Characters / Torchwood

For characters from Torchwood: Miracle Day, see that series' character sheet.

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Torchwood Three

     Captain Jack Harkness 

Captain Jack Harkness
Played by: John Barrowman (2006–present)

"Have faith: with a dashing hero like me on the case, how can we fail?"

Captain Jack Harkness is the man in charge at Torchwood: knowledgeable, immortal, absolutely gorgeous. Originally introduced in parent show Doctor Who, he revived after dying, and given a spinoff because of aforementioned reasons. At his core, oscillates between Team Dad and Action Hero. We've definitely seen him be the Science Hero as well, though usually other members of the team (read: Tosh) have that down.

For tropes from Doctor Who see the respective character page

  • Artifact Alias: The name of Captain Jack Harkness is an alias that he took from a deceased American volunteer pilot to mix in with WW2 era London. He still goes by that title for most of his appearances, well after it serves any purpose. In fact, his true name is never revealed.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: He always dresses in a 1940s military style, and when forced to wear anything else, he is not happy about it.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: He seems to think so too, stealing it from an RAF pilot and all.
  • Back from the Dead: It happens again and again and again... and again...
  • Badass Omnisexual: To the point where he asks Ianto out on a date while in the middle of a gunfight.
  • Badass Longcoat: Of the World War II greatcoat variety.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He can go from dashing and witty to deeply scary and holding a gun in Your face in a matter of seconds.
  • Bi the Way: Jack is attracted to men and women and anything in between, as well as non-humanoid aliens. It's stated in Doctor Who that in the 51st century almost every human is bisexual.
  • Body Horror: His body regenerates layer by layer, and pops him back into consciousness as soon as he's able to live again... even if his skin isn't done regenerating yet. He does a lot of screaming at times.
  • Breaking Speech: For a hero, he's frighteningly good at these.
  • Broken Ace: As the series progresses, you definitely see that Jack is having trouble dealing with the shitload of angst he's gotten handed with him.
  • Brought Down to Normal: In the first episode of Miracle Day, he discovers that while the rest of the world has become The Ageless, he's now mortal again. He regains his immortality by the end of Miracle Day.
  • Camp Gay: Often puts on this persona when he wants people to underestimate him. And to piss off Rex.
  • The Casanova: He will hit on any girl. Or any guy. Or anything for that matter. If it has a semblance of a personality, Jack will flirt with it.
  • Cartright Curse: Granted, his immortality means he can't find a lifelong partner anyway, but as it turns out they have a habit of dying in messy ways (such as Estelle and Ianto). Alice's mother Lucretia was a rare lucky one, and even she grew to resent Jack for his eternal youth prior to her death of old age.
  • Chekov's Gun: His aforementioned Hand-In-A-Jar has both saved the universe and almost doomed it. It allowed The Master to reconfigure the TARDIS into his paradox machine and effectively rule the world for an entire year. But it was also responsible for the birth of Doctor-Donna and the Ten Clone effectively help defeat Davros.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Has the occasional flirt with Gwen (and jokingly invites her for a threesome) and has a snog with his ex-boyfriend shortly before he asks his sometime 'dance partner' Ianto on a date. Has been happily married at least once, and is still good friends with his ex-girlfriend from the 1940s, pretending to be his own son. Makes sure to spend quality time with his daughter and grandson and takes responsibility for them. The world is ending (again), he goes on a complete bender, gets smashed drunk, hooks up with a random bartender... and because he happens to be mortal that day (long story), he still insists on using condoms.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Was the Time Agency's top interrogator for 10 years. Considering other members included John Hart, and he is shown to do this on occasion, this is somewhat chilling.
  • Cursed with Awesome: After episode one of Miracle Day, it's clear how lucky he's been with his type of immortality.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Quite a lot of his dark history has come back to bite him in the ass.
  • Death by Origin Story: He was killed by Daleks on Doctor Who and was revived and made immortal by a temporarily god-like Rose Tyler. Every time he died subsequently, he then returned to life. When we meet him at the start of the series, his death and resurrection happened 138 years ago. His death, abandonment by the Doctor, and immortality, more or less created the Jack we see here.
  • Death Is Cheap: Explictly immortal so it's okay.
