Tenure 21 May 2005–1 January 2010
source TARDIS Wikia
Captain Jack Harkness was the alias adopted by a Time Agent and con man from the 51st century who became an associate and occasional companion of the Doctor. He was made immortal when killed by a Dalek and revived by Rose Tyler using the energy known as the “Heart” of the TARDIS (absorbing its full power), and stranded on Earth from the mid-19th to the early 21st century. During much of that time, he worked for Torchwood Three until its destruction in 2009. He left Earth in 2010 and did some soul-searching. However, he returned to Earth in 2011 when Miracle Day spread across the world, founded a new Torchwood team and returned mortality to humanity.
Jack was born around the year 5094 (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) under a different name, which he concealed. (Captain Jack Harkness) He grew up in the 51st century in an era when attitudes towards sex differed from those prevalent in the 21st century. (The Doctor Dances,The End of Time, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Adam)
ATTACK ON THE BOESHANE PENINSULA
Jack was reared on the Boeshane Peninsula, a sandy, beach-like area. He spent time with his brother Gray and his father, Franklin, playing cricket and singing around campfires. One day, an unknown enemy invaded his homeland and killed many of the inhabitants. His father told Jack to flee with Gray, while he went back for Jack’s mother. As they ran, Gray stumbled and Jack let go of his hand. Jack continued to run, thinking Gray was behind him. Jack hid in a bush while the invaders flew overhead. He returned home hoping to find his brother, but found only his dead father and his distraught mother. Jack said it was the worst day of his life. He spent many years searching for his brother unsuccessfully. Jack buried the memory of what happened that day and eventually lost his happier memories of before his father’s death. (Adam)
As a young man, he persuaded a friend to “join up” with him to fight an unspecified enemy Jack described only as “horrible.” They were captured. The enemy thought Jack’s friend the weaker of the pair and tortured him as a lesson for Jack. They let Jack go, to bear the guilt of his friend’s fate. (Captain Jack Harkness)
Once, when sentenced to death, he ordered four hypervodkas as a last meal and ended up bedding both executioners at the same time. He recalled them as a lovely couple who kept in touch. (The Doctor Dances)
AS TIME AGENT AND CON ARTIST
Jack worked as a Time Agent with John Hart, a partner in more than one context. They once spent five years trapped in a two-week time loop, becoming the equivalent of a married couple after spending so much time together. Hart admitted to having been “a good wife”, closing an argument between the two as to the details of the relationship. (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) Jack had been the first Boeshane resident to be signed up for the Time Agency, making him a “poster boy” for the area, known as the “face of Boe”. Last of the Time Lords
Jack found that the Agency had erased two years of his past memory, which he wanted back. He left the Agency and became a time-travelling con artist, running scams using his knowledge of future events. His preferred schemes involved collecting payment for items he knew would be destroyed before the buyer could see it. Finding pieces of space junk and directing them to the soon-to-be disaster sites, Jack would sell them to passers-by, then allow the items to be destroyed before the buyers could pick up their merchandise. At some point, he acquired a small, sleek Chula spacecraft fitted for human use, which could turn invisible. (The Empty Child)
In 1941, he assumed the alias of an American volunteer, Captain Jack Harkness, who had died in action the January prior. He knew very little about the real Jack, other than basic information such as the date and manner of his death. (Captain Jack Harkness)
MEETING THE DOCTOR
While running a scam involving a Chula ambulance in the London Blitz, he spotted Rose Tyler hanging from a barrage balloon. He rescued her and took her aboard his ship. Deducing she came from the future, he thought Rose and the Doctor were Time Agents. (The Empty Child)
Rose introduced him to the Ninth Doctor and crushed his dream of conning the Time Agency. The trio stopped the plaguebrought about by the ambulance’s nanogenes. Jack took an active German bomb ready to explode in his ship to save many people and was almost killed himself. However, the TARDIS materialised in his ship and the Doctor and Rose rescued him before the ship exploded. Jack became a new companion for the Doctor, to the delight of both Rose, who found Jack attractive, and Jack, who found both Rose and the Doctor attractive. (The Doctor Dances)
The trio shared numerous adventures together, including an encounter with Russian special forces, and later, a neanderthal. (The Deviant Strain; Only Human) Jack, the Doctor and Rose clicked as a team to the point where Mickey Smith found himself an outsider during a shared adventure in Cardiff, after which Jack traveled with Rose and the Doctor to Raxacoricofallapatorius. (Boom Town) Afterwards, they visited the planet Arkannis Major in the year 2775 (The Stealers of Dreams) and Kyoto, Japan in in 1336. Whilst there, Jack, the Doctor and Rose were abducted by transmat beams, and awoke on the Game Station, formerly known as Satellite Five. ( “Bad Wolf“)
Jack was aboard Satellite Five when a Dalek fleet launched their assault on Earth. He was killed defending the satellite against them. He was resurrected by Rose Tyler holding the powers of the Time Vortex which turned her into the Bad Wolf. The TARDIS departed before he could rejoin them. Jack was left stranded on the satellite. (The Parting of the Ways) Jack later learnt from the Tenth Doctor that this resurrection was what made him immortal. (Utopia)
LIFE ON EARTH
After Jack was left on Satellite Five, he used the vortex manipulator in his Time Agency wrist strap to return to Cardiff, the site of an active space-time rift. Jack knew that the TARDIS could re-fuel itself using the rift, and therefore attempted to reach there in the early 21st century so that he could find the Doctor again. However, Jack ended up in 1869, and his vortex manipulator burned out, leaving him stranded. (Utopia)
Jack stayed in Cardiff, choosing to continue using the Harkness alias (or at least using it when he started working for Torchwood Three). (Fragments) His second death and resurrection occurred when he was shot in 1892 during a fight on Ellis Island. Jack found that he still aged, but very slowly he noted that he had a couple of grey hairs in 2008, one hundred and thirty-nine years after arriving in Cardiff (Last of the Time Lords) and could recover from any degree of physical harm, including death itself, given a few minutes time. (Utopia)
In 1898, Jack flirted with a woman (and her father) at a music hall bar. He booked a private box to watch the performance of The Amazing Anthony – The Wonder of 1898 and referred to himself at the time as being “on duty”. Over the years of Anthony Bradshaw‘s life, it seemed that Jack was coming to terms with his own immortality. Anthony was saved by Jack from Lawphoram, who had fallen to Earth. Anthony, the travelling stage show boy, had failed to predict the future of Jack when he asked him how he would die. (Best Friends)
RECRUITMENT BY TORCHWOOD
In 1899, Torchwood Cardiff agents Alice Guppy and Emily Holroyd found out about Jack. They captured and tortured him to discover why he could not die and what connection he had to the Doctor, who the Torchwood Institute was told to be an enemy. After telling them that the Doctor was a hero that would save them from aliens, Jack was released on the condition that he undertake a mission for Torchwood. Jack was sent to stop a criminal Blowfish, which he returned to Torchwood Three’s Hub, only to see it killed by a shot to the head. Disgusted by Torchwood’s methods, Jack walked away from the organisation. He ended up in a bar, where he drowned his sorrows alone until a young cartomancer offered to read him his fortune. She gave a completely accurate prophecy of the Doctor’s eventual return to Cardiff 100 years into the future. Left with nothing to do but wait for a full century until his version of the Doctor coincided with his timeline, Jack reconsidered Torchwood’s offer and began working for them and awaiting the Doctor’s return.
