From Out of the Rain was the tenth episode of Series 2 of Torchwood. It was written by Peter J. Hammond, directed by Jonathan Fox Bassett and featured John Barrowman as Jack Harkness, Eve Myles as Gwen Cooper, Burn Gorman as Owen Harper, Naoko Mori as Toshiko Sato and Gareth David-Lloyd as Ianto Jones.
It was Julian Bleach's first appearance within the Doctor Who mythos, portraying the primary villain, a man known as the Ghostmaker. He would go on to appear in the main series and its other spin-off, the Sarah Jane Adventures. The episode was relatively less violent compared to the graphic nature of Torchwood Three's operations, in favour of a dark and foreboding atmosphere cast by the villains of the serial, who would suddenly appear in the cover of stormy, shadowy nights, similar to the wanton attacks of Jack the Ripper.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
When an old cinema re-opens, past horrors emerge to stalk the streets of Cardiff. As bodies are found with heartbeats but no breath, Torchwood must act fast. Who are the Night Travellers? How can Torchwood capture these mysterious breath takers?
Plot[edit | edit source]
Local Cardiff residents transform an old cinema, the "Electro", into a local history museum airing old celluloid movies as part of its exhibits. The volunteer management discovers that a black-and-white film of a travelling company seems to take on a life of its own, restarting itself in the film projector and preventing the projector from being turned off for a period of time. Unknown to them, two figures from the film, the troupe's leader and its "Mermaid Woman", step out of the projection screen and become real, disappearing into the streets of Cardiff. On the same night Ianto, who has convinced Gwen and Owen to join him for the evening at the museum, claims to see Jack in the footage. As the team review the film back at the Hub, Ianto notices the absence of the two characters, and the team recognises Jack. Jack admits that he was once part of such a show as the "man who could not die". and describes one troupe, known as the "Night Travellers", who would perform only at night, appearing by "coming out of the rain" and disappearing as mysteriously but usually resulting in some of the local residents going missing.
Meanwhile, the troupe's leader, known as the Ghostmaker, and the Mermaid Woman prey on innocent victims, drawing their "last breath" into a silver flask and leaving them with no saliva or tears, and close to death in a near vegetative state. Torchwood investigate and discover multiple stories and old superstitions relating to the Night Travellers, but a chance mention to a hospital nurse leads them to a still living eyewitness — an old woman in a nursing home. She explains to the team how her family was taken from her by the Night Travellers, and relates an old nursery tale that children should hold their breath as the travelling show came into town to prevent themselves from being taken.
As the team investigates, the Ghostmaker decides to release more of his companions from the film to regain their audience and begin travelling again like the old days. Jack surmises that if they were released from the film, they could be captured by it as well using a home movie camera. The team rushes back to the theatre as the Ghostmaker is releasing the others from the film and is able to use a camera to confine all the Night Travellers save for the Ghostmaker; Jack then rips open the camera and exposes the film to sunlight, effectively exorcising the ghosts. They are able to capture the Ghostmaker, who in a last fit of revenge, opens the silver flask and throws it into the air. Ianto catches and closes it quickly, but too late to save all but one victim; the other victims, with the loss of their breath, quickly pass away. Torchwood restores the breath to the last victim, a young boy, and the silver flask is stowed away back at Torchwood.
Though the rest of the team believe the threat is over, Jack surmises there may be more reels of the Night Travellers. Someone buys such a reel at a car boot sale. It has the emblem of the Night Travellers troupe carved on the canister. A man is inclined to pick it up, but drops it on the ground, dislodging the lid and exposing a piece of the film. He picks up the canister and closes the lid tight, but for a brief moment, the sound of familiar calliope music drifts into the air. The sound reaches all the way to Jack's ears, but vanishes almost immediately. Jack wonders for a moment if his suspicions are true. He dismisses it as hearing things that aren't there and resumes his duties, putting the case of the Night Travellers to rest... if time will allow.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Captain Jack Harkness - John Barrowman
- Gwen Cooper - Eve Myles
- Toshiko Sato - Naoko Mori
- Ianto Jones - Gareth David-Lloyd
- Owen Harper - Burn Gorman
- Ghostmaker - Julian Bleach
- Pearl - Camilla Power
- Jonathan - Craig Gallivan
- Greg - Gerard Carey
- Dave Penn - Stephen Marzella
- Faith Penn - Hazel Wyn Williams
- Nettie - Lowri Sian Jones
- Christina - Eileen Essell
- Restaurant Owner - Anwen Carlisle
- Senior nurse - Yasmin Wilde
- Nurse - Caroline Sheen
- Mother - Lisa Winton
- Daughter - Gaia Davies
- Couple in Car - Alastair Sill, Catherine Olding
- Young boy - Tom Langford
Crew[edit | edit source]
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|General production staff
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
General post-production staff
Special and visual effects
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
References[edit | edit source]
- Providence Park is a Welsh psychiatric hospital.
- Christina describes hurdy-gurdy music to Jack and Ianto.
- The Ghostmaker attempts to take Owen's breath, but cannot, as Owen is already dead.
- Jack Harkness was working on behalf of an (as-yet) unidentified organisation in the 1920s when he was assigned to infiltrate a travelling circus in order to investigate the Night Travellers. Although he never encountered them, by coincidence film footage of him got mixed in with footage of the Night Travellers.
- Owen makes up an aunt for Gwen named "Aunty Peggy".
- Posters for the films Smoke on the Railway, starring Douglas Hanley, Under the Moonlight Waterfall, starring Harley Farnsworth and Molly Landers, and Walking in the Orchard, starring Eleanor Pace, can be seen at the Electro.
Story notes[edit | edit source]
- This episode's closing credits gave audiences their first notion that perhaps Gwen remained a Cooper after marriage. Audiences would have to wait a while for narrative confirmation, however. It wasn't until Miracle Day that dialogue with British officials unambiguously established that Gwen never officially took the Williams surname.
Ratings[edit | edit source]
- 2.9 million BBC Two viewers, with an AI of 87%
- .951 million BBC Three viewers
- 3.85 million viewers - final BARB ratings
Filming locations[edit | edit source]
- The then-derelict Ynysangharad Lido in Pontypridd was the location of the pool scene where Pearl and the Ghostmaker are seen at night.
- The set of Sarah Jane's attic which features predominantly in another Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures was used as Jonathan's flat.
to be added
Production errors[edit | edit source]
to be added
Continuity[edit | edit source]
- The Ghostmaker realises Owen has no breath, as he is dead and his respiratory system has ceased functioning. (TV: Reset, Dead Man Walking) As such, the entity is unable to harm him.
Home video releases[edit | edit source]
- From Out of the Rain, along with the rest of series 2, was released in a complete series box set in 2008.
- It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011.)
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
[edit | edit source]
- From Out of the Rain at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Discontinuity Guide to: From Out of the Rain at The Whoniverse
- From Out of the Rain at The Locations Guide