  • Ethical Slut: For the most part, extremely ethical about it, to the point where if someone in a monogamous relationship kisses him, he probably won't kiss back. Jack probably could have seduced Gwen away from Rhys if he had really tried to, but instead he was the one telling her to keep some small measure of normality in her life. Despite his desire for Gwen to have a normal relationship with Rhys, he has cast her longing looks in the series.
  • Expy:
  • Extreme Omnisexual: "You people and your quaint little categories...."
  • The Hero: Main good guy, or as close to one Torchwood gets.
  • Iconic Item: His Badass Longcoat.
  • Immortality Hurts: Especially if it's well within reason that he has died over a billion times. He was once buried alive. He suffocated to death and came back every few minutes for two thousand years. That's not the worst that's happened to him.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Jack is well aware of the sexual tension between himself and Gwen. He also goes to many lengths to make sure her relationship with Rhys succeeds.
  • The Leader: The brash type.
  • Leitmotif: "Captain Jack's Theme", a barnstorming (literally) action theme that also captures Jack's subtle mystique. According to Ben Foster, he wrote the theme around the phrase "here he comes in a ruddy great tractor", as the theme first plays when Jack... drives through a barn in a tractor.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Always wears some variation of a blue shirt, dark trousers held up by suspenders, brown boots and an RAF greatcoat. (When it's destroyed, Ianto finds a new one for him within a day while the world is ending.) While there was some variation in earlier series, his outfit goes completely unchanged for the duration of Miracle Day.
  • Living Forever Is Awesome: While dying a lot isn't fun, living a lot provides a lot of opportunities for tail. It also comes in handy in his line of work.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: According to Ianto, Jack's style in bed is "innovative... bordering on the avant-garde." When he's joined up with three Doctors (Ten, Doctor-Donna and the Hand Clone), he makes it clear they don't want to know what he's thinking.
  • Mean Boss: His management style involves a lot of snapping and shouting at people who question him and he seems to consider explaining his more unpopular decisions to be a completely foreign concept (which is unfortunate, because he's almost always right).
  • Mr. Fanservice: He's the character most likely to get naked (which was also Lampshaded in Doctor Who). Finally gets a proper (and quite magnificent) sex scene in series 4.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: You'd think it would be his lust that gets him into trouble, but it's actually his brashness.
  • Mysterious Past: Other than his immediate family, birthplace, and former occupation, almost nothing is known about him. What is known normally isn't pretty.
  • No Name Given: "Jack Harkness" is not his real name, but one he stole from a World War II pilot and has used ever since.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: His Camp Gay persona.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Despite being very very sexually active.
  • Offing the Offspring: More specifically, Offing the Grand-Offspring. Not that he had much of a choice in the matter, though, especially after having crossed the Despair Event Horizon over Ianto's death previously.
  • Out of Time, Out of Mind: 1874 years of unending torture didn't seem to bother him too much. It is possible that he simply stayed dead for the duration of it, but it can't be known.
  • Papa Wolf: Hurt his Team and you are in for a world of pain. The Doctor has mercy. He doesn't. This is best shown on two separate occasions: first when he tricks a Starfish Alien in human form that manipulated Tosh via sex and emotions into teleporting into the heart of the sun, and when his team was captured by cannibals and he performed a Big Damn Heroes with a tractor and a pump action shotgun. A Team Dad for many the same reasons.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Now past the 2000 mark.
  • Resurrective Immortality: He can technically die, but only for a short while (in at least one case, for several days) due to a mixture of this and From a Single Cell.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Has seen more pain and destruction than any other good-aligned character in the Whoniverse, except the Doctor and possibly Rory Williams. Becomes even more traumatised after the events of Children of Earth. Manages to weaponise that fact from the get-go in Miracle Day, when he's able to suggest experimenting on the horrifyingly gruesome victims of Miracle Day's consequences, without being halted by his own emotions.
  • The Slow Path: Has had to wait from 1869 to 2008 for the Doctor to fix his vortex manipulator, and again from 27 AD to 2009 (with many, many deaths).
  • Troll: Sometimes plays up his Camp Gay persona just to mess with people. Taken Up to Eleven with Rex.