Jack continued working for Torchwood for over a hundred years, still pursuing his goal of finding the Doctor in the meantime. (Fragments)
Shortly after this, Jack went to China during the Boxer Rebellion, where he worked with explosives. (The Blood Line)
In 1902, Jack investigated strange visions at Ravenhall Manor, a Gothic 18th century house. He defeated the creature responsible. However, the creature would later come back to haunt him 106 years in his future. (Hell House)
In 1906, Jack began two affairs with a couple called Alison and Miles, and even attended their wedding. On the same day, Miles drowned Alison and turned himself into the police. (The House That Jack Built)
In 1909, Jack was travelling through Lahore by train with a group of soldiers under his command, when they were killed by Fairies. Some of the soldiers had recently run over and killed one of the Fairies’s Chosen Ones. In revenge, the Fairies suffocated the soldiers by forcing rose petals down their throats. (Small Worlds) Jack later left Torchwood to fight in World War I. (Utopia, To the Last Man) In 1914, the Ninth Doctor met a soldier who mentioned to him that Captain Harkness had survived a bullet to the head and was recovering in the hospital. (The Forgotten)
In 1918, Gerald Carter and Harriet Derbyshire brought in Tommy Brockless to be put in suspended animation and use him as a key to fix time shifts happening then and in 2008. At some point after this, Jack retrieved instructions on what to do with Tommy in a box temporally locked until the Rift met the same conditions as in 1918. Jack witnessed Tommy being awakened each year to see if he “still worked”. (To the Last Man)
In the 1920s, to investigate the Night Travellers, Jack joined a travelling show in which he was billed as “the man who couldn’t die”. (From Out of the Rain)
In Fragments, an account of events from his mission searching for the Night Travellers can be read in the first of the handwritten reports prepared for his Torchwood file.
In 1924, Jack was sent to shut Torchwood India down. During his stay in Delhi, he had a brief fling with Torchwood India’s leader, Eleanor. (Golden Age)
In 1927, Jack went to New York City on a mission to stop the Trickster’s Brigade from infecting President Roosevelt’s brain with a parasite. When he arrived at Ellis Island, Jack met Angelo Colasanto. The two stayed in a room in New York together and had sex. Comparing Angelo to one of the Doctor’s companions, the two went to the warehouse where the parasite was being kept and killed it. As the two tried to escape, however, Jack was killed and Angelo was captured and taken to jail.
The next year, after Angelo got out of jail, Jack returned claiming that he had only been playing dead. Angelo didn’t believe Jack, however, and assumed that Jack was the Devil. Angelo stabbed Jack and was shocked when Jack came back to life. Jack was then chained up and repeatedly killed, since people assumed that his immortality was either a miracle or a blessing. Jack then saw three men come to the room where he was chained, but he never learned who they were. Angelo decided to help Jack escape, but Jack jumped off of a building and disappeared from Angelo’s life. (Immortal Sins)
Jack met Estelle Cole. The pair spent some time in London together. She wanted to spend the rest of her life with him. Somehow, however, this never happened, and they lost touch with one another. (Small Worlds)
In 1965, the alien race known as the 456, communicating through radio, set up a deal: Jack, with the involvement of Andrew Staines, Ellen Hunt and Michael Sanders, would deliver to them twelve young orphans as a “gift” at a meeting point in Scotland. In exchange for the children, the unseen aliens would give them a cure for a new strain of an Indonesian flu that the aliens claimed would mutate and kill twenty-five million people. Jack received the assignment specifically because of his immortality, and the perception, as one of the officers later told him, that he “didn’t care.” Despite his misgivings, Jack followed his orders, and delivered the children. Clement McDonald, however, slipped away from the exchange, and had nightmares about Jack for the rest of his life. (Children of Earth: Day Four)
In the 1970s, Jack dated Stella Courtney for five weeks. (The Dead Line)
In 1975, Jack and another Torchwood agent, Lucia Moretti, had a daughter, Melissa Moretti, who aged normally. Lucia and Jack split up sometime prior to 1977, and at the request of her mother, their daughter was sent into the Witness Protection Program, relocated and given the name of Alice Sangster, presumably arising from her mother’s fear of the immortal Captain Jack. The application was approved on 14 February, 1977; however, Jack eventually rebuilt a relationship with his daughter. Although Jack was a Torchwood agent at the time, he was still considered a freelance operative rather than a full-time employee. (Children of Earth: Day Three)
On several occasions during the 1990s, Jack visited the Powell Estate to watch Rose Tyler grow up, but did not approach her to avoid disrupting her timeline. (Utopia)
In 1902, Jack set up a bank account, the interest of which would lead to a small fortune by 2011. Gwen asked if she cleaned him out, but he replied in the negative. (Dead of Night)
EARLY 21ST CENTURY
On New Year’s Day 2000, Jack, now a full-time agent for Torchwood Three, suffered a major emotional blow when one of his colleagues, Alex Hopkins, suffered a nervous breakdown and killed the entire Torchwood Three staff shortly before the end of 1999. Knowing Jack couldn’t die, he did not attempt to kill Jack and waited for him to arrive at the Hub before committing suicide. As the only surviving member of Torchwood Three, he spent the next few years recruiting new members. (Fragments)
After taking over, Jack found two people the Rift had taken and later returned to Cardiff inside the vaults. He established an institution on Flat Holm Island. Jack told the carers there that they, and others that came through, were experiments gone wrong. (Adrift)
THE NEW TORCHWOOD THREE
Over several years Jack rebuilt his decimated organisation, recruiting Toshiko Sato from prison in 2004, (Fragments, Greeks Bearing Gifts) and Dr Owen Harper in 2006. (Fragments) At some stage, Suzie Costello, his second-in-command, joined the team.
After Torchwood One was destroyed in 2007 during the Battle of Canary Wharf, Jack continued to work for Torchwood Three. With Torchwood One gone and Torchwood Four having gotten “lost”, Torchwood Three had more or less complete freedom, and used the removal of oversight from Torchwood One as an opportunity to operate according to the ideals Jack thought the Doctor represented. (The Sound of Drums) Later in 2007, he took in Ianto Jones, a survivor of Torchwood One, after some heavy persuasion by Ianto himself. (Fragments)
During this time, Jack held on to the hope of re-establishing contact with the Doctor, who he believed could help him. At some point after Torchwood One destroyed the Sycorax ship in 2006 under orders from Prime Minister Harriet Jones, (The Christmas Invasion) Jack obtained a severed hand that had fallen from the Sycorax craft and which was identified as having belonged to the Tenth Doctor. He kept the hand in a portable container in Torchwood Three’s nerve centre, the Hub, and treated it as a prized possession, much to the occasional consternation of his colleagues. (Everything Changes, Day One)
The team had been testing the resurrection gauntlet on a series of murders which unknown to Jack were committed by Suzie to make her understand the glove further. At a hospital, he helped capture a Weevil. Police Constable Gwen Cooper followed Jack from this hospital to Torchwood. He showed her around the Hub, then laced a drink with retcon to make her forget about everything.
After Suzie was exposed as a serial murderer, she tried escaping by shooting Jack, but when he revived, she shot herself. Jack recruited Gwen, whose memories had resurfaced, as Torchwood’s newest member. Gwen became the only person on the team who knew of Jack’s immortality. (Everything Changes)
Jack chased after a meteorite containing the sex gas creature, where Gwen had accidentally released it. He tricked the gas creature into leaving Carys Fletcher and entering the Torchwood portable prison cell. The entity was poisoned by Earth‘s atmosphere and died. (Day One)
Jack helped Gwen and Owen capture a quantum transducer Bernie Harris had been carrying. He later confiscated the alien artefacts Bernie had been trying to sell. He failed to prevent the death of Ed Morgan Gwen indirectly foresaw with the transducer. Jack then ordered the transducer locked away. (Ghost Machine)
Ianto had hidden the partially-converted Cyberman Lisa Hallet inside the Torchwood Hub. Jack and the others managed to bypass the Hub’s lockdown and escape, but Ianto rushed back for his girlfriend. After Lisa had placed her brain inside the body of another human, the rest of the team had no choice but to kill her. (Cyberwoman)
Jack re-encountered the same fairies that had killed his men in Lahore. He saw them kill Estelle Cole and he prevented Gwen from stopping Jasmine Pierce, their new Chosen One, from joining their ranks as they could have destroyed the Earth. (Small Worlds)
The Torchwood team travelled to the Welsh countryside to investigate a series of gruesome murders. The Torchwood SUV was stolen by a group of cannibals that harvested travellers once every ten years. The team followed the cannibals to their village. Right as his team were captured, Jack stepped in and incapacitated the cannibals. The cannibals were arrested by the police. (Countrycide)
The Torchwood team discovered a teleporter buried in the ground for two hundred years, alongside a corpse of a soldier with his heart ripped out. An Arcateenian called Mary threatened Tosh’s life, demanding her transporter back. Jack reprogrammed Mary’s teleporter as he handed it back and she was teleported straight into the Sun. (Greeks Bearing Gifts)
While investigating a murder case with Suzie’s involvement, Gwen revived Suzie using the resurrection gauntlet, and started having her life drained by the constant link the gauntlet maintained between them. After shooting her achieved nothing, Jack ordered Tosh to destroy the gauntlet, killing Suzie and saving Gwen’s life. (They Keep Killing Suzie)
Jack saw John Ellis, Emma-Louise Cowell and Diane Holmes come through the Rift from 1953 Earth. He befriended John, as he was also a man out of his own time. As John had nothing left to live for, he committed suicide. Unable to convince John to continue living, Jack held his hand as the car fumes overwhelmed John. (Out of Time)
At some point during this time, Jack was kidnapped and Gwen searched for him. They then captured Gwen and transported them to Chernobyl, where they extracted blood samples from Jack, and used retcon gas to remove his and Gwen’s memories of the event. This event would prove significant later. (Miracle Day, Web of Lies)
Tosh and Jack investigated music from the 1940s playing from the Ritz. The Rift brought them back to 1941, where they met Jack’s namesake. Jack bonded with the real Jack over war stories and inadvertently complicated his relationship with Nancy Floyd. The two Jacks had a brief romance. Owen opened the Rift with the Rift Manipulator to return Jack and Tosh to the 21st century. (Captain Jack Harkness)
The opening of the Rift brought diseases and people across time and space. Jack was forced to dismiss Owen. Owen later returned and shot Jack; through Bilis Manger‘s manipulations, Owen re-opened the Rift to send everything back. Jack resurrected and the rest of his team learnt of his immortality.
After the Rift was opened, Jack was forced to confront Abaddon. Abbadon was destroyed while attempting to leech Jack’s life, though the exertion resulted in Jack remaining dead for days, his immortality apparently unable to save him. He was brought back to life after a kiss from Gwen.
A short while after his resurrection, Jack noticed the Doctor’s hand begin to glow. From inside of the Hub, Jack recognised the sound of the TARDIS materialising, elated after decades of waiting by the knowledge that the young cartomancer’s prophecy had been fulfilled and that a version of the Doctor he knew was returning to refuel. By the time the rest of the Torchwood team arrived to investigate the sound, Jack had gone. (End of Days)
REUNION WITH THE DOCTOR
Having heard the TARDIS, Jack left the Hub chasing after the sound. With the Doctor’s hand in a backpack, he managed to jump onto the ship before it dematerialised and re-materialised in the year 100,000,000,000,000. This made Jack the only individual known to have withstood a trip through the time vortex on the exterior of a TARDIS, thanks to his immortality. The Doctor and Jack had an awkward reunion, owing both to the Doctor’s regeneration into his tenth body since they last met and the fact the Ninth Doctor had seemingly abandoned him on Satellite Five. Before long the Doctor admitted that he had run from Jack because his unique nature as a living temporal anomaly made the Time Lord physically uncomfortable when near him — evenlooking at Jack was an effort. Jack made the happy discovery, though, that Rose had not been killed in the Battle of Canary Wharf as he had believed. They met and helped Professor Yana to repair a spaceship in order to help the last humans in the universe reach Utopia. After Yana opened a fob watch, it reawakened the human as the Time Lord, the Master, who regenerated into a new body and took off in the TARDIS with the Doctor’s hand still inside, leaving Jack, the Doctor and the Doctor’s companion Martha Jones stranded at the end of the universe. (Utopia)
The Doctor, Jack and Martha travelled back to 2008 with the aid of Jack’s vortex manipulator, which the Doctor modified. The Master> had been elected as Prime Minister. After being listed as one of the most wanted persons in the UK, Jack was captured on the Valiant along with the Doctor. He gave his vortex manipulator to Martha, allowing her to escape by teleporting to the ground. (The Sound of Drums)
After Jack had been imprisoned and tortured on the Valiant for one year, Martha Jones helped the Doctor and Jack to gain control of the ship, and Jack destroyed the Master’s paradox machine using a Heckler & Koch G36 assault rifle. This resulted in time reverting one year. Only those aboard the Valiant at the time retained any memory of the year’s events.
After the Master’s death, the Doctor offered Jack the opportunity to end his long exile on Earth and join him in the TARDIS, but out of loyalty to his Torchwood team, he decided to stay. (Last of the Time Lords)
RETURN TO TORCHWOOD THREE
Jack returned to Torchwood and the team, saving the life of a woman being menaced by a Blowfish.
Jack reunited with Captain John Hart, who had come through the Rift searching for some canisters that had also come through. Captain John told Torchwood that they contained radioactive bombs. John tricked Jack, pushing him off the top of an office building and taking the canister. Jack caught up with John, but the contents of the canisters were actually components of a bomb that latched onto the DNA of the owner of the canisters’ murderer. Jack confused the bomb by injecting John with the DNA of the Torchwood team and safely disposed of it. Jack then asked John to leave. As he did so, he said he found Gray. (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Torchwood took in Beth Halloran on suspicion over the deaths of two burglars. Jack ordered a mind probe on her, and her true identity, the sleeper agent Keryehla Janees, surfaced. Once Tosh deactivated the link, an advance guard of Cell 114 attacked Cardiff. Jack and Gwen stopped “David” from attacking a stockpile of nuclear warheads. Before David committed suicide, he told Jack the rest of Cell 114 had already arrived on Earth and factored Torchwood into their plans. Rather than let her sleeper agent form take over, Beth pretended to threaten Gwen and Torchwood killed her. (Sleeper)
Jack reawakened Tommy Brockless for the last time. Time shifts at St Teilo’s Hospital started occurring and Jack’s instructions to send Tommy and Toshiko back opened. Jack gave Tommy a small Rift Manipulator in order to close the time shifts. Toshiko then projected an image of herself to Tommy to tell him how to use the “key”. (To the Last Man)
Gwen’s fiancé Rhys Williams discovered the true nature of Gwen’s job. Jack gave Rhys a brief tour at Torchwood and used his position as a transport manager to sneak into Harries & Harries. An alien that could replenish its cells indefinitely was being mutilated there so its meat could be sold. Jack saw Owen mercy kill the creature and felt sorry for it. Torchwood then had its workers retconned and the alien incinerated. Jack asked Gwen to give Rhys retcon, but she refused. (Meat)
The memory-altering creature Adam Smith altered Torchwood Three’s memories, making them think he had been a team member for years. After doing this, Jack’s memories of Gray and his father resurfaced. Jack realised that all the memories of Adam were false and Adam’s files only dated back 48 hours. Torchwood Three took retcon and erased all trace of Adam’s existence on file. (Adam)
Jack invited Martha onto the team to investigate the Pharm, a medical organisation that could cure diseases thought incurable. He ordered Toshiko to close the Pharm down once he learnt of their mistreatment of humans and aliens alike, but the Pharm’s manager, Aaron Copley, shot Owen and then Jack shot him. (Reset)
Unwilling to accept the loss of another teammate, Jack tracked down the other resurrection gauntlet and brought back Owen. The attempt, though successful, left Owen unable to digest food, sleep, or enjoy sex. In addition, the glove released an extra dimensional alien, Duroc, the embodiment of death. Owen saved the day by using his new condition to stifle the needs of the entity, but still expressed a deep resentment towards his leader. (Dead Man Walking)
A regretful Jack was forced to temporarily relieve Owen until he could acclimatise. Jack later had Owen retrieve the Pulse from an ailing Henry Parker. Owen became medical officer again after Martha had taken over for Owen to acclimatise, and Jack kissed Martha goodbye. (A Day in the Death)
Gwen was impregnated by a Nostrovite Jack had killed. She decided against postponing her wedding to Rhys. The biological mother, “Carrie”, tried forcibly taking her unborn child from Gwen’s womb and Jack was forced to stop the wedding. Rhys killed the child that was killing Gwen with the singularity scalpel, while Jack killed the Nostrovite mother. The wedding proceeded and Jack put retcon inside the wedding guests’ drinks. (Something Borrowed)
The Night Travellers escaped from a reel of film playing inside the Electro and took the last breaths of people in Cardiff. As more of the Travellers began to leave, Jack captured the Travellers, which were made from the same material as the film, onto a camera and destroyed the negatives by exposing them to light. Before he was destroyed, the Ghostmaker threw the flask containing the breaths and all but one of the victims died. (From Out of the Rain)
Jack warned Gwen not to investigate the disappearance of Jonah Bevan, who unknown to Gwen had been taken away by the Rift. Ianto gave Gwen a GPS that pointed her towards Flat Holm and she found Jonah was inside, forty years older. Jack explained to Gwen what had happened to those taken to Flat Holm. Despite his protests, Gwen showed Nikki her ill son and how he screamed for most of each day. (Adrift)
SECOND DESTRUCTION OF TORCHWOOD THREE
Jack’s team came under further pressure when Captain John Hart returned, laying bombs within a warehouse in an attempt to kill all of the Torchwood Three team. This failed and Jack found a message from John on his vortex manipulator, which included an appearance by Gray. Shaken, Jack immediately went back to the Hub to confront Captain Hart, leaving the other members of the team to deal with their respective challenges. (Fragments)
On meeting John again, Jack was killed before being chained up and made to listen whilst John explained his predicament. Jack’s rogue partner then detonated strategically placed bombs in and around Cardiff, obliterating the city before abducting Jack and taking both of them back through time to Cardiff in 27AD.
Here, Jack discovered that John was being manipulated by Gray, who marked his return by stabbing Jack in cold blood. Gray then forced John to bury Jack alive, twenty feet beneath what would become Cardiff. Gray, transformed into a merciless, sadistic beast by a lifetime of horrific torture, blamed Jack for letting go of his hand when they were children and wanted Jack to experience a similar, never-ending pain by choking on dirt, thrashing on the edge of life every time he revived, only to die again. Before burying Jack, John, finally pushed too far by the awareness of how wrong his actions were, slipped a signet ring into the grave with him, hoping that the signal it emitted could be used to locate Jack.
Stuck in a cycle of death and resurrection for centuries, Jack was discovered by Alice Guppy and Charles Gaskell of Torchwood in 1901, who had picked up the signal of John’s ring. Back in the early 20th century, Jack, insistent that he could not be allowed to cross his own timeline (for by now two versions of Jack were present – his past self and present self) demanded to be placed in cryopreservation for 107 years. Despite being baffled, the two granted him this request.
Jack awoke again inside Torchwood Three concurrent to Gray’s mayhem – just in time to prevent Gray from finishing off Toshiko with a bullet. Despite Gray’s own unwillingness to absolve him, Jack forgave his brother of his trespasses. Left with no other option, a tearful Jack chloroformed and cryopreserved Gray, refusing to kill him, but the damage had already been done, as Gray had been responsible for the deaths of Owen Harper and Toshiko Sato. Jack and John parted ways on better terms, with John travelling the world of the 21st century, determined to find out why Jack found the time period so interesting. Torchwood Three continued on, reduced to Jack, Ianto and Gwen. (Exit Wounds)
AGAINST THE DALEKS
Later, when the Earth was relocated by the Daleks to the Medusa Cascade, Harriet Jones, a former Prime Minister and acquaintance of the Tenth Doctor, contacted Torchwood and other allies of the Doctor via the Sub-Wave Network. After receiving vital information from Martha that allowed him to reactivate his vortex manipulator, Jack teleported to the Doctor’s side just as a Dalek shot him. (The Stolen Earth)
Subsequently, after the Doctor’s abortive regeneration, Jack boarded the Crucible and surrendered to the Dalek forces. After the TARDIS was supposedly destroyed, he attempted to shoot the Supreme Dalek in anger and was promptly “exterminated”. Reviving before his body could be incinerated, he subsequently burrowed into the Crucible and linked up with Sarah Jane Smith (with whom he flirted), Mickey Smith (with whom he flirted mildly) and Jackie Tyler (with whom he did not flirt). He attempted to use Sarah Jane’s warp star to bluff the Daleks into calling off the detonation of the reality bomb, but was transported to Davros‘ chamber instead.
When Donna Noble disabled the Daleks, the Supreme Dalek descended into the vault and destroyed the Magnetron that was bringing the stolen planets back to their rightful positions, leaving Earth behind. Jack blasted the Supreme Dalek again, this time successfully destroying it.
The Meta-Crisis Tenth Doctor finished off the Daleks, destroying the Crucible. Jack helped pilot the TARDIS as it returned the Earth to its original location. He offered Martha Jones a permanent position with Torchwood, and soon after was joined by Mickey, but not before the Doctor deactivated his vortex manipulator once again, refusing to run the risk of allowing him to travel in time. (Journey’s End)
It was some time around here that Jack made a series of tutorial videos about Adipose,Pyroviles, Ood, Sontarans, Slitheen, Hath, Vespiforms, Vashta Nerada, Judoon, the Midnight entity, the Trickster’s Brigade, Daleks, Davros, festive aliens and Cybermen in the Torchwood Three Hub. These were confiscated by UNIT and were made top-secret footage. (Captain Jack’s Monster Files)
THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER AND OTHER ADVENTURES
Martha phoned Jack for help with the CERN‘s Large Hadron Collider. He, Ianto and Gwen flew to Switzerland, met up with Martha, investigated twelve accidents, and found a creature that fed on neutrons. (Lost Souls)
Jack’s past, once again, came back to haunt him when he, Gwen and Ianto began investigating visions at Ravenhall Manor, which Jack had done in 1902. He re-encountered the creature that was responsible for creating the visions, and after being reunited with a trapped Gwen and Ianto, he destroyed the house. (Hell House)
Investigating an alien energy field, Jack, Gwen and Ianto travelled to Delhi, India, where Jack was surprised to discover that Torchwood India had maintained its existence by using a time store to remain frozen in time. Horrified at Eleanor’s plan to turn the entire Earth back to 1924, Jack destroyed the time store and Torchwood India. (Golden Age)
FIGHTING THE 456
Also in September, Jack’s past returned to haunt him when the 456, in need of more subjects for their drug production, once more contacted humanity by using the children of Earth as a collective mouthpiece. The British government, fearing that the secret of the deal would come out, assigned John Frobisher to deal with the situation. Frobisher, knowing Jack’s role as part of the team which had negotiated with the 456, reluctantly ordered Jack’s assassination. Speculating, incorrectly, that the Hub had special properties which enabled Jack’s regenerative abilities, Frobisher insisted on the complete destruction of the Hub, along with Jack, who was already attempting to investigate by seeking to examine his grandson Steven.
