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Greeks Bearing Gifts was the seventh episode in the first series of Torchwood. It was written by Toby Whithouse, directed by Colin Teague, and focused on Toshiko Sato.


Tosh is given an alien pendant which lets her hear other people's thoughts. As the Torchwood team puzzle over a centuries-old skeleton, the pendant forces Tosh to question her commitment to Torchwood. Is her new-found ability a blessing or a curse?


In Cardiff, 1812, a talkative prostitute leads a young soldier into the forest. When she provokes him about his virginity, he slaps her twice. A chase ensues. All of a sudden, though, she sees a bright light, and hears a screech. She walks towards the light, but the soldier catches up and shoots her.

Many years later, the Torchwood team is at a construction site where a skeleton was found. Mary, the prostitute from 1812, is there in modern dress looking on amusedly. A strange object is by the skeleton, its function unknown. All is going well at Torchwood until Owen and Gwen accidentally kick out the plug to Tosh's computer, screwing up a translation program she's running.

Feeling dejected, Toshiko goes to a pub, where Mary approaches her. Mary reveals she knows about Torchwood and about her. She is a "scavenger" or "collector" of alien artefacts. Toshiko seems to bond with Mary, and reveals her innermost feelings, despite hundreds of Torchwood protocols disallowing this sort of conversation. Mary offers Toshiko a pendant. When Toshiko puts it on, she begins to hear people's thoughts. Mary asks her to refine this to her thoughts only, and subconsciously allows her desire to kiss her slip. Shocked, Toshiko rips the pendant off her neck. Mary tells her to keep it. Toshiko says she must show it to the other members of Torchwood, Mary predicts she won't.

The next day, Toshiko goes to the Hub and puts the pendant on. She tells Gwen and Owen she has something to show them, but, upon hearing their thoughts, she changes her mind after learning of their affair. Later, when Ianto offers her some coffee, she hears his thoughts, malevolent and bestial. She hears his pain at the loss of Lisa Hallett. Visibly upset, she takes off the pendant.

She finds Mary, whom she tells about Owen and Gwen's thoughts — how they pity her. Mary explains that thoughts are complicated. She puts the pendant on Toshiko again, and both end up thinking of sex together. The two kiss passionately. Later, Toshiko is lying in bed, looking regretful. She tells Mary of her attraction to Owen, and how she was upset by his affair with Gwen. Mary tells her that good can come of the pendant, too. Toshiko asks Mary who she really is. Mary calls herself "Philoctetes".

Toshiko heeds Mary's advice and listens to the thoughts of people in a busy Cardiff street. She hears a man planning to kill his ex-wife and son. She follows him to their house, and saves their lives.

When she returns to the Hub, Owen is being teased by the others for misidentifying the skeleton: it was actually a man — not a woman — who died of an unidentified trauma — not a gunshot wound. Tosh asks Jack about Philoctetes, and he tells her his story: in Greek mythology, the archer was exiled to the island of Lemnos, to be left there alone for ten years.

Mary is teleported into the sun.

Mary tells Toshiko to read Jack's thoughts about the item found with the skeleton. Toshiko tries and fails to read his thoughts; Jack seems to notice when she tries. She tells Mary this, and decides that she must show the pendant to her co-workers. Mary, however, convinces her to change her mind by showing her her true form: she is an alien exiled from her home world. Toshiko offers Torchwood's help, but Mary refuses. Humans' way is invasion, not help. She thinks she will simply be assessed, and then locked up in the base's prison cells.

Mary instead asks Toshiko to sneak her into the Hub to retrieve the artefact, which could finally take her home. The two enter to find Jack holding the transporter. He explains that it is a two-man transporter for a guard and a prisoner. Mary explains that she killed the guard, then took the body of the young prostitute Mary, and has been ripping out people's hearts to feed her human form.

She takes Toshiko at knife point, and demands that they return the transporter. Jack gives it to her. It automatically turns on, and she disappears. Jack had reprogrammed the device to teleport to the centre of the sun. Later, Toshiko is confronted by Owen and Gwen about what she heard. Toshiko says that it was none of her business. Owen storms off. Gwen admits that her affair with Owen is wrong, but that she can't stop. She says that Tosh seemed happier with Mary in her life, and that she should not let everything that has happened bring her down.

Jack and Toshiko sit by the fountain above the Hub and discuss the pendant. Toshiko believes that it may be the most powerful artefact ever found by Torchwood, and asks Jack for his advice. He says it is her choice. She crushes the device with her foot. She asks why she could not read Jack's mind. Jack denies knowing why but admits he could tell she was trying. She tells him that it felt like she was trying to read the mind of a dead man. He doesn't respond. He comforts her about her experiences, wipes away her tears, and silently walks away.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume 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.


Science and technology[]

  • When Jack is studying the alien device, he finds traces of ilmenite, pyroxene and even dark matter.
  • The x-ray of a Cybus Cyberman is seen behind Owen in the autopsy room.



Organisations and companies[]

Cultural references to the real world[]

Story notes[]


  • 1.31 million viewers[1]

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

to be added


  • Owen mentions someone named Michael Hamilton is still recovering from what occurred during the ghost incident, saying that he's still seeing Cybermen outside his mother's house. (TV: Army of Ghosts, Doomsday)
  • Toshiko's observations of Ianto's thoughts reveal he is still in turmoil after the death of Lisa Hallett. (TV: Cyberwoman)
  • When Jack and Toshiko discuss her saving the woman and her son, anti-Cyberman guns can be seen behind them. (TV: Doomsday)
  • Ianto panics at the thought of Tosh dying, privately declaring, "Not again." (TV: Everything Changes)

Home video releases[]

Series one, part two DVD cover

DVD releases[]

  • This episode was first released on DVD, with three other episodes entitled Torchwood: Series 1, part 2 on 26 February 2007.
  • It was later released in Torchwood: The Complete First Series on 19 November 2007.
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 boxset. (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011)

Blu-ray releases[]

  • Released in the US with the rest of Series 1 as a Complete First Season set on 16 September 2008.
  • It was released in the Series 1-3 Blu-ray boxset on 26 October 2009 in the UK. The US release was on 19 July 2011.
  • It was also released in the Series 1-4 Blu-ray boxset. (Region 2 release: 14 November 2011)

External links[]