Tosh, sometimes I think even that stick up your arse has got a stick up its arse. (Wanders off leaving Tosh with tears in her eyes)

    • Gwen: What killed her? The stapler?

    • Jack: Once, just once, I'd like to walk into one of these tents and find out it's a party. You know, with food and drink, people dancing, a girl crying in the corner.

    • Gwen: Any idea what it is.
      Jack: Not a clue. Could be a weapon or a really big stapler. How's our friend there?
      Owen: She's dead.
      Jack: Yeah, thanks, Quincy.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International air dates
      Australia: July 30, 2007
      Israel: June 24, 2007
      Mexico: August 20, 2007
      Sweden: July 29, 2007
      United States: October 20, 2007
      Canada: November 16, 2007
      New Zealand: August 20th, 2008
      Germany: April 22, 2009

    • Though the alien's species and origin is not revealed in this episode, an identical looking alien appears in The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Invasion of the Bane", where the alien is referred to as a Star Poet from Arcatene Five.

  • ALLUSIONS (13)

    • Jack: I'm picking up traces of ilmonite, peroxine and even dark matter.
      Dark Matter is theoretical type of matter not directly observable and of unknown composition, that does not emit or reflect enough electromagnetic radiation to be detected directly, but whose presence can be inferred from gravitational effects on visible matter.

    • When Toshiko puts on the pendant for the first time in the bar she "overhears" the bartender thinking "I should have said it was Hammer Time when she asked what the time was earlier", which is a reference to a line from the 1990 single U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer.

    • Owen: There's copies of that Michael Hamilton statement on your desk. He's still seeing Cybermen outside his mother's house.
      This is referring to the Doctor Who episodes "Army of Ghosts" and "Doomsday" when Cybermen from an alternate Earth invaded the Torchwood world.

    • Jack: You went to a pub quiz?
      Toshiko: Yeah. No, I love pub quizzes. Down at the Prince of, Tides.
      The Prince of Tides is a book by Pat Conroy that was made into a film, released in 1991, staring Nick Nolte and Barbara Streisand, which follows the story of a troubled South Carolina family.

    • This episode has similarities to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Earshot". In both stories, a person given telepathic abilities temporarily successfully foils a murderer (Neil/the lunch lady),uncovers an illicit sexual relationship (Owen and Gwen/Giles and Joyce), and cannot read the mind of a not-quite-dead character (Jack/Angel).

    • When Toshiko is testing the pendant in the crowd one of the thoughts she overhears is "six cigarettes today and all of them post-coital, glorious". This is a quote from the popular book Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding.

    • Gwen: Well, Amanda Burton here has just completed the postmortem.
      Amanda Burton starred in the crime drama series Silent Witness as the brilliant forensic pathologist Dr. Sam Ryan who helps the police solve homicide cases. Seeing as Owen got almost everything wrong in his assumptions about the skeleton, it's obvious Gwen is making this comment sarcastically.

    • Captain Jack mentions twice that he needs Tosh to finish a list for UNIT, The United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, a military organization whose purpose in Doctor Who lore is to investigate and combat paranormal and extraterrestrial threats to the Earth. UNIT operates under the auspices of the United Nations, though the show can not mention that it is part of the worldwide organization at the UN's request.

    • Toshiko: (To Mary, about Torchwood) They're not the Stasi.
      The Stasi (or the Ministry Of State Security) was the main security and intelligence organization- the secret police- for East Germany. Founded in 1950, it was dissolved in 1989. It monitored politically incorrect behaviour in East Germany and influenced almost every aspect of life in the country. It is thought that nearly one in fifty East German citizens collaborated with the Stasi, informing on their friends, colleagues, even family members.

    • Toshiko: That bit in "Alien" where that thing bursts out of John Hurt?
      In the 1979 sci-fi horror "Alien" (directed by Ridley Scott), John Hurt's character Kane is unknowingly impregnated by an alien being, which bursts from his chest whilst the crew are having dinner.

    • The title is a reduction of the proverb "beware of Greeks bearing gifts", which has its roots in the story of the Trojan Horse. Whilst the Trojan War raged, the Greeks decided to try a different form of attack. They built a giant wooden horse which was presented as a gift to the Trojans which they took behind the walls of Troy. However, the horse was hollow and filled with Greek soldiers - who broke out and slaughtered the Trojans under cover of darkness.

    • Mary: In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, a stately pleasuredome decree, where Alph, the sacred river ran, through caverns measureless to man, down to a sunless sea.
      On entering the Hub, Mary quotes the first lines of the famous poem, Kubla Khan, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), relating to a so-called paradise that the poet dreamt and recalled after waking. But after dealing with a pressing matter, could remember virtually nothing of the details. The full title, Kubla Khan (or a Vision in a Dream), was composed sometime either in late 1797 or early 1798 and was first published in 1816.

    • Jack: Yeah thanks Quincy.
      A reference to "Quincy M.E.", a well-loved detective and medical whodunnit show that ran for eight seasons from 1976-1983. Like a mix of (and a forerunner to) the CSI franchise and Without a Trace, Jack Klugman starred as Dr. Quincy, a medical examiner who also dabbled in solving crimes and arrests.

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