Rear Window is, of course, an old film about a man who sees a murder from his back window while laid up with a broken leg. And that is the opening premise of this story that reintroduces Beth, the girl whose brother was eaten by aliens in Aliens of Brecon. I had originally intended her to become a serious girlfriend for Ianto, but the feedback about her was never all that good so I let her fade into the background, mentioned in passing a few times, and serving as the cause of a lover’s tiff between Ianto and Alun in “Mood Swings.” This story has Ianto and Alun both looking after her following an accident which left her in plaster, and thus they became witnesses along with her to the greatest mystery of ALL. CROP CIRCLES.

The crop circles have also been mentioned in passing in several of the previous stories. They were the reason for members of the group being out in the field when the events of ‘Obvious Suspect’ unfolded. Crop circles are one of those weird things that fuel the whole conspiracy theory world and keep copies of Fortean Times selling. Nobody has ever conclusively proved what they are. The Mel Gibson film “Signs” had a go, and of course the X Files did. But neither of them considered that they might be from UNDERGROUND. That’s my definitive answer. The aliens landed long ago and have been in a sort of hibernation, coming out every so often to try to grab a Human and assimilate them.

As well as Beth coming back into the forefront, this story also introduces two other incidental characters that may make a comeback in future stories. The first is Maurice Pratt. Now, Maurice Pratt is actually the name of the former managing director of Superquinn, a supermarket chain in Ireland, and is wealthy enough not to care about having a name most people would laugh at, or the fact that he once appeared in a Christmas toy advert with Darth Vader. THIS Maurice Pratt starts off as a ‘joke’ between the Torchwood professionals, but when they sit down and talk to him they start to realize he isn’t just a conspiracy geek. He is a victim of the sort of alien activity Torchwood exists to deal with and has a story they have to take notice of. Maurice doesn’t get Retconned and there is no reason why he shouldn’t feature again.

The second incidental character is Garrett, formerly Martin, who works for MI5 and is certainly going to feature again in some way, but as yet I haven’t decided how far to take his relationship with Jack. And that depends how much he might feature as more than just a passing reference.