Jackson Lloyd is named after the company who do the repairs for the Housing Association where I live. They are far from my favourite people as I find their work inefficient and sub-standard, so they were chosen as the name of the unlikeable American attached to Torchwood Glasgow. I have several times used the idea suggested by the character of Chaucer in the film A Knight’s Tale to ‘eviscerate’ my enemies in fiction. It is an excellent way of getting revenge on people who annoy me.
Jackson Lloyd is, therefore, an irritating man who has rubbed everyone up the wrong way with his casual homophobia and his patronising attitude to women. I don’t show very much of that in real time. Mostly it is back story in the first couple of paragraphs.
The sequence at the golf course with Jackson being mercilessly teased by Shona and Dougal was a satisfying piece of writing. The relationship between the characters worked well without me even trying, and I think it comes across as an entertaining piece of everyday Torchwood business. I certainly hope it does. It certainly shoes Shona and Dougal, who have had issues with each other in the past, working very well together if only out of mutual disdain for Jackson.
I generally dislike golf courses. You can tell, can’t you, by my disdainful comments in this story. Oscar Wilde called them a good walk spoiled. I have always found them to be places where snobs gather and put up fences to stop other people enjoying their private bit of the countryside. When I looked up the Sandyhills golf course it confirmed all my suspicions with a whole collection of thoroughly snobby rules about clothing and shoes to be worn on the course and in the clubhouse etc.
Frankly, they’re just ASKING to have a UFO plough through their Fairway.
I was also fairly pleased with the next part of the story when everything starts to go pear-shaped in the Hub. It was one of those stories that wrote itself in many ways. The only bit that I did have a little trouble with was the end sequence. Avoiding making that too sentimental was the problem and it had a couple of rewrites and ended up a little shorter than the first draft.
I don’t actually know ANYTHING about nuclear physics. I looked that up in Wikipedia.
This is almost directly taken from Wikipedia, which presumably already dumbed it down a little so that the sentences made some sort of sense to those of us without Doctorates in physics, but I certainly couldn’t explain it to anyone beyond ‘it’s what causes nuclear reactors to glow blue’. Learning enough about a subject like that to make a character like Toshiko who DOES understand physics sound convincing is the tough part of writing science fiction!
Jackson Lloyd’s ‘dead’ voice asking to be set free, of course, references the scene in Independence Day where the Area 51 scientist’s body is manipulated by the alien. In this case, too, it is the alien using its victim to communicate, but Jackson himself makes his own plea.
“Primum non nocere,” is Latin for ‘First, do no harm’. It is a myth that it is a line from the Hippocratic Oath, but it is not far from the basic tenet of it. Owen’s reluctance to commit what amounts to assisted suicide is perfectly in keeping with both principles. Of course, he HAS used a gun more than once on TV, but in those cases it was self-defence or to protect his colleagues. This is far more cold-blooded.