Torchwood - Random Shoes
Episode 109 first broadcast on BBC December 10th 2006.

This was another one of those episodes similar to that forgettable one about Elton in Doctor Who. In this one we get another dorky fanboy obsessed with something that has taken over his life and as a result he hasn't done anything. In this one the boy is called Eugene and he's obsessed with an alien glass eye. He's also obsessed with Torchwood wanting to show them the eye but they continue ignoring him.

You know, in the old days of Doctor who, when the main character - William Hartnell - needed a holiday from his gruelling schedule, he took one, and the other characters kept the show rolling. With about 42 half hour episodes per year and with the main actor being 57 perhaps this was warranted in the 60s, but it definitely isn't when Torchwood is only 13 episodes per year and filming doesn't go longer than 6 months. 
So why do we get these stories where the main characters are not the main characters? Why? Why? Why?

Okay, so the writers need a break and want to explore a new type of character. Ok. I get it.

Eugene failed a maths competition when he was very young and a teacher gave him an alien eye. He became obsessed with the possibility of meeting the alien that wanted his glass eye back and didn't do anything with his life.

But now he was dead, killed in a hit and run accident. Somehow the eye has helped him to stick around as a ghost and follow Gwen as she investigates his depressing life and equally depressing death. He doesn't realise that he is influencing Gwen but she suspects that he is near her.

From his phone she finds pictures of shoes that are her only lead as to what happened to him. Eventually she tracks down his friend Gary, his other friend who owns the video store and a cafe where they last met. Piecing the puzzle together and puzzling through the pieces she eventually finds out that, when Eugene found out his father was working down the road, and other realisations in his life, he decided to sell the eye on an online auction.

When the auction had got up to 15,000 pounds Eugene guessed that the alien was trying to get his eye back, so Gary and the video guy decided to trick him and took the final bid then met him at a diner. A fight had ensued that resulted in Eugene swallowing the eye and running off.

So the eye had helped Eugene to be a ghost while it was in him and he got to reflect on his life. Now that Gwen had the eye removed at the funeral, why was he still around? Is it something he has to do for Gwen before he goes?

A sad story and really not something that should have been included in the first season. Especially after the fantastic story of the previous week. They Keep Killing Suzie was definitely one of the highlights, Random Shoes one of the lowlights.

4 out of 10

The BBC blurb before the title change:
Torchwood Invisible Eugene Ep 9/13
Sunday 10 December
10.00-10.50pm BBC THREE

When Eugene wakes to find himself (a) dead and (b) invisible to the rest of the world, he knows something has gone rather wrong, as Russell T Davies's sci-fi thriller continues. Eugene knows there's one person he can rely on to discover the truth behind his death: Gwen Cooper.

 Eugene is played by Paul Chequer and Gwen Cooper by Eve Myles. 

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