     Gwen Cooper 

Gwen Cooper
Played by: Eve Myles (2006–present)

"Oh, bollocks to serenity!"

Total Watson and general Audience Surrogate, Welsh Gwen joining Torchwood is where the series begins. Functions as The Chick and/or The Heart, so much so that a coked-up-alien-fish calls her on it. An identical relative of one Miss Gwyneth (as the Doctor gleefully tells her, a "spatial genetic multiplicity"), which may explain her talent for using resurrection gimmicks. Does not take crap from anyone.

  • Break the Cutie: While she certainly went through her fair share of hardship beforehand, Children of Earth utterly destroys any innocence she may have had left.
  • The Chick: Female emotional center
  • Do Not Go Gentle: Is fully aware that neither she nor Ianto have a chance against a Dalek, yet is still the first one to pick up an assault rifle without hesitation, planning to at least go out in a blaze of glory.
  • Easily Forgiven: She's the one who screws up the most, but suffers few if any consequences until Adrift.
  • Expy: Bears a resemblance to Rose in her role.
  • Fair Cop: Was a police officer before joining Torchwood.
  • Field Promotion: Of sorts after Series 1. While Jack is having adventures with the Doctor, she takes over Torchwood as the de facto leader since Cardiff is pretty much a 24/7 battlefield for weird alien shit and the actual commander was MIA.
  • The Masquerade Will Kill Your Dating Life: Nearly all the problems in her relationship with Rhys in the first series are a direct result of her being unable to talk about anything that happens to her in her job. Thanks to Jack's intervention this gets quite a bit better in series 2, though.
  • Naïve Newcomer: In series 1, she freaked out over most of the stuff the other Torchwood members considered as normal as their morning coffee.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: By series 2, she can calmly ask a pedestrian if they've seen a blowfish driving a sports car in complete deadpan. By series 4, she's become just as casual about extreme danger as Jack, and freaks out newcomers by treating the end of the world like a game.
  • Took a Level in Badass: From local bobby to badass alien hunter.
  • UST: With Jack. However, both are not only aware of it on some level, there are some things they would defy or even kill each other over regardless by series 4.
  • The Watson: Takes on the Companion role in Torchwood.

     Owen Harper 

Dr. Owen Harper
Played by: Burn Gorman (2006–08)

"This is Owen's voicemail, don't leave a message."

Oh, Owen. Torchwood's resident Dr. Jerk medical officer, Owen likes alcohol, sex, and being shockingly intelligent on occasion. Has a very nasty Establishing Character Moment in his first episode when he uses an alien pheromone spray on himself to date rape both a random woman and her boyfriend. From that point on, though, he goes through absolute emotional hell about once every three episodes, and gradually becomes a much more agreeable, likeable person. Incredibly Troubled, but Cute ("I'M BROKEN, TOSH!"). Also functions as The Lancer. Is also the only member of Torchwood Three to never have met the Doctor.

