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Reset (Torchwood story): Misc


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Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

For the titular drug, see Reset.

Reset was the sixth episode in the second series of Torchwood and marks the return of Martha Jones to television after her departure from Doctor Who in "Last of the Time Lords".

Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 19
Enemy: Aaron Copley
The Pharm
Setting: Cardiff, 2009
Writer: J.C. Wilsher
Director: Ashley Way
Producer: Richard Stokes
Chris Chibnall
Broadcast: 13th February 2008
Previous Story: Adam
Following Story: Dead Man Walking



Martha Jones arrives at Torchwood after reports of numerous deaths. A medical researcher has been injecting workers with Mayflies, the Mayflies cure all illnesses before killing the patient and Martha Jones has got one...

Martha is introudced to Torchwood


A series of seemingly professional murders in Cardiff prompts Jack to call in UNIT medical specialist Martha Jones for help. The Torchwood team are surprised and curious about Dr. Jones' relationship with Jack, as they still do not know much about his past. Martha informs him that there have been similar murders throughout the UK. Both Owen and Jack flirt with Martha, causing Gwen to show some jealousy, though she and Martha end up clicking together as great friends.

Jack is more open and light- hearted when Martha arrives, dropping hints about their travels with the Doctor. When the two sit down for a brief catch-up, Jack says to Martha that she should have contacted him if she was looking for work. Martha replies that she wasn't and that UNIT rang her out of the blue and said that she was what they needed and came recommended from an 'impeccable source'. Both Jack and Martha conclude that it must have been the Doctor, as no one else knew about Martha's time travelling experiences. Jack says thoughtfully that perhaps the Doctor thought he owed Martha a favour...they all did, which causes Martha to ponder about the possibility.

As the Torchwood team continue to investigate the murders, they discover that one of the victims had been cured of diabetes and another of HIV. With this information they trace the killings back to a medical centre named The Pharm. One woman had been attacked but survived and was in a hospital. She has a seizure after admittance and fly-like creatures rise out of her mouth and try to enter Owen and Martha, but die before they get the chance. Owen and Jack go to the Pharm and talk to the Director, Professor Aaron Copley, but are unsuccessful in gaining access to any areas of the facility.

After searching for ways of infiltrating the Pharm, the team discover that the facility recruits people for human trial purposes. Jack concludes that it is far too dangerous to send one of their own in undercover but Martha suggests that if a medic with the appropriate knowledge went in there; it would be less dangerous. After an initial protest from Jack and a silent one from Owen, Martha convinces Jack to let her go in undercover as she's 'been in worse situations'. Owen follows Jack and begs him not to let her go in there, to which Jack reassures him that he'd rely on Martha if the world was ending...and he has.

Ianto sets Martha up with her instructions and gear, and a short conversation about his and Jack's relationship ensues. Toshiko fits Martha with contact lenses that act as cameras, so that the team can monitor her while she is inside. Martha then goes undercover as Samantha Jones, a hepatitis sufferer, in order to investigate the centre's real purpose.

Meanwhile back at the Hub, Tosh and Owen are keeping watch over Martha in the Pharm. Tosh remarks upon seeing Owen gazing at the picture of Martha's UNIT badge; about their quickly developing friendship and that she and Owen are a perfect match, both of them being doctors. She goes onto to point out Martha's obvious beauty and shares a laugh with Owen, who tries to feign ignorance. Owen remarks that the flirting is harmless seeing as Martha is only interested in work and that if he tried anything "Jack would have his kneecaps". This seems to cheer Tosh up somewhat, and Owen asks her about the pool tournament (First mentioned in 'Meat') she was supposedly organising; to which Tosh says that it was supposed to be a date. Owen looks taken aback and asks Tosh if she was still interested, to which Tosh eagerly says yes. She explains that if they got to know each other outside of work, something could eventuate out of it and Owen casually agrees to one date, which excites Toshiko immensely. He does point out that he wouldn't stop flirting with people just because of their situation and Tosh tells him that he can be 'King Of Flirts'. The conversation disintegrates and they change topic and watch over Martha again.

While inside the Pharm, Martha discovers that the facility is responsible for the drug "Reset", which is what cured the previously incurable diseases. But the problem with Reset is that it works by releasing alien parasites, called Mayflies, into the human bloodstream - the Mayfly larvae proceed to "reset" the human body, eliminating even incurable diseases such as HIV. The downside to the drug is that the Mayfly larvae eventually hatch and eat the person from the inside. Martha is caught snooping around the mayfly laboratories and the medical director examines her and states that her white blood cells have mutated due to "travel in time and space'. He questions Martha about her alliance with Torchwood and about her travels in time and space, all the while Martha acts as if she doesn't know what they are talking about. He is curious to see how her immune system will react to Reset and injects her with it.

When Gwen and Ianto track down the Pharm-hired assassin who is carrying out the murders, arrest him and take him to the Hub, Jack and Owen find that he has a mayfly in him as well during questioning. Jack needs the assassin alive and Owen attempts to use the Singularity scalpel to vapourise the mayfly out of his body. He screws up and the fly bursts out of the assassin's stomach instead. Toshiko concocts a program that would get them into the Pharm by controlling the car from the back while the dead assassin was strapped in the driver's seat.

