Fri, 1 February 2008
To the Last Man (Torchwood)
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15 - "To the Last Man"
Writer Helen Raynor
Director Andy Goddard
Script editor Brian Minchin
Producer Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall (co-producer)
Executive producer(s) Russell T. Davies
Production code 2.3
Series Series 2
Length 50 mins
Originally broadcast 30 January 2008
? Preceded by Followed by →
"To the Last Man" is the third episode of the second series of British science fiction television series Torchwood, which was broadcast by BBC Two on 30 January 2008.
* 1 Plot
* 2 Cast
o 2.1 Cast notes
* 3 Production
* 4 Continuity
* 5 Errors
* 6 References
* 7 External links
A time rift is causing 1918 and 2008 to bleed together. Tommy Brockless, a young First World War soldier shell-shocked from his experience in the trenches, is the key to "stitching" the hole in time. He is abducted by Torchwood in 1918, and held in cryogenic storage until the time comes for him to save the world. He is awoken for one day each year for a medical check-up, meaning he experiences the 90 year period of his freezing as around three months.
Toshiko becomes infatuated with him, and the two share a brief and doomed romance. Owen, noticing this and having experienced something similar (cf. "Out of Time"), warns Tosh about the eventuality of saying goodbye. Jack and Ianto discuss Jack's own displacement in time, revealing (in an inordinate number of words) that Jack does love Ianto in a way, and it culminates in a very sexy kiss.
However, with a rift opening in time, and with the apocalyptic threat of the years 1918 and 2008 colliding, Tommy must return to 1918 to seal the rift, never to see Toshiko again. However, history records that Tommy will be sent back to the western front, and break down again, resulting in his execution for 'cowardice'.
The writer has used this episode to draw attention to the British army's slow appreciation and recognition of the psychological trauma inflicted by the First World War, classing many shell-shocked soldiers as cowards.
* Captain Jack Harkness — John Barrowman
* Gwen Cooper — Eve Myles
* Owen Harper — Burn Gorman
* Toshiko Sato — Naoko Mori
* Ianto Jones — Gareth David-Lloyd
* Tommy Brockless — Anthony Lewis
* Gerald Carter — Roderic Culver
* Harriet Derbyshire — Siobhan Hewlett
* Nurse — Lizzie Rogan
* Foreman — Ricky Fearon
 Cast notes
* Although credited, Kai Owen does not appear as Gwen's fiancé Rhys Williams.
The title of - and dialogue within - the episode is a reference to Field Marshal Douglas Haig's 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 Atkins" or simply "Tommy" was a common slang term for a British soldier, possibly dating back to the 18th Century, but is particularly associated with the First World War.
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.
News 24 stock footage is used to depict the Iraq War, again with the BBC logo omitted as it has been in Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures episodes and in more recent Doctor Who episodes when news reports have been included as part of the story.
* Tommy remarks on how ridiculous it is that he has to save the world in his pyjamas. The Doctor does just that in the Doctor Who episode "The Christmas Invasion", which in turn is a reference to Arthur Dent.
* Tommy is described by the phrase '(a) stitch in time', this is used as the name for Bilis Manger's antique shop in the series 1 episode End of days. Curiously, Manger has the ability to travel through time, whilst Tommy, now in possession of a rift manipulator, can presumably do the same.
* Jack Harkness's suggestion that "more than 300" shell shocked British soldiers were executed is false. Total British military executions numbered 346, of which 40 were for murder, treason, or mutiny. The remaining 306 were for desertion, cowardice, and other offences, and while many can now be attributed to shell shock, many cannot, although all 306 were posthumously pardoned in 2006.
* Tommy incorrectly describes himself as a "private officer," a non-existent rank or designation; the correct term is "private soldier" or simply "private."
* Toshiko drops her bag when Tommy carrys her up on the pier, then in the same scene the bag is back on Toshiko's shoulder.
1. ^ BBC - Press Office (17 January 2008). "Week 5". Press release. Retrieved on 2006-01-23.
2. ^ Schools History: Special order of the Day - The First World War - April 1918
 External links
* Torchwood at bbc.co.uk
* Episode Guide at Unreality Primetime
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