John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Eve Myles (Gwen), Burn Gorman (Owen), Naoko Mori (Toshiko), Gareth David-Lloyd (Ianto), Kai Owen (Rhys Williams), Tom Price (PC Andy), Ruth Jones (Nikki), Robert Pugh (Jonah), Lorna Gayle (Helen), Young Jonah (Oliver Ferriman)
|Written by||Chris Chibnall|
|Directed by||Mark Everest|
|Produced by||Richard Stokes and Sophie Fante|
“Adrift” is the eleventh episode of the second series of British science fiction television series Torchwood
The episode begins with Torchwood employee Gwen Cooper (Eve Myles) being called in to investigate a missing person case by her former colleague Andy Davidson (Tom Price). When bereaved mother Nikki Bevan (Ruth Jones) starts a support group for missing people, Gwen realises the problem is widespread.
She pursues the investigation against the wishes of her boss Jack Harkness (John Barrowman) and is able to track Nikki’s son to an isolation facility. It is revealed that Nikki’s son Jonah, like the other missing individuals around Cardiff, was taken by the space-time rift and returned physically and mentally scarred.
After realising she cannot have a relationship with her son, Nikki implores Gwen not to reveal the truth to any other bereaved relative. Chris Chibnall wanted to write a story that tackled the issue of loss and revolved around a missing person case. Executive producer Russell T Davies appreciated the character dynamics and domestic themes in the episode and cited the script as one of his inspirations in continuing the series.
Ruth Jones, who is generally better known for her comedic roles, was cast against type in the central guest role of Nikki Bevan. The episode was filmed largely on location in South Wales with the island of Flat Holm featuring prominently. Response to the episode was generally positive.
Reviewers generally praised the episode for illuminating the conflicting elements of Gwen’s character and providing a central dilemma with no easy answer.
Some critics identified ostensible plot holes, though felt that the episode’s emotional successes negated these.