The Girl Who Can Walk Through Walls owes a lot to the X-Men films, in particular a scene in one of the films were an anti-mutant senator cites the case of a girl who can walk through walls and suggests that she could walk into bank vaults. The way you know I don't know much about the X-Men is a) I've only seen the films, not the comics and b) I didn't know until I looked it up on Google that the girl in question is called Kitty Pryde.
This is just what the alien girl is doing in Cardiff, but before we get down to the mystery, there is the mystery of the missing coffee and the rubbish bin, as well as the empty shampoo. Petty theft in an open office happens. I remember a whole case of coffee sachets disappearing from an office I worked in, and nobody could figure out where or how it went. But the Torchwood Hub is not a place where a light fingered member of the public could pass by.
Should Jack have paid more attention to these things? Perhaps. But Jack is somebody who sees the big picture – the VERY big picture. He doesn’t have time for mundane details. As he pointed out to Owen in the episode ‘Dead Man Walking’ “If you've got forever, you don't notice the flecks on the concrete.” This same mentality leads to him dismissing the coffee and shampoo and therefore not realising that there was an intruder in the Hub.
Solving the mystery falls to Ianto, instead. He is the one who ventures into the hothouse where the flytrap has bitten somebody only recently and checks the internal CCTV for the intruder.
I did have a little bit of trouble with the technology behind CCTV and how it would work if a moving figure only showed up on one frame in five. It is slightly dodgy, I think, as is the idea of the alien girl being able to step through walls if she moves fast enough. But is it any less likely than an alien who turns people to dust after having sex with them? seriously weird things are what Torchwood is all about.
There are some moments of reflection for Ianto in this story. He spends some time thinking about his time of betrayal when he hid his partially cyber-converted girlfriend in the Hub. It serves as a counterpoint to the new mystery stowaway in the lower levels, of course, but it is also a way of re-emphasising Ianto’s position as the longest serving of the Torchwood team as it stands in these stories with Owen and Toshiko living in Glasgow. It is also a reminder of his past relationship with Jack, of course. Some people found his reminiscence about sex with Jack mildly erotic. Others were surprisingly offended. I put a warning on the main page. I make no apology for what goes on in the stories.
The solution – giving Gilly, as she is now known, a safe haven in Torchwood while her metabolism is slowed down and she can live life as a normal Human, is a little ‘soft’. Some people have complained that my version of Torchwood is becoming a refuge for waifs and strays. Actually, I prefer that to it being a blown up hole in the ground, and maybe there will be a story where Gilly’s talents come in useful some time.