March 18th 2008 was inspired by a short piece on the Torchwood.tv website which purported to be a journal entry from 1958, in which one of the then Torchwood agents had to look after a man who is in cry-sleep in the Hub and is woken up once a year to see if this is where he came from. An update on his story was crying out to be told.
Toshiko seemed the best choice for his guardian on March 18th, 2008. She is the one who seems most aware of the history of Torchwood and would be fascinated by him.
Connie is my extension of the writer of the journal. There was no name given, but it seemed right to give her one. Connie, seemed a good 1950s name, the era of Connie Francis, the singer. And the idea that she might have had a relationship with ‘Michael’ the pseudonym I gave to the mysterious stranger wrote itself, virtually. The tragedy of a relationship that could only happen once a year for a day, her long wait, his short wait, feeling as if it all only happened yesterday, struck me very firmly.
This was not ‘Michael’s’ story as such, though. It was Connie’s in a way. And it was a Torchwood story. Michael, now established as belonging to a future only another thirty years or so away, is the key to a future that is about to go wrong.
The Sennad, Wales’ National Assembly building, was a bit of a surprise to me when I started to research it. I had not realised just how fantastic and beautiful a building it is, with its radical design meant to be as green and fuel efficient as possible, the modern art, and the public gallery all around the top of the main debating chamber! The shape of that chamber shaped the end part of the story. The bullet proof security glass that protected the Assembly members from any possible security risk from the public and the low wall around it in front of the seats were easily worked into the plot involving an assassin from the future with a time dilation device and a futuristic weapon. Of course, it had to be Toshiko who would be propelled over that wall into the v-shaped void.
Originally, Toshiko was going to lose the baby at this point. It had been written that way. But when the Cuckoo story went online there was so much feedback from people who clearly wanted her to have the baby that I rewrote it. These stories are not really meant to slot into the TV series. They are, at this point, an alternative version of events post End of Days. So why not a pregnant Toshiko?