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You may wish to consult Something Borrowed for other, similarly-named pages.

Something Borrowed was the ninth episode of Series 2 of Torchwood. It was written by Phil Ford and directed by Ashley Way. It saw Gwen Cooper marry Rhys Williams and marked the first appearance of her parents, Mary and Geraint Cooper.


Gwen Cooper is about to get married to her fiancé Rhys. Only one problem: on her honeymoon night she is bitten by an alien and wakes on her wedding day heavily pregnant with a shape-shifter's baby. The alien mother is on the loose and searching for its offspring. The only way for the alien to get the egg is to rip open its carrier, Gwen...


Gwen is late for her hen night, when she is sent after an alien with a carnivorous appetite. When wounded, its black blood tells the team that it's a shape-shifter. Following the trail of blood, she calls Jack in as backup. Suddenly the creature attacks and bites Gwen's arm as she struggles to fend it off. A gunshot rings out and the creature falls to the ground, dead. Jack helps Gwen up, taking notice of the bite wound and insists on having Owen examine it. Once her arm is bandaged, Gwen takes off for her hen night; she explains that work kept her late. Her friends tease her with risqué comments about Rhys.

Gwen wakes up in her flat the next day, feeling drowsy after her late night. She smiles as she spies her wedding dress. As she gets up she catches her reflection in the mirror; she looks pregnant... very pregnant. Shocked, all Gwen can say is "Oh..."

Gwen calls Jack and Owen for help. Gwen is dismissive of Owen's confirmation that she is pregnant and asks Jack for a second opinion. He agrees that she is obviously pregnant, prompting Gwen to ask incredulously "What with?" Jack explains some aliens keep their bloodline going by passing eggs onto a host; inside, they mature until ready to be born. He then makes a joke about how "Darwin would have a field day if he got to space". Jack also explains that there is a procedure for this; the public know it as immaculate conception.

Jack tries to persuade Gwen to cancel the wedding, but she declines the idea. He then tells Gwen that her hormones are affecting her thinking, prompting an angry reply from Gwen as she wolfs down gherkins. Gwen asks Owen if her life is in immediate danger and Owen replies that if she and the alien fetus were biologically incompatible she would already be dead, so Gwen decides to wait until after the wedding to have the alien fetus removed. However, she does call Rhys to explain what has happened; he heads straight home and begins ranting.

Rhys also tries to postpone the wedding but Gwen insists and he gives in after Gwen tearfully tells him that all she wants to do today is marry him. The couple tells their families that they wanted to surprise them with the news of the pregnancy. However, Gwen realises this lie won't work; their parents will be planning for their grandchild and telling them later that she lost the child would be devastating.

Tosh arrives at the wedding venue, sent by Jack to guard Gwen. After being propositioned by Rhys' best man, "Banana Boat", Tosh delivers Gwen's new maternity wedding dress. They discuss the possibility of a relationship between Tosh and Owen. Tosh notes that the wedding vows would seem like a bad joke, since Owen is undead.

Back at the hub, Owen's autopsy determines the creature is a Nostrovite, a carnivorous shape shifter who mates for life and hunts in pairs. After fertilisation, the female transfers eggs to the male, who transfers them to a host to incubate until the offspring is mature. The female then kills the host, releasing its newborn in a "midwife from hell" fashion. The mate of the dead Nostrovite will be hunting Gwen.

The Nostrovite infiltrates the wedding and murders the DJ, eating most of him. Her presence is detected by Tosh and Banana Boat; Banana's blunder costs Tosh the chance to shoot the creature. They're knocked out and trapped on a bed in a black, web-like construct.

Gwen and Rhys are at the altar when Jack demands the wedding be stopped. Owen and Ianto rescue Tosh and Banana Boat. They also find Mervyn the DJ's mangled corpse. A bridesmaid, Megan, enters the room. Seeing Mervin's body, she flees. Jack orders Ianto to go after her, but he fails to stop her before she screams murder to the entire wedding party. Ianto jams the phone lines via the Torchwood SUV to prevent the guests summoning the police and Jack reveals his Torchwood affiliation, much to the surprise of Gwen's father. Before he can press the issue, Tosh notices the alien mother and alerts Jack. The Nostrovite reveals its true appearance and attempts to attack them, but flees out the window under a hail of bullets. Tosh and Jack give chase but lose its trail, though Tosh surmises that it won't have gone far without its child

Jack checks in with Owen about Gwen's condition, and Owen tells him Rhys' mother Brenda is with the couple. Tosh notices Brenda with Gwen's mother in the garden, however, and they come to the conclusion that the alien has assumed Brenda's form to get close to Gwen. Tosh and Jack reach the couple's room, where Jack calls the Brenda alien an "ugly bitch" and reveals to Rhys and Gwen that the Nostrovite has disguised itself as Rhys' mum. Gwen asks if the alien can copy smells as well as appearance. On being told no, Gwen concludes that this is the real Brenda because she is wearing her familiar, awful perfume. Rhys punches Jack for calling his mum an ugly bitch.

