Wed, 27 February 2008
"Dead Man Walking" is the seventh episode of the second series of British science fiction television series Torchwood. It was broadcast by BBC Three and BBC HD on February 20, 2008; it will make its terrestrial debut on BBC Two on February 27.
The team is still recovering after the events of "Reset". Owen Harper, shot dead, is about to be opened up for autopsy by Martha Jones. Jack however tells everyone to leave him alone until he returns. Jack runs to a place where he talks to a girl, a fortune teller. She says he owes her a favour, and appears to have a tarot card with Jack's face on it. The young girl tells him where to find what it is he is looking for, though as he leaves she is seen holding a tarot card depicting the Grim Reaper.
Jack goes to the location where the girl had sent him, which is an
abandoned church called St. Mary's. It is also the home of many Weevils.
He manages to locate the box which holds the item he desires, and
returns to the hub and shows the astonished team exactly what he had
found. He holds up a resurrection glove, similar to the one that was used by Suzie and Gwen.
Gwen immediately objects to what Jack is about to do, reminding him of
what had happened before with Suzie, though Jack ignores her and hopes
to bring Owen back for two minutes or so for everybody to say their
goodbyes to him. He resurrects Owen, who is confused and scared. Toshiko
tells Owen that she loves him, and Jack tries to prepare Owen for
death. The connection is lost, Owen stops breathing, and Jack holds
Owen's hand, believing he is dead. We then hear Owen's voice saying
that he will need his hand back, and it is obvious that the plan has
As before with Suzie, the glove has brought Owen back from beyond death permanently, although this time there is no obvious source. No energy is being drained from Jack, as Suzie was draining energy from Gwen, but Owen is getting energy from somewhere. Toshiko tells Owen she didn't mean what she told him before (that she loves him) and Owen says that this is a textbook reaction to grief, but does not want to discuss it further, changing the subject and leaving the room.
Owen then finds himself occasionally having visions of himself in a place shrouded in darkness and hearing eerie whispers. He also temporarily loses control of his body during which his pupils dilate and he speaks in an unknown language. Although he has been put in quarantine, Owen escapes and goes out to a bar in Cardiff, where he discovers that he is no longer able to digest drinks, or pump blood (in order to have sex), as he is now the walking dead, and his life processes have stopped. Jack catches him and they have a bar brawl which results in them both being put in a police cell. During their time in the cell, Owen intentionally vomits the drinks that would have otherwise been stuck in his stomach and starts to panic about death. He and Jack bond, and Jack reveals that he once dated Marcel Proust and that his immortality, which Owen is coveting in his position, is not as good as Owen suspects. They then leave after Jack reveals his thoughts on immortality. Once outside they encounter numerous Weevils that chase Owen and Jack until they are cornered on a rooftop. They are surprised that instead of killing them, the Weevils bow to Owen who again temporarily loses control of his body and addresses the Weevils in the same unknown language.
Upon analysis, it is found that Owen's cells are changing slowly, and upon 100% transformation something will happen. Research shows that a similar situation occurred in legend, and that Death itself comes back with the revived and searches for 13 victims whose consumed souls will enable Death to remain in the world; Death would otherwise quickly perish. The story says that 'faith' was what stopped it. Believing this legend is in the process of repeating, Owen suggests that he must have his neural pathways closed by being embalmed in order to stop Death from using him as a gateway. During the embalming process, the resurrection gauntlet comes to life and attacks Martha before being destroyed, draining the life from her and reducing her to an old woman. Owen shoots the gauntlet, and as his cells fully change, he loses control again, and the gauntlet transforms into a dust which appears to possess him. He speaks in the same voice as he did when changed earlier, and says 'I will walk the earth forever, and my hunger shall know no bounds' - a phrase attributed earlier to Death.
Death escapes from Owen and heads to a hospital, being drawn to those close to death, and begins taking their souls. Martha is also brought to the hospital in her heavily aged state, where a nurse says that as her red blood cell count is low and as she is over eighty, her chances of survival are slim. The team evacuates everyone from the building while Death, after taking twelve souls, chases after a young leukaemia patient who had been accidentally left behind. Owen saves the child and helps him and Tosh to escape. Ianto, who is waiting with Martha, explains to the team that the 'faith' which defeated Death before was in fact the resurrected child, whose name was Faith. Owen then realizes that he himself is the only one who can fight the Grim Reaper as he is already dead and therefore has nothing to lose. After kissing Tosh (and stealing her lockpicking/sealing gadget), Owen locks the other members of the team out of the hospital and begins a brawl with Death, eventually consuming its energy and forcing it back into the darkness.
Upon returning to the Hub, Martha explains to Owen that now the energy keeping him 'alive' is dissipating but could take an unknown amount of time to do so, anywhere between 30 minutes and 30 years, or even longer. Jack explains to Toshiko that you can never defeat death, only escape it. The episode ends with Owen asking Jack to let him work again, as by doing his job as a doctor he can try and repay the lives of those lost when Jack brought Owen back.
Including Time Crash! and Christmas Confidential
The latest Doctor Who Christmas Special star Kylie Minogue alongside David Tennant!