Torchwood – Random Shoes

Or Invisible Eugene as the Radio Times listing had it. Possibly one of those late changes of title thingies. Anyway, last Sunday’s episode[1] was somewhat lighter in tone than some of the previous ones, which is probably a Good Thing – nice to have a bit of variety…

The story is seen from the viewpoint of Eugene Jones, a young man who is, in fact, dead. Killed in a hit-and-run accident. That’s his body over there, so why is Eugene walking around watching what’s going on? And why can’t he remember how he came to be where he was killed? And how come if he’s insubstantial enough to walk through people, he can sit down in the Torchwood car[2]? And why are there pictures of people’s shoes on Eugene’s phone?

Eugene attaches himself to Gwen and follows the investigation, and slowly his memory returns. Years before, a teacher gave Eugene an alien eye which apparently fell from the sky, and the eye is the centre of the story. Eventually, Eugene remembers everything – how he was betrayed by his friends, and how he swallowed the eye rather than let them take it, and how he came to run into a road…

Eugene then has the dubious privilege of attending his own funeral. As his coffin slides away for cremation, Eugene expects his extended life to end. But Gwen, having followed the case to the end, has arranged for the eye to be removed from Eugene’s body. She’s been half aware of his invisible presence, and tries to tell him that he’s free to move on. And at that moment, Eugene becomes visible and solid just in time to push Gwen out of the path of an oncoming car. Only then does he fade away…

Thoughts: they’re going to need a lot of amnesia pills, as lots of people at the funeral saw him appear; the National Museum of Wales (in Cardiff) did a nice job of pretending to be in Aberystwyth; and, more seriously, it was interesting to have a story that sees Torchwood from the outside. Rather good, and quite affecting.

[1] I’m trying to get these thingies done before another episode goes out…
[2] Picky? Me? :lol: