TV REVIEW Torchwood 2.07 "Dead Man Walking"

Original UK air date: 20/2/08

Written by: Matt Jones

Directed by: Andy Goddard


The One Where: Jack brings Owen back to life with a second resurrection gauntlet, but after his two minutes are up, he keeps walking and talking. A Reaper-like entity called Duroc uses Owen to cross over, then starts picking people off at a hospital. If he stacks up 13 kills, he’ll be unstoppable...

Verdict: A stylish episode: love the woozy use of a steadicam strapped to Burn Gorman’s chest to convey Owen’s confused mental state; the dutch angles; that bold cut from the demon emerging from Owen to Jack waking up in the SUV.

It’s surprisingly creepy, and makes you fear for kids tuning into the 7.00pm repeat: we imagine quite a few will now have a morbid fear of hospitals. On the downside, Owen’s projectile vomit moment is jarringly out of place, and Martha’s ageing seems to have no rhyme or reason.

Highlight: Owen’s first slippage into a distorted, hall-of-mirrors realm of darkness.

Influences: The Buffy episode “Killed By Death” (in which a demon preys on dying kids in a hospital); The Hands of Orlac (the crawling hand); Star Wars (Gwen says, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this...”).

Featured Music: The hip-hop track playing as Owen pounds the streets is “Awfully Deep” by Roots Manuva.

Nitpicks: Why is Martha planning to carry out an autopsy on Owen? And when Cardiff police arrest drunken brawlers, do they usually lock them up in the same cell?

Best Line:
Ianto (researching Duroc): "I’ve searched for the phrase, ‘I shall walk the Earth and my hunger will know no bounds’, but I keep getting re-directed to Weight Watchers."

Ian Berriman

Next Torchwood review: "A Day in the Death"
Previous Torchwood review: "Reset"

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Available platformsTV