  • Abusive Parents: "Adam" hints that his mother wasn't very kind to him - he describes the day she kicked him out, when he was 16, as "the nicest thing you've ever done for me, Mum".
  • And I Must Scream: The worst part wasn't when he died, or when he was revived as a deathless, sentient zombie when Jack used one of the alien Resurrection Gloves on Owen. Or even when Owen discovered that his body, while immortal, was no longer able to digest food or heal injuries naturally, making him rather fragile. No, the worst came in "Exit Wounds", when Owen was trapped in the control room of the Turnmill Nuclear Power Plant and faced the decision to vent the radioactive steam from the overheating core through the room he was in, in a Heroic Sacrifice to save the plant from going into meltdown. As he told Tosh over radio, the fact that this body was already dead meant that he wouldn't die quickly from the massive dose of radioactivity but instead would be trapped inside his body while it was slowly being consumed by the radioactive waste shredding his cells. He shut off the radio before he vented the system as to spare Tosh having to listen to his screams... assuming he was still able to scream, that is.
  • Anything That Moves: Has a penchant for suggesting wild sex any time the world's about to end. Once propositioned Ianto and Tosh when he thought they only had a few minutes left to live. Spends a lot of time trying to find new "Fuck Buddies" as well as one night stands.
  • Back from the Dead: Which they all assume at first, but when he doesn't expire from the second resurrection glove's use it turns out he Came Back Wrong.
  • Bi the Way: Hypnotizes a woman using alien pheremones in his first appearance, until her boyfriend shows up... at which point he promptly hypnotizes him too.
  • Break the Cutie: Starts the series completely broken, with no sign of "cutie" left. Gradually works his way back up, only to be broken over and over again. Eventually, we catch a glimpse of what he was like before Torchwood, and it turns out that he was a genuine cutie indeed. (In fact, Adam's interpretation of him wasn't even that far off.)
  • Came Back Wrong: He's killed off then brought back with the Resurrection Glove, though he comes back particularly broken. He can't heal - at all, so even a minor cut is permanent and a serious problem. He can't eat or drink or sleep, and the way he flushes out anything that he did consume is beyond horrifying (to the point where resident Seen It All Jack describes it as the most disgusting thing he's seen in his entire life), and he also can't really feel much of anything. In dire situations, this actually makes him a veritable tank as he also can't die (again), but more often than not, he's a ridiculously Squishy Wizard.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: What his final death was.
  • Combat Medic: Owen is the team's doctor, but also does things like swing out the window of a moving vehicle and shoot at cars while driving.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Excessively so. Its partly why he comes off as a jerk.
  • Disappears into Light: Not a regular example but when he dies for good, he's engulfed in a great flash of light, almost like an ascension.
  • Famous Last Words: "It's all right. Oh, God."
  • Face Death with Dignity: Initially freaked out over dying, but after being talked down and comforted by Toshiko, he calmly Disappears into Light.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Frequently, which becomes hilarious once he loses the ability to digest anything.
  • Jerkass: A deeply unpleasant man. His Establishing Character Moment where he attempts to gang-rape a group via an alien-pheromone pretty much sums it up. Even after undergoing some much needed Character Development, he's still a bit too mean-spirited and cruel to count as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold. His few redeeming qualities however are worth having him around: The fact that he's damn good at his job; his fierce loyalty to the team; the fact that he knows that he's a very shitty person gives him some sense of self-control.
  • Leitmotif: A sad and painful theme that becomes prevalent after he dies once.
  • Killed Off for Real: Hard to tell how having his type of immortality reacts with his body being atomized. But for all intents and purposes, yes. By the end of Miracle Day, he's probably very definitely dead.
  • The Lancer: Despite being a medic, Owen's the one usually on field-support with a gun in hand next to Jack, even after Gwen shows up as the resident Action Girl.
  • Our Liches Are Different / Our Zombies Are Different: Take you pick as to which he is. He becomes either a non-magical lich or a revenant zombie. Seems to be closer to lichdom than zombiedom as his mind is about as unaffected as it can be after coming back from the dead.
  • Pet the Dog: Owen's introduction was date rape — he used alien pheromones to make two people uncontrollably attracted to him. Two episodes later, he gets to experience the feelings of a woman being raped through telepathy, and promptly does a complete Heel–Face Turn on the issue. In the episode "Out of Time", he actually falls in love with someone, is dumped days later, and as a result (and after a period of violent mourning) generally becomes a nicer person.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His first episode saw him committing date rape on two people. Just a few episodes later, he got to experience rape from the other side through a telepathy gizmo, which gave him rather a lot to think about.
  • Red Right Hand: Evoked when he breaks his own little finger in an act of defiance. Since it can't heal, he wears one black leather glove from that point on.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Starts out as this in series 1 — first by raping two people in the very first episode, then by starting an affair with Gwen, who's in a monogamous relationship and uses him to cheat on Rhys. The first series has him slowly working his way towards a Heel–Face Turn, an arc that properly kicks into gear in series 2.
  • Too Spicy For Yog Sogoth: After he turns undead, Weevils are scared shitless of him, to the point they worship him like he was a god. He eventually gets wise to this and weaponizes it.
    • Death personified also avoids him like the plague (he's already dead and there's nothing for it to feed on), and the Nostrovites (carnivorous shape-shifters) won't touch him because he "smelled a bit off."
  • Trauma Conga Line: Gets a new trauma every couple of episodes. Starts out broken, breaks more throughout series 1 and eventually kills Jack. Breaks again in series 2 and becomes a suicidal zombie.


