Alternative Life came to me while I was watching Exit Wounds, the highly emotional last episode of Torchwood, Season Two. Obviously, my stories had long ago diverged from the TV series. Owen and Toshiko are alive and getting gradually into a relationship with each other that never saw light of day on TV. Ianto is married to Alun, and Jack is going steady with Garrett. It’s a happier team than the one on TV.

But suppose happy Jack got tossed into the alternative life from the TV and had to come to terms with the two deaths and the fact that he has never met Garrett in that world? That would be a highly traumatic situation for him.

Ok so far. The story began to take shape slowly. It started a little bitty. The piece where Jack wakes up next to Ianto and the later section where Ianto persuades him to come back to bed were written first, then I filled in the rest. There was, originally, a piece at the start describing the bomb explosion from Jack's viewpoint. But I deleted most of it because it seemed surplus to requirements. Jack remembering the basic details as he woke up was enough to get across what had happened to land him in this strange world where nothing felt right.

I had, originally, intended that Jack would get involved in some kind of case while he was in the alternative universe. But when it came down to it I felt that it didn’t need it. There was enough material in Jack trying to make people believe he was out of his time, plus the sub-plot about his brother.

The cross over, of course, was a side effect of him being blown up along with the Joker. Actually, this story was the first one I wrote about that villain. I then decided I really needed to fill in some back story and wrote the story ‘The Joker’. And then I wrote two more stories, Trojans and When I’m 64, which separated them. This story seemed a long time coming.

Will there be a story in which Jack finds his brother again? Good question. I’ll need a different way for it to happen than in the TV series, that’s for sure.