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"Three days ago I died, and they think I’m fine..."
Owen Harper
A Day in the Death
Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 21
Setting: Cardiff, 2009
Writer: Joseph Lidster
Director: Andy Goddard
Producer: Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall
Broadcast: 27th February, 2008
Previous Story: Dead Man Walking
Following Story: Something Borrowed



Owen chats with a suicidal woman on a rooftop, reflecting on his adjustment (or lack thereof) to his new life (or lack thereof). Will a mission with Torchwood assist in his salvation or bring about the end of the world?


Owen Harper is on a rooftop, talking to a woman who is on the verge of committing suicide, whose name is later revealed as Maggie. He tells her about his recent ordeal with being dead and getting resurrected. As his memories begin we see Jack let him off but he has to stay at the Hub so that Martha can run some tests on him. Martha has been assigned the position of Torchwood 3 Medical Doctor. As he is talking to her, he cuts his hand on a scalpel, so Martha has to stitch it back together, saying that it will have to be stitched every week because of his inability to heal. The team then has a meeting about a man named Henry Parker who has been missing since the 1980's, yet Torchwood has had him under surveillance for years since. Later that day Owen is in his flat, and comes to the realisation that he is losing the will to live since he can't die. He jumps in the Cardiff canal and spends 36 minutes under water before giving up and returning to the surface, where Jack was watching. The Torchwood team has another briefing and decide they want to obtain the alien device that Henry Parker has. Owen agrees to go on a mission to obtain it, using his death to pass heat sensors, and multiple guards. Owen comes to a room where there is a bed hidden by veils, in which Henry is lying. He tells Owen that he needs the device to live but instead dies of natural causes. Later, the Torchwood team farewells Martha as she leaves to return to UNIT. Later that night, Owen sees Maggie on the top of a building, and goes up to the roof to talk her out of it, completing the flashback that started the episode. Owen, finishing his story to Maggie, successfully talks her out of committing suicide.


Production crew

to be added


  • Owen mentions NASA.
  • One of Henry Parker's items is a Dogon eye.
  • There are several joking references to the comic strip character Tintin -- including an on-screen appearance when Owen unravels a T-shirt with the character on it. Steven Moffat, scriprwriter for the Doctor Who revival and newly appointed executive producer, wrote the screenplay for a trilogy of films based upon Tintin, directed by Steven Spielberg and scheduled for release starting in 2010.

Story notes

  • Martha (played by Freema Agyeman) departs at the end of this episode.


to be added


to be added

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • If Owen cannot breathe, as he realises in this episode when he fails to resuscitate Henry Parker, then he shouldn't be able to speak. He says he has no breath to give him. Besides, this is a fictional show. Not everything will be accurate. It doesn't mean Owen cannot take air in.
  • Owen also claims that he has no sense of feeling. This presents numerous inconsistencies, for example the fact that he can speak also presents a problem here. Anyone who has had a local anesthetic for a filling will know how unclear speech can be with a numbed mouth. This can be explained by the fact alien technology is what has brought him back, he is no longer conscious due to natural circumstances.
  • If Owen cannot breathe, then technically he should be able to store air in his lungs. He could have just expelled the air into henry's mouth. Or does the fact he can clearly be seen breathing not matter? Well, Owen has been breathing all his life, therefore under the circumstances, he still has the 'habit of breathing in and out. Plus, it might actually be fatal for Burn Gorman to stop breathing whilst acting.
  • In a modern crash cart and life support system such that was standing there, there is a air bag to use as doctors in the hospital do not use mouth to mouth. It may have been missing


  • In the sequence of Owen's life clips from Everything Changes, Ghost Machine, Out of Time and Meat are seen.
  • The Dogon Eye was first seen in Random Shoes.
  • From this episode on, Owen always has a bandage over his left hand because he cut it and broke a finger.
  • The episode takes place three days after the shooting in Reset, meaning the events of Dead Man Walking occurred within the preceding 48 hours.

DVD releases

  • This story along with the rest of Torchwood Series 2 has been released in a complete series boxset.

See also

to be added

External links

Torchwood Series 2
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang  • Sleeper  • To the Last Man  • Meat  • Adam  • Reset  • Dead Man Walking  • A Day in the Death  • Something Borrowed  • From Out of the Rain  • Adrift  • Fragments  • Exit Wounds

This article uses material from the "A Day in the Death" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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