Series 3 goes from strength to strength, with a near perfect episode tonight. A very old story about being lost in time and having heroism thrust upon you, this could have been the weakest episode so far, but the acting (particularly from Mori) was incredibly strong, the script was water tight and to say the characters were sympathetic would be an understatement.
Without the ongoing plot threads, this episode had the freedom to go anywhere, and had the courage not to go with the direction it defaulted in last year – random shagging, just because they could. Here they finally stuck with adult emotional themes. And the investigation of unwanted heroism was the strongest I’ve seen in this series or in Doctor Who since its relaunch. Torchwood keeps a man out of time for nearly a century, and on his annual defrosting from cryogenic freezing he and Tosh fall fully in love. Except Tommy is the only man who can save the world – by going back in time to a guaranteed death. History has already been written – he has to do this, and Tosh has to let him, but can they?
Of course they can. But the acting convinces us about just how impossible a decision it really is, and Tosh is changed at the end. Partly because of the decisions she had to make, partly because of the respect Jack in particular gives her. I was really moved by this episode – one-offs like this are more than welcome.