Season 2 Episode 3

To The Last Man

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Jan 30, 2008 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
309 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A soldier from 1918, being kept cryogenically frozen by Torchwood, is being woken up for one day each year. But something's different this year. His time is colliding with ours, and he needs to go, although Toshiko isn't so sure whether she wants him to...

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  • Gwen is cute as ever, Jack and Ianto FINALLY move forward, Tosh gets a taste of love, and Owen.


    I love this show, I really do. But I feel like it doesn't have a lot of direction. They're not working towards a goal or purpose, sometimes there are aliens sometimes there aren't... I just feel like the episodes seem kind of thrown together without an overarching theme that keeps us moving forward. In that way I think it falls short of shows like buffy or doctor who which it attempts to emulate. I just think there needs to be more of a driving or a unifying force for this show to really reach its potential. I love all of the aspects, but none of them pull enough weight to keep me invested.moreless
  • Tosh gets a life...albeit a short lived one. Gwen sees ghosts, Owen shows a softer side, and Ianto finally gets something he's obviously been wanting (other than a cyber-chick). Sex, saliva, silliness, and sadness soon ensue.moreless

    Evidently, in 1918 a time rift has set in motion another end of everything scenario. Torchwood from that era, has taken a British soldier, Tommy, who was in a hospital with shell shock, and has been in cryo-stasis ever since. This episode finds the present TW gang waking him, which must be done each year. Toshiko has been the young mans escort for his annual outing, and on this 4th such event, their feelings for each other blossom. Unfortunately, the rift responsible for this can only be repaired by the soldier, and it chooses this time to open. The reason is that the hospital the soldier was in is in the process of being demolished. Gwen has gone to look at the hospital, and sees ghosts from the era, as the energies from the rift build. Jack has been in possession of a time lock box from Torchwood of old, and when it opens, signaling the rift is opening too, instructions inside explain that the young soldier must return into the rift, and use a rift key to seal the breach, before 1918 intrudes on the present in a big way. Jack explains to Tosh that the young man will die shortly after returning to his time, which makes things very difficult for her, emotionally. She takes him home for the night and sleeps with him, knowing that he she will be sending him to his fate the next morning. Some somber conversations ensue among the crew, including one with Ianto asking Jack if he would return to his own time if he could, followed by the seemingly gratuitous man on man kiss of the week. They all head for the hospital next morning, and Tosh helps Tommy get back into the rift, but he doesn't use the rift key. Owen comes up with the idea to inject one of them with (I guess) Tommy's DNA so they can mind meld. Jack starts to do it, but Tosh says she is best suited because he trusts her. They hook her up to some hokey looking apparatus, and she appears to Tommy, and convinces him to use the key, and all is well, other than Tosh's emotional state. Owen attempts to console her at the end, as he showed compassion for her during the episode, but she is visibly shaken, and simply walks away. A decent episode, it was nice to see Tosh not staring at a computer screen and utter more than a few syllables for a change. If they are going to have Jack develop a relationship, that's fine, but don't turn him into some man slut that kisses every guy in range without a good reason (that's 3 different men in the last 3 episodes for those keeping score). If him and Owen ever lock lips, I swear I'll hurl. There was a bit of silliness in the plot, and it was nothing earth shaking, but it's just such a fun show, you just can't turn away.moreless
  • the team must prevent a time shift with the help of a soldier form 90 years ago.

    this was a decent episode, although the storyline was a bit predictable, everything happened pretty much as I thought it would. It was pretty emotional though, when tosh falls in love with the soldier and then learns that he has to die,

    you can understand her being pretty upset over that. The storyline does move rather slowly though, there wasn't much real excitement in this episode. there' weren't any bad guys in this episode either, i guess this was supposed to be an emotional episode and not an action based one, and finally by biggest complaint about the episode was that stupid gay kiss between jack and ianto, what was the point in that, it's as though they put it in just so the episode could be considered "adult".moreless
  • A soldier from 1918 is trapped in out of his time. Until now...