The government, through a ruse involving their agent Rupesh Patanjali, killed Jack and planted a bomb inside his body before he revived. When Jack, unsuspecting, returned to the Hub, the bomb detonated, destroying both Jack’s body and the Hub, but not before Jack managed to evacuate Gwen and Ianto. (Children of Earth: Day One)
A covert ops team conveyed Jack’s scattered remains to a holding facility, where he slowly regenerated his body and returned to life. When Frobisher’s chief of operations in the taskforce realised that destroying the Hub had not rendered Jack mortal, she had him encased in concrete. Gwen and Ianto, however, had not been idle, and with the help of Rhys and Ianto’s sister Rhiannon, they infiltrated the facility and rescued him. (Children of Earth: Day Two)
With Ianto’s knowlege of Torchwood One’s old infrastructure, and a little criminal mischief orchestrated by Gwen, Jack headquartered his team inside a former Torchwood facility. Gwen arranged for the protection of former 456 victim Clem MacDonald by bringing him to “Hub 2,” as Rhys came to call it. Jack himself tracked down Frobisher and warned him to call off the assassination, or the 1965 incident would be disclosed. However, Frobisher countered with a new bombshell: Johnson’s team had taken Jack’s daughter Alice and grandson Steven hostage in order to ensure Jack’s silence in the plans to negotiate terms with the 456. (Children of Earth: Day Three)
Jack, Gwen, Ianto and Rhys retaliated by persuading Lois Habiba to collect incriminating evidence against the entire Cabinet regarding the new terms, then threatening full disclosure unless Torchwood was allowed access to the 456. Storming into Thames House to confront the aliens, Jack and Ianto promised a “fight to the death.” In response, the 456 released a virus into the Thames House, killing all inside. Among the victims was Ianto, who died in Jack’s arms. (Children of Earth: Day Four)
A tearful Captain Jack surrendered to the authorities, blaming himself for Ianto’s death. He instructed Gwen to have Rhys surrender himself as well, and arranged for the couple to return to Cardiff, with instructions to inform Rhiannon of her brother’s death, and to see to the needs of her family.
As the world governments began capitulating to the demands of the 456, and began rounding up children by the millions, Jack found himself sprung from prison by a surprise ally – Agent Johnson, who had become disillusioned and convinced by Alice to take a stand. With the aid of Johnson and Mr Dekker, who had managed to escape the massacre at Thames House, Jack devised a way to defeat the 456 using a reconstitution wave of a similar wavelength to that the 456 had used to kill Clem, using the children as one vast transmitter. There was one major catch: in order for it to work, the wave needed to be channelled through one child, for whom the force of the transmission would be deadly. Only one child was available to serve as the “transmitter.” Ignoring his daughter’s screams and protests, Jack used his own grandson, Steven, as the prime transmitter. The plan succeeded, and the 456 were violently ejected from Earth. However, Steven died as a result, and Alice severed all contact with Jack, walking away without speaking a word. (Children of Earth: Day Five)
LEAVING TORCHWOOD THREE
Jack then went on to travel the world. He did not find it enough to rid himself of his guilt. After six months he returned to Cardiff to destroy the House of the Dead, in turn, sealing the Rift forever. He encountered the ghost of Ianto Jones, and the couple finally confessed their love to each other for the first and last time, before the House of the Dead was destroyed with Ianto still iSol systemnside. (The House of the Dead) Shortly afterwards, after saying goodbye to Gwen and Rhys, he used his vortex manipulator (which Rhys and Gwen had retrieved from the ruins of Torchwood) to signal a nearby cold fusion freighter near the edge of the and teleported off into space. (Children of Earth: Day Five)
Some time later, Jack was in Zaggit Zagoo, a city on the planet Zog, drowning his sorrows in a local bar surrounded by various alien species, when a barman handed him a folded piece of paper which indicated that someone’s name was Alonso. Looking up, he saw the Tenth Doctor staring back, before gesturing towards the man approaching the bar. Seizing the opportunity, Jack addressed Alonso by his first name and told him that he was psychic when asked how he knew him. The Doctor left as Jack continued to flirt with Alonso. (The End of Time)
MORTAL ONCE AGAIN
Jack returned to planet Earth when the word “Torchwood” was emailed all around the world, coinciding with the start of the Miracle Day phenomenon. He used malware to expunge evidence of Torchwood from the Internet, and went to the CIA hard copy records to clear the last of the information. There he encountered CIA agent Esther Drummond, on whom he used Retcon. Jack used the alias “Owen Harper” while he gathered more information; he learned that the Miracle had given humans a half-assed version of his immortality by seeing his severed head continue to live. On Miracle Day, Jack lost his immortality, or perhaps just his instant healing ability as he kept minor wounds that normally would have healed in a day for him, after the explosion at the CIA Archives. He followed Rex Matheson, also CIA, to Wales to protect Gwen. There, they fought off assassins. Despite planning to investigate the Miracle with Gwen, Matheson extradited them to the United States. (The New World)
Forced onto a plane headed for America, Jack had his vortex manipulator confiscated by Rex and was handcuffed to his seat. Hearing his manipulator beeping, Jack told Rex that it detected he had low sodium levels. Jack asked for a Coke and was poisoned with arsenic by corrupt CIA agent Lyn Peterfield. He was cured of the poison by Rex and Gwen with the help of Dr. Vera Juarez via phone call. Upon arrival at the airport, Jack (along with Gwen) was freed by Rex as the CIA became corrupt and now wished to make them seem the bad guys. After Lyn’s neck was broken and the guards knocked out, Jack boarded the car of Rex’s fellow ex-agent, Esther, and was rushed from the airport after briefly meeting the doctor who had saved his life. (Rendition)
Jack took command of the now ex-CIA agents with Gwen to form a new Torchwood team. They began stealing materials needed for operations again, and purchasing necessities with his ATM card, which had a large amount to spend. Soon coming into possession of the phone of Brian Friedkin, the CIA director who had given the orders to eliminate Torchwood, Jack led the team to a warehouse owned by PhiCorp. Inside was a stockpile of painkiller drugs, indicating that they knew “Miracle Day” would happen. Seemingly out of character, Jack decided to take the night off from his usual persistence in solving a mystery and had a one-night stand with a bartender. The following night, Jack confronted PhiCorp’s new public face, Oswald Danes, and got him to admit his true feelings about his crime. Jack realised that Danes wished desperately for death. He was tossed out by Danes’ guards, who took the recording he made of his conversation with Oswald. (Dead of Night)
Jack went to Los Angeles with the new Torchwood team to infiltrate a PhiCorp facility there. Unknown to him, they were followed by an assassin with orders to kill Jack. After arriving in LA, Jack and Gwen tricked Nicolas Frumkin into giving them access to the PhiCorp base. However, the assassin also gained access, and followed Jack and Gwen there. Inside the building, the assassin tied up Jack and Gwen, and informed them he had been ordered to kill Jack. However, the assassin was fascinated that Jack was the only mortal man left, and did not want to kill him. After informing Jack that something that he did in the past was involved, the assassin threatened to cut Gwen’s throat. Before he could carry out his threat, he was shot in the throat by Rex. This earned Jack’s anger as the assassin could have filled in the blanks about the new enemy they were facing. (Escape to LA)
After the new categories of life were released and the overflow camps were opened, Gwen returned to Wales to free her father from one and Dr. Vera Juarez came to LA to join Torchwood. Rex, Vera, and Esther decided to infiltrate an overflow camp. As he was recognised easily by anyone working for this new enemy, Jack couldn’t go. Learning Oswald Danes was to give a speech at the Miracle Rally, Jack sneaked in and tried persuading Danes to read a speech he wrote, revealing PhiCorp knew of the Miracle beforehand, instead of the speech that Jilly Kitzinger had written. If Danes read his speech, Jack promised that when the Miracle ended, he would help him die as he desperately wished. Much to his disappointment, Jack watched as Oswald took parts from both speeches to make his own, saying humanity had evolved into ever-lasting angels. (The Categories of Life)
Jack gained access to Stuart Owens’ email and found out that he was having an extra-marital affair with Janet Tanner and that he planned to transfer her. Jack met Janet in a bar and persuaded her to help him meet Owens. Janet pretended to have been kidnapped over the phone, while Jack spoke with Stuart in a restaurant. Stuart explained that despite his position in PhiCorp, he did not know anything about the Miracle. He had been trying to find out about it. He also told Jack that something called the Blessing was involved. The police soon arrived and Jack was forced to leave. Jack returned to Torchwood’s base and began to investigate the Blessing. Gwen contacted him using the Eye-5 contact lenses, and Jack recorded Gwen blowing up the modules at the Cowbridge Overflow Camp. He also put Rex’s footage of both the San Pedro Overflow Camp and Vera’s death online with Gwen’s, starting public outrage at the conditions that the injured and ill were enduring; however, as “Torchwood wasn’t designed to fight politics,” they had no more success than that. (The Middle Men)
