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Out of Time was the tenth episode in the first series of Torchwood. It was written by Catherine Tregenna and directed by Alice Troughton.

It saw Owen Harper strike up a libido-driven relationship with Diane Holmes, who was removed from a bygone era after passing through the Cardiff Rift. Although Owen meant to use her simply for sexual favours, pleasure gave way to romance, and he began falling in love with her. However, Diane chose to part ways with Owen and return to the past through the Rift. The hope of seeing her again later influenced him to spur a disastrous act near the end of the series.


When a plane from the 1950s lands in modern Cardiff, courtesy of the Rift, the passengers are reoriented by the Torchwood team, who become drawn closely to their lives.


A plane called the Sky Gypsy lands on a Cardiff air strip. Out step the pilot, Diane Holmes, and passengers Emma-Louise Cowell and John Ellis. The Torchwood team welcome them. The people on the plane think that they are in the year 1953, but Jack informs them they fell through the rift and were transported over fifty years into their future. The team make it their duty to look after the occupants of the plane until they can adapt to the 21st century.

Gwen looks after Emma. She takes her home, where she lies to Rhys that Emma is her cousin and that she came for a visit. The couple take her to a nightclub, where Emma soon gains the attentions of a young man. Gwen and Rhys separate Emma from the man when they start kissing, and Gwen explains to her that things are different than in the 1950s. Emma eventually finds a job as a shop-girl in London. Gwen is hesitant, wanting to get her a job in Cardiff where she can look after her, but she has to change her mind when Rhys discovers that Emma is not Gwen's cousin and is upset at just how easily Gwen lied to him. Gwen agrees to let Emma go and tells her to not talk to strangers when travelling to London. As Emma leaves, they wish each other a happy Christmas.

Jack stays with John

Jack stays with John as he dies.

Meanwhile, Jack starts a friendship with John, who wants to find his son, Alan. Tosh finds him, and John pays a visit, but is devastated to find his son is suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Severely depressed, John takes Ianto's car to kill himself by carbon monoxide poisoning. Jack tries to convince him to stop, but John says that he died decades ago. A reluctant Jack joins him in the car, as a friend, as the carbon monoxide slowly kills John. Jack's immortality leaves him unaffected; all he can do is express sorrow at the sight of another life cut short.

Owen, meanwhile, looks after Diane, who wants to fly, but can't because her license expired decades ago. Owen convinces her to go out to lunch with him and they soon begin a sexual relationship. As it progresses, Owen falls in love with Diane, and she admits to the same feelings. One morning, Owen finds she has gone, having left a note on his pillow. He rushes to the airfield, where he finds Diane attempting to take off in the Sky Gypsy. Owen tries to convince her to stay, but she is confident that due to the exact weather conditions from where she took off being present now, the rift will open again and take her back to her own time. After she kisses Owen goodbye, she takes off and her plane disappears into the clouds. Heartbroken, Owen cries softly.

In the end, Jack, Gwen and Owen think back on how the three have touched their lives.



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.





  • There are similarities between this episode and the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "The Neutral Zone", in which three people from the late-20th century are discovered cryogenically frozen in the year 2364 and must adjust to the era they find themselves in. The primary difference between the two episodes is that the temporally-displaced people are the focus of the narrative in Out of Time, while in the Star Trek episode theirs is the B-story for the episode. Amelia Earhart, who's also mentioned in this episode, re-appears in the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The 37's".





Story notes[]

  • The episode was repeated on BBC Two, three days later at 9:00pm on Wednesday 20 December 2006.
  • This was the first Torchwood episode to have no antagonist or enemy of any kind.


  • 1.03 million viewers.[1]

Filming locations[]

  • Plane landing at the beginning of the episode - RAF St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan
  • John visits the Millennium Stadium's gate 3 - Westgate Street, Cardiff
  • The restaurant Owen and Diane visit is The Pearl of the Orient - Cardiff Bay.


Date Time Channel Notes
Sunday 17 December 2006 22:00 BBC Three First broadcast.
Monday 18 December 2006 01:15 BBC Three
Tuesday 19 December 2006 22:30 BBC Three
Wednesday 20 December 2006 01:50 BBC Three
Wednesday 20 December 2006 21:00 BBC Two England
Friday 22 December 2006 21:00 BBC Three
Saturday 23 December 2006 01:55 BBC Three
Saturday 30 December 2006 21:45 BBC Three
Monday 12 March 2007 01:30 BBC Three
Monday 29 March 2007 02:00 BBC HD
Friday 30 November 2007 21:00 BBC Three
Saturday 1 December 2007 02:40 BBC Three
Friday 25 June 2010 00:20 BBC HD

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.
  • The events occur in December. However, in several scenes, including those of the airfield and outside the supermarket, the foliage on the trees indicates that the episode was filmed during the summertime.
  • During a scene in the conference room, a window can be clearly seen behind the characters, and a street can be seen outside. This is impossible because the Hub is underground.


Home video releases[]


Series one, part three DVD cover

DVD releases[]

  • Out of Time was first released on DVD, with three other episodes as Torchwood: Series 1, part 3 on 26 March 2007.
  • It was later included in Torchwood: The Complete First Series set 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[]



  1. Episodes 1-10 of the first series of Torchwood are set anywhere from 2006-2009 as a result of conflicting evidence shown in the episodes Ghost Machine [+]Helen Raynor, Torchwood series 1 (BBC Three, 2006)., Greeks Bearing Gifts [+]Toby Whithouse, Torchwood series 1 (BBC Three, 2006)., Random Shoes [+]Jacquetta May, Torchwood series 1 (BBC Three, 2006)., To the Last Man [+]Helen Raynor, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Two, 2008)., Reset [+]J. C. Wilsher, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Three, 2008)., Adrift [+]Chris Chibnall, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Three, 2008)., Fragments [+]Chris Chibnall, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Three, 2008)., Exit Wounds [+]Chris Chibnall, Torchwood series 2 (BBC Two, 2008)., and The New World [+]Russell T Davies, Torchwood series 4 (Starz, 2011).. As episode 10, Out of Time, is set at the end of December, this means that episodes 11-13 are almost certainly set the year after episodes 1-10.