    The writing and acting was brilliant. Naoko does love so brilliantly. It was good to see Tosh in love again, but we need to see her in a lonnger relationship.

    Admittedly, this episode made me cry. The scene where Tosh and Tommy are in bed, and he asks her what happens when he goes back. It was just that "Do they find my body?" line that did it, followed by the hug, it set me right off.

    Anyways... I am loving the fact that Owen was looking out for Tosh. He has changed from his "me, myself and I" ways. And they are cute together

    I'm also loving Gwen. She's taken it down a notch or 10, and is completely bearable. The scenes with Gwen's encounters with the "ghosts" from 1918 scared me... Sent shivers down my spine!

    And Jack and Ianto! Serious squeeage from me! And it was longer than four fifths of a second! I want more! More kissing, more interaction, more everything!moreless
  • Toshiko and Ianto bring out the best in their respective time-displaced-soldiers as reality threaten to collapse in itself.

    The yearly awaken of a WWI soldier named Tommy - a one day event that Toshiko has been looking forward to for the past 4 years - introduce us to the current crisis based on a task inherited from 1918's Torchwood; ironic how this very soldier is meant to save reality as we know it only to be executed back on his own time a couple of days after his return. No better luck has one the torchwood members that put him in this position, Harriet, scheduled to die a year later at age 26 (same age as Lisa was back when Ianto lost her) and yet Toshiko can't help but to fall for the guy despite Owen's warnings based on his own experience with Diane which ties every element so neatly together with the kind of emotional continuity I've only seen on this show.

    In fact, it's the warnings made by Owen what allows Toshiko to gather enough strength to spend her day with Tommy as it would be their last, her presence what inspires him to go back in time to die, his imminent departure what inspires Ianto to ask the questions that arise one of the most moving, intense and passionate scenes up to date as Jack responds with such honesty that we finally see them as an actual couple dealing with some serious issues together - the least of them being gender – as opposed to the kind of fling Gwen had with Owen once upon a time and because what Owen has with Toshiko has never been a fling it is him the one who comforts her in the end because, when it's all set and done, not only Tommy saved the world, it was Toshiko's love what inspired him to do so.moreless
Anthony Lewis

Anthony Lewis

Tommy Brockless

Guest Star

Roderic Culver

Roderic Culver

Gerald Carter

Guest Star

Siobhán Hewlett

Siobhán Hewlett

Harriet Derbyshire

Guest Star

Kai Owen

Kai Owen

Rhys Williams

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Jack's statement that more than 300 British soldiers were executed due to them being shell shocked is incorrect. Official numbers state 346 executions during the 1914-1918 period, of which 40 were tried for murder, treason, or mutiny. The remaining were for cowardice, repeated desertion and other offences, and while some could be attributed to shell shock, many cannot although all 306 were posthumously pardoned without investigation in 2006.

    • When Toshiko and Tommy are horsing around on the pier, she drops her bag twice - once when they first enter the scene, and then again after he picks her up.

    • The calender in Toshiko's home shows a date of Friday 20th. As this series is supposedly set in 2008 in parallel with Doctor Who's third series, and as stated within the episode 90 years after 1918, it would indicate this is June as the only Friday 20th in 2008 is in June.

    • When Toshiko and Tommy are chatting by the river, from behind Toshiko's hair is blowing up in the wind, but from in front, her hair is perfectly still. Clearly the scene was filmed twice from the two different angles and the editors failed to take into account the wind angle.

    • Tommy incorrectly describes himself as a "private officer", a non-existant rank or designation, the correct term is "private soldier" or simply "private".

    • The song "One Of These Mornings" by Moby plays towards the start and at the end of this episode. The song "She's Got You High" by Mumm-Ra plays in the pub as Toshiko and Tommy play pool.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Gwen: He's a frozen soldier from 1918.
      Captain Jack: Nobody's perfect.

