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Captain Jack Harkness
Captain Jack Harkness / Javic Piotr Thane
Played by: John Barrowman (2006–present)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
"Have faith: with a dashing hero like me on the case, how can we fail?"
- Age Without Youth: Albeit at a much slower rate. This is partially an Author's Saving Throw for if/when Barrowman starts to show his age, unlike the actors who work in Highlander shows.
- 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.
- Finally averted in 2017 Big Finish Doctor Who production The Lives of Captain Jack. After twelve years we finally learned his true name: Javic Piotr Thane
- 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.
- His real name, Javic Piotr Thane, isn't too shabby either.
- Back from the Dead: It happens again and again and again... and again...
- Badass Gay: He's from a future where everyone is omnisexual, so he'll flirt with men, women, aliens, whatever floats his boat. And as for the badass part, he's a former companion of the Doctor, he leads an incarnation of Torchwood, he fights the bad guys and doesn't afraid of anything, 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: Do NOT touch his Hand-In-A-Jar.
- 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. He takes Ianto's death especially hard.
- 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.
- Comes across as a hybrid of the Doctor and Stuart from Queer as Folk.
- A Badass Longcoat who is Really 700 Years Old that investigates the paranormal with a Five-Man Band, which is a more adult Spinoff of a previous show? Wait, what show are we talking about? Just check the main images for Angel. Russell T. Davies was pretty heavily inspired by Joss Whedon.
- 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.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Dying a lot and centuries of waiting isn't fun.
Played by: Eve Myles (2006–present)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.
"Oh, bollocks to serenity!"
- Berserk Button: Don't ever bring up her affair with Owen, even if you are Owen. Jack wasn't spared her wrath either despite holding her at gunpoint.Gwen: I got to get back Rhys.Jack: Ya because you're so in love with Rhys, you spend half your time in Owen's bed.Gwen: -punches jack in the face.- FUCK YOU!!!!
- 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.
Dr. Owen Harper
Played by: Burn Gorman (2006–08)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 (possibly as a form of karma), and gradually becomes a much more agreeable, likeable person. Deeply 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.
"This is Owen's voicemail, don't leave a message."
- 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.
- Badass Normal: Prior to dying, he's a fair hand in a fight.
- Bi the Way: Hypnotizes a woman using alien pheromones in his first appearance, until her boyfriend shows up... at which point he promptly hypnotizes him too.
- In a less horrifying example, when the world seems like it's about to end he bluntly propositions Ianto and Tosh. The latter just stares while Ianto, who's also Bi the Way, snarks, "Just when I thought that the end of the world couldn't get any worse."
- 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 - the process leading up to his joining was an epic Trauma Conga Line. (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.
- Character Development: 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 and murdered through a telepathic artefact, and promptly performs 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.
- 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, doesn't pretend otherwise, and generally has the decency to remain at an emotional distance.
- Leitmotif: A sad and painful theme that becomes prevalent after he dies once.
- Kavorka Man: While naturally a subjective trope, he's very successful with women despite not being classically handsome, or even particularly charming.
- 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.
- Only Mostly Dead: From mid-series 2, when he's a suicidal zombie.
- 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.
- Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: His first episode saw him date raping 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.
- Sir Swears-a-Lot: He's particularly foul-mouthed, even by Torchwood standards.
- The Snark Knight: He's the snarkiest in the cast, in a dark sort of way.
- Token Evil Teammate: Starts out as this in series 1 — first by date-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 (though it does take two to tango on that one). 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, possibly as recompense for his horrific Establishing Character Moment. Starts out broken, breaks more throughout series 1 and eventually kills Jack. Breaks again in series 2 and becomes a suicidal zombie.
- Season 2 reveals that he underwent a fairly horrific one before he joined Torchwood; he was originally a sweet, lovely and caring young doctor who was deeply in love with his fiancée. Then, she seemed to develop some kind of debilitating motor-neurone disease. After that, there was a Hope Spot when it appeared to be an operable brain tumour... then it turned out that it was an alien parasite that released chemicals that killed Owen's fiancée and the entire operating team (the lead surgeon being a friend of Owen's), and to add insult to injury, Jack stepped in to steal the body and the brain, knocking out Owen when he tried to stop him. Owen then spent everything he had trying to track Jack down and demand his fiancée's body back and just what the parasite was, while Jack's vanishing trick and Retcon making it look like he was mad, until Jack finally confronted him. No wonder he's such a miserable bastard when we first meet him.
Dr. Toshiko Sato
Played by: Naoko Mori (2006–08)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.
"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."
- 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.
- Leitmotif: The theme used when she died.
- Unrequited Tragic Maiden: Is hopelessly and blatantly in love with Owen, who in turns acts like an absolute shitstain towards her.
- Shipping Torpedo: Not fond of the relationship between Owen and Gwen, partly because of how they treat her when she finds out, and partly because of her own unrequited feelings for Owen.
- Token Minority: Made even better by the fact that she is, indeed, the brainiac... and Asian.
Played by: Gareth David Lloyd (2006–09)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.
"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?"
- 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.
- Berserk Button: Do not hurt Jack. It doesn't matter that he's immortal and near-indestructible. Meek and quiet Ianto Jones will stop at nothing to keep his lover safe!
