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From Out of the Rain
Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 23
Enemy: Night Travellers
Setting: Cardiff, 2009
Writer: Peter J. Hammond
Director: Jonathan Fox Bassett
Producer: Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall
Broadcast: 12th March 2008
Previous Story: Something Borrowed
Following Story: Adrift



When an old cinema re-opens, past horrors emerge to stalk the streets of Cardiff. As bodies are found with a heart beat but no breath, Torchwood must act fast. Who are the Night Travellers? And how can Torchwood capture these mysterious breath takers?


After the old Electro cinema reopens as a museum of local history that was captured on celluloid, the old scenes of a black-and-white film of street scenes are interrupted by mysterious sequences which show a travelling company in the early 20th century, just before the age of cinema. The film resists all attempts to stop it running, reloading itself, and the projector continues to operate even without power. The Ghostmaker (the leader of the company) and Pearl ('The Mermaid Woman'), once captured on film, manage to escape it and out into Cardiff. Ianto, attending this nostalgic evening with others of the team, is convinced he has seen Jack in the footage. He then witnesses the escape, noticing that two characters have suddenly disappeared from the film.

The escaped characters start roaming the streets of the city, taking an obscene delight in gathering an 'audience' to 'join their company – forever'. They steal the last breaths of innocent people, keeping their breath in a silver flask and leaving the victims severely dehydrated and only half alive – with a heartbeat, but no breath. Torchwood starts investigating the mounting casualties and begins research on these old travelling companies. Jack used to be a member of one of the companies, under cover performing the act of 'the man who couldn't die'. He tells of the mysterious 'Night Travellers', who perform only during 'the dead of the night', coming 'out of the rain' and disappearing, taking people with them. The mythology surrounding them suggests that 'young children were told to hold their breath while the travelling show passed by' – an old lady, hospitalised since her family all disappeared in her childhood, warns them of the danger.

The ghosts aim to bring all their other travelling carnival fellows back into reality at the old cinema but, finally after various victims have been hospitalised and others kept frozen at a deserted former lido by Pearl, the solution occurs to Jack. Being filmed again, the loosened entities may thus be recaptured onto celluloid. Effectively, he manages to achieve this with a home movie camera, filming all the phantasmagoric creatures as they emerge from the screen and catching up with their fleeing leader. He exposes his reel to the sun, vanishing the carnival ghosts for ever. However, for its last act before disappearing, the Ghostmaker throws the open silver flask and, despite Ianto's quick catch, most of the human souls are lost in the air. The frozen victims hidden at the lido simply disappear – Torchwood never even knowing of them – and the cataleptic victims in the Cardiff hospital all die, except for one child from an entire family affected. At his bedside, Ianto and Jack return his breath and bring him back to life. The silver flask ends up being stored by Jack in his safe at Torchwood.

Though the threat of the Night Travellers has been stopped now, Jack speculates that there could be more films with their ghosts trapped inside, confirmed by a scene at a car-boot sale where a man and his son purchase an old film reel. The metal case of the film is briefly opened and, back at the Hub, Jack hears a sliver of the Night Traveller's carnival music...


Production crew

to be added


Story notes



to be added


  • Gwen Cooper is now known as Gwen Williams. In fact, the closing credits of this and succeeding episodes establish that her name is not changed, and this has been confirmed by off-screen sources including Eve Myles. In addition, she is referred to on screen as Gwen Cooper in DW: Journey's End.

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Although it is stated that Owen can no longer feel things, he is able to determine that one of the victims has a pulse. A pulse is a physical movement of the body. It isn't the same sort of "feel". It's no different than Owen feeling a doorknob turn in his hand. In TWN: Pack Animals, which takes place prior to TW: Something Borrowed as the first medic on the scene of a bus crash, he must direct uninjured passengers to check pulses for him because he cannot feel them himself. Yet when he enters the wrecked bus by walking on the side of the overturned vehicle, he can "sense" the metal panel flexing beneath his weight. Perhaps there is some kind of learning curve while he gets accustomed to functioning in a dead body and by this episode he has learned to recognize the movement of a pulse.
  • The Film the Night Travellers are trapped on changes format from 35mm at the Electro theatre to the much smaller 16MM format when it is screened at the Torchwood Hub. (possibly Torchwood is in possession of alien recording equipment that could be used to record early forms of film).
  • If the Night Travellers were manipulating the film, inserting their own images, why would they bother to include the footage of Jack, who indicates he wasn't involved with them? Jack was part of the legitimate footage of Hope Street that happened to get mixed in with the circus footage, as he was on assignment to infiltrate the circus at the time; note the footage of Jack is not repeated in the way the Night Travellers footage is.


  • The Ghostmaker realizes Owen has no breath as Owen is a living dead person. (TW: Reset, Dead Man Walking, A Day in the Death)
  • Jack Harkness was working on behalf of an (as-yet) unidentified organization in the 1920s when he was assigned to infiltrate a travelling circus in order to investigate the Night Travellers. Although he never encountered them, by coincidence film footage of him got mixed in with footage of the Night Travellers. As he did not become immortal until after he left the Time Agency, it is more likely he was working for Torchwood at the time. Also, in TW: Fragments an account of events from his mission searching for the Night Travellers can be read in the first of the handwritten reports prepared for his Torchwood file. Though if it was Torchwood, it seems odd that he did not properly answer Ianto's question.
  • Although this is never addressed on screen, the closing credits for this episode established that Gwen continues to be known as Gwen Cooper, and not Gwen Williams.

DVD releases

  • This story along with the rest of Torchwood Series 2 was released in a complete series boxset in 2008.

See also

External links

  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - From Out of the Rain
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): From Out of the Rain
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - From Out of the Rain
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 "From Out of the Rain" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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