Out of Time

Roots: The premise dates back to HG Wells' The Sleeper Awakes and has been revisited by dozens, if not hundreds of other stories since.

We hear Beethoven's Midnight Sonata, Trouble by Ray Lamontagne, I See You Baby by Groove Armada, and The Good Life by Tony Bennett. There are references to Calamity Jane and the song Windy City.

Brand names visible in the supermarket include Cadbury's Dairy Milk, M & Ms, Fruitella, Flake, Crunchie, Mars Bars, Snickers, Twix, Aeros, Rolos, Kit Kat, Toffee Crisp, Milky Way, the magazines Glitter and Miss B, and the newspapers Cardiff Examiner, and South Wales Mail.

Goofs: Why don't Owen and Gwen introduce themselves to the time travellers in the car, rather than waiting until they get to the Hub?

Diane says that Amellia Earhart disappeared in 1932. When it was actually 1937.

Nobody tells Diane to put out her cigarette in the restaurant.

John's son looks a lot older than the approximately 70 (depending on dating) he must have actually been.

Memorable Moments: Ianto is explaining how automatic doors work, but Diane suddenly becomes much more interested in the fact that there are bananas in the shop.

Continuity: Torchwood can house people in who come through the rift in a fairly basic house. It is shared with a couple of young girls who have been in care. They can easily provide fake backgrounds and IDs, and provide a weekly allowance for those stranded in time. They can't, however, fake a pilot's license.

Owen has a large number of beauty products in his flat. The fact that he is shoving lots of magazines under the sofa suggests he hasn't had anybody around for a while [his inexplicable affair with Gwen is presumably now over]. He sleeps with Diane, and falls in love with her – the first time he's actually been in love with a woman he's slept with.

Extras: This story has an episode of Torchwood De-Classified.

Location: Cardiff, sometime around Christmas. [Emma's job starts "the day after Boxing Day". A reference to "Friday the 29th" suggests it's 2006.]

The Bottom Line:There's no puzzle to solve, no enemy to fight. Just three lost people who have somehow become our responsibility.“ And, finally, we get an episode that fully lives up to the concept of a grown-up Doctor Who spin-off. There are three emotionally mature plotlines, examining the issues of euthanasia, love, and coming of age. And every one of them works perfectly. This is head and shoulders above even the good episodes of the series so far.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray

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