Manic Monday was written in response to the request for more about Lena and Ladette. It was also a way of postponing the next story, Retrospective because it starts with a discussion about a case the team had just completed that involved kidnapped children. I switched Retrospective with Jekyll and Hyde because the Madeleine McCann case broke in the news that week and I HOPED that leaving it for a fortnight might have been long enough to resolve that real life issue. Having Manic Monday to slot in as well bought another fortnight and I really hoped that there would be good news by the time I came to post the other story. Four months later, as I write, there has still not been a resolution of that tragedy.
Ladette’s story is wrapped up quickly enough. “Lena’s” one takes a little longer and forms the backbone of the story. Her real name turns out to be Meredith Pritchard, possibly about as Welsh a name as I could think of. The fact that Meredith is a unisex name provided a small moment of humour and a social comment about the sexual stereotyping of people in management jobs. Actually, I only KNOW the name is unisex because it is the middle name of the character Rodney McCay in Stargate Atlantis, used as a source of humour in some episodes of that series.
Jack noting that, in her business suit on a Monday morning Lena/Meredith is actually a quite attractive middle aged woman after all is in recognition that Jack’s character IS a bit too typical of men of around about forty who still want to pull women in their 20s and would snub one of equal age to them. Women hit middle age before men!
An old fashioned bank robbery with futuristic guns leads Jack and Ianto to uncover a plot that falls right back into their ballpark.
Manic Monday isn’t, I freely admit, the BEST Torchwood
story. It was written very much as a filler, and a way of rounding off
the previous story. This would never do for the TV series which has to
have 13 individual gems, but something that can be allowed occasionally
in an ongoing written series of stories.