The Night Guard was intended as a vehicle for Darius and Dougal to cement a working relationship. Dougal and Shona work well, too, but since she is pregnant she has to take a bit of a back seat for now, and that leaves the immortal gay soldier and the near immortal vampire as the main fighting force of Torchwood Glasgow. Owen is a medic who uses violence only reluctantly and when necessary. Toshiko is the technician. Munroe is research and tea.

So why does it start with a scene involving Toshiko? I suppose because I still feel I need to keep a grounding in the original Torchwood characters even when the story centres on the new characters I introduced. I don’t know if I really do need to do that. Perhaps next year it should be time to let them have more stand alone stories.

The fact that Dougal and Darius both have certain superhuman powers is played out to the full in this story. Dougal gets fatally shot and wakes in the refuse lorry. Darius spends much of the time reconstituting himself from dust. Is it too much? The feedback so far suggests readers would like Darius to do more vampire stuff. Maybe he will. The problem is that his powers can seem a bit Deus ex Machina if they have never been seen before and they are what are needed to resolve the plot. I think the important thing is going to be sticking to powers vampires are known to have and not introducing anything unusual.

I toyed with the idea of an alien conspiracy at the bottom of the Human cloning experiments, but I think the old Torchwood adage that sometimes the monsters are Human worked better. It allowed Darius to have his moment of anger at the way Human beings waste each other’s lives, forgetting how valuable that life is.

Crashing the refuse lorry into the reception? Well, I’ve done some boring temp jobs in my time. Call it payback.