Dr. Toshiko Sato
Played by: Naoko Mori (2006–08)

"I'm going to have to dig down into the system memory and see if I can find any remnants of deleted or temporary files. Completely illegal, of course."

The first member of Torchwood to appear in the Whoniverse, Tosh first met the Doctor in London. She's Team Torchwood's resident brainy chick. Tosh has your answer to just about everything, and can wield a gun to boot. A great example of Intelligence Equals Isolation, or maybe simply I Just Want to Have Friends, made even more heart-breaking by her epic unrequited love with Owen.

  • Ascended Extra: Was only meant to have her small role in Doctor Who, then RTD transferred her character to Torchwood (even justifying why she'd been a medic there rather than a tech expert). It all payed off handsomely. Oddly enough, she is the only member of the Torchwood team besides Jack to interact with the Ninth Doctor. She never even meets the Tenth.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Her plan to get the team into the Pharm has Ianto calling her "warped on the inside". She responds by smiling happily.
  • Boxed Crook: Because she stole plans for a superweapon - and handed them over to terrorists holding her mother - she was due to be held without charge by UNIT until Hell froze over. Because the plans were flawed and she still made them work, Torchwood got very interested.
  • Broken Bird: Was tortured by terrorists, and subsequently tortured by UNIT for seemingly cooperating with terrorists, before Jack rescued her and offered her a job.
  • Break the Cutie: But then just about all the characters exhibit this by the time the show is through with them...
  • Bi the Way: Has a relationship with an alien woman named Mary.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Most members of Torchwood have good bits of this, but Tosh has it spades. She was secretly imprisoned by UNIT for colluding with terrorists just to save her mother. If it wasn't for Jack, she would've lived out the rest of her life as an enemy of the state.
  • Token Minority: Made even better by the fact that she is, indeed, the brainiac... and Asian.

     Ianto Jones 

Ianto Jones
Played by: Gareth David Lloyd (2006–09)

"I clear up your shit. No questions asked and that's the way you like it. When did you last ask me anything about my life?"

Responsible for getting the Torchwood team where they need to be, Ianto also can make a mean coffee and looks great in a suit. Started out as The Big Guy, but eventually was revealed to have a Dark and Troubled Past in his own right. He was initially part of Torchwood London and witnessed the Battle Of Canary Wharf. Becomes Jack's fuckbuddy after a while, and his exclusive boyfriend in series 2. He gets to meet the Doctor.

