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Something Borrowed
Series: Torchwood - TV Stories
Series Number: Series 2
Story Number: 22
Enemy: Nostrovites
Setting: Cardiff, 2009
Writer: Phil Ford
Director: Ashley Way
Producer: Richard Stokes and Chris Chibnall
Broadcast: 5th March 2008
Previous Story: A Day in the Death
Following Story: From out of the Rain
"Do you feel like getting a bite?"
―Carrie the Nostrovite



Gwen Cooper is about to get married to her fiancé Rhys. Only one problem: on her hen night she is bitten by an alien and wakes up on her wedding day heavily pregnant with a shape shifter's baby. The alien mother is on the loose and searching for it's offspring. The only way for the alien to get the egg is to rip open its carrier, Gwen...


Gwen just about to get married to Rhys

Gwen is late for her hen's night as a result of following an alien. The creature, after being chased by Gwen, roughly pushes her to the ground. Gwen ends up flat on her back and the alien bites her. It is then killed by Jack, who helps the sprawled out Gwen to her feet.

It's discovered that the alien transferred eggs to Gwen, maturing inside her body to the point where she appears pregnant. During Gwen's examination, Jack tries to persuade Gwen to cancel the wedding. Owen mentions that if she were going to die, it would have happened already; so Gwen proceeds with the wedding. Rhys also tries to postpone the wedding but, at the insistence of Gwen, decides to have their wedding anyway; the alien fertilisation being explained as Gwen's pregnancy to Rhys.

The creature is a Nostrovite, a race of carnivourous shape shifters who hunt in pairs and mate for life. After fertilisation, the female transfers eggs to the male, who transfers them to a host incubate them until the correct time. The female then kills the host, releasing the offspring.

Tosh arrives at the wedding venue after being sent by Jack to guard Gwen. After being propositioned by Rhys' best man Banana Boat; Tosh soon reaches Gwen and delivers her new wedding dress before discussing the possibility of a relationship between Tosh and Owen. The Nostrovite follows and murders the DJ, eating most of him. Her presence is detected by Tosh and Banana, as he followed Tosh. After trapping them on the bed in a black web-like construct, the Nostrovite joins the wedding guests.

Gwen and Rhys are at the altar when Jack demands the wedding be stopped. Owen and Ianto rescue Tosh and Banana; and also Mervin's mangled corpse. A bridesmaid, Megan enters the room, and upon seeing Mervin's body flees. Jack orders Ianto to go after her but fails to stop her and she screams murder to the entire wedding party. After firing and chasing the Nostrovite; Tosh and Jack lose the alien and run after it

Jack questions Owen about Gwen; and he says Brenda, Rhys' mother, is with them. Tosh mentions that Brenda is with Gwen's mother in the garden. Tosh and Jack reach the couple's room, where Jack calls Brenda an 'ugly bitch', and after being punched by Rhys; Jack is told that the woman is actually Rhys' mother. They reach the garden to find the Nostrovite still with Gwen's mother. They confront her, and the Nostrovite holds Gwen's mother hostage, demanding her child. Gwen walks towards them, but just as the Nostrovite releases Gwen's mother, Gwen reveals a hidden gun and fires several times as it flees.

Owen suggests using the singularity scalpel to destroy the egg. He sends Gwen to her room, but asks Rhys to wait while he tells Rhys about the Scalpel; and teaches Rhys how to use it. Jack enters Gwen's room whilst Owen and Rhys are outside; and he and Gwen share a heated conversation. They nearly kiss as Jack transforms into the Nostrovite. Owen enters, shooting the Nostrovite whilst Gwen exits with Rhys. After realising Owen is dead, she leaves for Gwen.

Rhys and Gwen reach the stable and Rhys explains Owen's plan to remove the egg. As the Nostrovite tries to enter, Rhys succeeds in removing the egg. Just as the egg is vaporised, the Nostrovite enters, impersonating Rhys' mother. She attacks Rhys, who protects himself with a malfunctioning chainsaw. After killing the creature with a powerful gun, Jack picks Gwen up; before proclaiming "The hero always gets the girl".

Rhys and Gwen's wedding resumes, and the couple are wed. At the reception, Rhys and Gwen notice everyone falling asleep realising has Jack RetConned the wedding party. Jack offers the couple pills, but Gwen declines; stating that there'd "be no secrets in this marriage". They exit, thanking the team for everything. Jack and the others clean up, Ianto stating the irony of fighting aliens by day and reverting to cleaner by night. Later, Jack enters the Hub alone, blowing some confetti in the air. He retrieves an old tin box, containing pictures from his past. He looks through them, reminiscing, but picks one up and stops. This picture in particular shows Jack and his bride at their wedding.


Production crew

to be added


Story notes



to be added


Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • At the end, Jack administers retcon to everyone at the wedding reception, to make them forget the alien encounter (not to mention Gwen's sudden pregnancy). Wouldn't this result in them, therefore, forgetting the wedding of Gwen and Rhys? Made even more complicated is the fact Gwen and Rhys are themselves offered retcon, so they too might have forgotten the wedding. Perhaps retcon allows for the implantation of false memories; this is in fact implied by Jack's statement about there being a long evening ahead after the retcon goes into effect.
  • Even if retcon allows false memories to be implanted, it's somewhat more difficult to rectify the fact one of the wedding guests in fact died. Perhaps the false memory omitted the man, who would turn up dead in another venue, as per established Torchwood cover-up policy. It is explained in the Torchwood Archives book that Torchwood took the dead man and made his death look like suicide.
  • Early on in the episode, when Banana Boat is sleeping on the couch, he has the same magazine on his chest as seen in Out of Time with the 'children's TV Presenter' on the cover. If this episode is set almost a year after it, why does he have it ? They would no longer be publishing it and it is doubtful that he kept it. (Why wouldn't he have it? People leave old magazines laying around for much longer than a year all the time - especially bachelors, and especially when there is an attractive woman featured in the magazine.)
  • When Gwen tells her father that she is carrying an alien in her stomach, he doesn't believe her, thinking that she must be under severe stress. But shouldn't the people of Earth - and Britain especially - believe in aliens after the events of Aliens of London, The Christmas Invasion, Army of Ghosts/Doomsday, The Runaway Bride, The Sound of Drums and Voyage of the Damned? Not all humans have grasped the existance of aliens, with several organisations trying to cover them up and the situation is a bit different imagine someone telling you that the child they are carrying is an alien - they've not been integrated into society yet.


  • The singularity scalpel was last used in Reset.
  • Owen is unable to properly use his left hand because of the damage sustained to it in A Day in the Death.

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


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