    • Captain Jack: 1918, this place was full of wounded soldiers. They'd had four years of it. Passchendaele, the Somme, a million British soldiers killed during the Great War. It was like walking into hell. Believe me. I was there.

    • Tommy: (To Tosh) We could go back to mine, but there's only room for one, and it's bloody freezing.

    • Gwen: Who is he?
      Captain Jack: Thomas Reginald Brockless.
      Ianto: Tommy.
      Captain Jack: Twenty-four years old.
      Ianto: Sort of.
      Gwen: Well, he's either twenty-four or he's not.
      Ianto: Depends how you work it out.
      Gwen: Alright, when was he born?
      Jack: 1894.

    • Toshiko: (To Tommy) You're the only one who can stop this. If you don't, it's the end of everything.

    • (In the hospital in 1918, soldiers are screaming)
      Tosh: Tommy, Tommy.
      Gwen: She's found him.
      Tosh: It's me, Toshiko.
      Tommy: Who?
      Tosh: I'm here to help you.
      (Tommy looks at the rift key)
      Tommy: Is this yours?
      Tosh: No, do you know what it is? (Tommy glances around the hospital) Tommy, It's a key, you have to use it.
      Tommy: I'm scared.
      Tosh: It's all right.
      Tommy: That's why I'm here, I'm a coward.
      Tosh: No, you are not.
      Tommy: What am I fighting for?
      Tosh: For the future, for me. Because you're my brave handsome hero. Tommy, use the key. (Tommy turns the key to close the rift) Thank you.
      Tommy: Goodbye.

    • (In Tosh's house)
      Tommy: What did he tell you? What happens to me?
      Tosh: He said you went to France.
      Tommy: Then what? Do they find my body? (Tosh nods) That's something.

    • Owen: Is that a dress Tosh?
      Toshiko: I do believe it is, Owen.

    • Gwen: Jack, have we got any other pretty boys in the freezer?
      Captain Jack: Hands off, Missy. Toshiko got there first.

    • Toshiko: (Regarding Tommy) He can come home with me. He's not our prisoner and he doesn't have to stay here if he doesn't want to, does he?
      Captain Jack: No. If that's what you both want.

    • Captain Jack: This time tomorrow, he'll be back in 1918.
      Ianto: In his own time. Would you go back to yours? If you could.
      Captain Jack: Why? Would you miss me?
      Ianto: Yep.
      Captain Jack: I left home a long time ago. I don't really know where I really belong. Maybe that doesn't matter any more.
      Ianto: I know you get lonely.
      Captain Jack: Going home wouldn't fix that. Being here, I've seen things I never dreamt I'd see. Loved people I never would have known if I'd just stayed where I was. And I wouldn't change that for the world.
      (Jack and Ianto kiss)

  • NOTES (4)


    • When Owen looks through the hole in the wall of the hospital ward, he spies what he calls some type of advert for car insurance. However, the woman in the advert looks a lot like Xena, The Warrior Princess.

    • As Tosh is being prepped to go back in time for Tommy, there's a shot of Gwen looking apprehensive. A closer look behind her reveals an x-ray/blueprint of a Cyberman. A subtle reminder of Torchwood's place in the recent Doctor Who universe.

    • The title of, and dialogue within this episode, is a reference to Field Marshal Douglas Haig's Special Order of the Day on 11 April 1918, in response to the German Spring Offensive: "There is no other course open to us but to fight it out. Every position must be held to the last man: there must be no retirement. With our backs to the wall and believing in the justice of our cause each one of us must fight on to the end".

    • Tommy: So I'll be saving the world in some pyjamas. How daft is that?
      A nod towards the Doctor Who 2005 Christmas Special "The Christmas Invasion", where the Doctor does indeed save the world wearing pyjamas while commenting, "not bad for a man in his jim jams".