Gwen received a message on the Torchwood contact lenses, telling her they had Rhys, her mother, and Anwen. She would have to hand over Jack if she wanted to see her family again. Gwen returned to LA, and asked Jack to come outside. Once outside, Gwen stunned Jack and tied him up in the car. She drove him to where the contact lenses instructed her. Once they arrived at the specified location and a van arrived carrying three people, Rex and Esther revealed that they had followed them. They pointed sniper rifles at the people from the van. Jack was told they wanted to take him to Angelo Colasanto, the only person who knew the true nature of the Miracle. (Immortal Sins)
The person who had arranged to have Gwen’s family kidnapped was Olivia Colasanto, Angelo’s granddaughter. Olivia took Jack and the rest of the Torchwood team to Angelo’s house, where Jack was told Angelo had been able to live to over a hundred years through artificial means, but had aged normally and was in a coma on life support. Angelo had become wealthy thanks to the advice Jack had given him and kept pictures of him from throughout the 20th century. Olivia explained that three families, Ablemarch, Consterdane and Frines, had made a deal to purchase Jack back in 1926 for his immortality. When he escaped, they vowed to find him again, destroying all evidence of their existence to cover their tracks.
Rex soon brought the CIA to Angelo’s house, and Allen Shapiro had Olivia and Brian Friedkin arrested; Friedkin killed himself and Olivia with a bomb to escape the families’ wrath for failing. Jack spoke to Angelo even though he was unconscious, and unplugged Angelo’s life support equipment, assuming that he would survive due to the Miracle, and was surprised when Angelo died. After Shapiro had Gwen deported to Wales, Jack discovered a null field generator under Angelo’s bed that cancelled out the morphic field that had caused the Miracle in the first place. Jack didn’t want the CIA to obtain the null field technology, so he persuaded Rex and Esther to help him escape with a vital component of the generator. Unfortunately, Jack was shot soon after he escaped. Esther was forced to go with him, while Rex stayed with the CIA. (End of the Road)
Jack spent the next two months with Esther, ending up in Scotland. Esther collected his blood, which she believed relevant to the Miracle. Eventually, they were contacted by Gwen, who told them Oswald Danes was in her house and wanted to speak to Jack. Jack and Esther went to Wales, where Jack retconned a man who was watching Gwen’s house before going in. Oswald explained to Jack that he had stolen Jilly Kitzinger’s laptop. He knew what she was doing for the families. Jilly was helping them to mistranslate video from other countries to hide the location of the Blessing. Torchwood realised that there were two Blessings, one in Shanghai, and one in Buenos Aires. Jack went to Shanghai with Gwen and Oswald. Once they arrived there, his gunshot wound began to hurt more. Gwen helped him change his bandage, and Oswald noticed that Jack’s blood was moving by itself. Gwen determined that Jack’s blood must be moving towards the Blessing. (The Gathering)
BACK TO ABNORMAL
With Oswald’s help, Jack and Gwen located the Blessing, which was about to be blown up by the Families to bury it forever. They knew that Torchwood had located it. Strapping Oswald to a bomb, the three forced their way into the Blessing. Rex and Esther were captured while trying to infiltrate the Blessing in Buenos Aires. Jack, despite being from the future and having had experiences with the Doctor, had no idea what the Blessing really was. He believed it to have been on Earth since the beginning. The Blessing seemed to show everybody themselves, but Jack didn’t appear significantly affected by seeing all the lives he had lived. Jack learned that his blood was used to change the Blessing, which ran Earth’s morphic field. Jack realised the Blessing changed in self defence and that his mortal blood could change it back. A family member revealed that mortal blood would need to be put into the Blessing from both ends to reverse the Miracle. Jack would have no way to do it. Rex, however, had transfused Jack’s blood into his own body.
The two men were prepared to sacrifice themselves to end the Miracle with Gwen planning to shoot Jack, but Esther was shot by the Families to prevent this, as ending the Miracle would kill Esther. The two decided to end the Miracle anyway, and Gwen shot Jack while Rex removed his bandage. Jack died of the gunshot wound. Oswald decided to stay behind to blow up a family member, and Gwen and Jilly decided to escape. Jack’s immortality returned and he escaped with Gwen as Oswald detonated his bomb. Rex also survived the ordeal, but Esther passed away. Jack attended Esther’s funeral and watched as Charlotte Wills was exposed as the CIA mole that kept the Families informed about actions taken against them and killed Rex before being killed herself. Rex resurrected, having somehow gained Jack’s immortality. (The Blood Line)
TAKING A HOLIDAY
After the events of Miracle Day, Jack decided to take a holiday away from humanity, and find solitude by going to Cotter Paluni’s World. (Red Skies) After this, Jack then returned to Cardiff to assist Andy Davidson solve the mystery of Mr Invincible. (Mr Invincible)
In an alternate timeline, where Donna Noble never saved the Tenth Doctor, Jack lost fellow Torchwood members Gwen Cooper and Ianto Jones, who sacrificed their lives to save the Earth from the Sontarans‘ plan involving ATMOS, and was transported to Sontar, the Sontaran homeworld. (Turn Left)
Jack Harkness’ personality was willfully enigmatic. He enjoyed his persona of ‘mysterious time traveller,’ much of which remained constant in his experiences with Torchwood and the Doctor. Before being cursed with immortality, he was a flippant former con man who loved adventuring with the Doctor and seducing beings throughout the universe. Jack automatically flirted with most people he met, not caring about their gender or if they were human, alien or even robots. The Doctor often told him to stop and Jack would often reply, “I’m just saying hello”. But as the Doctor pointed out, “For you, that’s flirting”. From this, it can be inferred that Jack is an omnisexual. (Bad Wolf, Utopia,Journey’s End, The End of Time)
Besides being a flirt, Jack was a drinker. He once remarked that on one occasion when he was sentenced to death, he got drunk and ended up in bed with both his executioners. He told Rose that he preferred to discuss business while he was drinking. (The Empty Child) Jack claimed to the Ninth Doctor that before he met him he had been a coward and said that he might have been better off that way. (The Parting of the Ways)
Despite the fact that he was incapable of dying even if he wanted to, Jack retained a sense of humour, frequently telling jokes and being lively and cheerful. However, underneath his cheerful demeanour, Jack was unsure if he wanted to die or not. (Utopia) Living forever (or at least as near to forever as a human could live) brought him to an existential viewpoint. While he joked about grey hairs and remained silent about mortality, Jack saw death as the ultimate end of being; there was no afterlife and no one waiting for him from his past lives. Although friendly and flirtatious, Jack could also be ruthless at times and did not hesitate to kill anyone or anything that he felt was a threat. This sometimes got him into trouble with his allies in Torchwood who disapproved of his lack of compassion. On one occasion Owen Harper shot him because he felt that Jack didn’t care about what they had lost. (End of Days) Although he could be aggressive, Jack still cared deeply about his allies and was devastated when any of them were harmed or killed. (Exit Wounds,Children of Earth: Day Five)
Always a vocal, unreliable narrator of his own adventures, Jack was as much of a mystery to the people he met as the countless lives he claimed to have led. Jack continued to protect himself with an air of mystery. No one he encountered knew his real name or many details about his career or life. He often told anecdotes about his sex life, but no one knew how many were real. Though he professed “responsibility” as his motto after the Year That Never Was, the utter devastation Jack experienced in the space of five days over the course of the 456 incident and the deaths of his grandson and Ianto Jones left him wracked with guilt and grief, unable to remain on Earth. When he returned to Earth, Jack seemed to be a shadow of his old self because he had lost so many people he cared about, although he had recovered enough to stay on Earth in order to defend it. (Children of Earth: Day Five,Miracle Day)
Jack was haunted by the loss of his younger brother Gray and spent many decades searching for him. He blamed himself for Gray’s disappearance because he’d let go of his hand when they were fleeing from aliens during their childhood. Jack loved his brother deeply and, even after Gray turned against him, Jack told him that he forgave him. (Exit Wounds)
Jack died thousands, perhaps millions or billions of times.
