End of Days

Roots: Ianto quotes from the Bible (he says it's Daniel 12:10, but it appears to be a slight misquote of Daniel 12:8-9 in the King James Version). Owen mentions House

Goofs: The Roman soldier's costume was inaccurate for any period, let alone the one he's supposed to have come from. And his Latin is pronounced incorrectly.

Why does a 14th century peasant have tooth decay when she would almost never have eaten sugar? As for what she's carrying, if it genuinely was bubonic plague then the incubation period would have been one to six days, rather than being immediate. Also, the Black Death is thought to have been a variety of pneumonic plague, rather than bubonic plague.

Why is Rhys's cell the only one that opens when the power cuts out? And why would that cause any of the cells to open at all?

You can see both Jack and Rhys breathing when they're supposedly dead. Rhys's shirt doesn't contain any stab wounds, and Jack's arms aren't grey like his face and like they should be).

Abaddon's size seems to massively change between scenes, and it's odd that he isn't crushing buildings when he walks.

How does opening the rift reverse Rhys's death? And if it sucks everything that's come through it back why isn't the Hub empty of stuff. And why aren't Jack and Tosh sucked back to World War 2?

Dialogue Triumphs: Gwen: "All your staff have feelings, Jack. Even Owen."

Continuity: Torchwood have vaults on all nine levels which they fill up here. There are vaults below that which they haven't used since before Ianto arrived. Emergency Protocol One fully opens the rift, and requires the retina prints of all Torchwood personnel. It is clearly a different procedure than the one used in Captain Jack Harkness [which presumably only partially opens the rift.] Jack says that the first thing Owen learnt when joining Torchwood was not to mess with the rift.

Bilis Manger can step across time zones naturally and claims he can see the whole of history. He serves a creature he calls Abaddon, who is trapped within the rift – referring to it as his god. His aim is to release Abaddon. His actions in Captain Jack Harkness were intended to set up a situation where the rift would be partly opened. He uses visions of Tosh's mother, Lisa (Cyberwoman), Diane (Out of Time), and the death of Rhys to motivate Torchwood into opening the rift. Gwen's vision of Rhys dying happens when he holds her hands.

Abaddon feeds on life, causing people near to him to die. Jack's immortality is too much for him, overloading him. It does, however, leave Jack dead for several days.

Fully opening the rift undoes some of the results of the things that have leaked through, and also undoes Rhys's death.

Links: Jack's immortality (first seen in Everything Changes) is a key plot point. The crisis is caused by Owen's opening of the rift in Captan Jack Harkness. Andy (Everything Changes, Day One) turns up again. In addition to the ghosts mentioned above, there are references in dialogue to Cyberwoman, Greeks Bearing Gifts, Combat, and Gwen's affair with Owen (Countrycide). We also see the Doctor's hand (The Christmas Invasion).

Bilis's claim that Abaddon is Son of the Great Beast, cast out before time, chained in rock and imprisoned beneath the Rift. Is likely a reference to The Satan Pit.

The end of this episode leads into Utopia

Extras: There's an episode of Torchwood: DeClassifed.

Location: Cardiff, not that long after Captain Jack Harkness.

The Bottom Line: 'Do you think the world's gonna end on your shift?' Like the rest of the season, this is horribly inconsistent. There are some great shock moments, with the death of Rhys and Owen shooting Jack. But the story doesn't quite hang together as a whole. Abaddon in particular fails to impress – there's so little set-up that its confrontation with Jack feels very anti-climatic.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray

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