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Season 2 Episode 2


Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 23, 2008 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
317 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

When a burglary turns into a slaughter, Torchwood suspect alien involvement. However, when the investigation escalates into a city-wide assault, Captain Jack realises that the whole planet is in danger.

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  • A good continuation from last weeks season opener

    good good episode i really enjoyed that, also i caught the theme tune this week its changed i'm liking the new chemistry between characters captain jack so far seems to have a good mix of nasty jack and good jack in him, ianto has more interaction now i'm liking that. Ok storyline again pointing to something darker to come, so this is all tying in?

    Loved seeing some of props such as the cybermen guns on the wall, and tosh is like 10x sexier now i'm loving as a man seeing the tighter tops not to sound crewd.

    Nit picks not many i'm a bit worried it might be getting a bit to tongue in cheek Ianto mostly seems to taken owens role of explaining everything, and this episode i deffinately seen the these are the bits we can cut out to stick in the pre-watershed episode. also doing the pre-watershed you can see that in the way things are more explained now for a younger audience to understand eg. Again Ianto explaining everything that happens and after particulaly dark moment he brightens up the atmosphere with a quip, its good dont get me wrong but i just dont want it all the time.

    A good episode stood strongly on its feet with darker allusions to come next episode looks a cracker! and lots of tosh!moreless
  • Torchwood deal with a Sleeper Agent

    This was another pretty good episode.

    I really liked the character of Beth. Even though she was a sleeper agent alien and she was collecting information so they could destry the Earth, she was a very sympathetic character. I really felt sorry for her and her situation because she could only ever remember being human and had no idea that she was a murdering alien.

    Highlight: Ianto. He's rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters. He was so funny in this episode and his humour was so dry. I loved the bit where Owen suggested an orgy and Ianto replied that he thought it couldn't get any worse (I can't remember the exact quote). A Very good episode. Can't wait for next week.moreless
  • The Impostor, Torchwood style

    Just like the movie based on the short story by Philip K. Dick's, the episode relies on the humanity portrayed by the would-be-weapon/alien device, and just like Gary Sinise did on the movie from 2002, the actress who plays Beth in "Sleeper" delivers that in spades.

    You can't help but to be touched by the tragedy of her identity shattering into pieces as each revelations fits within the story; no matter what the team would do no one can restore the life Beth is losing little by little until the last traces of humanity left in her beats the very nature of her being that dies trying to save the kindred she was never really a part of.

    Amazing how a simple device used by the team to track fellow weapons before activation time strike us as more human than the torchwood members have been so far which is why we finally understand why Jack has encouraged Gwen to keep the life the rest of them had struggle to get for themselves all this time. Note apart goes to Ianto who seems as happy with his latest date as he was with his old stopwatch: he's simply incapable to stop joking which goes to prove that - just like on Beth's case - it's far more better to have lived than to merely exist.moreless
  • A woman doesn't know shes an alien.

    Some burgalers break into a house and then get killed by the woman they were robbing *she doesn't know shes an alien*. the torchwood team take her in and freeze her. shes really a sleeper agent. she awakes to say goodbye to her boyfriend, but accidently kills him. also, the other 3 sleeper agents awake. 2 die when they blow up a place, leaving the final one to go and release the nuclear warheads. Jack kills it, but it then sets off a bomb. the final sleeper agent. the final one doesn't want to turn evil, so she tricks the rest of torchwood into killing her.moreless
  • A nice mix of tension, humour and excitement

    Although some have said this storyline is a "tried and true" formula, I'd have to say that I liked what Torchwood did with it. Yes, if you look too deeply you may find inconsistencies (but, this is Science Fiction!). I saw this episode as a look into a deeper conspiracy surrounding the Cardiff rift, and left enough hints dangling for later episodes to pick up.

    Gwen's "humanity" spiel is the only thing that I really couldn't stomach. Yes, Beth needed to take hold of her human feelings, but ultimately that was never going to be enough, Beth would never live a 'normal life' again. It's nice for Gwen to be idealistic, but a dose of realism might be good for her.

    Lets see how she develops.moreless
Dyfed Potter

Dyfed Potter

Mike Halloran

Guest Star

Doug Rollins

Doug Rollins


Guest Star

Claire Cage

Claire Cage

David's Wife

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: When Jack and Gwen are talking to Beth in the cell, you can see the shadow of someone's hand off screen move across Jack's back.