Jack was killed fourteen times in the six months before encountering Torchwood.
Jack fought and died in World War I.
Jack fought and died in World War II.
During the Year That Never Was, the Master frequently killed Jack for fun.
By this time, Jack had died at least 1,409 times.
SKILLS AND ABILITIES
Since his resurrection by the Bad Wolf entity, (The Parting of the Ways) Jack could die and come back to life almost instantly, (Everything Changes onwards) although on occasion his resurrection was delayed if he experienced enough trauma. (End of Days,Children of Earth: Day One) An interesting side effect, used only once on record, was the ability to transfer a little of his life force to another being, allowing that person to recover very quickly. He could also re-grow his whole body. After a bomb that was planted in his stomach exploded, he was able to fully regenerate from just an arm, a shoulder, and part of his head in a bit over twelve hours. His bones grew back first, followed by his internal organs, and lastly his skin, and it would appear that he retained all his memories and knowledge as well. The process of resurrection could often be very painful, especially in this instance. (Children of Earth: Day Two) Jack apparently underwent a similar experience in 2007 after his body was destroyed after being thrown out of an airplane at 30,000 feet over Chernobyl and he subsequently reconstituted after most (but not all) of his body parts were recovered; however, due to exposure to a form of retcon gas, he lost all memory of this. (Web of Lies) He was also able to endure heat and radiation which would have burned or vaporised regular humans, without appearing to feel any pain. (Utopia) Jack viewed this power as a curse as much as a blessing, as each time he died he did not experience anything at all, good or bad (Everything Changes), although the process of resurrection was described as being “hauled over broken glass.” (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang)
Notably, although Jack quickly recovered from fatal injuries, he did sustain more minor wounds such as a cut lip or a black eye and retain them for a while after the injury was inflicted, demonstrating that his immortality was just that and would not automatically facilitate his ability to cope with less serious injuries. (Fragments) However, these wounds healed much more quickly than the average human’s, and were usually gone within a day or so, although it is unclear whether this would apply if Jack sustained potentially long-term damage such as paralysis.
It was impossible to calculate how many times Jack died and resurrected since his first death from the Dalek blast. (The Parting of the Ways) By the time John Hart killed him in a warehouse bombing, he had died at least 1,392 times (Fragments), starting from 1892, when he first discovered his immortality. (Utopia) However, Jack was subsequently buried alive by his brother, Gray, in 27 AD, and endured a cycle of suffocation deaths and resurrections – potentially millions or billions – before being finally rescued in 1901. (Exit Wounds)
The Tenth Doctor explained to Jack about his power after their reunion: Rose, as the Bad Wolf entity, resurrected him with the power of the Time Vortex after his first death, when he was shot by a Dalek. She couldn’t totally control the power she wielded, and she brought him back forever by accident. The Doctor, then in his ninth incarnation, knew from the moment it had happened and so abandoned Jack in the future. The Tenth Doctor said that Jack was a fixed point in time, an impossible thing which the Doctor had trouble even looking at, and even the TARDIS tried to get rid of him. The Doctor said that he was unable to undo Jack’s resurrection power and didn’t know if Jack would ever truly die. (Utopia)
During the events of Miracle Day, Jack discovered that he had lost some or all of his immortality, as he realised that wounds he sustained which should have healed quickly did not. He concluded that while everyone on Earth seemed to have become immortal, he had become mortal and human once again, although it was initially unclear whether this was a deliberate consequence of Miracle Day, or if the Miracle simply ‘crossed wires’ with the immortal Jack and made him mortal. It was eventually revealed that his blood was used on the Blessing to make the world immortal, and it had the reverse effect on him. Once he used his mortal blood to reverse this, his immortality returned as the world returned to mortality. (The New World, Rendition, The Blood Line)
Like other men in the 51st century, Jack possessed evolved human pheromones which made him naturally nice-smelling and attractive to others. (Fragments)
Tosh could not use Mary‘s telepathy pendant to read his thoughts, although he could project thoughts to Tosh if he so chose. Tosh likened it to trying to read a dead man, and Jack confirmed that he knew someone was trying to read his mind, although it was unclear if this was a side-effect of his immortality. (Greeks Bearing Gifts)
Jack had no other superhuman abilities as such, but was in excellent physical condition and an expert in various firearms. He was physically strong enough to rip the bolts of chains he had been bound with by the Master out of the wall, which ultimately resulted in the use of special clamps on his restraints. (Last of the Time Lords) He also demonstrated extremely fast reflexes, such as when he noticed and fired on a Dalek seconds after teleporting from Cardiff to London. (The Stolen Earth)
FUTURE AS THE FACE OF BOE
Jack had mentioned that in his childhood home, the Boeshane Peninsula, he was referred to as the “Face of Boe,” a poster-boy name resulting from being the first one ever to sign up to the Time Agency. This led the Doctor and Martha to speculate that Jack may in fact become the Face of Boe himself. (Last of the Time Lords) Jack had previously mentioned that he did know of the Face of Boe, a being that existed for billions of years. (The Stealers of Dreams) Remaining unsure of his continued ageing process due to seeing grey hairs over hundreds of years, Jack inquired of the Tenth Doctor about his facial appearance if he were to live for a million years and was told he was an “impossible thing,” knowing something he had already been told before with no concise answer as to his fate. (Last of the Time Lords)
Due to Jack’s immortality and time travel, there were several occasions in which several Jacks existed on Earth at the same time. At the time of Jack’s first encounter with the Ninth Doctor in World War II, there were three versions on Earth: the young mortal Jack who subsequently joined the Ninth Doctor and Rose; (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances) the immortal Jack working for Torchwood (location at this point in time unknown); (Utopia, Fragments) and a still older Jack being kept in cryogenic sleep at the Torchwood Three Hub in Cardiff. (Exit Wounds) Later, when the Doctor, Rose, and Jack arrived in Cardiff prior to the Blaidd Drwg power station incident, they were only feet away from the Torchwood Three Hub where the older Jack was based and the cryogenically frozen Jack awaited resurrection. (Boom Town, Exit Wounds) Yet another trio of Jacks existed on Earth, again during World War II, when the immortal Jack accidentally passed through a rift in time back to World War II, when in fact not only were there three Jacks (the 21st century Jack, the 1940s Torchwood member Jack and the frozen Jack) but a fourth as the original user of the name was also present. (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances, Captain Jack Harkness, Fragments, Exit Wounds)
When Rose and the Ninth Doctor first met him, Jack owned a small Chula ship, fitted out for human use, as well as psychic paper and a store of nanogenes in the ship. When saving the Doctor and Rose by carrying a German bomb a safe distance away from London, the bomb exploded inside the ship; luckily, the Doctor and Rose saved him. (The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances) In contrast to the Doctor, Jack Harkness was far more willing to use weapons and was capable of modifying equipment to that end. Jack owned a sonic blaster. (The Doctor Dances) He also managed to store a compact laser deluxe away somewhere “you really don’t wanna know”, in case of emergencies. (Bad Wolf) During his travels with the Doctor, he modified the defabricator to be capable of destroying a Dalek. The Parting of the Ways) As the leader of Torchwood Three, Jack liked to carry a World War II Webley. (Everything Changes)