  • Almighty Janitor: Whilst his official job role is to clean up after the team and ply them with coffee, he is shown to be staggeringly competent at just about anything the team throws at him, including combat, tactical, and tech roles, alien/dinosaur care, and one brief stint as a wedding fairy. He also ends up being the one who permanently seals the Rift. Whilst being dead at the time. Not bad going for the tea-boy.
  • Ascended Extra: Gained more prominence in later episodes than earlier.
  • Bi the Way: Starts having sex with Jack halfway through series 1. They properly begin dating and become romantic in series 2. Doesn't openly identify as bisexual: it's "just Jack". (He does identify as bisexual in the novels, so that's either Depending on the Writer, or simply because Ianto lies a lot.) Feels comfortable with being Jack's boyfriend in the context of Torchwood, but quite uncomfortable with it around his family.
  • The Masochism Tango: Seems addicted to it.
  • The McCoy: Alternates between this and The Kirk.
  • Morality Chain: Word of God says that if Ianto hadn't died, Jack wouldn't have had hit the Moral Event Horizon in "Day Five".
  • Noodle Incident: We never found out how he and Jack first started "dabbling".
  • Photographic Memory: Provided he uses his mind palace in the form of his old house. In the tie-in novel, The House That Jack Built, he accesses it to remember the personal details of anyone who regularly uses a particular car park.
  • Relationship Upgrade: He goes from (apparently) loathing Jack to shagging him in series one. Series two builds on the "relationship" part, with them agreeing on an actual date in the first episode. He comes out to his family in Children Of Earth.
  • The Reliable One: Resents being this in the first series.

Other Recurring Characters

     Rhys Williams 

Rhys Williams
Played by: Kai Owen (2006–present)

[Singing along] "Who'd you trust to transport your goods? Harwoods! You won't be sorry with a Harwoods lorry!"

Gwen's boyfriend. A regular sweet Welsh lad who drives a lorry. Gwen tries to keep Torchwood a secret from him, which of course backfires spectacularly.

  • Action Survivor: When he first gets involved with Torchwood, he's not badass per se, but he is willing to do some dangerous things on Gwen's behalf.
  • Badass Normal: Eventually, not only does he become surprisingly desensitized to the weirdness around him, he's even willing to stand up to some of the freakier aliens. He even scares the shit out of Oswald Danes in series 4.
  • Back from the Dead After being stabbed to death by Bilis Manger in the series 1 finale, he was brought back to life via the Rift after it was opened and time was re-wound, thus preventing his death from taking place in the first place.
  • Berserk Button: He is shlubbish, out of shape, even a little dim sometimes. He's not in Jack's league, and he knows it. Gwen loves him anyway. Don't hurt her, or the secret conspiracy keeping Britain safe from alien invasion? It won't have the resources or ability to save you.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: When confronted by the alien responsible for impregnating his fiance, ruining his wedding and impersonating his mother, Rhys comes at it with a freaking chainsaw. Unfortunately, it spluttered out just as he was about to use it.
  • Naked People Are Funny: It's shown (twice!) in the first series that Rhys believes morning tea tastes better if you brew it naked.

     Sergeant Andy Davidson 

Sergeant Andy Davidson
Played by: Tom Price (2006–present)

"If she's anti-terrorist, I would not mind being Uncle Terrorist."

Gwen's friend (and ex) at the Welsh police who's a bit miffed when she suddenly leaves the force for Torchwood. Is very fond of Just Following Orders and a bit snarky.

  • Fair Cop: Though more cute than hot.
  • Friend on the Force: Originally just for Gwen, but eventually the whole team taps him (not like that) from time to time.
  • Just Following Orders: The main thing that restrains him from helping Torchwood, though he finally realizes which side he's on in Children of Earth when he finds out what the government are doing.
  • Just Friends: With Gwen, his ex. He's quite frank about his feelings for her, but he refuses to angst about it, and manages to just become mates with Rhys.

     Lois Habiba 

Lois Habiba
Played by: Cush Jumbo (2009)

An office girl who has a very confusing first day when her job suddenly involves aliens. Goes off to investigate and quickly gets mixed up with Torchwood.

  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Despite Gwen suggesting that she get a job with Torchwood in Children of Earth, Lois is nowhere to be seen in Miracle Day. Admittedly, Torchwood is officially defunct after Children of Earth.