Once they get inside the Pharm, the team split up: Tosh, Gwen and Ianto are sent to find the 'research labs', while Owen and Jack finds the Director and Martha. Tosh, Gwen and Ianto discover the 'labs' to find that alien life-forms are being held captive and virtually being tortured. By the time Jack and Owen reach Martha, the Reset drug has been injected and the mayflies fought each other off until one mayfly remains inside. While Jack tells Prof. Copeley that his team are shutting the Pharm down as a result of the damage they are doing, Owen tends to Martha, using the alien gun to extract the mayfly from her body safely. The trio exit the Pharm before it reaches complete shut down and meet up with the other three by the 4WD they came in. Owen, who is supporting Martha as they walk; continues to flirt with her (i.e. by suggesting she should spend a few days in bed, hopefully under his supervision etc), at which point Martha says that she already has a boyfriend. Owen asks if he's ever saved her life like he just did, to which Martha replies that he had, implying that it is Tom Milligan, who she was seen phoning and to be attracted to in Last of the Time Lords.

As the team get ready to leave and Owen is ushering Martha towards the car, Prof. Copeley returns and points a gun at Martha, telling Jack and the others that he wouldn't just stand by and watch them ruin his work and let them get away with it. Owen, who had formerly admired the Professor, steps carefully in front of Martha and attempts to reason with the Professor, claiming they are both rational men and that he doesn't really want to shoot. Professor Copeley shoots Owen in the chest, to which Jack retaliates and shoots the Professor in the head, killing him instantly. Martha, Jack and Toshiko run over to Owen, who lies on the ground, bleeding. While Martha gets out medical supplies, Jack holds Owen's hand and reassures him he'll be alright while Toshiko becomes a little hysterical as she kneels beside Owen's dying body. Martha and Jack try to get him to focus, while Martha attempts to treat Owen's wound by injecting a medicine near his heart. Toshiko, who is visibly distraught looks over him as a look of peace comes over Owen's face and Martha remarks tearfully that he is dead.


Production crew

to be added


Story notes

  • This episode was the first of three to feature Martha Jones; during her first scenes the musical motif "Martha's Theme" from Doctor Who can be heard.
  • At this episode's end it appears that Owen Harper is dead, making him the second known Torchwood 3 fatality after Suzie Costello.
  • This is the second episode of the season to focus on humans exploiting alien life forms for their own gain, following Meat. Later, Doctor Who would also touch on this theme in Planet of the Ood.
  • The plotline of medical malpractice and treatment using an alien parasite is similar to TWN:Slow Decay.


to be added


To be added

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

to be added.


  • The newspaper clipping with Margaret Blaine's photograph from DW: Boom Town can be seen on the door of the tourist information entrance to the Hub just before Martha shows her card to Ianto.
  • The episode establishes that after leaving the Doctor in Last of the Time Lords, Martha completed her doctorate and was seconded to UNIT, apparently on the recommendation of the Doctor (which must have happened very quickly given that at most a few months has elapsed since Jack returned to Torchwood). Although Martha and Jack imply that they believe it was the Doctor who recommended her to UNIT, neither of them knows that for certain. Martha also states that UNIT rushed through her doctorate in The Sontaran Strategem
  • Numerous vague references are made by both Jack and Martha to the Doctor, as well as to the events of Utopia, The Sound of Drums and Last of the Time Lords (especially Martha's activities during the Year That Never Was, which are referenced when she lists the countries she has visited).
  • Although no names are given, Jack asks after Martha's family, a reference to the year spent in captivity aboard the Valiant during the Year That Never Was.
  • In EDA: Alien Bodies, Unnatural History and Interference it is suggested that travelling in time and space (and specifically in the TARDIS) alters your biochemistry, while in NA: Deceit it is stated that the Doctor gives his companions some sort of wide spectrum drug which alters the biochemistry to make it resistant to multiple things they might encounter. This episode introduces this idea into on-screen continuity when it is revealed that Martha physical make-up has been altered by her travelling in time and space with the Doctor (implying, by extension, that all TARDIS-travelling companions - at least the human ones - have likewise been altered. The presence of temporal "background" energy in the body as a result of time travel is referenced multiple times on screen prior to this (e.g., DW: Dalek (TV story))
  • Martha uses the name Samantha while infiltrating Pharm and she keeps the last name Jones making her name Sam Jones a (possibly unintentional) reference to the character of the same name.
  • Martha mentions that she has a boyfriend who once saved her life, a reference to Thomas Milligan (who by the time of DW: The Sontaran Stratagem had become her fiancé).
  • Jack tells Aaron Copley that he does not like politicians because he "recently had a bad experience with one" - a reference to Harold Saxon.
  • Apparently no one at the Pharm saw or remembered Martha's face from the broadcast proclaiming her, the Doctor, and Jack to be public enemies in DW: The Sound of Drums. This was before the American president's death, and thus not an overwritten event. This could have also been due to the belief that Harold Saxon was insane, as said by a character in The End of Time.

DVD releases

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

See also

to be added

External links

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


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