TV REVIEW Torchwood 2.02 "Sleeper"

Original UK air date: 23/1/08

Written by: James Moran

Directed by: Colin Teague


The One Where: A young woman is an unwitting member of an alien sleeper cell, advance guard for a force Jack knows as “Cell 114”. When three more sleepers activate, Torchwood must stop their plan to detonate a secret cache of nukes.

Verdict: Sleeper cells of suicide bombers are dark subject matter, so the fact that this episode is not only action-packed and wince-inducingly gory but also touching and laugh-out-loud funny is some achievement.

It’s tightly-plotted – there aren’t any obvious loose ends to tug. Nikki Amuka-Bird totally sells Beth’s fear and confusion, but she’s almost upstaged by Gareth David-Lloyd’s perfect delivery of half a dozen rewindably droll lines – Ianto’s fast becoming the best character! Only flaw: confusing editing at the end of the teaser. And those arms look a bit silly sometimes...

Highlight: When the other sleepers activate and one lets her pram roll into the road...

Influences: T2 (confirming a victim’s identity before shish-kebabing ’em]; Murder, She Wrote [Owen mentions OAP sleuth Jessica Fletcher).

Did You Spot? The Preacher and Human Dalek guns in display cases in the Hub.

Nitpick: How come Beth doesn’t get covered in blood?

Best Line:
Owen: "Let’s all have sex."
Ianto: "Just when I thought the end of the world couldn’t get any worse..."

Ian Berriman

Next Torchwood review: "To The Last Man"
Previous Torchwood review: "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang"

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