Given his long life and Jack’s comment, “If you went through my back catalogue, we’d be here ’til the sun exploded”, Jack had numerous to uncountable relationships through the hundreds of years he was alive. (Day One)
Although once described as gay by Owen Harper, Jack was, correctly, omnisexual, in that he found not only both human males and females attractive, but members of alien races as well. He had many lovers of both sexes and of numerous species. By nature, Jack flirted with nearly everyone he met. The earliest known example was his Time Agency partner Captain John Hart, (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) but Jack also recalled lovers from his Time Agency days such as his would-be executioners (a couple) and a boyfriend with no mouth. (The Doctor Dances, Fragments)
During his stint as a con man during World War II, Jack had an affair with a soldier named Algy. (The Doctor Dances) While travelling at their side, Jack appeared to develop romantic feelings for Rose Tyler and the Ninth Doctor, kissing them both on the mouth upon leaving them to fight the Daleks. (The Parting of the Ways) The Doctor chose neither to encourage nor discourage Jack, though he did playfully tease Jack at one point. (Boom Town)
While stranded on Earth between 1869 and 2007, Jack alluded to countless romances. He was known to have dated notables Christopher Isherwood (Reset) and Marcel Proust, (Dead Man Walking) and may have had a sexual relationship with Alan Turing. (The Twilight Streets) Other mentions included acrobatic twins and the possibility of relationships with other coworkers and acquaintances, such as Duchess Eleanor. (Golden Age) In 1927, Jack had a brief relationship in New York with Italian thief Angelo Colasanto, whom Jack likened to a “companion”. Jack left him after Angelo, and later the wider Italian-American community, attempted to kill him after Angelo was released from prison the following year. (Immortal Sins)
Of his more significant relationships, in the early 1940s, Jack fell in love and developed a relationship with a Torchwood coworker named Greg Bishop. (The Twilight Streets) Later in the 40s, he had a relationship with Estelle Cole but seemingly disappeared out of her life forever one day. (Small Worlds) In this period, Jack also became married — as black and white photos showed — but outlived his wife. (Something Borrowed) The Eleventh Doctor implied that he knew Jack to have been married, or at least engaged, several times.(The Wedding of River Song) In the late 1960s, Jack met and had a brief relationship with involuntary time-traveller Michael Bellini. (Trace Memory) Later still, with Torchwood agent Lucia Moretti, Jack was the father to Alice Carter, who in turn produced a grandson. Children of Earth: Day One, Children of Earth: Day Three Jack was vague when asked precisely how many children he had fathered. (Immortal Sins)
In the early 21st century, Jack recruited Gwen Cooper, with whom he had a great deal of sexual tension (but she ultimately chose her boyfriend Rhys Williams, whom she later married), (Everything Changes, Day One, Something Borrowed) and Ianto Jones, with whom he developed a romantic relationship. (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Fragments) Despite these burgeoning relationships, Jack met the real Captain Jack Harkness after travelling back in time and the two developed a romantic bond, culminating in a kiss upon their pained farewell. (Captain Jack Harkness) The relationship with Ianto, however, was close enough for him to surrender the world to the 456 to stop them killing Ianto. This did not save him, and the relationship was tragically ended. (Children of Earth: Day Four) It was also close enough for Jack to attempt to stay in the Rift after it closed forever, not wanting to live in a world without Ianto. Ianto tricked Jack into not attempting suicide, killing himself (or, technically, his spirit). Before Ianto died for the second time, though, the two finally confessed their love to each other. (The House of the Dead)
Jack also met and was attracted to Martha Jones, the Tenth Doctor and even fleetingly to the Malmooth Chantho and a human male refugee on Malcassairo. (Utopia) On witnessing Martha’s obvious unrequited love for the Doctor, Jack commented, “You, too, huh?” (The Sound of Drums) When he returned and John Hart departed, (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang) he began an exclusive relationship with Ianto, though he continued to flirt with everyone he met. During the Medusa Cascade incident, Jack confessed to being a fan of Sarah Jane Smith, because of her triumph against the Slitheen, which did come to some flirting. (The Stolen Earth)
He was later introduced to Alonso Frame by the Tenth Doctor during his last farewells prior to regenerating into his eleventh body. Although they certainly flirted with each other, it is unknown whether they merely had a fling, or if this grew into something more serious. (The End of Time)
Jack’s known relatives were his father, Franklin, his younger brother, Gray, and his unnamed mother. His father was killed during an attack on the Boeshane Peninsula. (Adam) Gray later turned against his brother and was eventually cryogenically frozen in the Torchwood Hub; the Hub’s subsequent destruction during the 456 incident rendered Gray’s fate unclear. (Exit Wounds, Children of Earth: Day One)
He also had many spouses, all but one of whose names were unknown. When the Eleventh Doctor explained to Dorium Maldovar the possibilities a time machine could bring, he said he could go on all of Jack’s stag parties. (The Wedding of River Song)
On Earth he had a daughter, Melissa Moretti (later known as Alice Carter), and a grandson, Steven Carter; Steven died at the resolution of the 456 incident, and Jack’s relationship with his daughter became estranged. (Something Borrowed, Children of Earth: Day Three,Children of Earth: Day Five)
The fact his daughter was ageing and his grandson died indicates that Jack’s immortality could not be passed genetically. By this time, Jack’s only known living relative was his daughter, Alice. (Children of Earth: Day Five)
BEHIND THE SCENES
THE FACE OF BOE?
The implication that Jack is destined to become the Face of Boe is not considered set in stone due to Russell T Davies waffling over the issue during the DVD commentary for Last of the Time Lords, in which he would not commit absolutely to Jack becoming the Face in the future. However, in media and public (i.e. science fiction convention) statements, producer Julie Gardner, along with both John Barrowman and David Tennant, have all gone on record as saying that Jack is the Face of Boe.
While promoting Torchwood: Miracle Day Davies insisted that the idea of Jack living to become the Face of Boe is just a conjecture, and the possibility of Jack not survivingTorchwood remains
The Torchwood website gave more information about Captain Jack Harkness. The series 1 version of the site, which no longer exists as of 2013, though the individual pdf files still exist on the BBC website as of then, shows a letter addressed to an undisclosed boss referring to a scam to pull diamonds away from soldiers guarding a diamond mine in 1908 Lahore, conveniently making a shipment go “missing”. It also shows letters dated February 1944, June 1944 and August 2004 from Estelle Cole after they had met. In the 2004 letter, reminded of when her father told her not to bother with an address, as His Majesty would see to it being properly delivered regardless, Estelle wrote that she sent it off without an address, just a name. She had noticed that Jack, whom she spotted outside a Newport pound shop, either hadn’t aged a day since his supposed death in “secret combat”, or had fathered a son that was identical in appearance to “haunt” her.
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