Torchwood (2006–2011)
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Random Shoes 

The invisible spirit of a hit-and-run victim tries to convince Gwen to locate the 'alien' who might have been responsible for his death.


James Erskine


Russell T. Davies (creator), Jacquetta May




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
John Barrowman ... Captain Jack Harkness
Eve Myles ... Gwen Cooper
Burn Gorman ... Owen Harper
Naoko Mori ... Toshiko Sato
Gareth David-Lloyd ... Ianto Jones
Paul Chequer ... Eugene
Luke Bromley ... Young Eugene
Nicola Duffett ... Bronwen Jones
Roger Ashton-Griffiths ... Mr Garrett
Steve Meo Steve Meo ... Josh (as Steven Meo)
Celyn Jones ... Gary
Robyn Isaac Robyn Isaac ... Linda
Gareth Potter Gareth Potter ... Shaun Jones
Joshua Aaron Hughes Joshua Aaron Hughes ... Terry Jones (as Joshua Hughes)
Amy Starling Amy Starling ... Waitress


A young man, Eugene Jones, 'awakens' lying on the road, apparently having been struck by a car. He quickly realizes that he is dead and that he's now present only in spirit. No one can see or hear him and he has no memory of what's happened in the recent past. In flashbacks, he recalls an unhappy childhood where his father abandoned his family on the same day he lost a quiz competition at school. On that same day, one of his teachers have him something special that simply fell out of the sky, a glass eye. Before his death he had gotten to know Gwen Cooper and tried to interest her in the eye. She didn't have much time for him when he was alive but in death she takes a genuine interest in him. Eugene tries to help her along. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

10 December 2006 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 2007. See more »


Eugene says that in the average human lifetime the human heart beats 2 million times. Average lifespan is 70 years, 36817200 minutes. At 70 beats a minute that works out to 2577204000 beats. For comparison your heart beats 3 million times in a month (30 days). See more »


Eugene Jones: [narrating] The average life is full of near misses and absolute hits, of great love and small disasters. It's made up of banana milkshakes, loft insulation, and random shoes. It's dead ordinary and truly truly amazing. What you've got to realise is it's all here now. So breathe deep and swallow it whole because take it from me, life just whizzes by.
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Hope There's Someone
Written by Anohni
Performed by Antony and the Johnsons
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User Reviews

Surprisingly Humanistic...
19 November 2007 | by cchaseSee all my reviews

You don't usually expect a series that deals with alien monsters and bugaboos of all kinds to have an even balance of special effects chaos and a focus on the wonders and weaknesses that make us all essentially human, but "Random Shoes" is one of those prime examples - not an alien in sight, but it gives us an enthralling and touching story nevertheless, even though technically it has been done before in other series and films (usually quite poorly.)

Eugene Jones, a longtime TORCHWOOD "groupie" has been pursuing the team for years, trying to get them to look at something he found. When he suddenly becomes one of the group's new "cases," Gwen takes it upon herself to solve not only what appears to have possibly been a murder, but the riddle of Eugene's very existence. All while unknowingly being followed by his "ghost", who provides the narration throughout the story.

Even more reminiscent of THE X-FILES than most of the other episodes, "Random Shoes" ends on a sad yet uplifting note that's bound to be controversial for the lack of logic behind it. Which, if the viewer is paying attention, is not the point of the whole story. Liiving your life to the fullest, whatever that life is like...THAT is the point. And beautifully put, I might add.

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