Mood Swings was based on a ‘scrap’ of a story on the Torchwood.TV site, the same place I found the original idea that “March 18th, 2008” came from. In this instance I went a lot further away from the first idea, and the original scrap and this story don’t fit together exactly. But the idea of a ‘mood pebble’ that affects people grew from it.

The different ways the characters were affected were, of course, dependent on their personalities and their unconscious personal fears and concerns. Ianto is not really openly jealous of Jack, but unconsciously he feels possessive of Alun, his first steady relationship since Lisa. Owen DOES have secret feeling for Toshiko, and she, likewise, for Owen. THAT, was touched on occasionally in the TV series, but never developed. They are something of a love-hate relationship most of the time.

Jack, of course, has a lot of hidden depths. The idea that he might be homesick deep down is an area that hasn’t really been touched before, and probably won’t be again. But it’s there in him.

Alun, deep down wonders if he might be straight. This is probably the most controversial idea, since I really don’t think most gay men DO have those kind of qualms. But Alun WAS an insecure man until he began his relationship with Ianto so it is just possible with him. But I am certainly not suggesting that inside every gay man is a straight one trying to get out. Any more than a lesbian just needs a ‘good’ man to put her on the right track, which is another silly myth.

Gwen and Alun’s mood pebble induced fling WAS meant to be the lighter side of the story. No real harm was done to either of them by it. And it is the key to the idea that the cause of their odd behaviour isn’t deliberately malevolent.

The rest of the story is told as exposition, not always a good thing to do. But in this story, I think it works because it is necessary to fill in a background that wasn’t known before. The story of what the pebble had done before had to wait until everyone in the Hub had been affected by it, because otherwise the discovery that the pebble WAS responsible wouldn’t have had much impact.

The solution, might seem a little mundane in some ways, but it was the most Human and compassionate. And it may well be that the pebbles will come in again for another story.