10 things you didn’t know
With his dark and disturbing interpretation of the Doctor Who universe, Torchwood captured the interest of many viewers when the series debuted in 2006. One of the most famous episodes of the adult sci-fi drama is undoubtedly “Sleeper”, which aired as part of the exciting second series of the show.
This jaw-dropping episode celebrates its 14th anniversary this year, prompting fans to celebrate its incredible accomplishments. Despite its popularity, however, there are still some facts about the story that some viewers may not know. The off-screen story of “Sleeper” is arguably as interesting as its twisted narrative, like the Torchwood episode has become the source of some truly fascinating behind-the-scenes gossip.
ten Cross my palm with money
Torchwood is responsible for some of Whoniverse’s biggest episodes, but some of those stories failed to make it onto the small screen. James Moran’s initial concept for “Sleeper,” titled “Cross My Palm With Silver,” is one such victim, with the narrative featuring a completely different take on Mike Lyndon’s wife, Beth Halloran.
According to Torchwood Magazine #24, Moran’s brainchild involved Beth working as a fortune teller, whose surprisingly accurate predictions lead to the reveal that she possesses telekinetic abilities. This more mystical approach, however, failed to impress the show’s production team, who thought the episode needed a greater focus on Beth and had James Moran remove Beth’s tarot cards from it altogether. the story. This scrapped storyline has a great sense of adventure, suggesting a potentially playful installment.
9 Luke Rutherford
Superhero franchises are some of the most iconic properties in the media industry, with audiences often hooked on these epic tales of good versus evil. “Sleeper” contains a somewhat surprising connection to one of the biggest comic book series in the world, with actor Luke Rutherford – who plays one of the burglars in the episode – having also starred in a Batman movie.
The British actor can be seen in Christopher Nolan’s film The dark knight rises, who is responsible for some of the best Black Knight quote. In this great Nolan conclusion Batman trilogy, Luke Rutherford portrays a figure just as dark as his Torchwood counterpart, part of Bane’s mercenary army. Rutherford strikes an intimidating presence in both roles, as he convincingly embodies the more hardened personalities of these characters.
8 Doug Sinclair
The sci-fi genre requires behind-the-scenes talent capable of creating an otherworldly soundscape, and “Sleeper” supervising sound editor Doug Sinclair delivers some particularly unique tones. Doug’s expert sound design can also be heard in another popular fantasy series, however, with the supervising sound editor also contributing his talents to good omens.
Doug Sinclair gives the Neil Gaiman-written series a whimsical vibe, as he brings creatures such as Hellhounds and Satan to life with his truly distinct sounds. As for his work on Torchwood, Sinclair infuses the series’ heightened concepts with character, lending real charm to these delightful fictional worlds.
7 The mortuary office
Beth proves a dangerous enemy throughout “Sleeper,” with the Torchwood team making the unfortunate decision to cryogenically freeze the unsuspecting sleeper before she can unknowingly kill someone else. Beth is frozen inside the mortuary cabinet, which features a fun reference to another iconic British franchise, James Bond.
As Beth is placed in cryogenic sleep, eagle-eyed viewers may notice that the mortuary cabinet is labeled “OO7.” This random assortment of numbers is also the code name for James Bond, which has been used prominently throughout the spy’s cinematic adventures. It’s a fun nod to the acclaimed action series from James Moran, who is also a fan of the iconic film saga, having enthusiastically discussed the franchise several times on Twitter.
6 Claire Rees
The production secretary job can often be a great entry point for people looking for a job in the media industry, and that turned out to be the case for Claire Rees. Rees worked as a production secretary for “Sleeper,” and has since done bigger things, as part of Its dark materials visual effects team.
Claire Rees’ VFX work for His dark materials – which contains some of the most shocking moments from its second season – is truly spectacular. The series’ special effects convincingly portray a magical, wondrous environment that seems faithful to Philip Pullman’s iconic book series. Claire Rees’ CGI work demonstrates the strong creative talents she’s built since “Sleeper”, showcasing her exemplary skills as a visual effects artist.
5 Derek Lea
The sleeper agents of Cell114 are at the heart of “Sleeper”, their stealthy infiltration of Earth posing a significant challenge for Torchwood. One of these alien invaders takes the form of a paramedic and is played by Derek Lea, who has worked as a stuntman on various Doctor Who episodes.
Derek Lea offered his stunt work on some of Doctor Who greatest stories, including “Dalek” and “Bad Wolf/The Parting Of The Ways”, which many consider one of the best two-parters Dr Who episodes. The bold and daring performer brought a thrilling style to the hit sci-fi series, choreographing some of the show’s most tense action sequences. Derek Lea’s stunts saw him become one of Doctor Who greatest unsung heroes, acting as a major influence behind the relentless pace of the new series.
4 St. Cadoc Hospital
One of the key moments in the “Sleeper” narrative takes place within the confines of a hospital, with Beth murdering her hospitalized husband Mike after his hidden consciousness Cell114 breaks through. What some fans may not realize, however, is that the same hospital building also appeared in Doctor Who.
St. Cadoc’s Hospital features in the narrative of “The Power Of Three”, as the workplace of Rory Williams. During this time, the building was also used as the location of the Eleventh Doctor’s final confrontation with Prisoner Zero in “The Eleventh Hour,” which IMDb users consider one of the best episodes of that incarnation. The history of St. Cadoc’s Hospital within the Whoniverse is fascinating to watch, with many viewers unaware of its importance within the British sci-fi franchise (Via Doctor Who locations).
3 Alex Harries
Torchwood has featured many unexpected faces, including Ruth Jones and Ernie Hudson, but one of the most surprising is Alex Harries. The British actor is best known for playing Faith’s sleazy friend Arthur Davies in the BBC thriller series. Keep the faith, but “Sleeper” sees Harries appear before he was famous, as one of the burglars who broke into Beth and Mike’s house.
Alex Harries brings a menacing presence to the burglar, who is seriously injured by Beth. While the actor’s face may be obscured by a balaclava, he still manages to emit a sense of dread through his disguised appearance. Alex Harries is utterly compelling as one of the episode’s burglars, as he fully conveys the cold demeanor of a thief.
2 The explosion of the telecommunications center
One of the biggest settings in “Sleeper” involves the destruction of a telecommunications station, which is destroyed by one of the activated sleeper agents. From the behind the scenes series Decommissioned Torchwood, this explosive sequence was nearly cut from the episode, however, following the 2007 terrorist attack at Gatwick Airport.
The scene was originally scheduled to be shot in Cardiff on July 1, 2007, however, planned filming was scrapped due to concerns from the Torchwood production team that the explosion would be mistaken for a terrorist attack. After much deliberation, the behind-the-scenes crew decided that filming would continue, at a later date. To allay concerns, the crew released details of the shooting to the press, reassuring the public that the demolition of the building was largely a controlled explosion (Via BBC News).
The dramatic conclusion to “Sleeper” sets up the tantalizing prospect of a sequel perfectly, with the episode ending as Jack and Gwen discuss the possibility of more sleeper agents. While the TV series failed to follow up on this thrilling tease, a sequel to the episode was released in 2019, in the form of the audio drama “Serenity.”
This gripping story from Big Finish Productions features an original screenplay by “Sleeper” TV screenwriter James Moran and sees Jack and Ianto discover a new army of Cell114 sleeper agents lurking within the confines of Serenity Plaza. The epic tale deftly combines the dark undertones of sinister aliens with the hilarious antics of Jack and Ianto impersonating a married couple, delivering a story that provides plenty of entertainment for its eager listeners.
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