22 October 2006
Indira Virma (Suzie Costello), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Guy Lewis (Young Cop), Tom Price (PC Andy), Jason May (SOCO); Rhys Swinburn (Body), Olwen Medl (Yvonne), Gwyn Vaughan-Jones (DI Jacobs), Dion Davis (Officer), Jâms Thomas (Hospital Porter), Paul Kasey (Weevil), Mark Heal (Security Guard), Gary Shepheard (Pizza Lad), Gwilym Havard Davies (Man), Cathryn Davies (Linda)
|Written by||Russell T. Davies|
|Directed by||Brian Kelly|
|Produced by||Richard Stokes|
“Everything Changes” is the first episode of the British science fiction television programme Torchwood.
The story is told from the perspective of Gwen Cooper, who comes across the Torchwood team through her job as a police officer with the South Wales Police, who are investigating a series of strange deaths. Through Gwen’s discovery of Torchwood, the audience are introduced to team members Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones. Suzie Costello, as played by Indira Varma, had also been billed as a series regular prior to transmission, though in a twist the character was revealed as the murderer and killed off at the end of the episode, with Gwen replacing her as a member of the Torchwood team. The episode originally aired on freeview channel BBC Three and upon broadcast earned the channel its highest ever viewing figures. Critical reaction to the episode was mixed, with reviewers making both positive and negative comparisons to Torchwood’s parent show Doctor Who.
During a murder investigation in Cardiff, Gwen Cooper spies on a mysterious group of five people calling themselves “Torchwood” led by Captain Jack Harkness. Another member, Suzie, uses a metal gauntlet to temporarily bring the victim to life in an attempt to identify his killer. Jack notes Gwen’s presence, causing her to flee the scene.
The next day, she runs into Jack again at a hospital and, following him, finds a sealed-off area where she runs into a Weevil, which kills a porter. Jack arrives, giving Gwen the opportunity to escape. As she leaves the hospital, she spots the Torchwood vehicle and follows it. She learns from her office that the vehicle is unregistered, and that while there was a “Jack Harkness” who disappeared in 1941, there is not one currently on record. She follows the vehicle to Roald Dahl Plass, where she continues the pursuit on foot only to lose sight of them as they pass a large fountain. She then learns from her partner Andy that all personnel at the hospital have been accounted for. Catching sight of a pizza delivery scooter, she inquires at the local pizza store and learns they make deliveries to Torchwood. Disguised as a pizza delivery girl, she enters a tourist centre where Ianto presses a button to reveal a secret passageway and lets her through. Following it, Gwen eventually finds herself in the Torchwood Hub, where the rest of the Torchwood team members initially try to ignore her entrance but break into fits of laughter, well aware of who she is. Jack shows Gwen around the Hub, including the captured Weevil from the hospital; they then leave the Hub via a pavement slab lift, which takes them to Roald Dahl Plass in front of the fountain.
Jack explains that a perception filter exists around the spot they are standing, making them invisible to passersby, explaining why Gwen lost track of the team earlier. Jack takes Gwen to a pub, and over a drink, explains that the purpose of Torchwood is to help monitor and control the flotsam and jetsam of the time-space vortex that falls to Earth through the rift that exists on the site where the Hub was built. As Gwen wonders why Jack is telling her all of this, he explains that he has placed an amnesia pill in her drink, and that she will have forgotten the information by morning. Gwen races home and tries to type out a message to herself before the pill’s effects are complete, but falls asleep; Ianto remotely turns off her computer, causing the message to be lost. The next day at work, Gwen is shown a drawing of the knife believed to have been used on the victim two days prior, which triggers a series of memories. These solidify when she spots a Millennium Centre programme with the word “Remember” in her own handwriting at home, and she returns to the Plass. Suzie is waiting for her there, and explains that the effects of the amnesia pill could be broken with a specific image, in this case the knife. Suzie goes onto explain that it was she who killed the man Gwen saw resurrected, as well as other victims, in order to test the metal gauntlet, with the hope of learning to make its resurrection effect permanent.
Suzie pulls a gun on Gwen; as she does, Jack rises from the pavement lift, and Suzie turns and shoots him in the head, killing him. To Suzie’s surprise, Jack then recovers and his gunshot wound disappears. Jack tries to coax Suzie to stop, but she puts the gun to her chin and kills herself. Gwen falls to her knees, remembering everything. In the Hub, the metal gauntlet is sealed away in a box labelled “NOT FOR USE”, while Suzie’s body is placed into their morgue. Standing on the roof of the Millennium Centre, Jack tells Gwen that he died once, but was brought back to life, and that he has been immortal ever since. He adds that he needs to find the right sort of doctor who can explain what happened. Jack goes on to explain that in the 21st century, “everything changes,” and agrees with Gwen that perhaps Torchwood can do more to help people, and offers her a job, which she accepts.