    • Beth's frozen body is placed in vault 007, whilst this could be a reference to the secret agent nature in relation to "James Bond" more than likely it is simply because that was the next available vault. Since Jack was to be interred in the same one after he killed Abaddon, and Suzie is interred in the one next to it, 006.

    • The cardiac monitor next to the hospitalised burglar sends out an alert signal as he goes into cardiac arrest, but his blood pressure stays fixed at 139/81 which is generally considered just a little towards the high end of healthy.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Police Officer: In my opinion, the husband did it. He was looking for trouble, expecting to be burgled.
      Captain Jack: Really?
      Police Officer: Yeah, look. No other reason I can think of for keeping sports equipment in the basement.
      Captain Jack: Oh, you should come around to my house for a game of hockey sometime.

    • Gwen: Do you feel human?
      Beth: Yes.
      Gwen: Yes, well, then you are. What makes us human? Is it our minds or our bodies?

    • Owen: Well how do you know all that?
      Ianto: I know everything! And it says so on the bottom of the screen.

    • Toshiko: (Hacking into a military database) Come on, guys, that wasn't even difficult. You disappoint me.
      Ianto: It's almost obscene what you do to security systems.

    • Toshiko: You said we weren't allowed to use that again.
      Jack: It's just a mind probe.
      Ianto: You remember what happened last time you used it?
      Jack: That was different and that species has extremely high blood pressure.
      Ianto: Oh, right. Their heads must explode all the time.
      Gwen: Jack, you can't do this. What if you're wrong? If she is human, it'll kill her.
      Jack: I'm not wrong. We have to find out what she is.
      Toshiko: Take it easy, Jack. Stop at the first sign of trouble.
      Ianto: Or the first sign of exploding.

    • Ianto: "Just us and this room for as long as it takes." Terrifying.
      Jack: Really?
      Ianto: Absolutely. Shivers down my spine.
      Jack: You don't look scared.
      Ianto: Oh, it passed.
      (Jack growls at him)

    • Jack: We left a key under the doormat. Just walk straight in.

    • Gwen: It's just like going to sleep...
      Owen: Except a lot colder.

    • Beth: (To Jack) Will it hurt?
      Captain Jack: Yeah.
      Beth: Your bedside manner's rubbish.
      Gwen: You should see his manners in bed. They're atrocious. Apparently, so I've heard.
      Ianto: Oh, they are. I remember...
      (Jack clears his throat forcefully)

    • Ianto: Mobiles, landlines, tin cans with bits of string, everything! Absolutely everything! No phones! Phones all broken. (Mimics telephone) Hello, anyone there? (Normal) No, 'cause the phones aren't working!

    • Captain Jack: (To the gang) Come on, with a dashing hero like me on the case, how can we fail?
      Ianto: (To Owen/Toshiko) He is dashing, you have to give him that.

    • Captain Jack: Stop wasting our time. We know you're an alien.
      Beth: (Disbelieving Jack) There's no such thing as aliens.

    • Mike: I don't remember the doctor saying anything about resting my mouth.
      Beth: Actually he did. He was very specific. No talking for a whole week.
      Mike: Lies, lies, why so many lies?

    • Ianto: It's all over.
      Owen: Let's all have sex.
      Ianto: And I thought the end of the world couldn't get any worse.

    • Ianto: We don't sniff the sub etheric resonator.

  • NOTES (4)

    • In the intro, the quote is made "the 21st century is when everything changes, and you've got to be ready". Starting with this episode, it changes to "the 21st century is when everything changes, and Torchwood is ready".

    • International air dates:
      United States: February 2, 2008
      Sweden: July 13, 2008
      Canada: August 8, 2008

    • According to the Declassified for this episode due to the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack on 30th June, the explosion at the switching station that was scheduled to be filmed on the next day, was announced on local radio.

    • Kai Owen is listed in the episode's credits, though his character Rhys Williams does not appear.


    • The metal arm on Beth is almost exactly like the metal arm Replicator Carter had in episode "Gemini" of the TV series "Stargate SG-1". Replicator Carter could turn her arm into a sword whenever she wanted to.

    • Gwen is called Jessica Fletcher by Owen. Fletcher was the talented amateur detective who was the central character in the hugely popular and successful American television show "Murder, She Wrote" (1984-1996).

    • The plot loosely follows a 1953 Phillip K. Dick story called Imposter, in which an alien sleeper agent (and walking time-bomb) is convinced that they are human despite being hunted by an organisation that thinks otherwise. It was subsequently made into a film in 2002.