- 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.
- Butt-Monkey: "No broken bones. Slight loss of dignity. No change there."
- Deadpan Snarker: From late Series 1 onwards, he starts sounding like he's doing a Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary of the script.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted Trope as he was given a month's suspension after the events of "Cyberwoman".
- Famous Last Words: A thousand years’ time…you won’t remember me.
- In the audio "The House of the Dead", the last words of a recreated Ianto are, "Right, then. Best get a move on. Goodbye, Jack!"
- Expy: Became more and more like Vince, especially in his relationship to Jack, as the series progressed.
- If It's You, It's Okay: Sort of. In the series, he claims he's not into men, just Jack. In the novels however, he identifies as bisexual. It's hard to tell really - he's a good liar.
- The Kirk: Alternates between this and The McCoy.
- Leitmotif: "Ianto Jones", a lonely theme that gets an even sadder variation with "The Ballad of Ianto Jones".
- 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
Played by: Kai Owen (2006–present)Gwen's boyfriend/fiancé/husband. A regular sweet Welsh lad who drives a lorry. Gwen tries to keep Torchwood a secret from him, which of course backfires spectacularly.
[Singing along] "Who'd you trust to transport your goods? Harwoods! You won't be sorry with a Harwoods lorry!"
- 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)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.
"If she's anti-terrorist, I would not mind being Uncle Terrorist."
- 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.
- Police Are Useless: Though he starts showing his use in Miracle Day.
- Also subverted when he joins in during a riot against the army in Children of Earth.
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.
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.
- Ancient Astronauts: Implied to be an early colinizer of earth.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: A weird horned humanoid demon.
- Big Bad: Of Season 1, though it's not clear until the end of the season.
- Kaiju: On par with Godzilla.
- Physical God: Even able to drain the life out of people simply by them being in his shadow.
- Schmuck Bait: According to the Torchwood case files that accompanied the first series, a lot of the dead recovered in the aftermath were found with camera and video phones still in their hands.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: Son of the Beast who was sealed within the Cardiff Rift.
- Walking Wasteland: His shadow causes anyone caught in it to instantly die.
Played by: Lachlan Nieboer; Ethan Brooke (young) (2008)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.
"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."
- 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.
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: Its 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.
- Invasion of the Baby Snatchers: Its 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.
Played by: Indira Varma (2006)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.
"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."
- Abusive Parents: She seems to hate her cancer-ridden father, implying this.
- Antagonistic Offspring: She murders her own father.
- The Chessmaster: Suzie even planned for her own death and resurrection.
- Dead Star Walking: Dies in the first episode, but comes back.
- Gambit Roulette: "They Keep Killing Suzie" relies on a lot of precise events lining up. See main page for details.
- It's All About Me: Her motives, while sypmathetic, are rather selfish.
- My Death Is Only The Beginning: You have no idea...
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)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 discernible reason beyond Rule of Cool. Also shares Jack's love for standing on top of buildings.
"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."
- Affably Evil: Walks the line between this and Faux Affably Evil. He's generally quite friendly, in a snarky, totally inappropriate sort of way. However, you take your eye off him at your own risk, because he is totally amoral (if not without standards) and will stab you in the back.
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Wears jeans, cowboy boots, a T-shirt...and a Hussar jacket.
- Badass Gay: More like Badass Omnisexual, but the effect is the same. He is incredibly dangerous.
- The Cameo: His mugshot makes a brief appearance in a list of criminals in the Doctor Who episode "Time Heist".
- Deadpan Snarker: In pretty much every spare moment.
- The Dragon: To Gray. Not through any choice of his own, though.
- Extreme Omnisexual: Once eyed a poodle. However, his opening scene does indicate that he has some kind of tastes, at least as far as humans are concerned, picking out the people he was attracted to.
- Evil Counterpart: Of Jack himself, right down to his incredibly anachronistic wardrobe, being a charming omnisexual rogue ex-Time Agent and his chosen name being an alias, that he adopted simply to parody Jack's own.
- Expy: Of Spike from Buffy the Vampire Slayer and is even played by the same actor, James Marsters. He acts a lot like pre-Badass Decay Spike (if not even more unhinged), and Jack even acts a lot like Angel around him.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: He still loves Jack, enough to turn against Gray in the end.
- Even Evil Has Standards: As the second series progresses, he finds himself disgusted with Gray's plan of destroying Jack's life.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Spent two weeks (that lasted over 5 years) in a timeloop with Jack.
- Katanas Are Just Better: Has one on his belt, though he doesn't use it, preferring pistols and poisons, probably wearing it to invoke this trope.
- Leitmotif: A spaghetti western/soap opera-sounding theme with a guitar and organ.
- New Old Flame: Jack's ex, who pops up out of nowhere. Then again, Jack is an immortal time traveller who Really Gets Around, and extremely secretive at the best of times.
- Pet the Dog: In the finale, he's shown to still love Jack and have some sense of honour. 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.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The Red Oni to Jack's Blue, being impulsive, easily bored, and willing to cause mayhem for his own amusement - though on his second appearance, he's not actually blowing up Cardiff for his own amusement, he genuinely has no choice in it.
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 subconsciously 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.