     Alice Carter 

Alice Carter
Played by: Lucy Cohu (2009)

A perfectly normal middle-aged woman with a perfectly normal young son, Steven. Spent much of her life in the witness protection program. Tries to cope with Jack, her father, as best as she can.

  • Remember the New Guy: She is Jack's never-seen-or-mentioned-before daughter. It is stated that she asked him to stay away due to his condition. Jack has revealed that he's been in relationships numerous times before (and we even get to meet some of these people), and he mentions how painful he finds it that he can't age while they will, so the CoE reveals did come with some hefty foreshadowing.

Main Villains




Played by: Lachlan Nieboer; Ethan Brooke (young) (2008)

"I want you to suffer. I want your life. This is Cardiff. 27AD. The city will be built here, over the next 2,000 years. Your grave will be the city's foundations. Your blessing of life becomes a curse. Each time you revive, with a throatful of earth, each time it chokes you afresh, and you thrash on the edge of death, you think of me."

Jack's long lost brother. During their childhood, Jack was separated from him during a savage alien raid on their home, failing to protect Gray by letting go of his hand in fear, resulting in their father's death and Gray being dealt a terrible lot of servitude to those murdering creatures. By the time they reunited, Gray was beyond begrudged at Jack for the hell on earth he went through, and started a crusade to get Jack as close to dead as he could due to his immortality, and take down a few of his friends who would die permanently to spite him.

  • Ax-Crazy: Easily the least stable villain in the series.
  • Being Tortured Makes You Evil: he never would have become a monster, if not for that fateful day...
  • Big Bad: Of Season 2, though it's not clear until the very end.
  • Deadly Hug: Embraces Jack when they reunite, then promptly jams a sword straight into Jack's chest.
  • Death Seeker: "I've heard people say death is such a waste. Hmpf. I imagine it more as a relief."
  • Hero Killer: This guy manages to kill both Owen (an impressive feat, considering Owen is an undead zombie and technically unable to die) and Tosh, along with making Jack die many times over by burying him alive under what would become Cardiff.
  • Killed Off for Real: Presumably when the Hub exploded, although it's never mentioned or cleared up for sure.
  • Leitmotif: A very vocal and tragic theme.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Specifically John, who he has wired to explode if he doesn't comply.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Ultimately, what his whole gambit in the second season boils down to: revenge against Jack for not saving him.
  • Satellite Character: His whole character revolves around getting revenge on Jack, and not much else beyond that. Even Lampshaded by Lachlan Nieboer in the Declassified for Exit Wounds.
    Lachlan Nieboer: He's just very, very bitter and hates his brother a very great deal. And that's, that's it. That's just the measure of his personality.
  • Separated-at-Birth Casting: Looks and (especially) sounds a lot like Jack.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: What happened to him when the Hub exploded in Children of Earth?
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He didn't want to become a monster, but is so consumed by sadness and rage that he can't stop himself.

     The 456 

The 456
Voiced by: Simon Poland (2009)

"You will die. And tomorrow, your people will deliver the children."

  • Big Bad: Of Children of Earth, given that it's the main cause of all of the misery.
  • Creepy Monotone: It's voice never changes tone or intonation. This makes it all the more alien and scarier.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Mainly because it must breathe in a gaseous atmosphere, and the concoction of gases could affect its voice pitch. A concoction, which may we add, is highly toxic to humans, and it has to sit in a box that acts as a controlled environment where humans can only enter by donning protective suits.
  • Hero Killer: It murders Ianto using a virus.
  • Insane Troll Logic: It has three heads, possibly indicative of three minds working in tandem, and oh, yeah- it's getting high off children. No wonder half the things it says sound deranged.
  • Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: It's whole reason for holding earth hostage is to capture children to get high off their hormones.
  • Knight of Cerebus: While Abbadon and Gray were hardly harmless, the 456 brought a new level of darkness and moral ambiguity to the series.
  • Non-Action Big Bad: Given that it has to remain in a tank of gasses to remain alive, this makes sense.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: We never get a clear glimpse of what it looks like... and that's probably for the best.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Or rather, millions of forsaken children. And not even powered. Uses the children to get high.