The team plus Rhys reach the garden to find the Nostrovite still with Gwen's mother Mary. They confront the Nostrovite and she takes Mary hostage, demanding her child in exchange. Gwen calmly walks towards them but as she gets close the Nostrovite releases Mary and charges. Gwen shoots it several times in the stomach with a gun hidden in her bouquet, but it manages to flee.

The Nostrovite poses as Jack.

Owen has brought the singularity scalpel to destroy the egg. He sends Gwen to her room, but takes Rhys aside while he tells Rhys about the scalpel and teaches him how to use it; Owen's knackered hand means Rhys would have better accuracy with the scalpel. Jack enters Gwen's room whilst Owen and Rhys are talking. He and Gwen share an emotional conversation about their feelings for each other. As they are about to kiss, Jack transforms into the Nostrovite. Owen enters and shoots the Nostrovite while Gwen exits with Rhys. After realising Owen is dead the Nostrovite breaks off its attack, choosing to pursue Gwen.

The rest of the team meet up with Owen, who explains that he and Gwen emptied whole clips of bullets into the alien, but "some mother instinct or something" is making it unstoppable. Since ordinary firearms are ineffective, Jack decides that they need a bigger gun and begins to assemble one taken from the SUV's boot.

Rhys and Gwen reach the stable and Rhys explains Owen's plan to remove the egg with the singularoty scalpel; Gwen is not enthused but they are out of choices. Rhys removes the egg and just as it is vapourised the Nostrovite breaks in, impersonating Rhys' mother again. She moves toward Rhys, who picks up a nearby chainsaw. Furious at all that the creature has done to ruin his wedding day and threaten his bride and family, he lunges at the Nostrovite with the chainsaw. At that moment the chainsaw stops working, causing Rhys to swear profusely. The Nostrovite mockingly calls him a bad boy ("You know what bad boys get?!") and raises its claws to attack him. Before it can do so, it is blown to bits from behind, spattering Rhys with its gory remains and black blood, and revealing Jack at the door with a large laser gun. Jack grins "How's that for a shape-shift?" and helps Gwen up. Putting her hand in Rhys', Jack proclaims, "The hero always gets the girl".

Rhys and Gwen's ceremony resumes and the somewhat disheveled couple are wed. At the reception, Jack dances with Gwen and wishes her well. Rhys and Gwen notice everyone falling asleep. Jack has retconned the wedding party and guests so they will not remember the bizarre events. Jack offers the couple pills as well, but Gwen declines. She insists there will "be no secrets in this marriage". They exit, thanking the team for everything. Jack and the others clean up. Ianto notes the irony of fighting aliens by day and being "Wedding Fairies" by night.

Later, Jack enters the Hub alone, blowing some confetti in the air. He retrieves a battered tin box holding old pictures. He looks through them, reminiscing, but picks one up and stops. This picture shows Jack and his bride at their wedding.



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.




  • When Gwen tries to continue with her wedding despite the Nostrovite pregnancy, Jack tells her she's "not carrying the Baby Jesus."


Foods and beverages[]

  • All of Gwen's wedding guests are given level 6 retcon with their champagne. Jack also offers it to Gwen and Rhys, but they decline.


  • The Nostrovite doesn't attack Owen, realising that he is already dead.


  • Rhys loved a girl named Cerys Morgan when he was 12-years-old.

Story notes[]

  • This episode aired immediately after the BBC Two repeat of A Day in the Death at 9:50pm on BBC Three; and was repeated on BBC Two in its usual 9:00pm timeslot the next week, on Wednesday 12 March 2008.
  • A family friendly pre-watershed edit of this episode aired at 7:00pm, the following day, Thursday 13 March 2008 on BBC Two.
  • "Tainted Love" is played towards the end of Gwen's wedding. It had previously been heard in TV: The End of the World.
  • Gwen states that she would marry Rhys even if "Weevils crawled out of the sewers" or "the sky was full of spaceships". Weevils will crawl of the sewers in TV: Exit Wounds and the sky will be full of Dalek spaceships in TV: The Stolen Earth and Journey's End.
  • One of Gwen and Rhys' guests works at the Flat Holm facility, and is later a reality bomb test subject aboard the Crucible during the events of TV: Journey's End.
  • Phil Ford was given this episode to write after his previously in-development story, Deadline, had to be dropped due to changes in the overall story arc of the series. He was told to centre it around the wedding.[1]


  • 2.8 million BBC Two viewers, with an AI of 87%
  • .980 million BBC Three viewers
  • 3.75 million viewers - final BARB ratings[2]

Filming locations[]

to be added

Production errors[]

to be added

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.


Home video releases[]

  • Something Borrowed, 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.)


External links[]