Tegwared and the Alien took shape while I was researching medieval Welsh history for another story. It was the name of one of the illegitimate sons of Llewellyn Fawr (The Great). I also learnt the reasoning behind the ‘ap’ prefix to Welsh surnames –son of. Tegwared is, by gentle coincidence to Doctor Who fans, the male equivalent of Tegan, meaning fair or blessed in Welsh. Gwilym is the Welsh equivalent of William, making him Tegwared Williamson in modern usage.

The alien in question was inspired by a picture I found on the internet of a woman with a green face. I saved the image a while ago now, and can’t remember the exact search terms I put in, but it was saved as ‘breeder.jpg’, which gave me the idea of an alien whose objective was sex of some kind. The face has an ambiguous look that could in one way be predatory and oppressive to others, as she was when she captured Teg, and in another, be pathetic and downtrodden as she appeared once she had been punished by her own people.

Teg’s choice is an obvious one – to set Dig free and become mortal or to keep her a prisoner at Torchwood and go on being immortal. Quite apart from being merciful to her after all those centuries as his prisoner, immortals choosing mortality is a common feature or folklore and popular culture. The Children of Lir in Irish mythology lived as immortal swans before touching the ground of Christian Ireland and dying as aged humans. In the same mythology, Oisin could have lived forever in Tir-na-Og but came back to Ireland to die as a mortal. In Tolkein, Arwen Evenstar of the immortal Elves chooses to be mortal and marry Aragorn. In the movies, an obvious example is the Highlander and the other immortals fighting to the last man for the prize of mortality.

Teg continues that tradition. But Jack won’t be drawn on the subject. He, alone among immortals has no reason to choose mortality. Perhaps it is because he sees no peace in death, or perhaps he just likes being alive. Perhaps he thinks he has work yet to do. Who knows.