Recurring Villains

     Suzie Costello 

Suzie Costello
Played by: Indira Varma (2006)

"She's a real find, this one. Gwen Cooper. She's better than me. She's so much better. [crying] I was never any good. Jack, I'm sorry."

Torchwood's Token Evil Teammate. She was just like the rest of the Torchwood staff at the beginning- a normal, fairly approachable person with a share of her own secrets, and you couldn't tell that she was hurting beneath the congenial work personality. Except Suzie was the most broken of them all. She had a very hateful and cynical personality brewing under the surface, but mounds of guilt more than anything. After she got caught killing people as test subjects for the Resurrection Gauntlet, she tried to murder Jack. When he resurrected, she gave in to despair and capped herself. But she had a "Plan B" in the lurch to come back to life just in case she did bite the bullet.

  • The Resenter: To Gwen, who she sees as a superior replacement to her.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Though done in reverse applied to herself in "They Keep Killing Suzie".
  • Tragic Villain: At the end of the day, she just doesn't want to die.

     Billis Manger 

Bilis Manger
Played by: Murray Melvin (2007)

  • Affably Evil: He's rather polite and mild-mannered.
  • The Dragon: To Abaddon, since he can't act on his own.
  • Hidden Agenda Villain: It's not until near the end of the first series finale that we find out what he wants.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Arranges for any number or Torchwood staff to fully open the rift.
  • Time Master: He can be in any time period, teleport to different planes of time and even temporarily stop time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: He's never captured or killed, simply disappearing after Abaddon is released and later defeated. As such, it's very likely that he's still out there and biding his time in another time period.

     Captain John Hart 

Captain John Hart
Played by: James Marsters (2008)

"Here's what's going to happen: everything you love, everything you treasure, will die. I'm gonna tear your world apart, Captain Jack Harkness, piece by piece. Starting now."

Jack's former boyfriend of five years, also from the 51st century. A member of the Time Police, and — like Jack used to be before meeting the Doctor — a bit of a con man. Has a flair for the dramatic and wears cowboy gear for no discernable reason. Also shares Jack's love for standing on top of buildings.

  • Pet the Dog: In the finale, he's shown to still love Jack and have some sense of honor. He's still amoral but not genuinely evil as he first appeared to be.
  • Psycho Ex-Boyfriend: Subverted. He looks like he's blowing up Cardiff just so Jack will pay attention to him, but he's actually being forced into it by Gray.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: He ends up with a bomb strapped to him in both of his appearances.

     John Frobisher 

John Frobisher
Played by: Peter Capaldi (2009)

"If ever you think of John Frobisher, just remember that it wasn't his fault."
Bridget Spears

  • Anti-Villain: He only wanted to protect his family and do his job as best he could.
  • Driven to Suicide: He eventually kills himself after killing his whole family after the debacle of the 456.
  • Just Following Orders: Which the Prime Minister manipulates to no end.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Everything he does is on the orders on the prime minister.
  • The Scapegoat: Is blatantly used by Prime Minister Brian Green to take the hit for his morally reprehensible actions.
  • You Look Familiar: In-universe:
    • Peter Capaldi previously played Lucius Caecilius lucundus in the Doctor Who story "The Fires of Pompeii". RTD and Steven Moffat have stated that he's a descendant. The death of Frobisher's family was Time balancing out for the Tenth Doctor saving Caecilius and his family.
    • Peter Capaldi went on to play none other than the Twelfth Doctor. "The Girl Who Died" explains that when he regenerated into this form, the Doctor subconciously chose to have Caecilius' face as a reminder of his duty to save anyone he can no matter what. Moffat later elaborated at the 2015 Doctor Who Festival that the tragic fate of Frobisher also factored into the Doctor's choice — just because Time and Space fight back against the Doctor's efforts to save others doesn't mean he should give it up — but they couldn't fit that detail into the episode.