Sleeper

Roots: The Manchurian Candidate.

Goofs: If Beth is impervious to needles, then how are her ears pierced? Her earrings aren't clip-ons because she's wearing them in bed.

If the alien can take over Beth in an emergency (as with the burglars), why doesn't it take over when she's a captive of Torchwood?

Why does Beth insist there is no such thing as aliens? Has she forgotten the rather public events of The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday and The Runaway Bride? [The sleeper agent is affecting her.]

When Beth kills the burglars, there isn't any blood on her at all. Yet when David kills the councillor he is covered with the stuff. Does his weapon and forcefield work differently to hers?

The leader of Cardiff Council is also the city co-ordinator, taking charge of the city during major emergencies. The first position is held by an elected councillor and the second would usually be held by an employee of the council with disaster management qualifications. Since council employees are not allowed to stand for election to the council they are employed by it would not be possible for somebody to hold both positions.

So blowing up one unguarded building takes down the entire phone network in Cardiff – including all the different mobile networks?

Why did two of the sleepers blow themselves up? Do their bombs not come with a basic timer mechanism?

It seems somewhat odd that the cell's plan doesn't include taking out Torchwood.

Technobabble: We don't sniff the sub-etheric resonator.

Continuity: Torchwood have a mind probe. Gwen hasn't set a date for her wedding yet. She has heard that Jack's manners in bed are atrocious. Ianto remembers that they are.

Cell one one four is the official designation of a species that infiltrates planets with the aim of taking them over. Nobody knows much about them because they don't leave survivors. Their sleepers seen here can generate electro-magnetic pulses and have implants that are hidden both visually and from X-rays. They have forcefields a nanometre thick just above their skin that is impervious including to bullets. Her personality is in a hidden compartment in her brain and is capable of taking control in an emergency. The implant can create a blade. The implant can be turned off – severing the connection to the rest of the cell and deactivating the forcefield.

Links: Mind probes have turned up in numerous Doctor Who stories.

Extras: This episode of Torchwood had an episode of Torchwood: De-Classified

Location: Cardiff, 2008.

Unrecorded Adventures: The last time Torchwood used their mind probe, the alien they used it on had its head explode. Jack says that this is because the species has extremely high blood pressure. At the time, Jack said that they weren't allowed to use the mind probe again.

The Bottom Line: 'There's a cell. It's active.' There's a solid plot, decent dialogue, good characterisation, and a decent emotional core. It never rises to greatness, but it's a solid episode.

Discontinuity Guide by Stephen Gray

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