Secrets of Torchwood Tower kicked around my head as an idea for quite a while. I hadn’t really thought much beyond the idea of Ianto having to face his demons by going back into the building official guides to London call One Canada Square, but which a great many people call Torchwood Tower.
I don’t quite know what the real owners of the building think of being the secret headquarters of Torchwood. They must have given tacit permission for the exterior of it to be used in the Doctor Who episodes Army of Ghosts and Doomsday which saw the downfall of Torchwood One. I planned a bit less damage this time around.
Of course, Torchwood One is where Ianto worked along with his girlfriend, Lisa Hallet. Lisa was captured by the cybermen and partially converted. He found a job at Torchwood Three in Cardiff in order to hide her in the basement and try to find a cure. The story is known perfectly well to every Torchwood fan.
That is why taking Ianto back to the Tower was going to be a haunting idea from the start. But I planned for a few other things to happen. My first thought was that the strange gestalt mind made up of former Torchwood personnel would be in the basement of the building, but I actually hadn’t taken into account how huge One Canada Square is. The logistics of going up and down from the top to bottom were unrealistic. Besides, it made more sense for the top section of the tower to be locked off and under the control of the strange and sinister Mr Willis while ordinary businesses occupied the lower floors unaware of the secret.
Mr Willis is a cross between every creepy janitor in Scooby Do and the even more sinister Mr Dekker in Torchwood: Children of Earth, who would have made a good Scooby Do villain himself.
The gestalt mind with the disembodied brain of Yvonne Hartman in the centre tidies up a question – just what happened to Yvonne. Was she sucked into the void with the other Cybermen, or could she have clung to her humanity just long enough to remain there, insane and broken, still devoted to queen and country. The gestalt machine itself was already there. It was one of her ideas for serving the British Empire, so it would be fitting for her to join it.
Well, obviously they would have to put a stop to that. Ianto, proving he is more than just a pretty boy holds his own in a battle of wills while Jack does his impression of incy wincy spider, climbing back up the Tower after the lift with him trapped inside crashes down to the basement. Lift crashes have been a mainstay of disaster movies for decades, of course. Remember The Towering Inferno! Remember the medic in Omen II who gets cut in half by the falling lift cable! But a lift crash with a man who can’t die on board is even more spectacular. And poor Jack has to do it again, taking Willis and the brain of Yvonne with him as he dives out of the window.
But Ianto’s ghosts are well and truly laid to rest.